THEO 201: THEOLOGY SURVEY 1
Writing Style: APA
August 2, 2014
Hey Girl, I was surprised to see your message this morning as I logged onto Facebook. It has been forever and a day since we last spoke. I pray you and your family are well, and we must get together soon. I have to admit, our days as teenagers were thrilling. However, I have grown up a lot since then and I choose not to be in the party scene anymore. I know it must be shocking to think that someone as wild and crazy as I was, is now studying to be a minister. Trust me, I thought God had one heck of a sense of humor when he revealed this very thought to me as well. I hear ...view middle of the document...
Their gifts became “idols” in verse 2, and were more important than God and what they were to be used for. Instead of glorifying God in unity, they were creating separation not only with the Lord, but also with one another. The intended purpose of the Spirit giving them the gifts was to build up the church. While they had the presence of the gifts, it was obvious they did not have the presence of the Spirit with in their lives. They lacked spiritual maturity, and in the process did not use the gift of wisdom, faith, teaching, or mercy to be like Christ with their gifts. The church at Corinth, was truly similar to “those who looked at their face in a mirror, and after looking, went away forgetting what they looked like.” (James 1:23-24).
Being like Christ is what we are called to do as Christians. It is because of this, that the “Fruits of the Spirit” are even mentioned. To walk in the Spirit, and be of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control is to be crucified with Christ. We must do this without becoming conceited, provoking one another, or being envious.” (Galatians 5:22-26) This means we must die to self. “Fruits of the Spirit” are for everyone. We do not have to be given the gift of the fruit, we just exercise our rights to live in such a way that is good. Never can “Fruits of the Spirit” be used negatively if it is truly genuine and done out of intentional love. I would simply call this “The Jesus Creed.”
Your next question about speaking in tongues and the purpose of it, in concern to your church and the debate going on, is something that I will definitely keep in prayer. The fact that there is a debate, must make it truly difficult for you to decide what it is that you believe. I am honored that you decided to consult me, and ask my opinion. I think it is great timing. I just recently read about this very topic in my Theology class. According to Walter Elwell, “It has two functions.” Not only is it a gift, but it was also used as a form of “divine affirmation.” Biblically, from what I have read, my understanding is as follows. During biblical times, the proper use of speaking in tongues was used more as a private devotion. (1 Corinthians 14:27) When done within the church, it was to be done in edification. Only then, could the church as a whole benefit. The reason, I believe speaking in tongues is a gift, is the same reason I believe a person who can interpret the language of the message is a gift. A great example of this is the rest of the metaphor I mentioned earlier in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12. Specifically verses 12-31. In these verses, Paul speaks of many members within the church all having different responsibilities or gifts, yet being one body and having one goal. I think it is clear, that despite the fact if done in personal devotion, or as a church, the issue in and of itself “speaking in tongues” is to have an “external manifestation of the...