Holy Spirit's Gifts
THE HOLY SPIRITíS GIFTS
A. Introduction: We have been talking about the Holy Spirit. He applies the benefits of salvation to us. He does in us and through us everything Christ did for us on the Cross. Titus 3:5; John 3:5
1. As we read through the Book of Acts, we see two distinct experiences with the Holy Spirit -- unbelievers were born of the Spirit and believers were baptized in the Spirit. John 20:19-22; Acts 2:1-4; 8:5-25; 9:1-18; 10:1-48; 19:1-7
a. Jesus called these two experiences the Spirit within and the spirit upon.
John 14:17; Acts 1:8
b. This second experience was accompanied by supernatural manifestations.
Acts 2:4,33,38,39; 10:46; 19:6; 8:18,19; 9:17; I Cor 14:18
2. Last time, we began to deal with the controversy over some of the ways in which the Holy Spirit demonstrates Himself through people whoíve been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
3. That brings up the question: Why should charismatics study this information?
a. Many have the experience without the knowledge, and damage is done to themselves and to others through that ignorance.
b. The word of God is the sword of the Holy Spirit. If you combine knowledge of the word with the Holy Spirit, thatís where the power lies. Eph 6:17
4. In addition, many charismatics struggle with the question: What is my gift?
a. Before we can talk about how to know what your gift is, we must first get information from the word of God about what the gifts are and how they work.
b. We must expose misinformation which interferes with cooperating with the Spirit.
B. There isnít much specifically written about the supernatural gifts or manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the Bible -- how to do them, why they happen, when they happen, etc.
1. The Bible doesnít prove the existence of the supernatural manifestations. The Bible presumes they exist and then tells us about them.
a. Acts is a historical description of what happened to the first Christians.
b. The epistles are letters written to them. These people were saved and their were churches established during the time and circumstances describes in Acts.
c. So, the context of anything we read about the Holy Spirit in the epistles is Acts.
d. The writers of the epistles did not have to prove anything about supernatural manifestations to these people because those things were happening to them.
2. The most detailed instruction we have on supernatural demonstrations of the Holy Spirit is found in the first epistle to the Corinthians.
a. In the letter, Paul dealt with problems at their services. I Cor 11:1,2,17,34
b. v3-16--Inappropriate headwear worn by both men and women at public services.
c. v17-19--Divisions or conflicting groups (sects) in the church and services.
d. v20-34--Drunkenness and gluttony at the Lordís supper.
3. There was also disorder and confusion in their meetings due to misuses of spiritual gifts. I Cor 12,13,14 deal with correction and instruction in using gifts of the Holy Spirit.
a. This is an important point. Paul was not making a list of rules about spiritual gifts for all Christians everywhere. He was correcting error in a particular church.
b. We must distinguish between correction given specifically to these people and instructions which are more general and can be applied to us.
c. Much confusion has arisen over this subject (especially tongues) due to misunderstandings of certain verses in these chapters.
C. Paul begins chapter 12 with the statement that we are not be ignorant of spiritual gifts. Ignorant = not to know through lack of information or intelligence. v1
1. The word gifts is not in the original Greek manuscripts. It was inserted by translators for clarification. But, it can be misleading.
a. Paul is about to discuss more than gifts of the Holy Spirit. He is about to discuss things spiritual or things pertaining to and of the Holy Spirit.
1. v7-11--He discusses gifts or manifestations of the Spirit.
2. v12-30--He discusses how the Holy Spirit has formed the body of Christ.
3. Chapter 13--He discusses love, which is a work of the Spirit. Rom 5:5
4. Chapter 14--Paul explains the importance of order in their meetings when spiritual gifts are in operation.
b. v2--The Corinthians had followed idols and wrong spirits and needed instruction in the way the Holy Spirit works.
c. v3--If someone is speaking by the Holy Spirit, what he says will exalt Jesus. Why would Paul have to say such a thing? If we take the verse in context, we must presume that this was a problem at the Corinthian church.
