Thursday, October 4, 2012

Spiritual Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit

Pneumatology: Spiritual Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit

            The term “spiritual gifts” comes from the Greek words charismata (gifts) and pneumatika (spirits). While there are different kinds of gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4), generally speaking spiritual gifts are God given graces (special abilities, offices, or manifestations) meant for works of service, to benefit and build up the body of Christ as a whole.

            Spiritual gifts can be placed in three categories with each category having multiple types of gifts.  We can define the categories as ministry gifts, manifestation gifts, and motivational gifts.  Ministry gifts are characteristic of a full-time office or calling, such as, Evangelist, Prophet, Apostle, Pastor, and Teacher. Manifestation gifts serve to reveal the power of God. These gifts are supernatural or spiritual in nature. They can be further subdivided into three groups: utterance, power, and revelation. Motivational gifts serve to reveal the personality of God. They describe the inner motivations of the Christian servant.

            Spiritual gifts and Fruits of the Spirit are entirely different and in order for us to understand we should seek the Word of God. In James 1:17 and 1 Corinthians 12:4–11, both refer to Spiritual gifts just as people are all different, the gifts are different for each person, but they are all given to us by the same Spirit.

            The “fruit” of the Spirit, on the other hand, is the expression of our renewed nature as it is seen by others. Galatians 5:22–23 tells us what this “fruit” is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

            When Christ returns, He will return for those who possess His nature. It doesn’t matter on that day, how many spiritual gifts we may have. Jesus is coming back to connect with those who possess His nature; and that goes far beyond merely exercising spiritual gifts. Matthew 7:22–23 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness!’ This verse alone tells us that Fruits of the Spirit is what defines a person’s maturity.

            “Speaking in Tongues” (also known as just "tongues") is a when individuals speak, either in their private prayers or in a public meeting, in what appears to be a language, a "tongue" unknown to them.

The primary scripture used to justify speaking in tongues is found in Acts 2:1–9. On the day of Pentecost, ten days after Jesus ascended to heaven, the disciples were gathered together in Jerusalem when they first received the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The most noticeable feature of this occasion was that each of the disciples "spoke with other tongues," and those in the audience, who were from many other nations, were surprised to hear them speak in their own native languages.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a term used to describe a movement of the Spirit upon and/or within a believer. The Scripture refers to baptism in several verses, Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, and Acts 11:16.  The use of water was the symbol for baptism.

Christians receive the Spirit upon their conversion and in this sense all Christians have been baptized in the Holy Spirit.  This means that they are saved and that they have all they need at that time to be able to live a Godly and Holy life. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

Speaking in tongues is nowhere presented as something all Christians should expect when they receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and are therefore baptized in the Holy Spirit. “Tongues,” are the miraculous gift that has a specific purpose. It is not the only evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit.

Speaking of tongues will cease one day, as also will prophecies and knowledge, when “that which perfect is come,” but that time is not yet, 1 Corinthians 13:8–12. “That which perfect is come,” refers to the end of present age and Jesus comes for the church. Tongues will not only continue to attest to believers being baptized with the Spirit, they will also continue to be the doorway to a deeper life in the Spirit for believers, Romans 8:26–27 “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weakness. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

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