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The Gifting Spirit: Part 2

• Greg Boyd

In this sermon Greg goes over the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit. After explaining each gift, he addressed why he believes these gifts are still relevant and important for the church today. He ends with an encouragement to zealously seek after all gifts God has for you.

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A video was shown of a cross with words connected to it representing everything separating us from God (sin, disunity, pride, etc.). Suddenly, there was light and sparks and each word began to explode off the cross, to reveal word representing each of the spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament.

Greg began with a prayer for the shooting and rioting going on in Milwaukee. He called us to be intercessors who first pray, and then remember not to be taken in by the work of the principalities and powers.

In this sermon Greg shared about charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are distinct because unlike the gifts we discussed last week they are not based on personality or aptitude, but are rather given out freely by the Holy Spirit.

In 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 Paul tells us that these gifts are given by the Holy Spirit for the common good.

Message of Wisdom: This is a word from God unique to a situation. When Woodland Hills was looking for a location to plant the church a person on the committee got a message of wisdom to look at the current building that is now the church.

Word of Knowledge: This is a specific word from the Lord. In the search for the church building another member of the committee got a word of knowledge during a time of prayer where the Lord showed her a bull’s eye with an arrow pointing to a specific location. A few days later a map of the twin cities with a bull’s eye on it was given to leaders of the church. They realized the arrow from the vision pointed right to the building we are currently in. It is important to remember that if you get a word of knowledge that does not necessarily mean that what you saw or heard will happen, but it means that you should continue in the direction God is leading you.

Gift of Faith: This is supernatural confidence against all odds.

Miraculous Powers: This is a display of supernatural power, like Jesus turning water into wine.

Gift of Healing: Healing someone from a spiritual or physical condition.

Prophecy: Whenever a person speaks and God is in it. Prophecy is a God anointed word.

Distinguishing between spirits: When someone can understand what is happening in the spiritual realms.

Speaking in tongues: This is the ability to speak in languages that the speaker has never learned. In private this can be used as a prayer language, and in public should be used with an interpreter.

Interpretation: When one can understand what the person speaking in tongues is saying.

Some people today teach that these gifts were only for the early church and not for today. That type of thinking is called cessationism, because they believe the gifts have ceased. Greg argues against this thinking for two reasons. First, these gifts appear to still be around. Secondly, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:5-7 that these gifts are to enrich the church until the Lord returns. Also, the fastest growing segment of Christianity is in the Pentecostal and Charismatic parts of Christianity.

Why is that? Because the more you are experiencing the power of your beliefs on a daily basis the more fire and passion you have, because you are experiencing your beliefs not merely as ideas but as a lived and vibrant reality.

Paul tells us to be zealous after the gifts. Greg reminds us that the Lord says, “seek and you shall find.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 encourages us to eagerly desire these gifts, especially prophecy because it builds up the Church. Therefore we should be after everything that God wants for us and seek every dimension of His revelation, because He desires to give us good things.

A major obstacle many people, especially in the west face is that we have constant chatter in our minds and give the Holy Spirit no space to speak. The Holy Spirit is not cohesive and will not invade. He is a partner and not a manipulator. We must surrender space and learn to be quiet enough so we can hear the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit.

Greg had a friend that felt led to pray for tongues. When praying he would experience the urge to begin speaking in tongues, but as he did this he began to fear that he was making it up and the ability to speak in tongues would go away. Greg encouraged him to remember that he had already resolved that he believed in the Holy Spirit and felt called to this gift and that he didn’t need to get caught in a “thought sink hole” where he pushed the Holy Spirit out by taking back control. There is a time to think and reason, and a time to know what you have already settled and move forward giving the Holy Spirit space.

Final reminders, though sometimes these gifts have been abused, we don’t need to throw the baby out with the bath water. God is a God of peace and order, not chaos. The gifts would have been used in the context of a house church and we should remember that today. These gifts are real, and for today, and we should be zealously pursuing the gifts of our good God. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to step out in surrender to the Holy Spirit.

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Topics: Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts

Sermon Series: God In Us


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Focus Scripture:

  • 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

    Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a 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 distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

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4 thoughts on “The Gifting Spirit: Part 2

  1. Dave PRITCHARD says:

    On Fire – Praise God!

    Coincidently though, I just was reading the other morning about the life and work of ‘Christoph Blumbhardt’ who died in 1919. He was a famous German theologian and charismatic pastor who had a big influence on Karl Barth and like his father before him, really pushed for and believed in the power of the ‘Gifts’! “Jesus is Victor” was his mantra and he believed that miracles were for today. He even supposedly performed exorcisms. He was an influential force for good and was ‘prophetically’ successful by anyone’s standards. Awesome stuff! But he said something towards the end of his life that really caught my attention –

    “I do not want to suggest that it is of little importance for God to heal the sick; actually, it now is happening more and more often—although very much in quiet. However, things should not be promoted as though God’s kingdom consists in the healing of sick people. To be cleansed is more important than to be healed. It is more important to have a heart for God’s cause, not to be chained to the world but be able to move for the kingdom of God.”

    “To be cleansed is more important than to be healed” – That part really blew me away!

    This reminded me of Luke 17 where Jesus heals the ‘Ten Lepers’ and only one, a ‘Samaritan’, actually comes back and thanks Him by falling on his knees in gratitude. I think in that instance, it would appear that not only had his body been healed beautifully and miraculously, but his heart had also been cleansed. I think that’s why Paul could clearly say I Corinthians 13:1 –

    “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

  2. Vince Capobianco says:

    I think it’s interesting how we take our Christian past and try to make it work in our Christian present. For instance, I didn’t grow up in a Pentecostal environment, so I would resist the idea that speaking in tongues, the way it is done today, is a valid gift. I do, however, understand that I would probably think differently if I had been saved in a church that was “Full Gospel”, and had been “taught” to speak in tongues. That said, I don’t think that earnestly desiring any gift is a way to go about receiving it. I just listened to the last 2 sermons, and in the first one Greg encourages against seeking after the gifts. In this one, Greg encourages us to find ways to receive the gifts (tell your brain to give you a pass, etc.). Isn’t this us trying to control the gifts? In Acts 2, there is NO indication that the disciples had any idea of a list of gifts, and most certainly were not seeking any particular gift. It just came upon them. It was sudden, and I do not believe they were at all aware of when or what would happen when they were filled with the Spirit. I like what Greg said about desiring the true passionate love relationship with God that He desires to have with us. I think the gifts are the result of our surrendering to that love and truly engaging in and immersing ourselves in that relationship. The full experience of that submission yields gifts from God to us in their fullness. Maybe what Greg meant was that we should be zealous for (earnestly desire) the gifts, rather than go after them. Wanting is not the same as getting, because wanting, you pray and ask God who gives, while getting is you doing it artificially, and possibly without God. I have no doubt that the charismatic gifts are available to those who are in a passionate love relationship with God. I experience that emotional euphoria as I dwell on the truth of God: Who He is, and that He loves me SOOOO much! What a rush! He has shown me things and brought me places I could have never seen or experienced without Him! Praise the Lord!

  3. kevin says:

    Is it simply a Minnesota accent thing that makes Brother Greg pronounce the word “charismatic” as ‘crizmatic’? i’ve always pronounced the word as ‘carasmatic’, not ‘crizmatic’…what’s up wid dat? thanks

  4. Dave PRITCHARD says:

    Kevin,

    “You Betcha!”

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