The Gifts of the Spirit
The one true gift is Jesus Christ. And He sent us His Holy Spirit to indwell [permanently] the believer in the good news of Jesus Christ. This might sound simple, but is immensely profound. Let us then briefly look at a few aspects concerning this issue of the gifts of the Spirit that seems to be so confusing to many.
The following discussion should be clear when you bare in mind that God is One Spirit revealed as three Persons; therefore are “different gifts” not to be understood as different entities, but different abilities all by the one and same Spirit (Jn 4:24; Phil 4:13; Heb 2:8!). The Scriptures on these “gifts” are then about the unity we should have in Him; and not to be filled with pride, haughtiness or a party-spirit… (Gal 5:18-26)!
A lot of uncertainty seems to originate between verses 4 to 13 in 1 Cor 12, can one person have [received] more than one gift? Can one person at any one time only demonstrate a “specialty” in one area? We should not be misinformed about Truth (Jn 8:32,36; 14:6; 1 Cor 12:1; 2 Cor 13:8; Eph 4:11-15; and so on). As a matter of fact, the “gift of discerning” is not an ability that will cause a “better Christian” to be a spiritual snob but the Holy Spirit of God (Jn 4:24; 2 Tim 1:7) helping us to distinguish between truth and falsity, to identify and distinguish between fowl and false spirits and that of our one True Triune God.
If Jesus could not operate/function as a mature son of God without being led by The Holy Spirit – Rom 8:14; Jn 5:19; 14:10,11,17… Jn 14:23-27; 1:12,13… Eph 4:12-25! (Rom 12:9); and if Jesus Christ operated continually in all these “gifts”; then surely we have to show results in our lives in a similar way (Acts 5:12; 10:34; Jn 17:20; Rom 8:17; Eph 2:6).
We can safely assume that the Apostle Paul possibly viewed God in His Trinity when he wrote about gifts of God, if we compare the following Scriptures:
- Eph 4:11. The 5 leadership gifts (charismata) given by Jesus Himself to equip saints to prove the working of the Holy Spirit, building His church [Body];
- Rom 12:6-8. The 7 ministries (diakona) given by the Father to train saints to serve like Jesus;
- 1 Cor 12:8-12. The 9 spiritual gifts (energemata) given by the Holy Spirit to show the Father’s power. Jesus confirmed this in Mt 10:8; Mk 16:16-20, and ever since (Heb 13:8). It is by His grace alone.
Then are we told that the same [whole] Spirit operates in all of us (1 Cor 12:4-13,25,27). Someone has explained this concept by using the example of a pharmacist that will only give the medicine you need, and not the whole pharmacy at once simultaneously, although everything in that pharmacy is available to you.
The nine separate gifts mentioned in 1 Cor 12:8-12, are the following:
1. [The power to speak] a message of wisdom
2. A word of knowledge and understanding [according to the same Holy Spirit]
3. To another, [Wonder-working] faith by the same Holy Spirit
4. Powers of healing
5. The working of miracles
6. Prophetic insight (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose)
7. The ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances] of true and false spirits
8.Various unknown tongues (note it is not one monotonous chime, nor is it a hysterical gibberish that attempts to fake a presence of God by hyping people [oneself] into a mere euphoric feeling or frenzy in a type of sentimentality that in fact only utilizes – misuses – emotions that is none else than eros in its broader sense, used often by heathens in an “erotic” [emotional and self-centered, self-pleasing show of false religion]. Study 1 Cor 14 carefully, even verses 4,5,39 (with Jm 1:5)…it is supposed to be a spoken language)
9. Interpretation of these tongues (also believing [in the purpose of] it? 1 Cor 14:2,4,39; Lk 12:10; Jude 20; Rom 8:26; etc.)
A few questions for those theologians claiming that 1 Cor 12 is saying that only one person can have [exhibit] only one gift at a time; even that this single gift is a permanent [once-of] event like an office:
- How can you show number 1 without number 3, or number 4 without number 3, or number 9 without number 1, and so on? For that matter, any of the above, without faith (# 3, Heb 11:6)!
- What happens to your other gift when you ask for wisdom (Jm 1:5-8; Mk 11:24)?
- What did the same apostle Paul mean by Eph 1:17, could the Ephesians get more [gifts] than the Corinthians, or was that prayer for separate individuals to have any one of those gifts only?
- If Jesus [God] wants us to be like Him (Jn 14:6-20; Eph 4:11-16,22-25; Heb 2:8-11); why this difficulty for man to show this completeness and authority [dominion] on earth ? Jn 16:9 with Rom 8:1-4? Looking at Acts 6:6-10; 8:4-7; it seems as if some were not healed (Mt 4:23 but also Mt 13:57-58 read with Acts 24:16. Consider reading the meditation “Healing” by this author, as well).
To circumnavigate this problem with the assumption [that only one gift is available to one person], the theory was suggested that the gifts listed in 1 Cor 12:8-12 are supposed to be in groups of three; and then these theorists have placed number nine with numbers 1 and 2. Is this scriptural (Spiritually) correct?
When we read further in 1 Cor 12, we see Paul mentioning that the whole body of Christ (His Church, the people in Whom He Dwells), should be as one. This is exactly what God intended [wants] – Jn 17:15-26.
What did Jesus demonstrate? Did He operate in [any particular] gift? No, Jesus Christ always operated in the fullness of Holy Spirit (Jn 3:34)! This same Jesus gave us gifts to help us all mature (Eph 4:8-16).
