Allos Parakletos – Another Comforter
Allos Parakletos – Another Comforter
Gifts of the Spirit (Part-1): Concerning Spiritual Gifts
Before we dive into looking at spiritual gifts, we wish to remind us a few things of importance concerning the Holy Spirit. The Person of the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is a Person, in the same manner as God the Father and God the Son.
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Allos Parakletos John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— In vs 16, for “another Helper”, Greek “allos Parakletos” Jesus used the word “another”, Greek “allos” meaning “another of the same sort,” not “heteros” as in being “different”. What Jesus was to His disciples, the Holy Spirit would be to His disciples, in His absence. Another Helper of the same kind. Another Person who will be the same kind of Helper to you, as I was. The Amplified Bible brings out the sevenfold meaning of the word ‘Parakletos’: John 14:16 Amplified Bible And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor— Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—
Develop Your Relationship With The Holy Spirit
2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. communion Gr. koinonia = partnership, fellowship, participation, intercourse, benefaction, distribution, having things in common, etc. Communion involves fellowship (sharing things with one another), partnership (working together) and friendship (intimacy). • TALK to Him. • ENJOY His presence. • GLORIFY Jesus – The Holy Spirit is here to glorify Jesus. When we go about glorifying Jesus, He gets involved. Now we will begin talking about spiritual gifts.
Concerning Spiritual Gifts
We take an introductory look at the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12, and we begin by understanding a little bit of the background to Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
During his second missionary (A.D. 49 – A.D. 52), the apostle Paul spent about 18 months at Corinth (Acts 18:11), which was a port city, served by two harbors and a booming commercial center, known as ‘the Ornament of Greece” with an estimated population of about 200,000 people. Corinth had the temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and was staffed with 1,000 male and female temple prostitutes. Corinth’s reputation for immorality and pleasure was well known. Aquila and Priscilla were Jewish believers who had come to Corinth from Rome because of an edict issued by the Roman emperor Claudius, in A.D. 49, ordering all Jews to leave Rome (Acts 18:1-3). They worked with Paul making tents and ministering together at Corinth. Paul also received some support sent to him from Philippi (1 Corinthians 9:1-10, 2 Corinthians 11:6-10, Philippians 4:15-16). Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia and joined Paul, Aquila, Priscilla and Luke at Corinth (Acts 18:5). A thriving Spirit-filled church was established at Corinth. Paul had taught them many things including partaking in the Lord’s table, and had got them all exercising the gifts of the Spirit, and so on.
At the end of these 18 months, Paul, Aquila and Priscilla left Corinth, stopped briefly at Cenchrea and then went from there to Ephesus (Acts 18:18-19). Paul left Aquila and Priscilla behind and went on to Jerusalem. Aquila and Priscilla meet Apollos at Ephesus www.apcwo.org / email@example.com 3 All Peoples Church & World Outreach, Bangalore, India and taught him the things of the Lord Jesus. They later sent Apollos to Corinth recommending him to the believers there. Apollos was a great blessing to the believers at Corinth (Acts 18:24-28).
On his third missionary journey (A.D. 53 – A.D. 58), the apostle Paul spent about 3 years in Ephesus. During this time, some people from Corinth, including “those of Chloe’s household” (1 Corinthians 1:11) visited Paul at Ephesus and gave him an update on the problems at the church at Corinth. “Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus” (1 Corinthians 16:17) could have been some of the people who may have come from Corinth. So from Ephesus, Paul wrote 1 Corinthians to address the problems in the Corinthian church. Either the people who had come from Corinth or Titus could have carried this first epistle back to Corinth. Paul sent Titus to Corinth, to see the affairs of the church there.
Allos Parakletos – Another Comforter
Problems at the Corinthian church addressed in Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians:
- Division, strife – people taking sides with Paul, Peter, Apollos (chapters 1-4)
- Sexual immorality (chapters 5-6)
- Internal conflicts (chapter 6)
- Marriage (chapter 7)
Food offered to idols (chapters 8,10) Paul then addresses issues related to proper conduct in gatherings in chapters 11-14:
- head coverings for women in their worship gatherings (chapter 11:1-16)
- participating in the Lord’s Supper (chapter 11:17-34)
- exercise of spiritual gifts (chapters 12-14) Paul then reaffirms truth concerning the Gospel and the resurrection (chapter 15) In closing, he requests collection for the saints (chapter 16), which again would take place during their common gatherings.
So 1 Corinthians chapters 12 to 14, which address the exercise of the gifts of the Spirit, should be read and understood as instructions on how the gifts of the Spirit are exercised in the context of local church gatherings. This however, does not imply that the gifts of the Spirit can only be manifested in local church gatherings, because the Holy Spirit is always present and can manifest Himself through the believer at anytime, anywhere as He wills.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. www.apcwo.org / firstname.lastname@example.org 4 All Peoples Church & World Outreach, Bangalore, India 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
12:1 ‘spiritual’ (Greek ‘pneumatikos’) meaning ‘non-carnal’, ‘supernatural’. So we are talking about supernatural gifts. God wants us to know and understand these spiritual gifts.
12:3 When a person speaks by the Holy Spirit, he will glorify and acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ
12:4 varieties or different gifts given by the same Spirit gifts (Greek ‘charisma’) means a ‘gift of grace’. The word ‘charis’ means ‘grace’. The Spirit gives a variety (many, varied and different) gifts of grace. The gifts of the Spirit are given freely by and because of His grace.
12:5 ‘ministries’ (Greek ‘diakonia’) meaning ‘services’, ‘offices’ Example: the ministry (service or office) of a teacher, pastor, deacon, apostle, etc.
