Summary: There is much discussion today regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some believe the gifts are for today, while others believe they passed away with the apostles. Who is right? What does the Bible say about this issue?
By: Donna J. Kazenske
There is much discussion today regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some believe the gifts are for today, while others believe they passed away with the apostles. Who is right? What does the Bible say about this issue?
The word of God should always have the final say if we are genuinely seeking truth. People may say one thing, but the Lord’s words are the "right thing". We must take heed lest we be deceived by the winds of false doctrine and prophetic utterances that are blowing throughout the body of Christ. Some winds are very destructive, but the wind of the Holy Spirit will bring life, truth and refreshing to God’s people.
I believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for the church today. We would be a powerless church if the gifts were not in operation. The Lord Jesus himself operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. He was continually opening the eyes of those who could not see, opening the ears of those who could not hear, healing the lame and the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, speaking words of knowledge and wisdom to all who heard him speak. As Christians, we must follow in the footsteps of our Lord and learn how to operate in His gifts.
1 Cor. 12:1-12 - Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant….. 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.
Paul says, "I don’t want you to be ignorant..." He didn’t want the believers to be uninformed or misinformed regarding the gifts. He wanted them to have wisdom, knowledge, and an understanding of the gifts so they could minister effectively for the kingdom. The Corinthian church was continually abusing and misusing the gifts. As a result, this brought a lot of unnecessary confusion to the believers. Paul addressed this issue in his letters to the Corinthians.
Verse 4 says, “There are ‘diversities’ of gifts,” or differences of gifts. All the gifts are different, but they all operate and function by the same Spirit.
Paul goes on to say, "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one..." The Lord doesn’t believe in short changing anyone. He desires to manifest His gifts through each person. Paul continues by saying, “The Spirit distributes to ‘each one’ individually as He wills.” He gives His gifts to whomever He chooses. The Lord is not a respecter of persons. He may choose to use a new believer to minister healing to a pastor or leader in the church, or He may use an uneducated street person that just received salvation to prophesy words of encouragement to the body of Christ on a Sunday morning. The Lord chooses whom He wills.
When the gifts operate and function properly within the church, the whole body is edified. It profits everyone.
The Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
1) The Word of Wisdom
2) The Word of Knowledge
3) Gift of Faith
4) Gifts of Healings
5) Working of Miracles
7) Discerning of spirits
9) Interpretation of Tongues
There must be a balance between the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.
1) The fruit of the Spirit is for character and holiness.
2) The gifts of the Spirit are for power.
Have you ever known those in the church who love to indulge themselves in sin on Saturday night and prophesy in the church on Sunday morning? Their lifestyle does not line up with the will of God for their lives. Why does the Lord allow His gifts to flow through them? Shouldn’t they lose the gift?
Scripture says the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (meaning they are irrevocable). There is no guarantee that the men and women using these gifts will be faithful and honorable in using them. The Lord will deal with these individuals as He sees fit. We must pray for them.
If we want the gifts of the Spirit to flow freely through us, we must allow the fruit of the Spirit to be manifested in our lives. We must learn how to "walk in love".