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Understanding the Blessings of the Spirit

July 9, 2015
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Understanding the Blessings of the Spirit

Understanding the Blessings of the Spirit

The-Gifts-of-the-Holy-SpiritWe are from all walks of life and many different denominations. We all belong to God and are brothers and sisters in Christ. You be yourself, and I will be myself. I love you for who you are in Christ and seek to simply share my understanding. You decide for yourself.
For people who have not been around the gifts of the Spirit, you may be uncomfortable or confused by them and I would like to share with you why when I pray and minister to someone I want to be used by God and fully allow His presence to flow on your behalf. I would like to give you a brief understanding of the blessings of the Spirit that God gave to the church to help you and minister to you.

Gifts of the Spirit
The gifts of the Spirit are often a cause of disagreement within the church. Different denominations have different perspectives of them. We can agree to be different or even disagree. Too often people will go their whole lives following what they were taught without exploring the Word of God. I encourage you to search the Word, and not just read but study deeply.

All Christians have the presence of God within them. There are two different phrases associated with the gifts of the Spirit. The first is the “gift of the Spirit,” the other is “the gifts of the Spirit.” There is also the “baptism of the Spirit.” While they sound very similar, they have completely different meanings.

The Gift of the Spirit

Believers at the moment of their salvation receive the gift of the Spirit. This is the moment when the Holy Spirit enters you upon receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The Scripture says we are born of the Spirit. The Spirit of God dwells and resides within you. The Spirit can only fill what you yield to Him. The singular gift of the Holy Spirit is that He comes into your life to save, strengthen, transform, and protect you from evil the moment you receive your salvation.

The Gifts of the Spirit

The gifts of the Spirit refer to the spiritual gifts given to every born again Christian. These gifts are unique for each member of the body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul describes the gifts, and he teaches three important truths.


1. The Gifts are of a Devine source – The gifts of the Spirit are hand chosen for each member of the body by the triune God. These gifts are not to be mistaken for natural talents as they come directly from God. The gifts are not from an evil source as they are to minister to God’s people.


2. The Gifts are Unique for Everyone – The gifts of the Spirit are different for each member of the Body. Paul states that it would be ridiculous if the body of Christ were all noses, feet, or eyes, because each member of the human body depends upon the next. Similarly, the body of Christ depends upon the different spiritual gifts given to each member. We are encouraged to seek after ALL of the gifts.


3. They are Dependent Gifts – The gifts are unique and not uniform for each member of the Body of Christ. They are also dependent upon each other. The value of our spiritual gifts is in using them in accordance to the Word to edify, heal, and strengthen believers.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 

These Spiritual gifts fall into three primary categories: motivational gifts, ministry gifts, and manifestation gifts.

Nine manifestation gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7–11

• Word of wisdom (revelatory gift)
A supernatural provision of divine wisdom or a right application of knowledge

• Word of knowledge (revelatory gift)
A supernatural revelation of facts past, present, or future, that was not learned through natural efforts

• Faith (power gifts)
A sudden surge of faith, usually in a crisis, to confidently believe without a doubt

• Gifts of healing (power gifts)
A gift to remove diseases from the spirit, soul, or body

• Working of miracles (power gifts)
A supernatural ability to be the vessel through which God channels His miraclous power

• Prophecy (vocal gift)
Speaking and proclaiming the mind of God

• Discerning of spirits (revelatory gift)
The believers ability to discern between the Holy Spirit, an evil Spirit, or the human spirit and recognize the motivation of a person or situation; able to rightly divide the Word of God and detect deceptive doctrines propagated by demons; identify the motivation of a person or situation

• Divers kinds of tongues (vocal gift)
Speaking in multiple languages that are not naturally learned but given by the Spirit

• Interpretation of tongues (vocal gift)
Translating languages that have not been naturally learned
There are 3 vocal gifts, 3 power gifts, and 3 revelatory gifts all meant to minister to the Body of Christ. The Spirit of God is the Source of these gifts, and they are manifested to bring God glory. There is much to teach about these gifts in future teachings

Unfortunately there is controversy in the church. Yet, I can share that once you experience something no one can tell you that it is not true. There is disagreement in the church relating to the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues. Some denominations believe that you are not a true believer until you can speak in tongues. Some believe that speaking in tongues is archaic, does not happen anymore and has passed away, while others may go as far as saying it is of the devil. None of these beliefs are biblical.

