When we pray in tongues, our spirits are praying to God, but when we speak out loud in tongues in church, it is so God can speak to the church if it is followed by an interpretation. For this reason, the gift of tongues is always be accompanied by the gift of interpretation of the message in tongues. The distinction between the baptism of the Holy Spirit also called the gift of the Holy Spirit , which is accompanied by the evidence of personal tongues, versus the gift of tongues, which is accompanied by interpretation of tongues, is also differentiated in the New Testament by two different Greek words for gift.
Whenever believers received the baptism or gift of the Holy Spirit, the New Testament uses the Greek word dorea for gift Acts ; ; ; whereas the New Testament always uses the Greek word charisma for gift to describe the ministry gifts Romans ; 1 Corinthians ; , 9, 28, 30, 31;; 1 Timothy ; 2 Timothy These two Greek words, dorea and charisma, are never interchanged in the New Testament.
For example, in the five cases we reviewed where believers spoke in tongues after they received the baptism or gift dorea of the Holy Spirit, in none of these five situations did the believers use the gift charisma of interpretation. This once again demonstrates that when you receive the gift dorea of the Holy Spirit, you also receive the personal, devotional prayer language of tongues but not necessarily the gift charisma of tongues, which should always be exercised with the gift charisma of interpretation to edify the church. Thus everyone who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit has the capability of speaking in private, devotional tongues though they may not exercise this capability because of unbelief, ignorance, fear or other reasons ; but not everyone receives the gift charisma of tongues which is used in conjunction with the gift charisma of interpretation.
For example, one time when we meeting together, a sister in Christ who does not speak any Chinese, gave a lengthy, edifying message for the church in the Chinese language, which was then interpreted in English. This is how God intended the gifts charisma of the Spirit to be used to minister to the body of Christ. When you assemble, each as a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, and has an interpretation. Let all things by done for edification 1 Corinthians After you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you have a reservoir of living water ready to overflow from your spirit.
Jesus said we must receive the kingdom of God with faith like a child Mark ; Luke This does not mean that we should not use our mind. Our intellect is a very useful tool but our faith must always spring from a pure and open heart towards God. This reminds me of the time I met a fellow Christian who had graduated from a prestigious Ivy League university.
After a brief conversation, I perceived this brother had a keen intellect. I then asked him whether he had ever received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus or Jesus Christ?
He answered no and asked what this was. I then began to open the Scriptures to him and explained how Jesus wanted all His disciples to be immersed in the Holy Spirit so they would have supernatural power to be His witnesses and be able to speak directly to Him in a Spirit-given prayer language. We then bowed our heads in prayer and he simply asked Jesus to baptize him in the Holy Spirit.
Why does Jesus Christ want to give us the ability to speak in a prayer language that we do not know when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit? We are talking about personal prayer language here and not the ministry gift charisma of tongues accompanied by interpretation. The Bible gives at least three reasons. The Bible says the foremost reason is that when we speak in another tongue, we are able to speak directly to God in the spirit.
This is what the apostle Paul taught. When you pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit is able to strengthen your inner man. As an example of this kind of prayer, one day I began praying privately in my own English language and then shifted into praying in the spirit with my new tongue. I soon found myself weeping as I was led by the Spirit to pray in my new tongue from the very depths of my soul. After a while, the weeping changed into triumphant declarations, and then praise and worship to God. Although I did not know the precise interpretation of my new tongue during this time of private prayer, I knew with certainty in my spirit that I was interceding for God to move powerfully upon our community to bring all of His elect into His kingdom.
This intercession and spiritual warfare session lasted nearly an hour, and when it was over, I walked away filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. In closing, for all the Scriptural reasons listed above for praying in the spirit, we would strongly encourage each believer after they are baptized in the Holy Spirit to spend time every day privately praying and praising God in their new Spirit-given language. In this way, you will fellowship with God the Father and His Son and you will build yourself up in the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit will empower and lead you to effectively intercede for others.
There is one more very important aspect of the baptism in the Holy Spirit we need to point out. Therefore, when Jesus baptizes us in the Holy Spirit, He intended it not only to empower us but to also purify us. Jesus said His disciples would be salted with fire Mark but if they lose their saltiness holiness , they are not good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by the world Mark ; Matthew Without holiness, we cannot know Jesus Christ.
The gospel of Christ crucified reveals the power that God has provided for us to abide in Christ and overcome sin, the world and the devil.
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Obviously, we need to know both the power of His crucifixion and resurrection if we want to know Jesus Christ in fullness. And when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, Jesus gave them the ability to speak to God directly in another language. In the same way, when Jesus baptizes you in the Holy Spirit, He will give you the supernatural ability to speak in another language. You can receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit the same way you received Christ when you were saved — by faith Galatians Remember the baptism in the Holy Spirit is not an emotional experience; it is a divine promise and gift, which you receive by faith.
You may or may not express any emotion when you receive it. Just ask Him. Endnote: If Jesus Christ baptizes us in the Holy Spirit to empower us, then why do we need to know we died with Christ? Jesus does not intend the baptism in the Holy Spirit to have only a one-time impact; He means it to be the spiritual gateway for a Christian to be continually empowered by the Holy Spirit and exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit to build up His body Luke ; Acts ; 1 Corinthians However, the only way the power of the Holy Spirit can be manifested continually in our lives is if we know and act on this knowledge that we have been crucified with Christ.
Calvary must come before Pentecost. This is the divine principle: Jesus had to be crucified at Calvary and ascend to His Father before the power of His Spirit could be poured out at Pentecost John We will mistakenly try to live the Christian life by the power of our soul our natural personality and ability and mistakenly think it is with the help of the Holy Spirit. This has tragic results even though it may not be evident to those who are spiritually undiscerning and immature. If continue to live by the strength of our soul, we become open to deception since the soul not governed by the Holy Spirit is a gateway to demonic influence.
