A Theological Pilgrimage: Chapter 15
By Dr. J. Rodman Williams
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3 | 4 |
5 | 6 |
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11 | 12 | 13
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15 | 16 | Conclusion
| Abbreviations |
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THEIR
APPLICATION TO THE CONTEMPORARY CHURCH
I. Introduction - Divine Gifts
There are various gifts that God makes available to the church. Let
us note three basic categories.
A. Domata- -Ephesians 4:8, 11-12- -gifts of the ascended
Christ for the equipping of the church- -ministries.
B. Charismata- -Romans 12:4-8- -functional gifts of
God's grace- -also broadly stewardship gifts- -1 Peter 4:10-11.
C. Pneumatic (spiritual) charismata-
-dynamic, manifestational gifts of the Holy Spirit- -1 Corinthians 12:1-11.
They are listed as: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts
of healing, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues,
and interpretation of tongues (vv. 8-10).
Only the last category is designated as spiritual gifts- -"Now
concerning spiritual gifts" (1 Cor. 12:1)- -although all are essential
to the life of the church (also see 1 Cor. 12:27 for a mix of the various
gifts [there labeled "appointments"]). The need is great for
all the gifts in all categories to be operational.
The most New Testament information is to be found in regard to the
pneumatic charismata. 1 Corinthians 12-14 are devoted to this subject.
Despite the broad range of information, there are wide differences today
of opinion, interpretation, and exercise. My concern corresponds to
Paul's continuing words, "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren,
I do not want you to be unaware"1
(or, perhaps better, "uninformed" RSV). So let us seek to
follow some of Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 12-14.
A. The Fullness of Gifts- -1 Corinthians 1:4-7- -"In
everything you were enriched in Him...so that you are not lacking in
any [spiritual] gift." The Corinthians were exercising the spiritual
gifts. Hence Paul's teaching is not addressed to inexperienced people!
It was a church laden with spiritual gifts.
The Corinthians had the gifts of the Spirit in abundance- -the opposite
of what is found in many of our churches today. For the church in Corinth-
-as Paul's letter later shows- -it was a matter of propriety and order.
Because of the abundance of gifts, they could hardly restrain themselves-
-all wanting to prophesy, all speak in tongues (see chap. 14)- -so much
so that there was confusion. Paul felt constrained to write that "God
is not a God of confusion but of peace" (14:33), and his final
words were: "But let all things be done properly and in an orderly
manner" (v. 40).
B. The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit- -1 Corinthians
12:13- -"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body...and
we were all made to drink of one Spirit" (or "one Holy Spirit
poured out for us all to drink" NEB). According to one early Christian
writer, the Corinthians had experienced "a full outpouring of the
This language suggests a Pentecostal outpouring. Here we recall the
Pentecostal fulfillment of the prophet Joel's words, quoted by Peter,
"I will pour forth My Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and
your daughters shall prophesy" (Acts 2:17; cf. Joel 2:28); also
Peter's words, "He [Christ] has poured forth this which you both
see and hear" (Acts 2:33). As a result of this outpouring, there
was prophesying, also tongues (Acts 2:4)- -both gifts of the Holy Spirit
as described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12-14.
Here we need to begin with basics: Has any given church, or Christian
community, and individual members experienced this outpouring? If no
outpouring, there can be little understanding or activity in regard
to the gifts. If the outpouring has occurred and continues to occur,
the gifts may be present in abundance.
C. Pentecostal Experience
All of this leads to a stress on the importance of the Pentecostal
experience of the gift of the Holy Spirit. In his message on the Day
of Pentecost Peter not only proclaimed the way of salvation, "Repent,
and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
forgiveness of your sins," but he also added: "And you shall
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). Then Peter extends
the promise of this outpoured gift to future generations: "For
the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off,
as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself" (v. 39). To
all who are effectually called to God (hence, are saved), the promise
of the gift of the Holy Spirit is extended.
In Acts the language often simply is that of receiving the Holy Spirit.
See Acts 8:17- -"they [the Samaritans] were receiving the Holy
Spirit"; 10:44- -"[they] [the Caesareans] received the Holy
Spirit just a we did"; 19:12- -"Did you [Ephesians] receive
the Holy Spirit when you believed?" The question in 19:2 points
to the importance of the matter- -and Paul later laid his hands upon
the Ephesians for the reception to occur.
