Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; ...
I apologize if you think what I said was accusing you of teaching anything contrary to the gifts of the Spirit. That was not my in tensions. I was just trying to emphasize the importance of learning from the Holy Spirit using whatever vessel He chooses or even when reading the Bible. For instance I will give you two examples of the Holy Spirit teaching me. Biblical Verses Image
The next gift Paul mentions is the gift of interpretation of tongues (v 10). This gift is someone who is able to interpret another tongue or language. I am bilingual and can speak English and Spanish but I would not say that I have this gift necessarily. Some have a natural gift or ability to learn a foreign language. It was not natural nor did it come easy for me. For those who this is easy, then they may be imbued with such a gift. If anyone was speaking in tongues in the church, there absolutely had to be someone there to interpret or they were to be silent. And no more than one person was to speak in tongues because there is only one interpreter available to translate at a time. If several were speaking in tongues at the same time, there would be confusion and God is not the author of confusion, but He is the God of order (1 Cor 14:33). It would not be edifying the church to have several speaking in tongues at the same time and with no one to interpret. Tongues are a sign for unbelievers and not for the church. Paul writes, “In the Law it is written: ‘With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’ Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers” (1 Cor. 14: 21-22). Isaiah 28:11-12 is where Paul quotes Isaiah the prophet, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, ‘This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.’” This clearly indicates that the gift of tongues (Greek for languages) and the interpretation of them is that of a known language as a witness to unbelievers.
Ephesians 4:11 reveals yet more gifts as Paul indicates there are, “…apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.” Again teachers are mentioned, evangelists are those who are unusually gifted at sharing the gospel with the lost, pastors and prophets (again, this is those who proclaim the gospel). Apostles can no longer exist because by definition, they would be those church leaders who have been commissioned by the risen Christ and having been done so in His presence. Those who call themselves apostles have no such authority given by God and they are self-designated only, thusly disqualifying themselves as a true apostle.
The first gift Paul mentions is the gift of wisdom (v 8). It is listed first perhaps because it is foundational to the church and this is a gift that the believer can earnestly desire (v 31). Wisdom is clearly taught in the Word of God and “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding” (Psalm 111:10). This is the precious gift that Solomon asked for and received from God to be able to rightly rule God‘s nation (I Kings 3:12). With this wisdom, Solomon could understand what do in difficult decisions. Wisdom is also associated with fearing the Lord. Fear is simply standing in awe of God in reverence and respect. It entails loving His Word and being obedient to what it says. There is no wisdom in disobedience. This means that if some members are revering God’s laws and statutes, including loving God and loving your neighbor, that many members in the church can have this gift. Of course, many can not have it either. This gift is of supreme importance for members in the Body of Christ for if we can love God and our neighbor, we can greatly contribute to the church and those outside of the church. This love is another way of showing unbelievers and attracting them to Christ by it (John 13:35). Bible Scripture Images
The next gift of the Spirit Paul mentions is the gift of faith (v 9). Those with this gift are truly amazing in how they see things. They tend to exude confidence in all situations. For example, our church deacon has said about our church growth “when” it grows we will need more Sunday school books, while others say “if” we grow we will need additional books. I met an evangelist once that spoke about things as if they already had existed or had come to pass. He spoke about finances that God would provide while simultaneously have nothing to show for it in the church’s bank account. He would always later prove to be right. This is a person more like God. He sees things that aren’t as if they already are!
I have recently been studying the bible for myself with the holy spirit’s guidance. This was one of the topics I looked into because a group of people I come in contact with regularly believe they can lay hands on (and no one has ever been healed but of course it’s their lack of faith) and speaking in tongues. My study led me to this same conclusion. I found verses I’d never seen before or simply skimmed over. It was met with total disdain with a few ‘false prophet’ quotes. Anyway, I knew it would be but still got a little depressed and crawled into my own cave. I just asked God was I wrong and did I miss something. Your article was the first thing I brought up. I think God wanted to reassure me and if others are caught up in the power issue there is nothing more I can do. At least I know God is still revealing the truth of the bible to me as He knows I’m ready for.
