The Holy Spirit 4: The Gifts of The Spirit

Posted by Dion Todd September 19th, 2016 5,040 Views 0 Comments

The Holy Spirit 4: The Gifts of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit 4: The Gifts of the Spirit from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

This is part four of our series on the Holy Spirit. In our previous messages, we covered “Who is the Holy Spirit, Ignorance about the Holy Spirit, and The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” This message covers “The Gifts of the Spirit.”

Now the book of Acts is the only record in the Bible of what Jesus intended His church to be and every church member should read it. We are meant to be the over-comers, and not the overcome. We are meant to be led by the Holy Spirit and to work with Him hand in hand each day. The first church walked in the “Power of the Spirit.”

In my last message, I covered how when Peter was saved, he had no purpose, no direction. Soon he decided that he would return to his past life of fishing. But after the baptism of the the Holy Spirit in the upper room in Acts chapter 2, Peter didn’t talk about fishing anymore. He was an Apostle walking in the power of God. Where the people had not even noticed him being saved, now they lined the streets hoping that his shadow might fall on them and heal them (Acts 5:15). Now that is a clear transformation, a new era in his life.

See without the Holy Spirit, Peter was nothing but a fisherman. With the Holy Spirit, he was superman. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gateway to a life of supernatural power, and much of that comes through the “Gifts of the Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is the great equalizer of mankind. (Acts 4:13 NKJV) “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”

The disciples were “common” men that were turned into supermen by the Holy Spirit. Notice that verse in Acts chapter 4 occurs after the upper room experience.

I had a very good friend that worked at a grocery store. He was a quiet man, and never said much, he was looked over by most. One day the doctor’s found that the pastor’s wife had stomach cancer and everyone prayed for her to be healed, but it worsened. At church one night, someone saw a vision of this man praying for the pastor’s wife, so they asked him to pray for her. When he reached out, something like lightning shot from his hands into her body and she was instantly healed from cancer. They made him an elder. God exalts the humble.

What the gifts are not: Fruit of the Spirit, Fivefold Ministry Offices, and Spiritual Gifts are different things:

Fruit of the Spirit: is like an apple growing on a tree, it takes time to mature. It starts as a tiny flower or bud and over time an apple finally appears. It has to be nurtured, cared for, and protected from the worms to reach maturity.

The “Fruit of the Spirit” is listed in Galatians 5:22–23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

Fruit is not given to you. See love is not a “gift.” It is fruit that develops in us as we are led by the Holy Spirit. Like patience, it takes time to develop. Just as you become more like the friends that you hang out with, when you spend time with the Holy Spirit, He will rub off on you in a good way.

Love is extremely important to a Christian. Jesus said: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34 NKJV)

Jesus commanded us to love each other and we MUST operate from that core commandment. Paul reinforced that: (1 Corinthians 13:1–3 NKJV) “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”

Without love, all that you do, or have, or give, amounts to nothing. As they say, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

That said, love does not replace the gifts of the Spirit. They are both required for us to fulfill our purpose. Some try to use these verses of Paul to say that we do not need the gifts, but Paul told us to earnestly desire them.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul discussed Spiritual gifts and told us to “earnestly desire the best gifts.” Then to bring balance, he made it clear how important love was in chapter 13. Then in chapter 14, he went right back to talking about the gifts and said: “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:1 NKJV).

Paul acknowledged that love is the way, and that we are nothing without it. Then he urged us to desire spiritual gifts and that we might prophesy. We need to be balanced because strong spiritual gifts and being used by God can puff you up, but love for others will deflate that attitude. “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies” (1 Corinthians 8:1 NKJV).

We are to “lovingly” operate in the gifts of the Spirit.

Ministry Offices: 

The “Fivefold Ministry” gifts are mentioned by Paul in:

(Ephesians 4:11–16 NKJV) “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers are called the fivefold ministry and given (and anointed) by God to “Edify” the body of Christ.

The word “Edify” means to : educate, instruct, teach, school, tutor, train, guide; enlighten, inform, cultivate, develop, improve, better. The word originally meant ‘construct a building,’ also ‘strengthen,’ hence to “build up” morally or spiritually.

There is a lot to be said about this, too much for this teaching so I will merely explain what I understand it to be in order to set it apart from Spiritual Gifts.

As I understand it, not everyone is called to be in the fivefold ministry. They are leadership gifts and they often correct the course and counter false doctrines in the church. They are like the white blood cells of the body of Christ, they protect it, and often go against the natural flow. They can be passionately confrontational.

In summary, they are God’s gifts to the body of Christ. The scripture reads “And He gave some to be…” God gave us these individuals to pull His body together like joints, muscles, and ligaments, so that we could grow into the fullness of Christ.

Why? So “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men.” The fivefold ministry is meant to protect us.