There is a “gift of speaking tongues,” or “divers kinds of tongues,” and there is speaking in tongues as a personal prayer language after the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The first is one of the nine manifestations of spiritual gifts while the later is a gift available to all.

The gift of speaking in tongues or divers tongues is a supernatural ability given to some members of the Body of Christ so they may be able to communicate the will of God in languages other than their native tongue. These languages have not been learned through study and yet they can be understood by those who hear.

This gift is meant to be a witness and minister to people in a supernatural way and edify the church (like prophecy). Then there is also the baptism of the Holy Spirit, an infilling which manifests in speaking in tongues as a believer’s personal prayer language. These are different things and are often misinterpreted as the same in the Scriptures causing a misinterpretation.

The Baptism of the Spirit
“Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:3-4)

It is important to understand that all Christians receive the Spirit when they receive Christ upon salvation. In essence all have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. This means that you were saved and that you have all you need from that time forward to be able to live godly and holy lives.

“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

The baptism of the Spirit is a phrase used for the experience where a believer feels the presence of God come upon them. This occurs when the individual becomes filled with the Spirit to the point of overflowing. At this point, it manifests in the form of stammering lips and speaking in tongues.

Isaiah foretold the role of tongues in the church: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear” (Isaiah 28:11)

The rest and refreshing is the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38 and 3:19), and Isaiah predicted that stammering lips and foreign languages would accompany it. Speaking in tongues enables you to enter the “rest of God.” As you speak in tongues you cease from your efforts and give your burdens to God’s Spirit. Who of us doesn’t desperately need this on many occasions when we are at the end of our strength and don’t even know what to pray. What a comfort it is to have God intercede through us with our own mouth.

 
Any Christian has the potential to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but you do not need it to be considered a Christian. All Christians receive the Holy Spirit when they are saved. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is to fill you to overflowing for power, and the Spirit of God to pray through you as the spirit gives you utterance.

Praying in the tongues is designated in the Scriptures for four things: devotions (personal prayer time between you and God), worship (singing in the spirit), intercession (allowing God to pray through you for interceding for others and situations that may be known or unknown to you), and revelatory (prayer to lead you to understanding and illumination of God’s Word and purpose).

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gift given by God to bring you closer to Him. By allowing the Spirit to fill your body and soul completely you are allowing God complete reign in your life, to pray and operate through you with various gifts. While it is not necessary to be able to speak in tongues to be a Christian, it is also something that should be understood, and accepted by all denominations.
The New Testament contains four passages that indisputably describe speaking in tongues: Acts 2, Acts 10:44-47, Acts 19:6, and I Corinthians 12-14. In each case, those who spoke in tongues did so by the power of God’s Spirit, “as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)

Every Christian has the potential to speak in tongues, according to I Corinthians 14:5. When you speak in tongues you are using a personal prayer language given to you by God meant to build you up in the most holy faith. Paul stated his desire that all the saints speak in tongues, although he preferred they prophesy. We understand, therefore, that it has been granted to every Christian to speak in tongues and to prophesy since these are fundamental expressions of the Holy Spirit.

If speaking in tongues is available to all saints, and builds you up in God, then you want it. Why wouldn’t you want every blessing in Christ that you can obtain in order to help you through the challenges of everyday living.

As a born-again Christian you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. If you have never spoken in tongues, and you believe from the Book of Acts and from First Corinthians that it is desirable, you can according to the Word, receive it. It is not you “have to” operate in the gifts of the Spirit or speak in tongues, it is a “you get to.” I encourage you to seek all of the gifts of the Spirit.

The purpose of the gifts is to edify and strengthen you and the body of Christ as we minister to one another. I encourage you to go to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to give you this blessing. If you seek speaking in tongues earnestly, and give thanks to God for this gift, it is likely you will find yourself speaking in tongues in no time. Persevere until you receive.

“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” (1 Corinthians 14:1)

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.” (1 Corinthians 14:39)

Dr. Michele

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