The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part V)


Before we go looking for the “beef“, let’s look at Ephesians 4:11-13, 16 and make note of its listing of Spiritual Gifts and their definitions:

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“It was He [Jesus] when gave some to be APOSTLES, some to be PROPHETS, some to be EVANGELISTS, and some to be PASTORS 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…From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in LOVE, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:11-13, 16).

APOSTLESHIP: The Apostles were limited to those Jesus chose to begin His Church (Galatians. 1:1). They were the ones who witnessed the Resurrected Christ and were given assignments by Jesus, including writing Scriptures and performing miracles to establish His Church (John 14:26, II Peter 3:15-16, II Corinthians 12:12). Examples of present-day Apostles are missionaries, church planters and Christian scholars who are able to reach across cultures and establish churches where there is very little to no Christian influence.


EVANGELIST: The ability and desire to boldly and clearly communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that non-Christians can come to Christ (

SERVICE (HELPS): See “The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part I).

Christ the Shepherd

PASTOR (The Greek word “POIMEN” means “Shepherd” or “Overseer”): The ability to care for the spiritual needs of the church community. The person is a servant/leader who uses the complementary Gifts of preaching and teaching God’s Word to humbly, yet with authority, guide his/her congregation to live their lives worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Sometimes, the person with the gift of Pastor also has the Gift of
Evangelism (

bible preacher-teacher

TEACHER: The ability to communicate and clarify the details and truths of God’s Word for others to learn (

common good



Out of all the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, using my own discernment and what other brothers and sisters have observed in me, I believe I have the Spiritual Gifts of Helps, Preaching-Teaching (in my writing), Discernment, Administration, Leadership, and (the heart of a) Pastor-Shepherd. I list my Spiritual Gifts with great humility because I know they do not come from me, but they come from the Indwelling Holy Spirit. Even so, the Spiritual Gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed on me are useful gifts to have for God’s kingdom work. However, some Charismatic/Pentecostal Christian brothers and sisters may say that I am not yet “filled with the Spirit” because I do not exhibit the “Sign Gifts”: Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, Prophecy, Miracles and Healing. They say, in order to be truly “filled with the Spirit“, I not only need to be “born again” (trust Jesus for my salvation and turn my life over to Him), I also need a second experience – the “Baptized of the Holy Spirit”- and I need to speak in tongues and have any or all of the other “Sign Gifts”. Here is where we not only find “the beef”, but we also find “the rub“.

a meat rubThe Lyd

A few months ago, I went to talk with my pastor about something I felt strongly about, concerning the spiritual growth and witness of our church. He was new to the church and I had never talked with him at any great length before. We had a very fruitful discussion and at the end of it, we both prayed. Later on, I emailed him and wrote, “I just want you to know, I don’t have the Gift of Tongues.” I was making a joke about my cerebral-palsied slurred speech. He replied back, “And I thought I was given the Gift of Interpretation. Oh well.” Sometimes, humor helps us not to take ourselves too seriously.

baptism of holy spirit

Is it true that, in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we need to speak in tongues, interpret tongues, prophesy, and have the ability to heal and perform miracles? The answer to this question, from my study of God’s Word, with the help of the Holy Spirit, is coming. Wait for it…




The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part I)

An Obama photoAnchovies on Pizza

Have you ever tried very hard to avoid talking or writing about a subject because you just know it is guaranteed to “open up a can of worms” and cause arguments and disagreements? I do. I try to avoid confrontation as much as humanly possible. Subjects such as President Obama, gun control, human right issues, free speech, women in church leadership and ANCHOVIES are just some of the HOT BUTTON topics which turn ordinarily rational, sensible, reasonable, loving Christian brothers and sisters into angry and incensed people with tunnel-vision, who are unable to even listen to another point of view (myself included). Sadly, this same irrational and even hostile, “spitting-out-nails” type of behavior is encountered when Christians talk about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The very things that are meant to unite all believers in Jesus Christ into a “well-oiled” functional unit, used by God to save the world from self-imploding on itself by its own selfish sinfulness, are the very things that divide us. Differing views of the Gifts of the Spirit throws a monkey-wrench into Christian family unity and we become an unproductive and dysfunctional family. This should not be how the Christian Church is viewed by outsiders looking in. Instead, Christians are to:

glasses on BibleChrist's peace

“Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace. [There is] one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope [that belongs] to the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:3-4; The Amplified Bible.).

“Since by your obedience to the Truth through the [Holy] Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart” (I Peter 1:22; The Amplified Bible).

Boston Pops at Fenway

How can all Christian brothers and sisters live in harmony with one another and use their Spiritual Gifts for the furtherance of God’s kingdom? I believe we can live in HARMONY, as the Family of God, when we use our Gifts of the Spirit in CONCERT with the Fruit of the Spirit:

banana split loveJoyful Jesuslamp unto my feet

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the [selfish] sinful nature…But the Fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL…Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying one another” (Galatians 5:16, 22-23, 25-26; N.I.V.).

Some of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are first mentioned by the Apostle Paul, in his Letter to the Romans. These gifts are commonly known as the MOTIVATIONAL GIFTS:

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“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself any 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 all 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 PROPHESING, let him use it in proportion [agreement] to his 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 [GIVING], 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 children who are in need. Practice HOSPITALITY” (Romans 12:3-13; N.I.V.).

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Paul encourages the Christian Church in Rome to use their Spiritual Gifts in CONCERT with the Fruit of the Spirit: with JOY, PATIENCE and FAITHFULNESS. Also, sharing and hospitality demonstrate KINDNESS, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL.

We know what the list of words used to name the Spiritual Gifts in Romans 12:3-13 mean in the English language, but what do they mean from a biblical point of view? This will be discussed next time.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit

image0  Lydia