Sunnuntai 23.9.2018
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Jeesus vastasi fariseuksille ja lainopettajille: "Taitavasti te teette tyhjäksi Jumalan käskyn, jotta voisitte noudattaa omia sääntöjänne." Mark. 7:9

The gifts of the Holy Spirit

in English 11.5.2015 14:39 | Siionin Lähetyslehti
The third person of the Triune God is the Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of God the Father and Jesus Christ. When Jesus was gathered together with his disciples for the last time, he promised to send the Holy Spirit to his own, for strength and comfort (John 14:26).
The celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is Pentecost. Pentecost is the third largest Christian celebration after Christmas and Easter. Pentecost occurs 50 days after Easter. The Acts of the Apostles depicts how the Holy Ghost descended as a fiery flame over Jesus’ own when they were gathered together on Pentecostal Day (Acts 2:1-4).

Paul as God’s messenger

Apostle Paul visited the congregation of Corinth on one of his mission trips. He was there for about one and a half years total. In this way, the congregation became familiar and dear to Paul. Soon the congregation started to discuss about the Holy Spirit and its effects. But not all the talk and activity was constructive. Paul approaches the congregation through his letter and wishes to teach his brethren with God-given wisdom. He exhorts them to keep minds united, warns of ungodly worshiping, and gives instruction in the correct way to hold the Lord’s communion. He speaks clearly of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and their significance.

The Holy Spirit affects within the congregation. With its power, the gospel is proclaimed. The Holy Spirit’s power protects the congregation members to remain in the correct faith, as God’s children.

Also, amongst God’s children in Corinth, the gifts and effects of the Holy Spirit could be seen in many ways: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Cor. 12:7). With the help of gifts, the congregation is served. They are meant to clarify Christ’s redemption work, not to lift one’s own station or be a reason for boasting. They are also not the merit of any specific congregation member. The letter’s reminder is important: “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (1 Cor. 12:11).

God’s Spirit and anti-Christ’s spirit

Both the Holy Spirit’s power and the power of God’s opponent are effective in our world. That power of the enemy of souls tempts us. Often we may feel that believing people are especially singled out by the enemy of souls. John speaks in his letter of the spirit of the anti-Christ – the spirit that denies Jesus (1 John 4:2-3). In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul clarifies this issue. Only through the effect of God’s Spirit can the confession from our hearts and lips echo: Jesus is Lord.

Paul knew the congregation members of Corinth. He reminds them of how when they were in paganism, this power of the opponent of God drove them to serve mute idols. Nevertheless, even today the child of God can experience being in the continuous caretaking of the Holy Spirit’s living word and power in God’s congregation.

Grace gifts and tasks

The Heavenly Father has dealt different kinds of grace gifts to His congregation for the common good. There are many different kinds, but the Spirit is the same. There are also many service tasks, but the Lord is the same (1 Cor. 12:4-5). Paul writes to the Roman Christians: “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation” (Rom 12:6-8).

God has equipped us with different types of gifts. To some brothers and sisters, He has given the gift of teaching. Others have the gifts of listening and encouraging. Speakers are equipped with different kinds of gifts. Some have been given the gift of praying on behalf of others. Others have the ability to serve with practical gifts such as remodeling places of worship or cooking food. All the members of the congregation are needed for the common good and bringing forth the word of the gospel (Eph. 4:12).

Even we children of God in current times have many gifts. With these gifts we do the work of God’s kingdom so that as many as possible could find the grace God in their hearts. The glory for this work belongs to God, the giver of these gifts. The most important and greatest gift is eternal life. We own this gift by grace, through faith and Christ’s redemption work.

Text: Juha Seppälä
Translation: Angela Hänninen
Source: Siionin Lähetyslehti 9/2014

Tekstissä käsitellään seuraavaa raamatunkohtaa: 1 Cor. 12:1-11
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