Today’s Bible reading is 1 Cor. 12. It’s all about the active work of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, eternally existent and active in the earth, especially in the lives of believers in Jesus Christ. In fact, he comforts, guides, teaches, sanctifies, empowers, gifts, and ministers through believers. He is active in creation, redemption, and carrying out the purposes of God on the earth. He is the source of all that is good, manifested in the life of the believer. His active presence in the life of a believer should be considered a normal Christian experience. Jesus himself told us in John 14 & 15 that he would send the Holy Spirit to us to be our helper. Not only would He dwell with us, he would live in us.
Trinity is a church that believes in the gifts and active work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of individuals and in the corporate body. In this sense we are a charismatic church. The Greek word charisma simply means “gift of grace”. In 1 Cor. 12:13, it is made clear that we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. That is a description of what happens at the moment of conversion. In verses 1-11, we are given a list of 9 spiritual gifts commonly called the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They can be grouped into three categories of three. I will list them below and give a brief description of each:
GIFTS TO SAY: Prophecy, Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues.
- Prophecy-The special ability that God gives to members of the Body of Christ to receive and communicate an immediate message of God to His gathered people, a group among them, or any one of His people individually, through a divinely anointed utterance
- Tongues-The supernatural ability to speak to others and/or to God in a language or utterance never learned by the speaker
- Interpretation of Tongues-The God given ability to interpret a message that was given in tongues into a known language.
GIFTS TO KNOW: The Word of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge and The Discerning of Spirits.
- Word of Wisdom-The supernatural application of knowledge
- Word of Knowledge-The revelation of facts past, present or future which were not learned through the efforts of the natural mind
- Discerning of Spirits-The Gift that gives the Christian insight into the supernatural world. The Gift is to enable the person to know the motivation behind a situation or person
GIFTS TO DO: The Gift of Faith, The Gifts of Healing and The Working of Miracles.
- Gift of Faith-The mysterious surge of confidence in God which sometimes arises within a person faced with a specific situation or need
- Gifts of Healing-To supernaturally bring cure for the sick, physical, spiritual and emotional; to make whole in the fullest sense of the word; saving from disease and its effects
- Working of Miracles- A remarkable or surprising event that happens by the direct intervention of God, not following the general known laws of nature
So who determines who gets what gifts? Verse 11 says, “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” What is the purpose of these gifts? The purpose is to bring glory to God, to reach the lost, and to minister to the needs of the body of Christ. What should be the motivation behind the use of these gifts? According to 1 Cor. 13, love is the only thing that will last forever and should be our driving force. Do we have any part to play in the use of the gifts? Paul says in 1 Cor. 14 that we are to earnestly desire the gifts of the Spirit. I encourage you, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, to ask God to fill you with his Spirit and give you every gift that he has intended for you to use for the building up of his kingdom here on this earth.