Skip to main content

Desire Spiritual Gifts (Part 2)

Yesterday we looked at two important reasons why we should desire spiritual gifts (namely, because the gifts of the Spirit point to the Lordship of Christ, and because the gifts bear witness to the Gospel). Today, let's have a look at a third reason to earnestly desire the gifts.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit build up believers. The sixth Tenet of the Apostolic Church states that we believe in 'The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the body of Christ.' We don't just believe in the gifts, but we also believe that they've been given for a specific purpose; and that purpose is the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Body of Christ. Where does the Bible teach this? Well, in 1 Cor. 14:3 these three purposes are specifically attached to the gift of prophecy. However, prophecy is clearly not the only gift given for our edification: 1 Cor. 14:26 says that everything that's done in a church service is to 'be done for edification.' The immediate context mentions the gifts of tongues and interpretation, as well as the more general term revelation, but this isn't an exhaustive list. Any of the gifts used in a church service must be for edification. Finally, 1 Cor. 12:7 teaches that the gifts are the Spirit are given 'for the profit of all.' That means that the gifts are not given to individuals for their own personal blessing, but rather, for the benefit of others. If I'm used in a gift, it's not primarily for my own personal edification, but for the edification of the church. The gifts are given in the context of the church.

Now, hopefully we'll all agree that edification, exhortation and comfort are all necessary for Christians. And that again highlights the necessity of the gifts. God doesn't give the gifts to bring an optional extra personal blessing, but rather, to bring something that the church has great need of: edification, exhortation, and comfort.

But, what do we actually mean by edification, exhortation and comfort? Well, edification is to do with building up and strengthening. Edification speaks of taking us toward maturity in Christ and preparing us for our role in the Body. Exhortation means pointing us in the right direction. Sometimes we need to be told what we should be doing. Sometimes this comes in the form of encouraging us to act, and sometimes it comes in the form of correction. Comfort speaks of the ministry of the Holy Spirit pointing us away form our trials and difficulties to gaze on the greatness of the grace and glory of Jesus Christ. Each of these three is needed.

And so, again, we see that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are necessary. We need edification, exhortation and comfort, and our Lord has promised to supply these needs, in part through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. So, we should earnestly desire the gifts!

Popular posts from this blog

These are the Bones of Elisha (Declaring the Word of the Lord)

One of the most curious events in all of Scripture is found in a single verse in 2 Kings 13. That chapter records the death of the prophet Elisha, and yet, there’s still one more story of Elisha here some time after his death. 2 Kings 13:21 tells us:
So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. Elisha was dead. And yet when a corpse was thrown into his tomb hastily in an attempt to hide from marauding bands of Moabites, the man came back to life simply by his corpse touching Elisha’s bones. Even as miracles go, that one’s quite impressive.

On the Church and On Sin: With a (former) Tory MP and a Catholic Priest

What with the Extraordinary Synod going on in Rome this week, the Roman Catholic Church has been in the news a bit of late. And as a result of all this pre-synod hype in the media, two Roman Catholics wrote two of the best articles I read last week. One was an article in the Catholic Herald by a priest. The other was an article in the Spectator by a former MP. You should read both of them. (But if you're not going to read both, then please at least read the second one!)

Now, maybe that seems a bit odd. I am, after all, both a Pentecostal pastor and an Ulster Protestant. And as such, I'm convinced that very significant aspects of Roman Catholic theology are seriously wrong. I still believe that justification by faith alone is the article on which the church stands or falls. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't read, and even learn from, Roman Catholics. Although we are justified by faith alone, it is by faith in Christ alone, not faith in the right formulation of the doc…

Money, Money, Money (Must Be Funny, in a Rich Man’s World!)

‘Not the Pentecostals! Watch out – they’ll be trying to get all your money.’
     – The reaction when a new Christian told her Muslim uncle that she’d got saved and           started attending a Pentecostal church. ‘Hello, I’m calling from [“Christian” TV channel]. We have some great deals on advertising during our broadcasts and wondered if the church would be interested.’
     – A phone call yesterday. ‘$11,150’
     – the amount one American church is appealing to raise to produce a worship album $750 plus expenses
     – an American amount recommended as a gift for visiting preachers ‘US pastors paid up to $300,000 - are Church of England vicars getting a raw deal?’
     – recent Headline in Christian Today

£5.75 million
     – the amount of money an evangelical church down south is trying to raise for               building improvements.$25,000
     – the amount two American pastors are raising to produce a six minute teaching video Money has been on my mind a bit of late. Not my …