The use of spiritual gifts in the corporate (church) setting is a messy endeavor. Yet, the Bible never says to cease the usage of the gifts but to operate in them in a spirit of love, humility, and submission. As we have seen in some earlier blogs, the problem of pride had infected every area of ministry within the church at Corinth. This required Paul to identify the root problem and to teach about correct Spirit worship.
In his teaching, Paul gives invaluable knowledge regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the corporate setting. Let’s see what we can learn from this.
The Holy Spirit has been sent as the fulfillment of the Promise of the Father (Luke 24:49, John 14:26).
In John 14:16, Jesus states that He will ask the Father and He will send another Comforter to be with the disciples upon Jesus’ departure. The word “another” is the Greek word “allos” – One besides Me and in addition to Me but just like Me. He will do in My absence what I would do if I were physically present. He assures the continuity of what Jesus did and taught.
The Holy Spirit has been sent to influence, indwell, and empower believers.
The gifts of the Spirit (charismata) are evidence – manifestation (phanerosis) of the Presence of the Holy Spirit.
There are different manifestations of the ministry of the Holy Spirit:
- Motivational Gifts – Gifts of the Father. Romans 12:3-8
Prophecy – Foretelling and Forthtelling
Ministry – Waiting at a table: waiting on others
Exhortation – to encourage
Giving – share with others
Leading – to have charge over
Mercy – to have pity on
- Office Gifts – Gifts of the Son, the Head of the Church.
Apostle – one who is sent
Prophet – Foretells/Forthelling
Evangelist – Bringer of Good News
Pastor – one who cares and protects – a shepherd
Teacher – one who instructs
- Spiritual Gifts – Gifts of the Holy Spirit. a. Discerning Gifts – what to do or say
- Word of Wisdom – knowledge of the purpose of God for a specific moment.
- Word of Knowledge – Supernatural revelation of information.
- Discerning of spirits – Detection of the true source or motive. b. Dynamic Gifts – gifts that effect change
- Gift of faith – trusts and does not doubt for specific situations.
- Gifts of healings – Supernatural healing by the Spirit in every level of humanity (body, soul, and spirit).
- Working of miracles – divine enablement to do something that cannot be done in the natural realm. c. Declarative Gifts – speak forth publically.
- Prophecy – divine disclosure on behalf of the Spirit for the moment.
- Different tongues – speaking supernaturally in a language not known to the speaker; unknown trans-rational utterances for worship and prayer.
- Interpretation of tongues – rendering a trans–rational message meaningful to others in a public setting.
These gifts are to be used for the profit of all!
Don’t release the gifts of the Spirit without the fruit of the Spirit accompanying them! There are no power struggles in the release of gifts. All come from the same Head.
The gifts operate within the framework of a synthesis: many working together in a comprehensive whole, just like the human body. All parts are different, therefore all are necessary. The eye and head cannot take the role of the others. Paying proper respect and honor to those who appear to be “lesser” reveals the true Presence of God.
Suffering and success in one part equates to suffering and success corporately.
The Office Gifts are first in authority to serve, facilitate, and empower the others. Each member has a function and is important and operates with one goal:
To edify the entire Body of Christ!