Now I am automatically leery of anyone that tacks “Apostle” to their name on the Internet. Even though, I know some that qualify, I feel that “Knowledge is like underwear. It is useful to have it, but not necessary to show it off.”

In my life, there has been a clear distinction in someone prophesying, and someone in the office of a Prophet. We may all prophesy as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:31, but the person operating in the office of a prophet is much more powerful.

(1 Samuel 3:19 NKJV) “So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.”

Whatever Samuel spoke, came to pass. God “let none of his words fall to the ground.” Meaning that God backed him up. It wasn’t always for “a good work.” Samuel once called down bears on a group of children that made fun of his bald head in (2 kings 2:24). Elijah called down fire from heaven and burned up fifty men, twice in a row. The third group asked him very, very, nicely… (1 Kings 1:9).

These are not titles awarded by man, but people that are raised up by God. This is one of the better descriptions that I could find:

Authentic apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers are gifted people who grow up face-to-face communities that are under the headship of Jesus—not as leaders but as brethren—equal in status to everyone else in the church.

Because they have grown up out of the soil of authentic church life, they have been tested and proven to be safe to the kingdom of God and to the Lord’s children.

Their outstanding hallmark is that they glorify, reveal, present, magnify and bring into clear view the Lord Jesus Christ in unusual depths and practical experience.

In short, they are brothers and sisters that God raises up from among us like David, like my friend at the grocery store, and not necessarily those appointed by the church leadership, though they could be.

The best leader is the one who has no desire to lead. When the people wanted to make George Washington president, he resisted. He wrote a letter to his friend Edward Rutledge and made it seem as if the presidency was little short of a death sentence and that, in accepting it, he had given up “all expectations of private happiness in this world.” He viewed every step towards leading the country, like a step towards his own execution, yet he was an amazing leader.

Jesus was not considered to be, nor invited to be, a part of the religious leadership in His day. They passionately rejected Him, and then had Him crucified. So if you tightly follow Him, do not expect hugs from institutionalized religion.

Spiritual Gifts:

are like a birthday gift from someone else. It is something instantly transferred from them to you. It has no requirements except that the Giver wants you to have it. You do not have to have fruit, be correct, mature, smart, or skinny. The Giver just wanted to give you a free gift. That is how the Gifts of the Spirit come, completely free, and undeserved.

When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we often receive “gifts” at that time, though we may not know how to use them. They can also be given at any time. Paul listed nine gifts of the Spirit:

(1 Corinthians 12:4–11 NKJV) “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

Here we have nine supernatural gifts given by the Holy Spirit for the “edification” of the church. Paul was all about edifying, building up the church. Now the “church” is not a building. It is God’s people, the “Ekklesia”, “The called out ones.”

The gifts that Paul listed are:
1) The Word of Wisdom
2) The Word of Knowledge
3) The Gift of Faith
4) The Gifts of Healing
5) The Working of Miracles
6) Prophesy
7) The Discerning of Spirits
8) Different Kinds of Tongues
9) The Interpretation of Tongues

These can be grouped into three categories. They are:
3 gifts of revelation: “Wisdom, Knowledge, Discerning Spirits”
3 gifts of power: “Faith, Healing, Miracles”
3 vocal gifts: “Tongues, Interpretation, Prophecy”

Paul told us in (1 Corinthians 14:1–6 NKJV) “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?”

The gifts are given to build up, to edify the body of Christ, to strengthen us. We keep seeing that word “Edify” meaning to “construct a building.” This was a big thing for Paul.

The meetings of the “church” were meant to include the gifts of the Holy Spirit in them. Paul wrote: (1 Corinthians 14:26 NKJV) “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

The gifts are given so that we can “all learn and be encouraged.”

The Vocal Gifts:
The vocal gifts are the ones that we have the most trouble with, so I will cover them first. These gifts use our own tongue, and as James wrote, it is hard to control:

(James 3:8–10 NKJV) “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.”

Tongues: There are “Different kinds of Tongues.” When you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you are usually given a prayer language in an unknown tongue. This is to be used for prayer, in private or for others, though do not throw your pearls before swine.

When in a congregation, you do not normally use this gift unless you are all praying for someone. Do not draw attention to yourself and show people how spiritual you are. It is nauseating and merely shows that you have a lot to learn about the Holy Spirit. Everything is about edification and they have to understand the words that you are speaking in order to be encouraged.

Remember this proverb: It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

This gift is another type of tongue, an “utterance” which comes up inside of you so strongly that you know that it is a word from God for someone, it is different than your prayer language, and it works hand in hand with the gift of interpretation. Often the Holy Spirit will give the utterance to one, and the interpretation to another, though you can move in both.