Hi Jerry, Thank you for your great response. I have no doubt that the Spirit moves you in your prayer to speak in tongues. Paul said he spoke in tongues more than all of them. I just don’t happen to have that gift. I also don’t think that I have a gift of miracles either. I have some other gifts that are very strong, however, and I am prayerfully seeking His will. That is not to say that at some point God might bestow a gift of tongues upon me if it was His will and was for His glory. I read Pastor Jack’s response as well and will restate that not all people have all gifts. Paul was very clear about that point. A day may come when God needs me to speak to someone whose language I don’t know, I have no doubt that He would use me as He needed me and I would speak in tongues, as I am His willing vessel.
What are these gifts of the Spirit? How can you know that you have particular gifts of the Spirit? Can others give us an indication of what our gift is? What does the believer do with these gifts in the church? Are some gifts more important than others? Are the gifts of healing still being accessed today by believers? Is the gift of miracles still existent in the church today?
Thanks Jerry. I love the grace and humility you have my friend. You wanting to share the gospel is wonderful because only 1 in 20 believers have ever led more than one person to faith in Christ. That is not good but I see you have a passion for the Great Commission. Your own personal testimony is a great way to do so. No one, as you say, can dispute this because it is objective testimony to the work of God in your life.
Modern Rock closely resembles Christian Rock. You'll notice that with some of the bands that perform this type of music, the lyrics may not speak directly about God or even Biblical ideas at all. Instead, the lyrics may contain implicit Biblical messages or may imply broader Christian teachings to other subjects. This makes Modern Rock music very popular with Christians and non-Christians alike. The songs can be heard widely on non-Christian radio stations across the country. Scripture Images
Again my Brother, I am not trying to act like l know the Bible better than you. I have often missed God in many ways. Even in what the Spirit told me concerning how to treat my wife, I have at times fallen short of His word. This is just another example of why it is important to be taught and led by the Spirit of God and how we can experience the heart of God.
As for having a forum or website that allows discussions for Christians to grow, there are several but some problems occur where readers differ and sometimes argue over non-essentials (to salvation) issues that are needless to debate. What I sense you want is to grow and many churches have Sunday school programs (such as the church I am under-shepherd of) that allow the class to have input (which we do). Others have Sunday night services that are dedicated to a more intensive Bible Study and still others have Weds. night studies of the same magnitude. There are many Christian forums but you will find that frequently they are taking about issues that do not have to do with doctrine but about personal beliefs in grey areas that sometimes lead into wrangling which the Bible commands Christians not to do. Please note that our website allows comments on all of the articles and you can ask or comment with other readers and even the authors of these articles and to me, it is one of the greatest tools for growth. The vast majority of our readers and commentators who reply with comments have so much to add that I grow too in the process. I hope this helps. We have over 300 articles about various topics. You can type in a key word or question at the top of the webpage Homepage where it says “Questions? Need Answers? Ask Us.” and type into the search box. Happy hunting and growing in grace and knowledge Cynthia. Biblical Verses Image
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. ...
What happened next truly changed my life. As I was working up the courage to do what I knew I had to do, I felt in my presence beside me, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit said to me; “If you do this I WILL take you home to be with me. But, before you do, think about the impact on your two sons. Who will finish raising them? My ex-wife is an unbeliever, and I KNEW that they would grow up without the knowledge of our Jesus and our Father. Through many tears, I gently laid the pistol back in it’s drawer, laid down in bed, and proceeded to speak to Abba in a spiritual language I had never heard before, for the space of about two hours. Never had done this before. I speak in tongues quite a bit since. I received the gift of speaking in tongues, and interpreting spoken tongues that night. I didn’t seek the gift, but if Abba wanted me to have it, I will certainly not reject it. Bible Verse Wall Art