Tag Archives: Charismatic

Charismata (Spiritual Gifts)

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts (Greek: charismata). Use them well to serve one another.

1 Peter 4:10 NLT

We need supernatural power to fight and win a supernatural war, therefore the Father gives us spiritual tools and grace-filled weapons for the battle–the spiritual gifts. These weapons are concrete expressions of grace, charismata, which enable and empower every believer to do the words and perform the works of Jesus. The word explains the reason for the works and the works demonstrate the power of the word.

It is not enough to believe in the spiritual gifts or even occasionally participate in their practice; we must intensely hunger for their manifestation. The Apostle Paul admonishes us to “eagerly desire the spiritual gifts” (1 Cor. 14:1). The phrase “seek not, forbid not” concerning the gifts of the Spirit is an unbiblical aphorism (1 Cor. 1:7, 12:31, 14:39; Heb. 2:3-4).

But while indeed the Church’s sacramental and apostolic order witnesses to the historical givenness of gospel and Church, there is need to remember the continuing lively action of the Spirit whereby alone the believers are Christ’s body. The many charismata shared among the Church’s members are not personal qualities or possessions so much as constant actions of the Spirit in which the liveliness of God touches human lives.

Michael Ramsey, Holy Spirit: A Biblical Study (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977), 127-128.

Five Action Verbs of the Holy Spirit (Updated)

 

 

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry in the Book of Acts

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Acts 1:8 (ESV)

Biblically, the experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit can be described by the phrase, “one baptism, many fillings.” All believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion, but presently they may not be experiencing all his presence, benefits, power, and gifts. Therefore, renewal is needed as we seek to obey Paul’s injunction, “Be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).

1. “Baptized”-The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an overwhelming experience of the Spirit’s presence, power, and purity: a total submergence within the person of the Holy Spirit. This individual experience is instantaneous and may be reoccurring. The Baptism refers to the initial work of the Spirit in uniting believers to Christ as well as on-going encounters with the Spirit bringing refreshment and strengthening in the Christian life (Mark 1:8; Acts 11:16).

2. “Filled”-The phrase, “to be filled,” points to an inner penetration or pervasion of the Spirit into my whole being as a believer. Also, “release” and “infilling” are terms which express the Spirit’s work of totally, inwardly occupying a believer’s heart and life (Acts 1:4; 9:17).

[It should be noted, that “baptized” and “filled” are the same event and denote the totality of the Spirit’s working both within and without in the believer’s life.]

3. “Outpouring”-The outpouring of the Holy Spirit suggests an overwhelming experience of the Spirit’s person and presence as well as to the idea of abundance (i.e., without limitation) (Joel 2:28-29; John 3:34; Acts 2:17-18, 33; 10:45).

4. “Falling of the Spirit”- Falling connotes suddenness, forcefulness, and power (Acts 2:21; 8:16; 10:44).

5. “Coming Upon” or “Clothed With”- To be clothed with the Holy Spirit expresses an active, continuing endowment of the Spirit: possession by and investiture with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 19:6).

J. R. Williams, “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” in The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Revised and Expanded, ed. Stanley M. Burgess (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 355.

When we are baptized with the Holy Ghost self is effaced in a glory of sacrifice for Jesus and we become His witnesses. Self-conscious devotion is gone, self-conscious service is killed, and one thing only remains, Jesus Christ first, second, and third.

Oswald Chambers, Bringing Sons into Glory : Studies in the Life of Our Lord (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1996), 41.

Discernment of Spirits (Part Two)

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Evaluate, Discern, Distinguish, Weigh the Use of the Spiritual Gifts

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world

1 John 4:1

It is the responsibility of the congregation to judge, weigh, discern, evaluate all prophetic words and teaching to discern whether the gift, ministry, or miracle is from God, demonic, or self -generated (i.e., the flesh) (1 Thes. 5:19-22). A prophetic minister should welcome evaluation and accountability for a Jesus-saturated ministry is a submitted ministry.

False teaching can be judged by comparing it with Scripture, but false spirits can be judged only by the true Spirit’s gift of discernment. That gift may be called the Spirit’s gift on gifts, because God uses it to reveal to His church whether or not a manifestation of the other gifts is of Him. All imitation of the gifts is not demonic. Much of it is simply the work of the flesh, carnal Christians trying to serve the Lord in their own power and for their own benefit and glory. Summarizing, it can be said that the gift of discernment is given to tell if the other gifts are of the Holy Spirit, if they are merely natural imitations, or if they are demonic counterfeits. I believe God still empowers some of His people to unmask false prophets and carnal hypocrites. He gives them insight to expose imitations and deceptions that most Christians would take as genuine.

The gift of discernment, however, can easily deteriorate into a critical, proud, and self-righteous spirit. It can be judgmental instead of corrective when it is imitated in the flesh. But rightly used it is a great protection to God’s people.

John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: First Corinthians [CD-Rom] (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984).

Discernment of Spirits (Part One)

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How Do We Know If a Prophecy/Teaching/Ministry Is From God?

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other….He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit.

1 Cor 12:7,10 (NLT)

Distinguishing/Discerning of Spirits is the spiritual gift of insight from the Holy Spirit which enables a believer and/or parish to know whether a practice, teaching, or gifting is from God, Satan, or a manifestation of the flesh (i.e., self-generated).

Satan and his spirits can be discerned in appearance. Satan invades the Christian community with teachers and leaders who counterfeit the truth. These people will always introduce teaching that is foreign to Scripture. In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are met by a slave girl possessed by a spirit of divination. Men and women with the gift of discernment are specially gifted in distinguishing between those words, deeds and appearances that are true and those that are false. For many days she followed the apostles crying out “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17). Though her words were true, the spirit behind them was false and sought to lure people with a little bit of truth so that the opportunity could be used to heap reproach upon the gospel. Paul judged her words to be true, but knew by appearance that the spirits guiding her were insincere. He was not fooled by what might have been an appearance of godliness. And so appearances must also be carefully weighed against the Scriptures.

Men and women with the gift of discernment are specially gifted in distinguishing between those words, deeds and appearances that are true and those that are false.

Tim Challies, “The Gift of Spiritual Discernment”