The Corinthians had received the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is
stated indirectly in 2 Corinthians 11:4- -"If you receive a spirit
different from the Spirit already given to you" (REB). Their reception
of the gift of the Holy Spirit was context for the occurrence of spiritual
So again the Pentecostal experience- -however described- -is basic
to the full operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
A. The Lordship of Christ
Behind the operation of the spiritual gifts is the Lordship of Jesus
Christ. Although the charismata are pneumatic, hence operations of the
Holy Spirit, they are all derived from Jesus the exalted Lord. It is
through His Lordship, recognized and affirmed, that the gifts of the
Holy Spirit become a reality.
Paul states, in 1 Corinthians 12, that the community moving in the
Spirit is one that declares "Jesus is Lord" (v. 3). Those
who affirm and continue to affirm His Lordship are those to whom the
Holy Spirit distributes His gifts. The focus of the Spirit-filled community
is not the Spirit but the exalted Lord. For it is Christ the
Lord who acts in the Spirit to multiply these gifts. Through the pneumatic
gifts He makes known depths of wisdom and knowledge, performs mighty
deeds of healing and deliverance, indeed works miracles of many kinds.
To say "Jesus is Lord" is far more than a verbal declaration.
It is to be uttered, Paul adds, "by [or 'in'] the Spirit"
(12:3). In other words, it is a profound expression of worship and praise3
that prepares the way for all the gifts to flow. Truly there is no place
so full of anticipation and excitement as that in which the Lord Jesus
The Lordship of Christ affirmed in the Spirit is the primary background
for the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
B. The Triune God
This leads to the next important matter, namely, that of recognizing
the activity of the Triune God. Paul writes: "There are varieties
of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries,
and the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects ['workings' NIV],
but the same God who works all things in all persons" (1 Cor. 12:4-6).
This means, first, that whatever the variety of gifts, ministries,
and workings, it is the same Holy Spirit, the same Lord Jesus, the same
God at work in each. There is diversity but at the same time unity.
Separation, division, factionalism- -any playing off of one activity
against another- -cannot be of God. Second, although there is no simple
identification of gifts, ministries, and workings,4
the Triune God is at work in and through all of them. There is no gift
that is not a ministry, no ministry that is not an operation or working,
and the same God- -Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- -is in them all. Third,
this means that while the spiritual gifts are primarily expressions
of the Holy Spirit, they have behind them the full weight of the Triune
Accordingly, a community moving in the gifts of the Holy Spirit is
Trinitarian in its fundamental orientation and lifestyle. Just as the
focus is not the Holy Spirit but Christ (as previously discussed), so
the total operation is not that of the Holy Spirit but the Triune God.
To be truly pneumatic is to be both Christocentric and Trinitarian.
C. The Manifestation of the Holy Spirit
The final and most immediate background for the spiritual gifts is
"the manifestation of the Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:7). Through the
pneumatic charismata the Holy Spirit shines forth and openly
shows Himself. The Spirit who is invisible thereby manifest Himself
visibly and audibly.
In his message on the Day of Pentecost, Peter declared about Jesus
that "having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit,
He has poured forth this which you both see and hear" (Acts 2:33).
What the crowd saw and heard was some 120 Spirit-filled people speaking
in "other tongues." This, accordingly, was the manifestation,
or showing forth, both visibly and audibly of the Holy Spirit.
However, all the spiritual charismata, not just glossolalia,
are the Spirit's selfmanifestation. The nine gifts listed by Paul
in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 thus are exhibitions, the showing forth, of
the Holy Spirit. To use an analogy, the gifts may be thought of as lights
that turn on from a hidden electrical current. The current cannot be
seen, but when the lights come on, they are vivid evidence and demonstration
of its presence and power. So it is that in and through the spiritual
gifts the invisible Holy Spirit shines forth.
Before proceeding farther, a clear distinction should be made between
the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. Paul elsewhere
writes, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal.
5:22-23). Hence there is both a ninefold manifestation (beginning with
"word of wisdom" and "word of knowledge") and a
ninefold fruit. Although they are the same in number, the gifts and
the fruit are totally different in nature. The gifts of the Spirit are
the immediate self-expression of the Spirit occurring through instruments
open to His presence and power. Very young and immature believers may
manifest these (as did the Corinthians), but with the fruit there must
be a lengthy process of growth and maturation. Both gifts and fruit
are valuable for very different reasons, but they are by no means the
same. Gifts are dynamic manifestations, gifts of power; fruits are expressions
of character. How much we need them both!
