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:
“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 (theresurgence.com/2009/06/15/spiritual-gifts-evangelism).
SERVICE (HELPS): See “The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Part I).
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
TEACHER: The ability to communicate and clarify the details and truths of God’s Word for others to learn (SpiritualGiftsTest.com).
So far, we have looked at the following Gifts of the Spirit: PROPHECY, SERVING (HELPS), TEACHING, EXHORTATION/ENCOURAGEMENT, GIVING, LEADERSHIP, MERCY (Romans:12:3-13); WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, FAITH, HEALING, MIRACLES, DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN SPIRITS (DISCERNMENT), TONGUES, INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES, APOSTLESHIP, ADMINISTRATION, HELPS (SERVICE) (I Corinthians 12:7-11 and 27-31), EVANGELISM, PASTOR, PREACHING-TEACHING (Ephesians 4:11-13).
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 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.
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…