Gifts of the Spirit
…God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’
Galatians 4:6 (NIVUK)
…no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:3 (NIVUK)
When you think of the gifts of the Holy Spirit what usually comes to mind? Are they the powerfully obvious ones such as healing, miracles, or speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:9-10), or are they the ones connected with disseminating the gospel message like teaching and evangelism (Ephesians 4:11)? Maybe it’s the relational gifts like encouraging, being hospitable (Romans 12:8, 13) or simply helping one another (I Corinthians 12:28). Each one of us is an individual in God’s sight and he has equipped us differently according to who we are, what he purposes for us, and what the needs are within our local community of faith.
Although there is a diverse range of gifts among the people of God there are two great revelatory gifts of the Spirit that he gives to every Christian – revelation about God and Jesus Christ and our relationship to these members of the Godhead.
First, the Holy Spirit reveals that we are ‘children of God’. In Romans 8:16 the apostle Paul writes, ‘The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.’ In setting us free to know that we are God’s children and that God is our father, the Spirit guides us into a deeper truth by revealing that we can call him ‘Abba Father’ (v.15). That is, God is the tender, loving Father, who welcomes the lost home with arms open wide and an accepting love like the father in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-24).
Then the Holy Spirit sets us free to know Jesus as ‘Lord’ (1 Corinthians 12:3). We do not ‘make’ Jesus Lord, rather the Spirit sets our fallen minds free to receive the revelation of who Jesus is, and for our joyful submission to his loving lordship.
To be truly ‘charismatic’ is to be set free to know who God is – our Abba Father, and to be set free to know who Jesus is – our Lord. We can enter into a loving and intimate relationship with our Abba Father, and submit to Jesus’ lordship in our lives only by the work of the Holy Spirit – these are the Holy Spirit’s two great gifts to the church.
Loving Father, as your Spirit-led people may we know you more deeply as our Abba and know Jesus more clearly as Lord of our lives, to your glory now and forever. Amen.
Study by Barry Robinson
About the writer:
Barry Robinson is a Minister in Grace Communion International and is Regional Pastor for Southern England.
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