To conclude: in regard to the gifts as dynamic manifestation there
must be the background of the gift of the Holy Spirit. By that gift
there is entrance into the dynamic dimension; by the occurrence of the
gifts there is dynamic manifestation. Hence, when we are dealing with
spiritual gifts, their importance is neither little nor secondary. For
through the gifts, the Holy Spirit is on the scene in dynamic selfexpression.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are all ministry gifts. Paul writes next:
"To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common
good" (1 Cor. 12:7). Let us carefully examine Paul's statement.
A. The Common Good
The orientation of the gifts is the good of the community. Thus each
of the spiritual gifts named, from word of wisdom to interpretation
of tongues, is for the profit of all. Accordingly, when the Holy Spirit
manifests Himself in a gift to an individual, it is not for the sake
of the individual but for the good or profit of others. The gifts have
a horizontal reference. The ministry may be to one person, to several,
or to the whole body- -whatever the need may be.
The gifts of the Spirit are for the upbuilding of the community. Paul
further on writes, "When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has
a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation"
(1 Cor. 14:26). He adds immediately, "Let all things be done for
edification." Whatever the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, its
one purpose is the edification, the building up, of the body of believers.
It is the purpose of the Lord that His people be strengthened as a community.
It is apparent that concern for the spiritual gifts is by no means
a self-centered preoccupation. They are not for private benefit but
wholly for the edification of others. Moreover, it is not a matter of
upbuilding in the natural realm by human words and acts of kindness
but "in the Spirit" by persons open to His ministrations.
B. Each Person
Each person has a distinctive role to fulfill. Not only are the spiritual
gifts for the sake of the community, but also each member is a participant:
"to each one...." The common good is the orientation of the
community, and to that end each person is involved.
Note carefully: each and every person in the community is given a
manifestation of the Spirit. It is not a matter of certain individuals,
perhaps leaders or officeholders, who are so gifted. No one is left
out. Even as the spiritual gifts are for the whole body, so everyone
in the body is equally involved in the ministry of edification.
Accordingly, in a truly Spirit-gifted community people do not look
to one person or a few to minister to the assembly. Rather they look
to the Lord, expecting Him to minister by the Spirit through each one
present. In this sense, pulpit and altar become secondary, for the spiritual
ministry is not through preacher or priest, but through each and every
individual. Every person in the assembly is to be actively involved,
for the Holy Spirit wishes to manifest Himself not through a few but
This total involvement is neglected in most church traditions. Especially
is this true in liturgical churches where worship is largely ritualistic
and the congregation is little more than spectators. However, even where
the assembly is expected to join in prayers, singing, and responses,
there is rarely the expectation that any individual, much less all,
will be the channel for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
But, practically speaking, how can this happen? Many church gatherings
are quite large, so that even if everyone wanted to participate, it
could scarcely occur. Going back to Paul's instructions about "to
each," I believe that he is viewing a gathering of believers of
such size that this participation can more readily happen. A large assembly
may surely be in order for a time of preaching, teaching, and public
worship, but it is scarcely suitable for a full ministry in the spiritual
gifts. Clearly, something like the "house church" is needed,
not to replace the "temple church" but to supplement it. In
such a smaller gathering there is better opportunity and often more
freedom for the spiritual gifts to operate.
All of this calls for individual responsibility of a high order. For
however true it is that the Holy Spirit gives to each and distributes
as He wills (1 Cor. 12:11), it happens through individuals who, in turn,
are responsible for the expression of the gift. This means, for one
thing, to follow closely the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit
and whenever He imparts a gift not to hold back.
So it is that all members in the body function. Paul presses on with
the analogy of the physical body by saying that "the body is not
one member, but many" (1 Cor. 12:14). Even as the human body has
many members- -hands, eyes, ears, nose, and so on- -and each is essential
to full functioning, and none is to be neglected or despised, so must
each person in the Christian body fulfill his or her own activity.
Incidentally, there are some today, outside the Spirit-filled community,
who seek to divide the gifts into temporary and permanent. It is as
if to say "hands, yes," "feet, no," "ears,
yes," "eyes no," "word of wisdom, yes," "miracles,
no," "faith, yes," "prophecy, no," and so on.
It is hard to imagine a more devastating dismemberment of the body if
or when such an attitude prevails.
But back to the main point: each person as a member of the body has
a role to fulfill. Now we may know this theologically and historically,
and still not take it to heart personally. You mean I have a gift, and
it is up to me to exercise it? Yes, it is a fearful and wonderful responsibility.
