Passover to Pentecost – Gifts from the Spirit Week 7 Day 4
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. Romans 12: 6(NIV) Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:7(NIV)
Jesus ascended so he could send the Holy Spirit. The disciples probably had a good idea of the workings of the Spirit because of the many things He did in the Old Testament. The gifts of the Spirit are mentioned frequently in the New Testament. Gifts are given to people and in the case of spiritual gifts the person receiving them is supposed to use them for the Church of the Living God, who by the way does not change.
Paul was a great list writer and sometimes those lists seem to change form epistle to epistle. The problem with list is how people handle them. The first thing in the list is the best, or you will “receive” them in that order, or any number of things that can be turned into hard and fast rules. I have used two different lists from Paul’s writings, both are list of gifts. Paul just put the word spiritual in front of the ones to a more gifted Corinthian church. Brother Joseph Prince groups the nine gifts into three groups in order to help you learn/remember them easier:
- Vocal Gifts – Prophecy, Interpretation of Tongues, and Tongues (personal prayer language)
- Knowledge Gifts – Words of Wisdom, Words of Knowledge, and Distinguishing of Spirits
- Power Gifts – Faith (for special things), Healing, and Miraculous Powers
The gifts in Romans I divided into two groups:
- Building Up Gifts – Prophesying, Teaching, Encouraging, and Showing Mercy
- Building Out Gifts – Serving, Contributing, and Leadership
These gifts are for the Church. In the Old Testament when the Holy Spirit “came upon” someone it was for the good of the Nation or God was protecting someone in the Nation. The phrase “came upon” is translated from several different words that might suggest different levels of anointing. (I will study this topic out in a later post.)
The judges Othniel, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson are noted for having the Spirit “come upon” them so they could lead the Nation in times of trouble. Several people are sited for prophesying because of the Spirit. Moses operated in several gifts in the course of leading and freeing the People. Bezalel is “filled” with knowledge for doing the Ark. David also has several gifts: leadership, knowledge (plans for the Temple), and prophesy. Yes, spiritual gifts are real and should be part of the believer’s life as well as part of the church service.
I have heard many positive and negative things about the gifts over the last forty years. But I will go back to the words of Jesus in Luke 11 where He is teaching on prayer. In verses 11 to 13 He makes the point that if you are asking the Father for something He will not give you a snake if you are asking for an egg. He ends the session with, “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11: 13b (NIV)
In both Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 Paul shares about spiritual gifts and workings and then follows with a teaching/reminder on love. I think the point is clear; love God and your neighbor, and part of that will be by using the gifts the Holy Spirit gives you for good.