2. v4-6--Paul explains that the Holy Spirit has different of or diverse ways of working, but it is the same God in each of the works.
a. v4,5,6--Diversities, differences, diversities = same word = a distinction, variety.
b. Gifts = divine favors; administrations = ministries; operations = effect or working.
3. v7--These different demonstrations of the Holy Spirit are called manifestations = different ways in which the Holy Ghost demonstrates, moves, or works through people.
a. To call them all gifts can be misleading without some basic facts.
b. In one sense, everything from God is a gift. But, these are not gifts given to individuals which become the property of the individual and he can then use the gift when and as he wants.
c. They are ways in which the Holy Spirit works through certain people at certain times as He wills for the good of all. v7,11
d. Also, these are not natural gifts, they are supernatural gifts from the Spirit of God Word of knowledge is not a college education; gifts of healings is not doctors.
4. v8-10--Paul lists what are often called the nine gifts (manifestations) of the Spirit.
a. Word of knowledge--Supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit of certain facts in the mind of God. It is always present tense information. Acts 5:3
b. Word of wisdom--Supernatural revelation by the Holy Ghost of the divine purpose and plan in the mind and will of God. It is always future. Acts 27:23-25
c. Discerning of spirits--Supernatural insight into the spirit world enabling you to see and / or hear God, angels (holy or fallen), or human spirits. Acts 16:16-18
d. Faith--Special faith (Amp); The Holy Spirit enables a person to receive a miracle beyond the capacity of ordinary faith (raise the dead).
e. Working of miracles--Supernatural intervention by God in the ordinary course of nature. Gift of miracles enables one to work a miracle. (Moses parting Red Sea)
f. Gifts of healings--A person is empowered by the Holy Spirit to minister healing to others through a healing anointing. Acts 19:11,12
g. Prophecy--Supernatural utterance in a known tongue. It edifies, exhorts, and comforts. It is not the same as the office of a prophet who foretells the future.
h. Diversities of tongues--Supernatural utterance in a language never learned by the speaker, nor understood by the speaker, nor always understood by the hearer.
i. Interpretation of tongues--Supernatural interpretation by the Holy Spirit of the meaning of an utterance in tongues. It is not a translation, but an interpretation.
5. v12-30--Paul explains how the body is formed and how it is a work of the Holy Spirit.
a. v13--The Holy Spirit put each of us into the body of Christ as a particular part.
Baptized = BAPTIZO = to cause something to be dipped or immersed.
b. Christ, His body, is made up of many different parts, yet all are necessary, and despite being different parts, we are all one body.
c. Keep in mind that Paul is writing to a selfish, divided group of people, and is exhorting them that every part is truly a part of the body and that every part is necessary. What affects one member affects us all.
6. v27-30--Then, Paul lists some of the parts of the body. In context, he is saying that not everyone is an apostle, a prophet, or a teacher. A body has many parts, some prominent, some not. Here, we find an often misunderstood verse about tongues. v30
a. Paul is referring back to one of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit listed in v10.
b. This is a public manifestation of tongues, meant to be spoken to the body, along with an interpretation, to edify the body. Not all believers are used in this way.
7. Remember, there are two general categories of tongues -- those meant to be spoken in public to others, and those meant for the private, personal use of the individual believer.
a. Public tongues are not for everyone, and they are always accompanied by an interpretation in the language of the listeners. I Cor 12:7-11;30
b. Personal tongues are for every believer and are spoken to God. I Cor 14:2;
Acts 2:33,39; I Cor 14:5
8. I Cor 12:31-13:13--Paul discusses another work of the Holy Spirit, love. Rom 5:5
a. v13:1-3--If we have spiritual gifts, great knowledge, great faith, and religious works, but no love, weíve missed the point. Matt 22:36-40
b. v4-7--Paul gives a description of the kind of love we are to have.
c. v8-13--There will come a time (when we see the Lord face to face) that we will no longer need prophecies, tongues, or knowledge. But love will continue on.
