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"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." (Gen.22:2-3)
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HOME CALL
Br. Samuel Babu, Believers Brethren Assembly, (BBA), Majlis - Bahrain For the last few days, we have been relentlessly praying for Br. Samuel Babu, who suffered Cardiac Problems and was admitted in Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain. It was well pleasing for our Lord to call HIS child to the Eternal Home, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no tears, no sickness and no death. He went to be with the LORD around 10:30 PM Bahrain Time today (Friday 23rd 2015). Let us uphold the grieving family members to the Throne of Grace. May the Lord bestow upon them heavenly Grace, Peace and strength and console them with the word of God.
 
 
 
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

PNEUMATOLOGY

(A study on the Holy Spirit)

Dr. Silas C. Nair

 

IX. GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

 

A.    THE NEED TO STUDY SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

 

The Lord gave the word. During the 400 years of inter- Testamental period the Jewish Rabbis interpreted it beyond recognition. They made the word of God of none effect bytheir tradition (Mark 7.7,13). The Lord told them that they do err not knowing the scriptures (Matt.22.29).

 

The early believers in the Church continued steadfastly in Apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2.42). But in later years traditions crept in and the dogma of the Church was comprised of Scripture and Tradition. It was from the dark period of the Church the light of reformation came out. Martin Luther and other leaders of Reformation rediscovered the doctrine of ‘justification by faith’. In early twentieth century the seed of the present day charismatic movement was sown. Today a large part of the Church following the charismatic movement believes in Scripture plus experience. When one exalts experience beyond the Scripture heresy sets in. Scripture alone is sufficient for faith and practice.

 

No experience can validate the scripture. Therefore no experience can validate a gift. If the gift is not according to the norms laid down in the Scriptures, it is suspect. The Apostles again and again warned the Church, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God” (1 Jn.4.1); and “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim.4.1). Only what is scriptural can be spiritual. Pseudo spirituality is not scriptural. Therefore it is necessary for us to study the spiritual gifts.

 

B.    GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE GIFTS.

 

In the New Testament the following passages give information about spiritual gifts.

 

(1) Mark 16.17-20 - Sign gifts

 

The risen Lord told His disciples “And these signs will follow those who believe: In my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”.

 

These are sign gifts promised to the apostolic community and these signs were fulfilled in their lives as reported in the divine history of the church. “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs” (Mark 16.20).

 

On the day of Pentecost Peter preached to the men of Israel, about “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know” (Act2 2.22). God validated Jesus as the Messiah by a variety of supernatural works. Jesus told the Pharisees who did not believe in Him, to “believe the works” that He performed (Jn.10.38).

 

To the Corinthians who questioned his apostleship, Paul said, “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds” (2 Cor.12.12). The purpose of the miraculous signs that he performed was to authenticate the apostle as God’s messenger (cf. Acts 2.22,43; 4.30; 5.12; 14.3; Rom.15.18, 19; Heb.2.3-4).

 

The message of salvation which was spoken by the Lord was confirmed by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit” (Heb.2.4). The authentication of the messenger and the message was the purpose of the signs. So sign gifts are those gifts given to authenticate the messenger and the message i.e. to confirm the word of God. The service gifts are those given for the edification of the Church of God.

 

In the book of Acts no list of spiritual gifts is given. Only a few gifts are described i.e. actual occurrences are mentioned.

 

(2) Service gifts

There are four lists in the New Testament where spiritual gifts are mentioned. In First Corinthians Twelve Paul begins discussion about spiritual gifts by these words. “Now concerning spiritual (gifts) brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant (v.1). The word for ‘spiritual’ in Greek is pneumatikos. The word “gifts” is not in the original but is given to make the meaning clear.

 

Pneumatikos “always connotes the ideas of invisibility and of power. It does not occur in the Sept. (LXX) nor in the gospels; it is in fact an after-Pentecost word” (Expository dictionary of Biblical words, W.E.Vine, p.594). It is used of angels, things, men, blessings, God-ward activities of regenerate men etc. In 1 Corinthians 12.1 it is used of spiritual gifts.

 

“The Greek literally means “pertaining to the Spirit”, referring to that which has spiritual qualities or characteristics or is under some form of spiritual control. Spiritual gifts are divine enabling for ministry that the Holy Spirit gives in some measure to all believers and that are to be completely under His control and used for the building of the Church to Christ’s glory” (John Mac Arthur Study Bible p.1747).

 

The four lists of spiritual gifts given in the New Testament are the following:

 

a.    Rom.12.6-8. The emphasis in Romans is on the individual and what he is enabled to do rather than upon the position he holds within the body. Here all the gifts deal with ministry or service. They are service gifts rather than sign gifts as in the gospel of Mark.

 

b.    In 1 Corinthians 12-14 the Spirituals (Pneumatikon Gk) are mentioned. In 12.4-6 gifts, ministries, and workings are mentioned. Here the gift is an ‘ability’. Specific gifts are mentioned in 12.8-10 and 28-30.

 

c.     In Eph.4.11 the individuals themselves are the gifts. These individuals have a leadership function in the church. These leadership gifts are the divine provision to equip the saints for the work of ministry.

 

No two lists are alike. All gifts are miraculous. They cannot be produced or duplicated by men. But some gifts are overtly miraculous. No definition of a spiritual gift is mentioned anywhere in the scripture though some are described. Yet what is a spiritual gift?

 

We could say that, a Spiritual gift is an ability supernaturally given to an individual in the Church by the Holy Spirit so that the recipient may utilize that ability to minister beyond his normal human capacity for the edification of the Church. These gifts of grace are extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the Church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit” (J. H. Thayer, Greek English Lexicon of the NT, p.667).

 

Every believer has at least one gift. But there is no believer who has all the gifts.

 
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