This leads to the next point.
C. Is Given
"To each one is given...."
Notice that Paul's words do not say "may be given."
No, the words are "is given." It is not a matter of
"maybe" the Holy Spirit will gift me, and if so, I will surely
act. Paul's words are blunt and inescapable: no one is kept out and
all have a role to play whatever the particular gift.
"Is given" also suggests the non-possessive character of
the gift. One does not own a gift, rather it is freely given as an act
of grace: they are grace- -gifts. Also they ordinarily are given at
the occasion of assembling together. Thus the community and each individual
becomes a place of lively expectation. What will be the gifts that the
Holy Spirit will manifest as we come together?
Moreover, the gifts vary with individuals from time to time. "Is
given" suggests that at a particular meeting a particular gift
may be given. It may be a word of knowledge, the next time a prophecy,
one time a gift of healing, the next time a distinguishing of spirits.
There is nothing fixed or rigid about the spiritual gifts. This fact
when realized can make of any assembly of Spirit-filled believers a
place of keen expectation and excitement.
Again, the "is given" rules out any idea that the gifts
belong only to past history. Outside charismatic circles there are those
who hold that the charismata were only for the early church.
The argument for non-contemporaneity is sometimes drawn from 1 Corinthians
13:8- -"If there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away;
if there are tongues, they will cease." But clearly this does not
refer to a cessation in our present history, since Paul declares that
this refers to the coming of the "perfect" (v. 10, the final
day when we see Christ "face to face," v. 12). The various
gifts will surely no longer be needed then (what, for example, would
one need to prophesy about?- -the future will be complete!), but for
now we may be grateful for their gracious availability and operation.
To each one is given- -what a challenge, what a joyous responsibility!
Because of time and space limitations it will not be possible to go
very far into Paul's description of the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians
12:8-10.5 The gifts may
be viewed under three headings: mental, extra-mental, and supra-mental.
Here I follow a two-five-two grouping in sequence.6
A. Mental- -gifts operating through the mind: word of
wisdom and word of knowledge. In Christ "are hidden all the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3). These gifts are those of utterance,
speaking forth out of the treasures in Christ, as the Holy Spirit illuminates
the mind and is manifest through them.
B. Extra-mental- -gifts operating outside the mind: faith,
gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, and distinguishing
of spirits. They may be called active ministry gifts. The gift of faith
heads the list and makes operational the gifts that follow.
C. Supra-mental- -gifts operating above the mind: various
kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues. The final two gifts
function together in a group setting because the expression of tongues
must be followed by interpretation for the body to be edified.
I will add three general comments.
(1) The gifts are not listed in order of importance. If so,
word of wisdom would be of first importance and tongues and interpretation
of tongues the least. However, Paul later says, "Earnestly desire
spiritual gifts...especially that you may prophesy" (1 Cor. 14.1).
Yet in Paul's enumeration of the ninefold gifts prophecy is sixth
in the list! This means also that tongues and interpretation are
not the least. There is no hierarchy of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
(2) All the gifts are equally supernatural. For example, a
word of wisdom is just as much a supernatural manifestation as working
of miracles, distinguishing of spirits as speaking in tongues. It is
a mistake to identify the supernatural with the sensational; if so a
miracle might be viewed as more supernatural than a prophecy. All are
supernatural, not natural, workings. They are not enhancements of what
is already there, as if to say a word of wisdom is only increased wisdom.
The gifts rather are endowments, coming from beyond the human, even
as they operate through human channels.
(3) The Holy Spirit is not dependent on our understanding of the
gifts to operate in them. While understanding is valuable- -surely
we need all we can attain- -the Spirit may move, for example, in a word
of knowledge, a gift of faith, or a distinguishing of spirits without
the one who is a channel being able exactly to identify it. Also, there
may even be other manifestations of the Spirit beyond the nine specified.
The critical thing is to be open so that the Holy Spirit is not blocked
and at the same time not to be too concerned about the precise identification
of the gift. Come, Holy Spirit, move as You will!
VI. The Spiritual Gifts and Love
A. Earnest Desire
As we have noted, Paul writes, "Desire earnestly [or 'eagerly']
spiritual gifts" (1 Cor. 14:1). Such an admonition may on first
reflection seem contrary to an earlier statement of Paul's: "One
and the same Spirit works all these things [the gifts], distributing
to each one individually just as He wills" (1 Cor. 12:11). If the
spiritual gifts are His sovereign action, His distributions, what difference
does anyone's desire make? To answer: although the gifts are the Spirit's
sovereign bestowal, it is the Lord's way often to give to those who
earnestly desire and ask. Jesus declared: "If you...know how to
give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who
is in heaven give what is good [or 'good gifts'] to those who ask Him!"