We simply cannot expect to be filled, empowered and protected by the Holy Spirit if we are not obeying God and His Word. Otherwise, even though we may have been baptized at one time in the Holy Spirit, we will end up living by the power of our soul. However, when we have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and know believe and act on the truth that our sinful nature died when we were born again, then Jesus Christ can train us daily to walk in the power of His Spirit and to place no confidence in the strength of our soul our natural ability.
The gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit are both supernatural expressions of God and intended to encourage and comfort the body of Christ, but they are different in many respects. The Bible describes the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control Galatians The Bible describes the gifts of the Spirit as the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, special faith, healings, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, various kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues 1 Corinthians Some additional spiritual gifts, such as the gifts of leadership, teaching and service, are also addressed in Romans and 1 Peter Because of unbelief, ignorance and disobedience, the church has two common problems concerning the spiritual gifts — either a lack of use of the gifts or a misuse of the gifts.
Many Christians pursue fruit but neglect the gifts. Since our warfare is not against mortal men but against the spiritual forces of darkness, our equipment, tools and weapons must also be spiritual; otherwise we will not prevail 2 Corinthians Although there may be various interpretations on the meaning of specific gifts, there is no question that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are valid today.
Arguments against the use of the spiritual gifts are normally not based on Biblical grounds but instead on a fear of abuse of the gifts which the apostle Paul effectively deals with in 1 Corinthians, Chapter There is no Scriptural support to suggest that the gifts were only for the first century or that the gifts were only intended for men or leaders. The body of Christ will then suffer as a result our unbelief and disobedience and God will ultimately hold us responsible.
A major difference between the two is found in the nature of spiritual fruit compared to the gifts. The gifts are the supernatural operation and manifestation of the Holy Spirit who distributes them to each member of the body of Christ according to His own will 1 Corinthians ; Hebrews For example, when the elders of the church laid hands on Timothy, the Holy Spirit gave him a spiritual gift, perhaps the gift of teaching 1 Timothy , which was confirmed through a prophetic message 1 Timothy Just as the fruit of the Spirit is not the same as naturally endowed virtues; the gifts of the Spirit are not naturally endowed abilities.
All of the gifts of the Spirit are supernaturally endowed; they are not the product of natural effort or education. It is not the intention of this teaching to define the characteristics of the individual gifts; however, all of the spiritual gifts are either described or displayed by the apostles in the Book of Acts. In every case, the results that the spiritual gifts produce are far superior than anything we could ever achieve with our natural ability.go here
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Furthermore, natural eloquence can never produce the spiritual results that can only come from the Holy Spirit and His gift of teaching. Or, someone may be a natural born leader, but this does not mean the Holy Spirit has given them the gift of spiritual leadership. Unfortunately, due to spiritual ignorance and unbelief about the gifts, many people are following teachers who are speaking from their own natural wisdom and ability rather than from the revelatory and enabling gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Another major difference between the spiritual gifts and fruit is how they are imparted. Whereas the gifts of the Spirit are received spontaneously by an act of faith; the fruit of the Spirit are produced over time by abiding or persevering faith Luke One brother in Christ has compared this to the difference between a fruit tree and a Christmas tree. Fruit is formed slowly over time by being vitally connected to the life of the tree; whereas Christmas ornaments are like gifts, which are placed on the tree by a single act in a single instant of time.
If someone falls away from the faith and becomes carnal and ungodly, their ability to use the gifts will not cease. For example, even though King Saul became rebellious, ungodly and depraved, he still prophesied 1 Samuel For this reason and because of the different nature and function of spiritual fruit and spiritual gifts, the gifts can often be misused by someone who is soulish and carnal. For example, the Corinthian church abounded in the spiritual gifts but sorely lacked in spiritual fruit since they remained very carnal minded 1 Corinthians ; ; Their failure to be convicted that they were spiritually carnal and lawless even though they exercised the spiritual gifts is a sobering warning to all of us.
Whenever Christians are more impressed with dramatic gifts rather than authentic fruit, there are major problems. Morality apart from the cross of Christ is not true sanctification: it is just another version of the flesh. It is very important to know that exercising the spiritual gifts can be dangerous and backfire if you are not walking in sanctification holiness. God will hold us accountable for everything He has given us, including the spiritual gifts. Therefore, we should desire to fully use the spiritual gifts as His responsible stewards for the good of His body, the church. We do not want to be like the slave who refused to do anything with what his master gave him.
Jesus Christ judged this slave wicked, lazy and worthless Matthew ; Luke It is a serious and grievous matter to refuse any gift which God wants to give us and for which His Son died. This includes the gift of salvation, the gift of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and all the spiritual gifts, which God has given every believer for building up the body of Christ. Jesus warned that He would reject many in the Day of Judgment who exercised the spiritual gifts even while they willfully and habitually practiced sin Matthew Therefore, without the fruit of the Spirit in evidence, the use of the gifts has no eternal value.
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The gifts, which are exercised by faith, must always function in love to have any spiritual worth 1 Corinthians Jesus hated this man-made hierarchy and Spirit-quenching dichotomy of clergy and laity, which He called Nicolaitanism Greek for lording it over the people Revelation , In true Christianity, there is true spiritual authority: the Holy Spirit raises up spiritually mature men elders, who are non-salaried from among the flock who together help the Lord shepherd His church, but the Bible also says that the Holy Spirit gives each member of the body of Christ a special function or spiritual gift to equip them to minister together to the whole church.
Therefore, whenever we come together in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, every member of the body should fix their eyes on Jesus their head. In closing, we manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit the same way we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit — by faith in Jesus Christ and His words and works.
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