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This is the truth I want to proclaim in this post: A Christian does not need to be “super-spiritual” in order for the Lord to work through him or her. It is a deception to think in this way.

Let’s consider this claim with a look at the gifts of the Spirit. When Paul wrote about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, he said, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7).1 Note: “To each is given.” After listing the “manifestations,” or gifts, he wrote, “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11). Note: “Each one individually as he wills.”

So, why does the Holy Spirit, by His will, give some spiritual gifts to some people and others to another?

We don’t know.

What we do know is that they are gifts. Sounds silly to say, I suppose, but that means they are not earned. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul asked, “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness’”? (Galatians 3:5–6).

“Miracles among you,” are not accomplished by a Christian doing one thing or another that fulfills some law. A Christian doesn’t need to be super-spiritual to operate in the gifts of the Spirit. Please stop thinking this way. The Holy Spirit gives gifts as He wills. You can’t impress Him with your spiritual life. It’s just not true.

I don’t want to enter into an in-depth look at spiritual gifts in this post. However, it will be helpful to understand that among the gifts that impress Charismatic and Pentecostal believers are primarily prophecy, healing, power over demonic forces, and the working of miracles. If you’re a person with one or more of these gifts, those around you wish they could be you and want to know your secret of spirituality so they may be similarly endued. Thus, bingo, we have a spirituality hierarchy based upon, not eldership, but upon gifts freely given by God in His grace.

In order to receive these spiritual gifts, many think, one must attain some vaguely defined holiness, which is most often dependent upon time spent in prayer, worship, and Scripture, and some degree of sinlessness. That “some degree of sinlessness” is a bit problematic, since every believer, including the super-spiritual gifted one, is a stinkin’ sinner who is righteous, not by some level of holiness attainment, but by the righteousness of Jesus, because “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). All believers are equal in this dual spiritual state. Sorry, you can’t get any more righteous than the righteousness that the Lord freely gives you. You are not going to impress Him. “Ooh. Look. Pamela is almost as righteous as I am! Let’s give her a spiritual gift!”

What silly foolishness we believe sometimes.

Keep the following passage in mind. In it, Jesus destroys any notion that doing great, spiritual works equals some kind of special walk with the Lord. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21–23).

Hmm. Seemingly spiritually gifted believers doing mighty works but…Did. Not. Know. Jesus.

If you are gifted, it’s from none of your doing. If you think it is, you should repent and come to the truth. Do you know Him? Or, instead of endeavoring to know Him, are you chasing super-spirituality and spiritual gifts? If so, you are following after a false god, edging toward idolatry and adultery. Follow after Jesus. Know Him. Love Him. The Holy Spirit will gift you as He wills, without your efforts.

It’s that simple.

 

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy Bing images.

 

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