If you bring a congregational word in tongues, don’t continue to dribble on. Speak clearly what is given you and then stop so that others around you know when to start interpreting. Don’t keep going. Also do not immediately try and interpret it yourself, give someone else a chance to bring an interpretation so all can be involved.

Interpretation: is used to interpret an unknown tongue into a known language. To interpret something is to try and make it clear in a known language. It is not a word for word translation. It may be a short word in tongues, but the interpretation may go one for a while, or vice versa. Also, different people may interpret the same tongue in different ways. Think of two people trying to describe an elephant. One may start with the trunk, the other may start at the tail, but they are speaking of the same thing.

If you can speak in tongues, pray for the gift of interpretation as well. Speaking in tongues and then interpreting is as good as prophesy because it builds up, edifies the church.

Paul wrote: “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.” (1 Corinthians 14:13 NKJV)

Exercise: As a practice, get a journal to write in. Pray in tongues for a few moments, then stop and pray for the Holy Spirit to give you the interpretation, and then begin writing it down word by word. Don’t wait for it all to come at once, for it probably won’t. Write down a few words at a time as they come to you. You may be amazed at what the Holy Spirit shares with you.

Note: Check it against scripture and use common sense. If He tells you to go jump off a bridge, don’t…

Prophecy: in its simplest description is when divinely inspired words come to you that bring encouragement, to you or someone else. Do not try and use it to address sin in someones life unless you really understand verses like: (Luke 6:41 NKJV) “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye?”

Correction and judgement is an area that we should try and avoid and be really careful in. That is where the fivefold ministry operates. Paul wanted to edify the body of Christ, to build up, to encourage, to strengthen. The gift of prophecy is meant to build up, to edify, in proportion to our faith.

(Romans 12:6 NKJV) “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;”

When bringing a prophecy, do not wait on the entire message to come as it probably won’t. With me a few words will come, maybe the first sentence, then when I speak them, more will follow. It is a complete leap of faith. You step out on the water, and the Lord supports you like He did Peter.

Example: Once while praying I felt that I should anoint the hands of the guitar player in our praise team. When I told him about this, he said that he had been praying for God’s anointing. As I anointed his hands with oil, I felt that he would be the next praise and worship leader at the church so I told him this. They were encouraged, and a year later, he was the praise and worship leader at the church.

The Revelatory Gifts:
Revelatory gifts are often used in combination with other gifts. They provide supernatural insight into a complex problem. They bring results. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes that is exactly what we get. A snapshot.

Words of Wisdom, Words of Knowledge: contain powerful supernatural knowledge from the Holy Spirit about someone or something. When you did not know the answer, and then suddenly you do. They can come as “inspiration” and they are often used in combination with other gifts.

Example: You may be praying for someone and suddenly your right knee starts hurting, then it comes to you it may be their knee that is hurting, and when you start praying for their knee, they are healed. It is a lot like following small clues and all about being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Discernment of Spirits: is when you can detect the presence of evil spirits, maybe their name, and what they are doing. You can “feel” the vibes coming of someone or maybe even see into the spirit realm at what you are really dealing with.

Example: I once heard Kenneth Hagen tell a story about a woman that had suffered head aches for most of her life. When she came to him for prayer, he saw a demon wrapped tightly around her head and squeezing. Then he knew exactly what to pray for. In a few moments, the woman was free from something that had bound her for decades.

The Gifts of Power: 

Gifts of power are Faith, Healing, and Miracles. These are action based gifts and are often work hand in hand with the revelatory gifts.

The Gift of Faith: is when you are given “The Faith of God.” It is a “gift” given to you for an event. This is the mountain moving, walking on water, crippled man walking type of faith. When Jesus cursed the fig tree it was exactly as if God had spoken the words Himself. When the event is over, you return to walking in your own faith once again.

The Gifts of Healing: Each healing is a separate gift from God. “Miracles” are instant, where “Healings” take time. When the Lord is healing you, you have to stay plugged into God, and keep thanking Him for it. Don’t walk out and say “Nothing happened” or you have unplugged your faith.

The Gift of Miracles: Miracles are just that, miracles. The power of God manifested on the earth in a tangible way. They are usually instant like someones leg suddenly growing out. The blind person’s eye instantly seeing, or the deaf hearing. Limbs growing back.

Example: (Acts 3:1–8 NKJV) “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.”

Gifts are a Stewardship. God may want to speak to someone else through you and if you will not speak, then you rob them of the blessing as well as yourself. You may be urged to pray for someone because the Holy Spirit wants to heal them. If you will not, then they will remain sick. Each of us can build up and encourage others using the gifts that the Holy Spirit puts in our lives.

We work hand in hand with the Holy Spirit one day at a time and it changes the lives of those around us. It would take many messages to cover the gifts in detail. This is only a birds eye view of what they are. Spiritual Gifts develop like exercising a muscle, the more that you use it, the stronger that it will become.

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