Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 190

The Gifts Part 95

Interpretation of Tongues continued...

1 Corinthians 14:26-28, “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.”

The gift of interpretation of tongues is unique among the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit in that it is the only gift that is dependent upon another gift in order to operate. Without the utterance of tongues, there can be no interpretation of tongues, and as such these two gifts are symbiotic in nature, as far as interpretation is concerned. One can speak in tongues, as Paul tells us, to ourselves and to God when no one with the gift of interpretation is present, but one cannot interpret tongues unless they are present and audibly heard amidst the congregation.

All the other gifts of the Holy Spirit operate independently, and are not beholden to another gift in order to operate.

Just as with the other gifts of the Holy Spirit, there is a biblically established order as to the functionality and operation of the gift of interpretation of tongues. Although some might balk at the idea of order, of rules, or established parameters when it comes to spiritual things, all they are doing is kicking against the goads. God established order for a purpose, and the confusion we are seeing throughout the church today due to the absence of order ought to make it crystal clear that order is necessary within every fellowship and every congregation.

To those who would bristle at the notion of order within the house of God, all I can say is that it is not man who established this order, but God Himself, for He knew the nature of His creation better than the creation itself.

The messages that come by way of the gift of interpretation of tongues vary in their nature, from being directed toward one individual, or toward an entire body of believers. The origin of the messages however, is always the same. True interpretation of tongues always comes from God via the work of the Holy Spirit, and as such we must give this gift its rightful place in the pantheon of spiritual gifts.

God speaks to His children in various ways, and by employing a variety of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but always for the same fundamental reasons, and with the same purpose of edifying, instructing, encouraging, comforting, exhorting, and correcting them that they might grow in Him, become mature in their spirits, and graduate from babe in Christ, to warrior for Christ.

God allows for a season of growth, God allows for a season of maturing, but we must grow and mature, for to remain in infancy perpetually, is to be perpetually dependent on others for our very survival.

Spiritual infancy is a choice! It is we who choose to dismiss the promises of God, it is we who choose to ignore the promises of Christ and as a direct result of our reluctance to press in and desire to grow spiritually, we remain babes in perpetuity.

Spiritual growth is not an option for believers; it is a necessity just as breathing oxygen into our bodies is necessary for our human survival. We are in Christ; therefore we grow in the knowledge of Christ. We are of Christ; therefore we walk in the authority of Christ. Just as it is with anything worth knowing, spiritual growth takes time and dedication on our part.

2 Peter 3:17-18, “You therefore beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”

Complacency is a dangerous state of mind for a believer, and tragically many today settle for the knowledge they currently possess, having no desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the most beautiful aspects of our faith is that we never stop growing in God. Whether you’re eighteen or eighty, whether you’ve been a believer for a year or one hundred years, there is always more of God to discover, there is always more of God to know, there is always more room for growing in the grace and the knowledge of Him.

I realize the notion of spiritual growth is unpopular nowadays, because we all lead busy lives, with a thousand things are vying for our time every hour of every day, and those for whom God is just another in a long list of priorities take comfort in men’s claims that as long as you’ve memorized John 3:16 there really isn’t anything more you can know, for you have ascended to the mountaintop of spiritual knowledge.

Ignorance is only bliss for the ignorant, but we as children of God are called upon to be wise in all things. In love, and a foresight only the Spirit of God can inspire, Peter warns of the dangers of not growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ, exhorting us not to fall from our steadfastness, but continually pursue more of God in our daily lives.

Love compels us to desire more of God, love compels us to grow in the grace and knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ, and our pursuit of growth and maturity is neither cumbersome nor burdensome, because it is love that motivates us in these things.

John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

In order for us to decrease, Christ must increase in us, and it is by growing in the knowledge and grace of Him that we are able to accomplish this necessary transformation.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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