Considering Eph 4:16, we note the magnificent keyword [in] love. Now we are getting somewhere, for God is Love (1 Jn 4:15-17)! This love [not self-centered emotion] is the Source of all real peace, joy, prosperity, health, wealth… all things good and lasting (Jm 1:17; 2 Cor 3:18, so we should progress from OT fleeting glories to a NT lasting glory with us in Christ and Christ in us as His Church/Body/City).
So, it is no surprise then that, when we read further in 1 Cor 12, we get to vs. 25 (Eph 1:17-23; Rev 1:5). These gifts (v 28) are supposed to inform us accurately about Jesus Christ [Truth, say what He says]. When we read further (Chapter 13 to 14:1), we basically get 1 Cor 13:1-8,13. Verses 8-12 says that when Jesus Christ returns with His cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1-4; 1 Thess 4:13-18), will the necessity of these [nine] gifts of the Spirit be superfluous; meanwhile, we observe fragmented, imperfect, incomplete power [glory, Light] here on earth. This should not be so. We are to demonstrate Rom 8:1-3,11,14,19-26…
Reading this with the meditation entitled “The Testimony” by the author, this author believes we are perhaps further away from Jesus Christ and His Truth, than we think. More tragically, are we – upon closer inspection – likely to find ourselves further than we ought to have been (Rom 8:29-39; Gal 4:19-20; Eph 1:17- 2:8). The true gift is Jesus Christ and Him inside of us, and our choice to live eternally as such.
The true gift is to have everlasting [not fading, fragmented, broken, interrupted] life with Christ inside of us. Then, with Him dwelling continuously and permanently inside of us, will we be in [one with] Him. So when we genuinely seek Jesus Christ above all else always, will we see more results [glory, power, signs, miracles] accidentally than what we could ever see intentionally [by trying to be legalistic, self-righteous, law-following-religious people filled with vain attempts and ideas of traditions, rituals and ceremony].
Carefully read Mk 6:48-51, and then contemplate v. 52! Hardness of heart, according to Jesus Christ, is to be insensitive to His Words, His promises, His Truth. We are not talking about Atheists or Satanists, but insensitive believers! People that take offense, people that are surprised at what God can do! Selah.
Note at Heb 11:6. First, it is illogical to think you can impress [an] omniscient God. The analogy would be to attempt punching your initials into a metal [impress the metal] using a punch softer than the metal on the receiving end. (The meditation “The will of God” expand on this). None of our goodness can take God by surprise, i.e. impress Him. Because God is Love though, may we please Him [be satisfactory to Him], but never as anything else than what He provided. Heb 11:6 says without faith it is impossible to please God. It is due to a more accurate knowledge of Him (Rom 10:1-4) that leads to absolute trust and a continuous and habitual following of God Triune. Also, that whoever would come near God must necessarily believe God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him out. This then, second, would rather offer us the ultimate reward as in Mt 10:8; Mk 11:22-24; 16:17-20; Jn 14:10-14,15; Rom 8:2-4,11,17 (Hence Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 1:18-2:2; 4;20; also Heb 2:8-18. Also, reading Mk 11:24, consider Mt 6:12,14,15; 1 Cor 2:5-16; 2 Cor 5:17-21. Bear in mind as well, Jesus’ definition of sin in Jn 16:9. Furthermore, are these rewards (Heb 11:6) then not to be thought of as a type of payments as if God owes us anything (Rom 3:20,23), as these rewards are more likely to be gifts [empowerment] by God’s grace [Love] alone! Consider here Jn 4:24; Rom 8:14; 12:6-8; Eph 4:11-25; 1 Cor 12:4-12. The meditations “The Gospel” and “The Testimony” expand on this.
Then, crucially, take note of Eph 5:5-7 to see God’s standard, measurement or application [of spirit, gifts, rewards] is in the soul [thought-life] – Mt 5:27-28; 6:33. To seek God out diligently requires consistent and habitual pure thought and this genuine right relationship with Him in Christ then manifest awards [gifts of the spirit] as a result, even peace (Phil 4:6-9,19).
To summarize, this author is of the opinion that signs should follow us, rather than us following signs. We should be so one with Christ [His anointing] that we speak His Name [God’s self-fulfilling Word, Is 61:11 Ampl] without trying to; we should not have hardened hearts like unbelievers do. Unbelievers are amazed [surprised, astonished] when a miracle happens before their very eyes! We should be naturally supernatural like Jesus!
May we soon become the sons and daughters that we ought to be, united in Love [our One, Triune, True God]. Perhaps we should rethink Scriptures like Jn 3:16; and 1 Jn 2:21-1 Jn 4:19-21, instead of fixating on our perceived difficulties with 1 Cor 12 [that only reveals how far we are from the perfection Paul had a glimpse of – Love?]. Do we realize Job 11:7; Lk 8:14 (Rev 3:16); Heb 6:1-4?!! Also, 1 Pet 2:4-10!
Peace and joy to you, in Jesus’ full name! (2 Cor 13:14).
Jn 14:23-26; Gal 1:6-12; 1 Cor 3:11; 2 Cor 3:18
 1 Jn 4:17 says on earth; Jesus said on earth (Mt 6:10); so does Rev 1:5,6 of us in a kingdom throughout ages. Take note here of Lk 17:20-21; Rom 14:9,17-19; this is talking of us here on earth (Gen 1:26-28).
 Also Rom 11:7; Jn 5:37; Heb 13:13-14.