(Matt. 7:11). God, the Lord, the Holy Spirit, delights to respond to
our sincere asking, and multiply His gifts as we earnestly and eagerly
Concern for the spiritual gifts- -as earlier emphasized- -is in no
sense a self-concern; hence to desire them earnestly is not a self-centered
desire. Zeal for the gifts is anything but a preoccupation with "my
needs," "my wishes," "my pleasures." The concern
is essentially altruistic, for other persons. The intention of each
and every gift is not one's own blessing but ministry to the body of
How much do we desire the gifts- -even, for example, such a seemingly
small one as "interpretation of tongues"? Of course, the Holy
Spirit knows far more than any of us what the needs are, so He may want
to use us in another gift. Still, to repeat, eager desire is important.
The Holy Spirit is not likely to waste His gifts on those who do not
want them. God's sovereign will and our earnest desire make a beautiful
B. The Way of Love
Love is the way of the gifts. "Pursue love" (1 Cor. 14:1)
actually precedes "desire earnestly spiritual gifts"- -for
love is the way, the path, along which the gifts should operate. Let
us turn back to 1 Corinthians 12:31, end of verse, ""And I
show you a still more excellent way" (just following "Earnestly
desire the greater gifts," beginning of verse). The usual translation,
I quickly add, is misleading, for it suggests a way better- -a "still
more excellent way"- -than the gifts. If such is the case, why
not forget the gifts; why go the inferior route when there is a far
better one available; namely, the way of love? Since what follows in
chapter 13 focuses on love, why not disregard all these confusing gifts!
There is surely need for a better and more literal translation, e.g.,
"I now show you a way beyond measure"7
(NIV is close: "I will show the most excellent way"). So Paul
is not setting forth an alternative to desiring the gifts; he does not
intend to show something better. Rather is he showing a super-excellent
way wherein the gifts, including "the greater," are to be
The spiritual gifts must be exercised in love if there is to be genuine
edification. The Corinthians much needed Paul's admonition. They had
no lack of spiritual gifts, but much lack of love. Early in his letter
Paul faults the church at Corinth for its divisiveness. Indeed, immediately
after his praise for the Corinthians not lacking in any gift (1:4-9),
he criticizes them for divisions and quarrels (vv. 10-15). And on throughout
the letter Paul feels constrained to speak about many other lack of
love problems: e.g., gross immorality (chap. 5), lawsuits against one
another (chap. 6), thoughtless actions (chaps. 8 and 10), and selfishness
at the Lord's Supper (chap. 11). Likewise, in regard to the gifts there
was much unloving practice: some boasted of their gifts (see chap. 4:7),
some looked down upon those who manifested presumably lesser gifts (implied
in 12:14-27), some were disorderly in their gift expression (14:40).
Incidentally, love should not be viewed as a spiritual gift. Since
Paul says, "Desire earnestly the greater gifts (1 Cor. 12:31),
just before "I show you a way beyond measure," and later writes,
"Now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest
[literally, 'greater'] of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13), the conclusion
is sometimes drawn that love is the greatest (or greater) of the spiritual
gifts. Clearly the answer is that love is the greatest in comparison
not with the gifts, but with faith and hope. The gifts are for edification
in this world; faith, hope, and love "abide"- -go on forever.
A final word: where there is genuine love there should be a strong
desire for the gifts, for theirs is a ministry of love and compassion.
The more there is love for one's brother, one's sister in Christ, the
more there will be an earnest and eager desire to receive spiritual
gifts and pass on blessings to others.
Pursue love- -and let the gifts flow!
VII. Application for Today
I will close with a statement of mine in Renewal Theology,
"Let it be firmly said that the church cannot be fully and freely
the church without the presence and operation of the gifts of the Holy
Spirit. What is depicted therefore in 1 Corinthians- -and recurring
in our day- -is in no sense a peripheral matter but is crucial to the
life of the church. For the recurrence of the charismata of the
Holy Spirit signals the church's recovery of its spiritual roots and
its emergence in the twentieth century with fresh power and vitality."8
Appendix A: The Community Moving in the Spiritual
Gifts- -a Practical Guide
Preparation: Be thoroughly informed about the nature and operation
of spiritual gifts- -"Concerning spiritual gifts...I do not want
you to be uninformed" (1 Cor. 12:1). Study and ponder all of chapters
12 through 14.
