The Gifts Part 35
Although we’ve been discussing the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the order that Paul outlined them in his first epistle to the Corinthians, scholars, theologians, and men far superior in wisdom than yours truly have broken up the nine gifts into three distinct groupings. This is why when you hear a teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, if you are fortunate enough to hear one in our day and age, it usually isn’t in the order that Paul details them.
Since I don’t want anyone feeling as though they were shortchanged, we will discuss these three groupings today, and why it is that these nine gifts were designated to these categories. No, I find nothing wrong or untoward about this consignment of the nine gifts into categories, but I thought it would be simpler to discuss them as Paul laid them out for the sake of continuity.
Regardless of how the gifts are discussed, whether within the context of the three categories we will be delving into today, or in the order in which Paul outlines them, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are the outwardly manifestation of the work of the Holy Spirit. At first the Holy Spirit begins to work on the inward parts of man, compelling him to repentance, to salvation, to rebirth, to service, filling man with His presence. Once this has taken place, once God has done this great work in the heart of man which changes his nature, transforms his mind, and reconciles him unto Himself, the Holy Spirit begins to work through the individual for the benefit of others. It is only after one has been born again, it is only after one has been transformed by the renewing of their mind, that the Holy Spirit begins to impart gifts for the benefit and use of others. First there must be transformation of the inward part, first there must be right standing with God, and then the using of the vessel wherever the Master has need of him.
I say this only because I have met countless souls throughout my years of ministry who desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but are unwilling to remove the weeds and chaff and thistle and thorns from their heart, who desire to see the power of God, but are unwilling to allow Him to purify their heart as He desires. In order to have all of God we must do away with all of the world, for God will not accept anything less of His children.
There is a tendency and desire to partition our hearts in such a way that we leave a little room for the trifles of life, we leave a little room for the distractions of life, we leave a little room for the vanities of life, and whatever’s left over, we proudly offer up to God as though we were doing Him some great honor by doing so.
We have wandered the road of inconsistency and compromise for so long that when we come face to face with an all or nothing God, a God who will make no concessions or share room with another besides Himself in our hearts, we are stunned and awestruck by the presumed intolerance.
Having plainly read in His word that God desires all of us, having plainly read in His word that lukewarm, compromising, indecisive, halfhearted and divided is the last thing He wants us to be for such things disgust Him so that He must spew us out of His mouth if we practice them, we go searching for a second opinion, a learned man in the way of modernized theology and a tolerant interpreter of Scripture who will shrug his shoulders, smile his best smile, and tell us that even though that’s what the Bible says, it isn’t really what the Bible means.
‘God just wants you to be happy! He wants you to be blessed! He wants you to enjoy your life, and live as you please, because He understands the frailty of man, and that’s why He sent Jesus.’
No, God did not send Jesus so we could keep on sinning, He did not send Jesus so we could abuse grace and trample on His Son’s blood, He sent Jesus that we might be reconciled unto Him, that we might be born again in His Son, and that we might not walk as we once walked while in ignorance and far from God.
We can’t preach the truth anymore because we are living in the age of the thin skinned and spineless, the age of the hedonist and self-obsessed, the age of the gray area wherein God is what you think Him to be, His standard is what you establish that it is, and His will is what you desire it to be. How can we hope to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit when much of the church isn’t even worshiping the one true God?
We are the prophets of Baal without the conviction, at least they cut themselves hoping that they would be heard and shown a sign; we don’t even believe our God can hear us or show us signs anymore.
We worship a God of our own making, fashioned with our own hands, conceived in our own hearts, created in our own minds, a one dimensional God who does not judge righteously, who does not punish sin, who does not command obedience, a God who is not holy or just, but only eternally loving.
‘Well I don’t know who has the right of it, but I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry, so yeah, I go to church on the big holidays, you know, for fire insurance and such.’
To hear some men tell the tale, the fire of the God who is an all-consuming fire has burnt out, and as such it is no longer a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Just because man has stripped God of His attributes however, it does not mean God has bent to the will of men and has done so in truth.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.