Pneumatology: Spiritual Gifts Essay
Spiritual Gifts are gifts that are given to believers by God that enable them to complete the jobs that He has called them to perform – Pneumatology: Spiritual Gifts Essay introduction. Spiritual gifts differ from the Fruit of the Spirit in that everyone can possesses each Fruit of the Spirit but God gives Spiritual Gifts according to your service in the church and in the body of Christ. You need to possess specific Spiritual Gifts in order to operate in specific ministries. Spiritual Gifts reflect your maturity level in the things of Christ. As you grow in Christ your Spiritual Gifts can multiply or change.
I believe that Spiritual Gifts are the talents that God grants to each of His children. Some of the Spiritual Gifts that I possess are the gift of teacher, the gift of helper, the gift of discernment, and the gifts of exhortation and intercession. I have found that the more that I grow as I study God’s Word, the Spiritual Gifts that He gave to me tend to expand and they often times overlap. I think that the reason we are given Spiritual Gifts is so that we will have the tools that we need when we are performing the tasks that we have been charged with in order to build and edify the Kingdom of God.
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In my opinion, we receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit once we have accepted Christ as our personal Savior. It is at this time when there is an identifiable change in our life. We no longer do the things that we used to do. Gradually we become less comfortable with living in and around sin so we seek to live a life like the life of Christ. Ewell says that some people insist that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit coincides with conversion. I believe this is true. According to Ewell and as scripturally referenced in I Corinthians 12-14 and Romans 12, Speaking in Tongues is a spiritual gift given to select people within the body of Christ.
Since neither Jesus nor the Disciples spoke in tongues there is no evidence of a connection between Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues. That being said, while speaking in tongues is not necessary for Baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is a gift that is given freely to those who have experienced this Baptism. Speaking in tongues is still valid in today’s church. I Cointhians 13:8-10 tells us that at the point that spiritual maturity is reached, prophecies that have not yet come to pass will fail, and that the gift of speaking in tongues will stop.
Even the knowledge that we will have up to that time will dissipate. This is because the gifts that we currently have are partial gifts. We do not know them in their completion. Upon attaining spiritual maturity all things will come to completion doing away with anything that was not whole. According to Coffman’s Commentary on the Old and New Testament the passage of scripture found in I Corinthian 13:8-10 are about the permanence of love in contrast to the spiritual gifts that the people in the church at Corinth valued.
It is in this part of Paul’s letter that he explains to them that the very things that they cherished and valued in their hearts which were their Spiritual Gifts would come to an abrupt end when Christ returned. He wanted them to understand that the only thing that they possessed that would remain was love. Also according to Coffman, the spiritual gifts that were being treasured were given to the people as they were in their infancy or the beginning stages of their Christianity.
Once they reached the age of maturation the infantile gifts would no longer be needed. One of the most common objections to the use of Speaking in Tongues today is that there is no one left to interpret them. My response to this is one that is often heard, and that is that the gift of speaking in tongues today is considered a private prayer language that one uses when talking to God therefore if it is a private language between an individual and God then no interpretation would be needed.
Book, One AuthorWalter A. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Baker Academic a division of Baker Publishing Group © 1984, 2001
Internet, One Website www.searchgodsword.org; Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament. Various Contributors.