When we speak of spiritual gifts from God, we are not necessarily talking about gifts that please the flesh, but rather gifts that please God and the spirit. (i.e. The Holy Spirit). What exactly are some of these gifts? The gift of wisdom, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, interpretation, apostleship, evangelism, teaching, and the most important gift of all, "love." We will begin our study in the book of Ephesians.
Here the apostle Paul begins to address the brethren about being part of One Body and One Spirit. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. (Ephesians 4:4). We are all part of the same Body and of One Spirit even though our individual calling may be different.
One Lord, one faith, one baptism. (Ephesians 4:5). You don't need to be re-baptized every time you join a church.
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:6). The same Heavenly Father created us all for His pleasure. (Revelation 4:11).
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (Ephesians 4:7). Christ has given each of us special abilities, whatever special gift He gives us to further His cause.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Ephesians 4:8). After Christ resurrected, He went to the captives who did not have salvation. (1 Peter 3:18-19, Psalm 68:18), "God is always fair."
Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (Ephesians 4:9). He freed those prisoners so that they may have a chance at salvation.
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. (Ephesians 4:10). To fulfill all things everywhere with Himself. Christ is your advisor or spiritual lawyer. The only one you can trust!
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11). The sent forth ones, some are teachers, some are seed planters, some for winning people to Christ, and some for caring for God's people.
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12). The calling to the ministry to build up the church and body of Christ.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13). Till we become fulfilled with Christ and believe alike about our salvation and about our Savior; Jesus Christ. To become mature in God's Word.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:14). Then we will not listen to those who try to turn truth to a lie. False teachers and those who follow and teach traditions of men!
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. (Ephesians 4:15). Don't just speak the truth, live the truth.
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:16). All working together with a healthy spiritual body. The many member body of Christ.
We are all in this together as the many member body. No one is special, no one is above one another, and no one has all the answers. "We are all equal in God's eyes." Lets turn to the book of 1 Corinthians.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. (1 Corinthians 12:1). Don't be ignorant and misunderstand when it comes to spiritual gifts.
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away
unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. (1 Corinthians 12:2). When you were
still pagans, you were led astray and worshipped speechless idols. (Galatians
4:8, 1 Peter 1:18, 1 Peter 4:3).
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (1 Corinthians 12:3). In other words, you can't profess that you follow Jesus without the Holy Spirit. "Beware of those who make fun of or curse Jesus!" (1 John 4:2-3).
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4). There are many different spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same source. "The Holy Spirit." (Ephesians 4:4).
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. (1 Corinthians 12:5). There are different kinds of service, but we all serve the same God. (1 Corinthians 8:6, Matthew 23:10). You know, it really bugs me when someone says that their ministry or church is the only one with all the correct answers. No one man, church, denomination, or organization has all the answers when it comes to God's Word. In my lifetime I have learned truths in the Word from many different ministries. "It is all about discernment." Research it and check it out with God's Word. (Keep what is good and what makes sense, and throw out the junk).
And there are diversities of
operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. (1 Corinthians
12:6). You have heard the saying "God works in mysterious ways," but it is
the same God who does the work through us.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (1 Corinthians 12:7). Any gifts given to you by our Heavenly Father are given to help the whole body of Christ, not just yourself. (We are all servants of the living God).
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:8). Wisdom for one, and knowledge for another, but all from the same Spirit. (The Holy Spirit)!
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:9). Faith to one, and the gift of healing to another. Again, by the same Spirit. (Romans 11:29), gifts without repentance. (God's gifts and His call can never be withdrawn). God never goes back on His promises.
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:10). He gives the gifts of miracles and prophecy. (Jeremiah 28:9), He tells us how to identify a true prophet and if the Lord has truly sent him. He gives the gifts of discernment of spirits, and to understand tongues. (Other languages). Also the gift of interpretation of other languages to get the proper message across.
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (1 Corinthians 12:11). It is the same and only "Holy Spirit" of God who gives us all these gifts and powers, deciding which each one of us should have. "It has nothing to do with you." It is because God pleases to. (Romans 12:4-8), Whatever we are given as gifts according to God's grace, do it with faith and to the best of your ability.
We have covered most of the gifts of the Spirit that through God's grace we have received. But lets take a look at an end time prophecy concerning an "Outpouring of God's Spirit" for the later days by the prophet Joel. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. (Joel 2:27). God tells His people that He will always be with them (the one and only God), and that they will never be disgraced. Now here comes the end time prophecy of the later rain. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. (Joel 2:28-29). The time is here "Now" my friends. God is pouring out His Spirit upon "All" flesh. Yes... All Flesh! That means you! Not only you, but even your sons and daughters will prophecy in the end times. The older men will have dreams and the younger men will see visions of His future plans, and God's "Spirit" (the Holy Spirit), will be poured out upon servants, men and women alike. (No one who believes will be left out).
So, be ready and willing to serve. Get in touch with the spiritual gifts that our Heavenly Father has given you. If it be the gift of wisdom, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, interpretation, apostleship, evangelism, teaching, or anything else. Use your gift or gifts with joy and to the best of your ability to edify the whole body of Christ. Now lets go to the book of I John to complete this study. John tells us how to discern between someone who has "Spiritual Gifts" of God, or evil spirit gifts from Satan.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1). Don't believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God. There are a lot of false prophets and teachers in the world. Be familiar with God's Word and you will not be deceived. Remember that all wisdom comes from God! (Proverbs 1:7).
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (1 John 4:2). Here is how you tell. If the message is from the Holy Spirit it will agree with the Word of God. The main message being that Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, actually became man in a human flesh body. He would then be crucified for our sins, defeating death through the resurrection so that we may have eternal life. (Foretold in the old testament Psalms 22, 1,000 years before the crucifixion).
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:3). Beware of false teachers, traditions of men and false teachings. These are of the anti-Christ and those against God. Remember that Satan is coming soon, and his attitude of enmity against Christ is already abroad in the world.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4). We have the victory because God is greater than the world, Satan, or any evil teachers in this wicked world.
They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. (1 John 4:5). These men and women belong to the world and are always concerned about world affairs; that is why the world pays attention to them. (False teachers and false prophets).
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6). Only those who are children of God will listen to us. (Will listen to the truth of the Word). Others won't! That is another way to discern if the message of truth is from God; if it is, the world will not listen to it. (The world would rather follow what is popular and traditions of men).
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. (1 John 4:7). Practice loving each other. Those who are loving and kind show that they are children of God. As Paul would teach how to treat a brother or sister in the book of Thessalonians. (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15).
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8). If a person is not loving and kind to others, it shows that they do not know God, because God is love. Does this mean we cannot ever get upset with others? Absolutely not! We are all human, and many times people will push you to the limit. Sometimes they may even need an attitude adjustment. True Christians are not second class citizens or wimps. The key here is to treat others like you would like to be treated. Again, remember the most important "spiritual gift" of God is love. No matter what your spiritual gift is, use it to the best of your ability and share it with others in love.
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