Using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit without the Fruit of the Spirit is just plain NUTS! (Read I Corinthians 13:1-13 and Galatians 5:22-26). Before addressing the questions concerning the Spiritual Gifts of Healing and Miracles found in Part IX, let’s read the Scriptures where the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed, in their contexts:
“Therefore, I [Paul] urge you, brothers [and sisters], in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship…For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is PROPHESYING, let him use it in proportion to his [or in agreement with the] faith. If it is SERVING, let him serve; if it is TEACHING, let him teach; if it is ENCOURAGING, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him GIVE generously; if it is LEADERSHIP, let him govern diligently; if it is showing MERCY, let him do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, SERVING the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. SHARE with God’s people who are in need. Practice HOSPITALITY” (Romans 12:1, 3-13).
(Notice the Fruit of the Spirit in the above passage.)
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men [and women]. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of WISDOM, to another the message of KNOWLEDGE by means of the same Spirit, to another FAITH by the same Spirit, to another gifts of HEALING by that one Spirit, to another MIRACULOUS POWERS, to another PROPHECY, to another DISTNGUISHING BETWEEN SPIRITS, to another SPEAKING IN DIFFERENT KINDS OF TONGUES [or LANGUAGES], and to still another the INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES [or LANGUAGES]. All these are the work of the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines…Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the Church God has appointed first of all APOSTLES, second PROPHETS, third TEACHERS, then WORKERS OF MIRACLES, also those having the gifts of HEALING, those able to HELP others, those with gifts of ADMINISTRATION, and those SPEAKING IN DIFFERENT KINDS OF TONGUES. Are all APOSTLES? Are all PROPHET? Are all TEACHERS? Do all work MIRACLES? Do all have gifts of HEALING? Do all SPEAK IN TONGUES [or OTHER LANGUAGES]? Do all INTERPRET [TONGUES]? But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way” (I Corinthians 12:4-11, 27-31).
(Paul states that Spiritual Gifts are given for the good of the Church and God is the One Who decides which gifts are given to each believer. I find it significant that after the Apostle Paul writes about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, in I Corinthians 12, he immediately writes what’s commonly known as the “Love Chapter” in Chapter 13. In essence, Paul is saying, no matter what your spiritual gifting is or how many gifts you have, if you are using them without God’s love which motivates you to love others, what you are doing is pure “rubbish” [if there is such a thing] – Read Isaiah 64:6 and Romans 3:10).
“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it…It was He Who gave some to be APOSTLES, some to be EVANGELISTS, and some to be PASTERS and TEACHERS, to prepare God’s people for works of SERVICE, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:7, 11-13).
(The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us to be used in building each other up, in encouraging unity in the faith and in growing us spiritually to know Christ better and maturing us in becoming more like Christ. Somehow, the Christian Church has taken a wrong turn somewhere. Christian Unity and living totally for Christ and not for selfish motives or prideful gain seems so impossible for the 21st Century Christian Church to attain. BUT “Jesus looked at them [and us] and said, ‘With man this is impossible, BUT WITH GOD all things are possible’” [Matthew 19:26]).
To be continued…