Spiritual gives, given by God, empower believers to serve others in both the church and the world. However, our own spiritual gifts today aren’t always easy to identify. What gifts are there? How should they be used? Which gifts apply to the apostolic era? Which apply to us? Even among serious, searching believers, these are still divisive questions. Can light be shed on these issues? Vern Poythress illuminates them by turning to the authority of Scripture and allowing it to speak for itself.
“The Bible tells Christians that we should ‘earnestly desire the spiritual gifts,’ which implies that we may receive more gifts over time, or the Holy Spirit may deepen gifts that we already have (1 Cor. 14:1).” (Page 11)
“The New Testament provides this framework. One key passage is Ephesians 4:7–11. Jesus Christ is head of the church and distributor of all gifts of the Spirit (verse 11). He distributes gifts from the fullness that he possesses, because he has triumphed (verse 8) and fills all things (verse 10). Acts 2:33 supplements this picture by saying that Christ ‘received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit’ as a prelude to pouring out the Spirit on the church. From Christ’s fullness of the Spirit we receive a measure, ‘according to the measure of Christ’s gift’ (Eph. 4:7).” (Page 12)
“Each Christian, by being united to Christ, receives the Holy Spirit as the one central gift from God (Acts 2:33, 38; Gal. 3:14). The Holy Spirit then distributes particular gifts, which differ from one person to another: ‘All these [gifts] are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills’ (1 Cor. 12:11).” (Pages 8–9)
“Some people claim that the coming of the Holy Spirit is a two-stage rather than a one-stage process” (Page 9)
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