Essay on Pneumatology: Spiritual Gifts
An old friend of mine that I had not seen since high school sent me a message on facebook asking about spiritual gifts and speaking in tongues. He explained that this had been an issue of debate in his church and he noticed I had an interest in systematic theology. This subject has been a source of controversy in the church for many years. I decided the best way to reply to his message is to see what the scripture has to say on this subject. The Apostle Paul wrote that we should not be ignorant concerning spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1). If we are to use a gift we must have knowledge of what it is and how it works. Spiritual gifts are the various abilities given sovereignly to believers by the Holy Spirit so that when they faithfully serve the Lord, there are spiritual results in the work of God and the believer grows in his effectiveness and/or develops other spiritual abilities of service (Towns, 2008, 312). This indicates that spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit to edify the church and to equip believers for service to God. The Bible makes reference to five spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12): working of
miracles, gift of healing, gift of helps, gift of administration and the gift of faith. The other gifts of the Spirit mentioned in this chapter are given to minister the Word of God. All of these gifts work together to build up the church by continuing the work Jesus started in his earthly ministry. There is diversity in the gifts which are given to believers but they are given by the same spirit. This diversity goes along with the infinite possibilities of ministry in the Body of Christ. These gifts are gifts of grace and cannot be earned by believers. Spiritual gifts are sometimes confused with fruit of the Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit develop as a believer grows in grace. The work of the Holy Spirit within us causes us to live in harmony with...
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