Gifts of the Holy Spirit within the big picture of Church and us.
As incredible as they are – there are more
important demands of our faith.
I need to firstly explain that the Holy Spirit has a significant role in our individual Christian lives. As examples I offer: helping us to find and know Jesus as 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 around it, within the “God in Church” section of the website, we look to God’s actual presence in his Church. (Please see the Menu Bar above.) And as such, how God can provide clear evidence of his existence to each of us.
Within the Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement of the greater Christian Church, so-called ‘anointed’ or ‘Spirit filled’ 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. Now, I do realise all this might look ‘just a bit crazy’, but they really are genuine. And 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.)
But despite how amazing and genuine these events can be, to those of us who have experienced them, they do need to be seen in perspective to what else is expected of us faithful Christians by our Lord. This article offers advice as such.
2. THE ‘WHAT’ AND ‘WHY’ OF GIFTS
Of course these ‘gifts’ are amazing when they ‘manifest’ themselves through the power of the Holy Spirit. But even the experience of just being anointed, filled or ‘touched’ (as I like to call it) by the Spirit is powerfully ‘belief building’ in its own right! After the event, there’s no doubting to those of us ‘on the receiving end’ as to what just happened to us!
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:
Again, it looks so ‘wild’, doesn’t it? But, I am certain that if ‘I can accept it‘ with my analytical mind and previous background of atheism, then anyone can. That is if they can just open themselves to its possibility: be ‘ready to believe‘. And I’m the old auditor, also remember.
Because these gifts actually are available now, just as they were 2,000 plus years ago, really does bring home to us the factual nature of the Bible’s New Testament (NT). 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 spiritually at work amongst us. And I mean for us to clearly recognise his presence there; as he spiritually engages with us.
But, interestingly, St Paul separated the subjects covered in 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! That is nothing of real value.
‘Gifts’ therefore should not be seen as the main reason to attend church … as truly exciting and particularly ‘belief building‘ as they are! This is why I maintain 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 more than 600 million Christians in the worldwide Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement to prove the point.
Continue to the next article, “Joining the movement”.