Writing Style Used: APA
Course and Section Number: THEO 201 D05
Short Essay # 3
Spiritual Gifts are granted by the Holy Spirit as He wills. There are many gifts that are all granted by the same Spirit to benefit the body of Christ (1 Cor. 2:4, 7). However, when referring to either the Gifts or Fruits of the Spirit, consideration is needed to avoid confusing their meanings (Towns, p. 306). In addition, the gift of tongues and its relation to the baptism of the Spirit are highly debated upon. This essay will discuss biblical proofs and the questions surrounding these gifts, plus reveal the “perfect” reward in the end.
Spiritual gifts are blessings a person receives. Varieties of gifts are granted for different types of service; for example, prophecy, discernment, interpretation and speaking in tongues are gifts from the Holy Spirit to whom He chooses (1 Cor. 12:4-5, 7, 10-11). Some gifts often face opposition; false prophesiers would claim to speak divine revelation and discern spirits with authority. However, Paul would urge new Christians to prove God’s revelation instead of becoming despised by their false teachings (1 Thess. 5:20-21).
Spiritual Gifts are not the same as Fruits of the Spirit. “The Spirit bestows his charismata “gifts” for then edification of the church, the formation of Christian character, and the community” (Thomson & Elwell, p. 1138). The Fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, and suffering through life by withholding sins of the flesh (Gal. 5:22-23). As one grows, one develops a spiritual maturity by living a life pleasing unto the Lord (Eph. 5:9-10). The Fruits are the outcome of growing with the Holy Spirit’s “sanctifying grace” (Williams, p.223).
The gift of tongues is a very controversial gift. It has two parts, the ability to speak spiritual truths in a divine language only God can understand, and the ability to interpret inspired teachings as the Holy Spirit desires to reveal to men (1Cor. 2:13, 14:2). Within the book of Acts, the Apostles were granted the gift of tongues inspired by Holy Spirit. This enabled them to preach in other languages, unbeknownst to them, and be understood by their audiences (Acts 2:3-4). One argument stated, the gift of tongues was a revelation to “authenticate the apostolic message” and after the apostolic era, the gifts were to diminish. This is contrary to the account in Acts, where these gifts were to serve two purposes; it was an “authentication gift” of a new group entering the church in the Acts of the Apostles, or a “spiritual gift bestowed upon sovereignty” to individuals chosen by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12-14, Rom. 12) (Osbourne, p. 1206).
Additional controversy to “Tongues” is Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Biblically defining baptism is, being immersed in water, publically repenting of your sin, and receiving of the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 3:11, Luke 3:7). All four gospels described the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus, after being baptized in water, in the form of a dove (Matt 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, John 1:32). Being baptized unites us as one body and One Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Controversy begins with how one interprets 1 Cor. 12:10-13, which describes the gifts relating to one body united in Spirit Baptism, and receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This verse, if taken in literally, leaves room for discrepancy to its true meaning. Paul explains that everyone is not gifted equally. He asks “All are not apostles, prophets, or teachers, are they?” (v. 29). This reveals that not everyone will have the gift of tongues, yet it does not mean that they have not received the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, 1 Cor. 14:22 reveals the gifts of speaking and interpreting tongues is not for the believer, but for the unbeliever to hear the Gospel no matter his spoken language. This proves the argument that the gift of tongues is not necessary for Spirit Baptism.
Whether the true gift of tongues is valid today, Christians...
Bibliography: Lucado, M. (1982). The Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible. New Kings James Version ed., (pp. 1-
Osborne, G. R., (2001). Speaking in Tongues. In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second
Thomson, J.G.S.S., and Elwell, W. A., (2001). Spiritual Gifts. In Evangelical Dictionary of
Theology: Second Edition, (pp.1135-1138)
Towns, E. (2008). Theology for Today, (pp 1-934). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning Solution.
Woods, A., (2012). The Meaning of “The Perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10.
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