Gifts of the Holy Spirit within the big picture of
Church and our faith journeys.
As incredible as they are – there are more
important demands of our faith.
I need to firstly explain that within Christianity, the Holy Spirit has a significant role in our individual lives. As examples I offer: helping us to find Jesus, our Lord and Saviour; guiding us to be more faithful to our Lord; assisting us Christians in our day-to-day lives; supporting us in life’s hardships and much more.
However here in this article, and those surrounding it in this section of the website, we look to his actual and ‘tangible’ presence in the Church. And as such how God can provide clear evidence of his very existence to each of us. If you would like to gain a quick overview of “How to believe in God” then read the article with that title first.
Within the Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement of the greater Christian Church, ‘anointed’ Christians are often given specific spiritual ‘gifts’ by the Holy Spirit . Please see the article, “Experiencing the Holy Spirit”. These gifts are briefly described below. I realise all this might look ‘just a bit crazy’ to the uninitiated, but they really are genuine. You might have to trust me there for the moment. (To see the who’s, how’s and why’s of this website please click here.)
2. THE ‘WHAT’ AND ‘WHY’ OF GIFTS
Of course these gifts are amazing when they manifest themselves, but even the experience of just being anointed or ‘touched’ (as I like to call it) by the Spirit is powerfully belief building in its own right!
The ‘gifts of the Spirit’ are referred to in the Bible’s New Testament, e.g. St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians [please see 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 in the Bible]. Those gifts discussed in this section of the website are:
- miracle healing,
- messages of knowledge and,
- speaking in tongues.
Again, it looks sounds so wild, doesn’t it? But, if I can accept it with my analytical mind and previous background of atheism, anyone can … if they can just open themselves to its possibility: be ready to believe.
Because these gifts actually are available now, just as they were 2,000 years ago, really does bring home to us the factual nature of the Bible’s New Testament (NT). And they are so faith and belief building for us as individuals and churches as a whole.
3. PLACING GIFTS IN PERSPECTIVE
As I have pointed out, it is the use or manifestation of these gifts, empowered directly by the Holy Spirit, that primarily offers us the chance in our current times to actually witness God at work spiritually within church services. And I mean for us to clearly recognise his presence there; as he spiritually engages with us. Without doubt, of course, as I have already written, the experience of just being ‘touched’ by the Spirit – that can happen to any of us if and when offered – is also powerful evidence.
But, interestingly, Paul separated the two chapters 12 and 14 (that do deal with gifts), in that ‘1Corinthians’ mentioned above by placing chapter 13 in there. And that chapter 13 explains the vital importance of ‘love’. He highlighted that love, of both God and our fellow human beings, is all important.
The actual verses on love, there in that chapter 13, are some of the Bible’s most utilised and famous. They are commonly used for example within Christian marriage ceremonies.
Essentially, as Paul explained, if we don’t have love we don’t have anything!
Gifts therefore should not be seen as the main reason to attend church … as exciting as they are! This is why I maintained elsewhere in this website that churches should not overly concentrate on these spiritual events. That is, at the expense of ignoring the rest of the Bible’s beautiful life and faith related teachings.
Yet there is no doubting, as far as I am concerned, that ‘gifts of the Spirit’ are available in the Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement to bring people to the reality of Jesus; to build up his Church. There are some 500 million Christians in the worldwide Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement to prove the point.
Continue to the next article, “Joining the movement”.
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