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Sunday, August 30, 2009

To Each One is Given......


I believe that one of the most tragic and disabling lies that has been swallowed by many Christians is that the so called "Sign" Gifts of the Holy Spirit were not meant to be used or manifested in this present day. I believe that Satan is behind this diabolical plot to render the church at once powerless, and laughable, in the eyes of the world.

My "church" background is varied. Raised Roman Catholic, I attended a Pentecostal Church for 6 years, and then a Brethren chapel. I was involved in the extreme end of the "charismatic" movement for a time, and God showed me some of the deception involved there. Since we are people of extremes, I then swung to the other end of the pendulum, ending up in a Brethren environment. There, I was in huge conflict over the gifts of the Spirit. They were taught to be for a time only, in New Testament days, and that one should not be seeking them. Confusion reigned in me, since I knew that I was receiving much truth in other areas, such as the sovereignty and holiness of God. Could they be right about these things, and so wrong about others? I tried to convince myself that they were right, but I know now that the Holy Spirit was being quenched inside of me.

Currently I am part of a home church group. We have been meeting for less than a year, some joining only recently, and we are still in awe of how God is working in our midst. We are learning what it means to have freedom in Christ, unhindered by tradition and standards set by man. We are sharing our homes and hearts, learning and growing together into our Head, Jesus Christ. We praise God for what He is doing.

This morning we were commenting on what we each have brought to our group; the differences in personalities, knowledge of the Bible, and other areas. I can see that God has selected each one of us to be together, to be this local body for Him on earth. We are taking baby steps, and still shedding some of the wrong understanding of what being the church should look like.

Recent teaching I have heard has been on the Gifts of the Spirit. The teaching was low key, matter of fact, and for the first time, I heard this topic taught simply, as it appears on the pages of scripture. There were no hermeneutical hoops that were jumped through. No complicated intrepretation of verses. Some Greek words were explained. But essentially, the end result was that I finally understood what the gifts were, what their purpose is, and how we are to seek and use them. Not in the flashy, weird way that I have seen the so-called gifts used in the past. But in a Spirit directed, orderly fashion. For the edification of the church. As a way for God to reveal Himself to the unbelieving world. For the empowerment of God's people, so that they might do those works that He has prepared in advance for them to do. For the Glory of God.

In retrospect, I see what has happened as a result of these gifts being refused and misunderstood. The Pentecostal movement saw a return of them. Sadly, we see today a variety of "falsified" manifestations of the Spirit; either born of the flesh, or perpetrated by Satan, who can disguise himself as an angel of light. At the other end of the spectrum, we see large amounts of brothers and sisters being hoodwinked by the lie that I mention in the first paragraph. In that arena, we have traded them in for man made structures and systems, programs and policies, in an attempt to produce what only God's Spirit can. In both cases, the body of Christ is losing out. We are not appropriating what is there for us. All of Heaven is open to us! God is prepared, and longs to, reveal Himself through us. Instead, for the most part, we are powerless, worldy and ineffective in the world around us.

But I have hope. God is coming back for His spotless bride. He will tear down the structures we have built in our attempts to replace what we have cheated ourselves of. He will gather all of His sheep, and He will once again work powerfully through His people. One at a time. Praise His Name forever.

"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Sprit for the common good." (1Cor. 12:4-7)

4 comments:

Ike said...

I don't "doubt" God's ability to suspend or over-ride natural law. I doubt instead any theological system that uses opinion or dispensational boundaries to limit the intervention of heaven. The Lord of history has not stopped giving gifts.



Nobody was more jealous for the power of the word than Paul. Yet he described his mission as Christ working through him "in the power of signs and wonders" (Romans 15:19). Were these the unique "sign of an apostle" and thus not valid for us? I don't think so. In 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, there is a clear teaching that not only were these things not temporary, they were meant to last till Jesus comes.



What don't I believe? I don't believe in those who promise healing, material prosperity, and salvation of lost ones in exchange for "faith shown by a check" made out to their ministry!!!!!!!!! Now... this stands... unless Maureen wants to send me a couple grand.....in which case, I will kindly send her a prayer cloth.....make that a napkin!



P.S. Maureen....I love McGee....but he got this one wrong!!!

Maureen said...

Well, McGee ain't the only one. Thank God that He will prevail, and His Truth will overcome, for His glory.

twofinches said...

Maureen

You seem to have found a home fellowship that is enriching your walk and understanding. That is a blessing that so many do not have.

I grew up in a church where the gifts of the spirit were freely experienced. I always felt such awe. Now I attend a church in which they are not manifest in any open way, yet these people are good, strong solid Christians. I often feel that they purposely impoverish themselves by being afraid of the gifts in their services. But I am a Pentecostal pastors kid so I may be a tad prejudiced!

*BTW I am a Canadian living in New York State...moved here from Nova Scotia but grew up in British Columbia. My three adult kids live in Nova Scotia and Alberta

Maureen said...

Hello Two Finches. Nice to see another Canadian out here! I peeped in on your blog, enjoyed what I read. God bless you!