12:6 ‘activities’ (Greek ‘energēma’) meaning ‘workings’, ‘outward manifestations’, ‘effects’. This word is always used with reference to supernatural working in the New Testament
We can understand verses 4-6 in two ways, both are correct: Same Spirit gives different gifts of grace. Same Lord Jesus gives people different ministries (services, offices). Same Father God works through people in a variety of activities (or expressions, outward manifestations). Or, we can also look at these three verses as, same Spirit imparts a variety of gifts, empowers a variety of ministries and causes a variety of activities or things to take place through people.
12:7 the gifts of grace spoken of in verse 4, are also referred to as the manifestation of the Spirit, meaning the making visible of the Spirit’s presence and power. These are given to every believer for the benefit of all. Every believer can have the gifts of the Spirit (or manifestations of the Spirit).
12:8-11 in a local church gathering, as believers meet for fellowship, the Spirit of God manifests Himself in different ways through each person present. There are nine gifts of the Spirit listed and we will examine each one in detail.
‘distributing to each one individually’, implying that any of these nine gifts can be released through any believer at a given gathering. ‘as He wills’, the Holy Spirit releases these gifts as He chooses. However, as Paul addresses later, we have our part to play to ‘desire’ and know how to correctly express these gifts. So the manifestations of the Spirit, (the gifts of the Spirit) are a collaborative work. We work with the Holy Spirit to manifest the gifts. He wills, but we must also be willing, cooperating, desiring, have faith and properly release the gifts.
12:12-27 Paul then addresses the individual role, place and function that each believer has in the Body of Christ.
Gifts of the Spirit, Membership Gifts And Ministry Gifts
In the New Testament we see three categories of spiritual gifts
Categories of spiritual gifts
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
1 Corinthians 12:7-11
Gifts of the Spirit available to all believers. Nine gifts of the Spirit. Every believer can potentially manifest all of the nine gifts of the Spirit. Every believer must desire to manifest the gifts of the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 1 Peter 4:10-11
1 Peter 4:10-11
Gifts of Christ given to each believer in relation to their role and function in the Body of Christ. Every believer has one or more membership gifts. Examples: Prophecy, ministry (service), teaching, exhortation (encouragement), giving, leadership, mercy (compassion), and many others (helps, administrations, tongues). Every believer must recognize, nurture and exercise their specific membership gifts and functions.
Gifts of Christ given to specific individuals. Five ministry gifts: apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist. These ministry gifts equip believers for work of the ministry.
1 Corinthians 12:28-30
In 1 Corinthians 12:28-30, the apostle Paul lists an assortment of Ministry gifts (apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healings) and Membership gifts (helps, administrations, varieties of tongues), and hence clearly indicates that not all members have the same Ministry or Membership gifts.
The above classification is primarily for instruction purposes. In practice, there is significant overlap of these gifts and hence these should not be compartmentalized in a very rigid manner.
The gifts of the Spirit empower every believer in their membership function and for those who have a ministry function as well. Hence we cannot segregate these three categories too much and must understand that there is overlap or significant interplay. The gifts of the Spirit empower the believer to fulfill their role (or responsibility), carry out membership function, and to also operate in their office (for those appointed to an office).
For example consider the ‘gift of prophecy’ (1 Corinthians 12:10), the membership gift/function of ‘prophecy’ (Romans 12:6), and the ministry gift of ‘prophet’ (Ephesians 4:11). Every believer can manifest the gift of prophecy bringing edification, exhortation and comfort to others (1 Corinthians 14:3). Some believers have a membership gift/function of prophecy where they primarily, constantly, and consistently minister to others through prophecy. We could call them prophesying believers and may even say that they have a prophetic ministry. Some may be appointed to the ministry gift of prophet, which in addition to a prophetic ministry will also include other areas of influence in the Body of Christ (governmental authority, greater spheres of influence, declaring moves of God, etc.).
So What Does 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 Mean?
1 Corinthians 12:28-30
28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
‘has appointed’ meaning, to put in place for His own use. ‘these’ in KJV ‘some’, implying specific people, not everyone. ‘first’ (Greek ‘proton’) meaning first in time or place, or first in rank, influence, honor. God has put some people in these places (roles or functions) giving them their place, rank, influence and honor. ‘helps’ referring to those who render any kind of aid, assistance, service or help; helpers. ‘administrations’ in KJV ‘governments’, meaning ‘to govern’ or ‘rule’ and is usually applied to the one steering a ship.
The apostle Paul lists an assortment of Ministry gifts (apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healings) and Membership gifts (helps, administrations, varieties of tongues), and hence clearly indicates that not all members have the same Ministry or Membership gifts.
Ministry gifts (apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healings). We see ‘miracles’ and ‘gifts of healings’ representative of the evangelist.
Membership gifts (helps, administrations, varieties of tongues). The ‘varieties of tongues’ represents believers who have membership function that regularly expresses ‘varieties of tongues’ e.g. intercessors, those who bring public messages in tongues.
Allos Parakletos – Another Comforter
Difference Between the Gifts of the Spirit and Ministry Gifts
- The gifts of the Spirit are given by the Spirit. Ministry gifts are given by the Lord Jesus
- The gifts of the Spirit are available for all believers. Ministry gifts are given to some.
- The gifts of the Spirit are primarily directed toward the spiritual edification of God’s people. Ministry gifts are directed toward equipping God’s people for the work of the ministry.
- The gifts of the Spirit usually minister to a local body. Ministry gifts may do this and in addition also minister to the Body in a larger context (nation, nations, etc.)
1 Corinthians 12:31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
We must all walk in love and we must all desire the best gifts. The best gift is the gift that is needed at that moment.