"THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD" The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit INTRODUCTION 1. In previous lessons we made frequent reference to the "gift"
of the Spirit... a. Promised to all who repent and are baptized - Ac 2:38-39 b. Referring to the gift of the Spirit Himself
- cf. Jn 7:39; Ac 5:32; Ga 4:6 c. Pertaining to the indwelling of the Spirit in the church and in the Christian - 1Co 3:16; 6:19 2. The Bible also speaks of the "gifts" of the Spirit, which is not the same as the "gift" of the Spirit... a. "We must distinguish the gift of the Spirit from the gifts of the Spirit. The gift of the Spirit is the Spirit himself, bestowed by the Father through the Messiah; the gifts of the Spirit are those spiritual faculties which the Spirit imparts, 'dividing to each one severally even as he will' (1Co 12:11)." - F.F. Bruce, Commentary on the Book of Acts, p.77 b. "We need, however, to distinguish between 'the gift' of the Holy Spirit and what Paul called 'the gifts' (ta pneumatika, 1Co 12:1; 14:1) of that self-same Spirit. 'The gift' is the Spirit himself given to minister the saving benefits of Christ's redemption to the believer, while 'the gifts' are those spiritual abilities the Spirit gives variously to believers 'for the common good' and sovereignly, 'just as He determines' (1Co 12:7,11). Peter's promise of the 'gift of the Holy Spirit' is a logical outcome of repentance and baptism." - Richard N. Longenecker, Expositors' Bible Commentary, Vol. 9, p.283 3. In this study, we shall focus our attention on the "gifts"
of the Spirit... a. What were the gifts? b. How did people receive the gifts? c. What was the purpose of the gifts? d. How long were the gifts to last? [By reading 1Co 12:8-11, we can begin to answer the first question...] I. WHAT WERE THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS? A. DESCRIBED BY PAUL... 1. "word of wisdom" - ability to speak new revelations of divine wisdom, cf. 1Co 2:6-10 2. "word of knowledge" - ability to speak truths already revealed, e.g., 1Co 14:6 3. "faith" - not saving faith, but faith to perform miracles, cf. 1Co 13:2; Mk 11:23 4. "gifts of healing" - ability to heal all kinds of sickness, cf. Mt 10:1 5. "the working of miracles" - miracles of extraordinary power, e.g., Ac 19:11 6. "prophecy" - in this context, inspired disclosure of the future, e.g., Ac 11:27-28; 21:11 7. "discerning of spirits" - ability to tell whether another speaks from the Spirit, or from some other source, either human or demonic, cf. 1Co 14:29; 1Ti 4:1; 1Jn 4:1 8. "kinds of tongues" - ability to speak in various languages, e.g., Ac 2:4-11; 1Co 14:18 9. "interpretation of tongues" - ability to interpret languages, e.g., 1Co 14:27 -- There may be overlapping in these gifts; I have listed the descriptions given by Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown in their commentary B. DELINEATED BY PAUL... 1. These gifts are called "spiritual" (Grk., pneumatikos)
- 1Co 12:1; 14:1 a. Implying that which is of the Spirit, and not natural b. They all come from the same Spirit - 1Co 12:11 2. They were "manifestations" of the Spirit - 1Co 12:7 a. Manifest - conspicuous, plain; that which illustrates, or makes anything seen or known (Barnes) b. These "spiritual" gifts were visible and audible evidences of the Spirit's influence c. Perhaps in contrast to other "gifts" which were not as noticeable, but expressions of God's gracious "gifts" nonetheless - cf. Ro 12:3-8; 1Pe 4:10-11 3. Not all Christians had these "spiritual" gifts; some may have had no such gift at all a. E.g., not all could speak in tongues - 1Co 12:28-30 b. Some were even "ungifted" (NASB) - 1Co 14:16,23-24 ("uninformed", NKJV) 4. Possession of these "spiritual" gifts did not ensure
spiritual maturity a. The brethren at Corinth came short in no gift - 1Co 1:4-7 b. Yet they were noted for being "carnal" and "babes"
- 1Co 3:1-4 5. These "spiritual" gifts could be abused, but also controlled a. Used for personal benefit, contrary to their purpose
(see below) - 1Co 14:1-5 b. Used improperly, to the shame of the congregation
- 1Co 14:23 c. Used properly, to the edification of all - 1Co 14:26-32 -- Note: In this lesson we are talking about the "spiritual" gifts, those gifts that were a miraculous manifestation
of the Spirit [The next question we shall examine is...] II. HOW DID PEOPLE RECEIVE THE GIFTS? A. FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT HIMSELF... 1. The Holy Spirit distributed the gifts to each one as He determined - 1Co 12:11 2. Those with certain roles likely received more gifts; e.g., the apostles - cf. 1Co 14:18 3. On special occasions, the Spirit came upon individuals and imparted gifts directly a. E.g., the apostles, at Pentecost - cf. Ac 2:1-4 b. E.g., the household of Cornelius, the first Gentiles
