Andrew Fountain - Spiritual Gifts 1: The Gifts


0. Spirit in the OT

  • Prophets, craftsmen (Ex 28:8, 31:3, 35:31)
  • Leaders (Moses and the elders Num 11:17,25; Joshua Num 27:18, Deut 34:9 (wisdom); the Judges e.g. Samson)
    • Num 11:29 Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for me? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”
    • Wicked prophets could still have the true Spirit. e.g. Balaam: Num 24:2
  • New Covenant promised Eze 36
    1. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
    2. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
  • And again in Joe 2:28 and (3:1)
    1. After all of this
      I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people.
      Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
      Your elderly will have revelatory dreams;
      your young men will see prophetic visions.
    2. Even on male and female servants
      I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
  • Jesus promised that when he left he would send the Spirit
    • this was something new
    • What is our experience of the Spirit?

1. Manifestations of The Presence of God

  • O.T. ?
  • Acts: ?

2. Supernatural Gifts

  • Four lists in the N.T.
    • Romans 12
    • 1 Corinthians 12
    • Ephesians 4
    • 1 Peter 4
    • We will be going through them in the next few weeks
  • Receiving the Spirit
  1. Traditional
    • All Christians have all of the Spirit at the moment of salvation
    • God can give us gifts immediately, or at any point later in our lives
    • All Christians can hear God but this and other gifts need to be developed
  2. Classical Pentecostal
    • There is a second event that needs to happen to you after salvation: you need to be filled with the Spirit
    • There are two kinds of Christians: Spirit-filled and non-Spirit-filled
    • The easy way to tell the difference is whether the person can speak in tongues
  3. My view
    • There was always a gap in the N.T. between believing and and receiving the Spirit which was always after baptism (apart from Cornelius)
    • Yet Paul says in Rom 8 that if we don’t have the Spirit, we are not Christ’s!
    • I believe that the inner reception of the Spirit happens immediately (more on that in a moment)
      • But the external manifestation may not be immediate
    • So I agree with the Pentecostals that there is another experience that can be delayed
    • But where I disagree is:
      • This can happen more than once—it is simply being filled with the Spirit and we want it again and again
        • Acts 2 was repeated in Acts 4. The only special thing about Acts 2 was it was the first time
        • In fact, some people who are clearly Spirit-filled can have a later experience which is more powerful
      • There may be speaking in tongues, but there are many other experiences
  • To sum up:
    • Don’t start trying to analyze whether you are filled with the Spirit or not
      • There is always more, so press in for more filling
    • Earnestly desire Spiritual gifts
      • received mainly by prayer but also prophecy and laying on of hands

3. The fruit of the Spirit

  • But having supernatural gifts is not the most important aspect of receiving the Spirit
  • People who are not truly Christians can have the gifts
    • The wicked Balaam was a prophet and the Spirit of the Lord came on him.
    • Jesus warning in Matthew 7
      1. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven — only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
      2. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many wonders?’
      3. Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’
  • But what distinguishes those who belong to Jesus and those who don’t
    • is not giftings that are on us
    • but the living Jesus in us, by being born of the Spirit with a new heart
  • Gal 5:16-25
    • Most of the fruits are connected in some way or other with love

4. The gift of the Spirit himself

  • Repeated time and time again in the N.T. is the statement that the Spirit is a gift.
    • The impact of this image can be lost on us through familiarity.
      • It is good to take some time to meditate on what this means.
    • He is given as a love-gift, “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” Rom 5:5.
    • We can get focused on the gifts of the Spirit and forget that the greatest gift is the Spirit himself.
  • A present
    • This is a reversal of the Fall where Adam and Eve were cast out of direct fellowship with God.
  • We cannot separate our experience of the Spirit from Jesus Christ.
    • As Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23).
  • We can lose the sense of wonder at the generosity of this gift.

Updated on 2010-01-24 (r.121) by Andrew Fountain