The powerful gifts of the Spirit

The Gifts of the Spirit are present much more than ever before in these days as the Lord spoke through Prophet Joel in Joel 2:28, “In last days I will pour out my spirit on all people“.

The Spirit that the Lord is outpouring without measure is the same spirit Almighty God used to resurrect Christ. The one who has full faith in Jesus is able to do great works for the glory of Christ through the mighty power of the Spirit.  Spirit is powerful and blessed are those who seek the gifts of the Spirit not for their own edification but to glorify the name that is above all names…JESUS, THE KING OF KINGS.

The ministry of the Spirit is manifold as explained by Paul in 1Corinthians 14. The same spirit distributes different gifts according to the divine will and purpose of God. Some are blessed with the gift of the tongues, some have the power to heal, some preach by the same spirit and some are blessed with the gift of the interpretation of tongues, or discern between different kinds of spirits. The Spirit works through the manifestation of different gifts for the edification and unity of the Church for the glory of Christ.

1. Tongues: The spirit utters mysteries about the powerful works and persona of God that man or woman cannot grasp through human  mind nor speak in worldly languages. Under the influence of the spirit, human tongue utters unknown and unsearchable mysteries that bring glory to God. Gift of tongues is a powerful manifestation of the work of the Spirit. Those who have been blessed with the gift of tongues use it for their own edification and are filled with much power when the spirit controls them to speak spiritual mysteries in unknown tongues.

2. Interpretation of tongues: Interpretation of the tongues bring meaning to the revealed mysteries about most high God and his son Jesus Christ. As Paul says Those who have the gift of tongues should pray for the gift of the interpretation too as the one speaking in tongues edifies his/her spirit but the one who interprets edifies the whole congregation.

3. Healing: Jesus healed multitude during his ministry here on earth. Jesus who said “You will do greater work than these” gives the power of healing to the believers. Healing works through by prayer, fasting, worshipping, singing in the presence of the Lord, tithe giving, and forgiving others. The Lord’s gift of healing not only brings physical healing but also emotional and spiritual deliverance. God uses man and woman in all generation to use the gift of healing for his own glory.

4. Driving demons: Jesus has given authority to the believers to drive out demons . As Paul said that our war is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers of this dark age. A child of God who spends time in the presence of the Lord becomes sensitive to the presence of the demons and the work of devil. Since no one among us is prefect, the moment a child of God is aware of any demonic attack on him/her or on others, an urgent action should be taken. Prayers in faith with fasting bring deliverance in Jesus name.

5. Prophesy and the gift of encouraging others: Paul wrote letters to different Churches while he was still in the jail. A child of God is powerful in the spirit all the time irrespective of where he is or how much/little he has. Since the Lord is same, he can us anyone for his glory at any time. Let’s be prepared in season and out of season to speak the mighty word of God for the encouragement of others.

The Spirit works in myriad ways among believers to bring glory to God. Are you filled with the Holy spirit? Do you have gifts or the Spirit? Are you eagerly seeking them? The answer lies in following Christ. God, the heavenly father has already given us his son Jesus…the source of all blessings, will he not also add the gifts of the Spirit to our blessings. He will…for HIS own glory.

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Fruit v. Gifts of the Spirit

Fruit and Gifts of the Spirit are given by our heavenly father for different purposes at diverse occasions to bring Glory to his awesome and wonderful name and nature. Fruit of the Spirit as mentioned in Galations 5:22 are – joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Please note that all the above attributes are of One FRUIT, which indicates that the one who practices self control  under the influence of the Spirit is also capable of being kind and gentle and have the power to be patient and faithful at all times, by the strength of the same spirit.

Gifts are given for the edification of the receiver and the welfare of the Church, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians12:7, Gifts are “of the message of wisdom, message of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophesy, distinguishing between gifts, speaking in tongues, interpretation of the tongues.”

Both Gifts and fruit of the Spirit have distinct nature, time of maturity, purpose and they are exercised at different times according to the will and purpose of the one who has blessed us in his great love through his son Jesus Christ.

MATURITY OF THE FRUIT AND GIFTS

Fruit of the Spirit takes time to mature. The process doesn’t depend on our own strength but the strength of the Holy Spirit that works in us by reminding us without ceasing that our salvation is much precious than anything else for it has come down to us by Jesus Christ. Having been received the word of salvation in faith, when we strive to meditate on it daily and put it into practice, fruit of the spirit starts becoming apparent in our lives.

Gifts become apparent the moment they are received. The receiver adds to his/her gifts by practising them the way Father intends them to be used. Gifts are given for the personal edification of the receiver as well as for the encouragement of the Chruch. Gifts play a great role in the body of Christ and they deserve much honour and respect on the part of the one who exercise them so that everything results in glory and honour to the giver, who is our heavenly father.

TIME TO EXERCISE

Fruit is exercised throughout the life of a believer. And moment by moment it brings a resemblance in the nature of the believer with Jesus himself. Gifts are used as and when the Spirit leads the believer to use them for Father’s glory.

PURPOSE

Fruit of the Spirit with its different attributes brings a change in the nature of the believer. A believer’s desire to be found in the nature and image of Christ is fulfilled by the great blessing of the fruit of the spirit.

Gifts are for the personal edification and encouragement of the Church. Gifts bring tremendous power to the one who uses them, that brings a great responsibility on the part of the receiver, for the one to whom more is given much more will be required. Those who are blessed with spiritual gifts must strive to exercise fruit of the spirit by bringing themselves under the authority of the WORD otherwise they might get caught up in temptations that will eventually cost their pure spirituality and leave them puffed up with vanity.

WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT GIFTS OR THE FRUIT

Gifts and fruit of the Spirit, both come down from the father of lights, the source of all perfection. And both deserve great honour and respect. Paul wrote to Timothy in 1Timothy 4:14, “Do not neglect your gift.” Paul spoke about the spiritual fruit in 1Corinthians 13:1-2, “If I speak in the tongues of men and angles, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cyambal. If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have faith that can move mountain, but have not love, I am nothing.”

Is Paul comparing the gifts with the fruit of the Spirit and advising us that the fruit has a greater value than the gifts of the Spirit?. By no means, Paul is making it plain and simple by the guidance of the Holy Spirit that the love as commanded by Jesus himself  is the greatest obligation we have to live with as followers of Christ. When our gifts are exercised in the shadow of love, it brings glory to the one through whom all blessings flow in heaven and on earth.

Let’s seek the way of love by exercising the fruit of the spirit and also not be slow to seek the gifts of the Spirit for the glory and honour of our heavenly father.