- cf.Ac 10:44-46 B. THROUGH THE LAYING ON OF HANDS... 1. Definitely through the laying on of the apostles' hands a. E.g., the Samaritans - cf. Ac 8:14-19 b. E.g., the Ephesians - cf. Ac 19:6 c. E.g., the Romans - cf. Ro 1:11 2. Possibly through the laying on of hands by others a. Paul may have received the Spirit (along with the gifts) with the laying on of hands by Ananias - cf. Ac 9:17 b. Timothy may have received a gift by the laying on of hands of elders - cf. 1Ti 4:14 1) Though the Greek "with" implies that the presbyter's laying on hands was the mere accompaniment of the conferring of the gift (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown) 2) And "by" (in 2Ti 1:6) implies that Paul's laying on his hands was the actual instrument of its being conferred (ibid.) -- Though the Spirit (in this miraculous manifestation) was imparted by the laying on of hands, it was the Spirit who determined what gifts one received C. ADDITIONAL GIFTS MAY HAVE BEEN RECEIVED THROUGH PRAYER... 1. Paul instructed some to pray that they might receive a gift - cf. 1Co 14:13 2. Those who already had the gift of tongues could pray to receive the gift of interpreting tongues - cf. 1Co 12:10 3. Could those who had not already received a gift pray for one? [The Scriptures do not go into detail as to how people received the gifts. The reason for such ambiguity may have been their temporal nature. Before we consider how long gifts were to last, let's consider the question...] III. WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE GIFTS? A. TO REVEAL AND CONFIRM... 1. To reveal God's will and confirm that it was His will
- cf. Mk 16:17-20; He 2:3-4 a. Some gifts revealed God's will (e.g., prophecy) b. Other gifts confirmed God's will (e.g., tongues, miracles) 2. Gifts were of little value unless truth was being revealed - 1Co 14:6 a. Which is why prophesy was valued more highly than tongues - 1Co 14:5 b. Especially when tongues were spoken without interpreters - 1Co 14:9-11 -- Spiritual gifts were an indication the process of revelation was not yet complete B. FOR THE PROFIT OF ALL... 1. The gifts of the Spirit were given "for the profit of all" - 1Co 12:7 a. Not for personal or selfish reasons b. But for the purpose of benefiting others 2. Thus the purpose of these miraculous gifts were to: a. To instruct and edify the church - cf. 1Co 14:3-4 b. To convince unbelievers, e.g., speaking in tongues
- 1Co 14:22; Ac 2:4-11 -- Spiritual gifts were designed to bless the whole church, not individuals [Keeping in mind the purpose of spiritual gifts will help us to answer our next question...] IV. HOW LONG WERE THE GIFTS TO LAST? A. SPIRITUAL GIFTS WERE TO CEASE... 1. Prophecies were to done away (NASB) - 1Co 13:8a 2. Tongues would cease - 1Co 13:8b 3. Knowledge (cf. 1Co 12:8) will be done away (NASB) - 1Co 13:8c -- The three gifts, prophecy, tongues, and knowledge evidently stand for the whole group of spiritual gifts (Ferrell Jenkins) B. WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT HAS COME... 1. What does "that which is perfect" refer to? - cf. 1Co 13:9-10 a. Some say Christ, alluding to the time of His return b. Others say heaven, alluding to the same time period 2. The overall context suggests differently; note carefully... a. The contrast between partial knowledge, and that which is perfect - 1Co 13:9-10 1) "perfect" (teleios) means "brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; perfect..." (Thayer) 2) There appears to be a contrast: a) Between the partial knowledge at the time it was being revealed through spiritual gifts b) And the time when such knowledge would be completely revealed (i.e., when God's revelation was final) b. The contrast in the two illustrations used by Paul
- 1Co 13:11-12 1) The first showing a contrast between infancy and maturity a) Spiritual gifts served during the infancy (beginning) of the church b) Once their purpose (to reveal and confirm) was complete, things necessary to the beginning of the church were to be done away 2) The second showing a contrast between a vague image and a clear image a) During the period when knowledge of God's will was not yet complete, it was like looking at a dim mirror b) Once God's word was completely revealed, it would be like seeing oneself much more clearly c. The contrast with what would remain - 1Co 13:13 1) While prophecies, tongues, and knowledge would cease, faith, love, and hope would "abide" (Grk., meno, "remain, dwell, continue, tarry, endure") 2) To say Christ or heaven is "that which is perfect" makes Paul's point meaningless a) For there will be a time when spiritual gifts have ceased, while faith, love, and hope remain b) Yet when Christ or heaven comes, faith and hope will be no more! 1] We will no longer walk by faith, but by sight! - cf. 2Co 5:7 2] We will no longer hope for what is unseen!
- cf. Ro 8:24-25 3) But if "that which is perfect" refers to
completed revelation... a) Then faith, hope, and love, will continue until
Christ returns b) Even though spiritual gifts have been done away with -- Spiritual gifts, so important to the beginning and establishment of the Lord's church, ceased once their purpose (to reveal and confirm God's Word) was completed CONCLUSION 1. Spiritual gifts were important to the beginning of the church, the means by which the Lord... a. Bore witness to His Word and His apostles - Mk 16:19-20; He 2:3-4 b. Provided a full and final revelation of His Will
- 2Pe 1:3; Jude 3;2Ti 3:16-17 2. Yet spiritual gifts, the miraculous manifestations of the Spirit, were simply a means to an end... a. To produce the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit - Ep 6:17 b. Which in turn produces the "fruit" of the Spirit
- Ga 5:22-23; Ro 8:5-6 3. More important than tongues, prophecy, knowledge, or any other spiritual gift... a. Are the qualities of love, joy, peace, hope, etc., in the life of the Christian b. I.e., the "fruit" of the Spirit in our life is more important than the "gifts" of the Spirit! Spiritual gifts may have ceased, but the fruit of the Spirit can be born whenever one is willing to let "the perfect law of liberty" (i.e., the Word of God) transform their life! - cf. Jm 1:21-25