D. We now come to one of the most misunderstood and misused chapters in scripture, I Cor 14.
1. From this chapter, people get inaccurate ideas about tongues and women teachers.
2. As always, context is vitally important to properly understanding this chapter. We cannot look at individual verses apart from the context.
a. Having said all that he has said up to this point, Paul is now ready to explain to his readers the importance of order in their services. I Cor 14:33,40
b. Keep in mind the problems Paul is dealing with. They have drunkenness and gluttony at their services, they are selfish, they are divided into groups each of whom look down on everyone else. Paul has been working to correct all of that.
3. Paul makes two key points in chapter 14 -- besides do things decently and in order.
a. He doesnít want to discourage them from exercising spiritual gifts. I Cor 14:1,39
b. But, the goal or point is that the gifts edify the most people possible. I Cor 14:12
The word edify or profit is used eight times in this chapter.
4. What kind of disorder did these people have at their services, besides those mentioned?
a. They were speaking to each other in tongues when there was no interpretation.
b. They were exercising spiritual gifts at the same time, trying to outdo each other.
c. Their women were talking loud and asking questions of their husbands.
5. We can surmise these problems from the instructions Paul gives in this chapter.
a. Donít speak in tongues to each other without an interpreter because no one understands what you are saying. I Cor 14:6-19
b. You all have things from God, but donít all talk at once. No one will get anything out of what you are saying. I Cor 14:23-33
c. Women, be quiet, and ask your questions at home. I Cor 14:34,35
E. One objection that is raised against speaking in tongues today is that we are told in these chapters to desire the best gifts, and that prophecy is better than tongues, so, no speaking in tongues (I Cor 12:31; 14:1). There are several problems with that.
1. There is nothing in these chapters to indicate either / or (either tongues or prophecy). What we see is that both are good and both are necessary.
2. In context, Paul is correcting the Corinthians for inappropriate behavior in their services.
a. In a group meeting, prophecy (supernatural utterance in a known language) is superior to tongues that have no interpretation. I Cor 14:18,19
b. The reason prophecy is more advantageous than tongues with no interpretation is that the hearers understand what is said and are thereby edified. I Cor 14:2-5
c. If you have tongues and interpretation in public, it is equal to prophecy. I Cor 14:5
3. Another source of confusion in this area is the idea that prophecy is teaching. It isnít a supernatural demonstration by the Holy Spirit, it is Bible teaching.
a. We must recognize that there is a difference between the simple gift of prophecy which exhorts, edifies, and comforts, and the office of a prophet who predicts things about the future by the Spirit of God. I Cor 14:3; Acts 21:10,11
b. A person may or may not prophesy (simple gift) while teaching. A person may prophesy (simple gift) without teaching.
c. I Cor 12:7-11--Prophecy is given by the Holy Spirit as He wills. It is supernatural. It is not a seminary degree which enables you to teach scriptures.
4. Some who believe that tongues are not for today, not for all, and who believe that prophecy is teaching, also believe that women may not teach or speak in church.
But, there are some problems with that idea.
a. In I Cor 11:5,6 Paul gives women instructions on how to prophesy in public.
b. Speaking of the results of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church, Peter said that Godís servants and handmaids would prophesy. Acts 2:17,18
c. Acts 21:8,9--Philip the evangelist had four daughters who prophesied.
5. What does Paul mean, then, that their women were to keep silent in church? There is much more that could be said, but consider these points.
a. The context --Paul is writing to correct and instruct them on how to bring order to their services.
b. Although the text doesnít say exactly what the women were doing, it is clear that they were somehow part of the disorder in the services.
F. Conclusion: We have not said all there is to say about the gifts of the Spirit. But, we have laid a foundation from which we can consider the question -- what is my gift? Next week!!