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Monday, January 20, 2014

Spiritual Gifts Are Presents To Be Opened By All Of Us Christians

The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit Are For Today

As an evangelical I believe in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and the exercise of all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I believe that the cessation of particular gifts is not taught in Scripture. I believe that the church is desperately weak and anemic because of the lack of these gifts.

I desire for those who believe in the gifts of the Spirit to come out of the closet and to begin to proclaim and practice these gifts in local churches. My prayer is that the church of Jesus Christ might be renewed. I have no preconceived notion of what that must look like, only the conviction that it is much needed.

Lonnie Frisbee the evangelist visited a fellowship once that was out of control. He shouted out loudly, "Stop toying with the gifts!" Abuses in the name of the Holy Spirit are everywhere it seems. The result is not good when God's people withdraw and relegate the exercise of the gifts to a small room behind the block wall instead of during the main service.

There is no place in Scripture where it states that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased. Recently a group of well intentioned Christians got together to support the idea that there are no gifts available today and that is because we have the Bible. On the surface it sounds very reasonable as they quote:

1 Corinthians 13:10

King James Version (KJV)
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

The "perfect" cannot be taken to mean canonized Scripture. Paul is contrasting the partial with the complete, things that befit a child versus things that commend adulthood. The focal point for advance is the appearance of the "perfect." 

The Greek word teleios simply means "end," "purpose" or completion." Inherent in the word is no concept of a written record. This is simply a theological deduction.

Along with the faulty conclusion of 1 Cor 13:10 as a foundation, they deduced from Revelation 22:18-19 that prophecy ceased to exist with the closure of the canon.

 However, John's prohibition is not all prophesy, but to the deliberate falsification of the one given to him by the Holy Spirit. That Revelation is the last book in our New Testament canon does not mean it was the last to be written or the final prophecy given.

To state that some gifts have ceased and others have not is to go further than Scripture allows. The gifts belong to the church and will continue to belong to the church until the end of the age. Theological viewpoints do not determine the gifts nor do they activate or deactivate them.

Satan wants to divide the church. He will take any opportunity to breach the wall. A church without the gifts is harmless and no threat to him.

Some abuse of the gifts cause a reaction to retreat into the security of uniformity with no exercise of them other then just reading about them in the Scriptures.

The gifts are not weird as they have been made out to be. To despise these gifts, either by theological negation or practical skepticism, will leave us wholly unequipped to meet the battle. Our ancient foe, the devil, has not ceased his struggle to subdue the light of God. 

God does all things well. What He has appointed for His church has behind it wise purpose and meaning, for the mere reason that He is the One who has appointed it. 

Part of the joy we have is discovering the purpose and meaning which God had in mind when He appointed the gifts for His church. If God's Holy Spirit is to function fully in our lives, we must have an open heart and a consuming desire to know all we can about the nature and role of the Holy Spirit. His gifts and His ministries to the body of Christ.

The gifts of the Spirit, the weapons of our warfare, can destroy any force the devil might use against the body of Christ. 

You have to want the gifts of the Spirit. God will not force them on you. When you do receive them, have respect for them. Learn what God has said about them; then you will have great wisdom in the operation of these gifts, and they will remain with you. They are a vital part of your life as a Christian.

When our Lord Jesus came to this earth to conquer it and redeem it, He functioned only within the framework of the gifts of the Spirit. His total ministry on earth was not as God, but as a man, functioning in the gifts of the Spirit. All of the "miracles" Jesus performed were the result of a gift of the Spirit functioning at that time.

Jesus said:
"He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father."
John 14:12

The ministry Jesus performed on this earth was directed, guided, and energized by the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that you and I have today. We can expect to do the same works Jesus did if we follow, line upon line and precept upon precept, everything the Word of God teaches.

Each one of us Christians has the right to every gift of the Holy Spirit. They are provided for the total body of Christ, and you are a part of His body.

The gifts of the Spirit cannot be earned. They are called "gifts" to reveal that there is only one way to obtain them: They are given to the church by God. These gifts are not optional. The people of the church in the past missed God by deciding for themselves whether or not they would accept them. The gifts of the Spirit are not placed at the disposal of the church on a take~it~or~leave~it proposition. We either take them or lose what we have.

How can the church do greater works than Jesus did if it does not have the gifts of the Holy Spirit? If the church no longer has the gifts, if they ceased somehow, then Jesus lied to us about being able to do greater works than He did. Because He did everything by the gifts of the Holy Spirit as a man and not as God. Therefore we must have the gifts to do the same.

Some people have the idea that everything Jesus did was because He was God, but they are 100 percent wrong! The amazing ministry of Jesus Christ is a perfect example of a ministry that functioned within the framework of the gifts of the Spirit.

If Jesus had performed His earthly ministry because He was God, then you and I could not follow His example because we are not God. But the remarkable thing is that He confined His ministry within the framework of the gifts of the Spirit.

I use the word confined because, as the Son of God, Jesus was not required to operate in this framework. He did not have to function through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He could have spoken worlds into existence as was done in the beginning. But He deliberately confined Himself to minister within the limits of the gifts of the Spirit, and He did so for one purpose; that He might be a perfect example to you and me.

If what Jesus did, He did because He was the Son of Man and used the Holy Spirit to do it, then you and I can do it, too. If the ministry of Jesus was directed, guided, and energized by the Holy Spirit, then we can have the same kind of ministry because we have the same Holy Spirit.

Jesus functioned under the nine gifts that are in the New Testament, so can we.

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

 What Is Baptism of The Holy Spirit?

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