1. Confess the Lordship of Jesus- -"Jesus is Lord!" (1 Cor.
12:3). As the community gathers, focus on Jesus in worship and obedience.
2. Pray for all the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8-10) to be
operational. The Corinthian community was "not lacking in any spiritual
gift" (1 Cor. 1:7)- -nor should we be in our day.
3. Expect each person in the community to be a channel for some manifestation
of the Spirit- -"To each one is given the manifestation of the
Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:7).
4. Be concerned wholly for "the common good" (1 Cor. 12:7).
Spiritual gifts are not for personal blessing but for the benefit of
5. Remain aware that the Holy Spirit will distribute gifts to each
person as He wills- -"distributing to each one individually just
as He wills" (1 Cor. 12:11).
6. Be zealous for all the spiritual gifts- -"Desire earnestly
the spiritual gifts" (1 Cor. 14:8)- -especially prophecy- -"especially
that you may prophesy" (1 Cor. 14:11). Move boldly as the Spirit
7. Let love be the controlling force in every operation of the spiritual
gifts- -"Pursue love" (1 Cor. 14:1, also all of 1 Cor. 13).
8. Exercise all the spiritual gifts in an orderly manner- -"Let
all things be done properly and in an orderly manner" (1 Cor. 14:40).
9. Do everything to the glory of God- -"Whatever you do, do all
to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).
Appendix B: Theses on Spiritual Gifts
1. Spiritual gifts are the manifestation of the Holy Spirit; by the
gifts the Holy Spirit openly expresses Himself.
2. Spiritual gifts include: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith,
gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues,
and interpretation of tongues.
3. Spiritual gifts stand in the line of Old Testament special anointings
by the Spirit of God.
4. Jesus Himself was a channel of spiritual manifestations.
5. Spiritual gifts are multiplied with the outpouring of the Holy
6. Spiritual gifts while similar to other gifts are peculiarly the
operation of the Holy Spirit.
7. Spiritual gifts are all spiritual, or supernatural, endowments;
thus they are all extraordinary.
8. Spiritual gifts are given for the upbuilding of the body of believers;
they are "power tools."
9. The Holy Spirit distributes gifts to each believer as He wills;
accordingly, there is diversity in the exercise of the gifts, some thereby
prophesy, some heal, etc.
10. Though individuals in the body have differing apportionments of
gifts, this does not preclude all from prophesying, speaking in tongues,
11. Each person in the body is to be a channel for some spiritual
12. The spiritual gifts are essential for the functioning of the body;
none is unimportant or unnecessary.
13. Spiritual gifts are earnestly to be desired and expected. Especially
is this true of the "greater gifts" (1 Cor. 12:31).
14. Spiritual gifts are to be expressed in love, else they profit
15. Spiritual gifts pass away when we shall see the Lord "face
16. Spiritual gifts may be apprehended only by spiritual discernment.
17. Exercise of the spiritual gifts needs to be properly ordered.
18. Spiritual gifts belong to the continuing life of the church.
American Standard Bible (NASB). Unless otherwise noted, this translation
is used throughout.
1 Clement 2:2.
D. G. Dunn writes that "the confession of Jesus' Lordship...is
a charismatic conviction born of inspiration and expressed in words
given from beyond" (Jesus and the Spirit, 319). F. W. Grosheide
goes even further to say: "This confession nobody can make except
he be in the Spirit of God....In this context these words are not to
be taken of the ordinary confession of the believer but of the confession
in glossolalia" (First Epistle to the Corinthians, NICNT,
earlier distinction between domata, charismata, and pneumatic
charismata may be relevant here: "ministries" relating
to the domata of the ascended Christ, "workings" to
the functional charismata of God's grace, and the pneumatic
charismata to the Holy Spirit.
for example, my more comprehensive presentation in Renewal Theology,
volume 2, chapter 14, "The Ninefold Manifestation."
than a three-three-three arrangement not fully in sequence which is
Greek phrase is kath hyperbolén-"beyond measure [or
'comparison'] a way." The Greek phrase is not comparative but superlative.
| 2 |
3 | 4 |
5 | 6 |
7 | 8 |
9 | 10 |
11 | 12 | 13
| 14 |
15 | 16 | Conclusion
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