Word at Work April 6, 2017

Scripture: John 20:19-23, 1 Corinthians 2:11

In John 20:19-23 Jesus said, “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’” In this passage Jesus meets the disciples and imparts the Holy Spirit to them. He says in verse 22 “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained…” The Greek word translated “retain” is krat-eh-o, the Greek word for dominion. Dominion is the fourth and highest level of God’s power. So not only does the Holy Spirit begin with doo-nam-is but He takes us all the way through the spectrum of levels of power into dominion that either forgives or retains sin, which is the foundation for judgment. How can we know when to retain and when to forgive? That is beyond most of us and likely that is the reason Jesus gave us access to the wisdom that only He has by praying in a language that we never learned and do not understand. Tongues was given so we can access the fullness of Christ. Some of the things of the Spirit are just beyond our ability to comprehend. Tongues takes us into places where we have to have the wisdom of God to walk there. Forgiving or retaining sin is one of those areas. When we forgive sin versus when we retain sin is one thing that only the Holy Spirit can lead us into. The Spirit can show us through Scripture, “If you forgive the sins of any…they are forgiven them.” It takes the Holy Spirit to lead us to a passage of Scripture that will explain when we forgive and when we retain. Many situations require the wisdom of God and the path to that wisdom is the same – it is tongues! Even when we see a Scriptural principle, we have to know whether or not it applies and at times we have to discern the condition of a person’s heart. Only the Spirit knows that, “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?” The Holy Spirit knows. And the way you and I find out is by praying in tongues so God will reveal it to us. There are whole dimensions of ministry that we cannot access without tongues. God gave it for that purpose and it is time we grew up and recognized it.

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