Short Essay #3
Short Essay on Pneumatology: Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual gifts are capacities given to believers in Christ or “useful functions for God” in spiritual service. The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is produced in believers by the Spirit to sanctify them through the production of His character. Spiritual gifts are abilities used in service to God while spiritual fruit involves the character of Christians. The Fruit of the Spirit, produced only by the indwelling of the Spirit, exhibits the spiritual maturity of believers.
My personal definition of spiritual gifts is the following: Spiritual gifts are abilities given by God to every ...view middle of the document...
Furthermore, Paul denies that all believers should speak in tongues with “Are all apostles?... Do all speak in tongues?” Acknowledging Jesus as personal Savior is the only way a person may live for eternity.
Speaking in tongues is valid today in that we should not forbid the power of the Holy Spirit. I do not believe it is a requirement or step for salvation. If it is experienced in the church though, it should be done in a “fitting and orderly way” (1 Cor. 13:39-40), not based on purely high emotional responses nor in pride. The word “perfect” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10) has been interpreted in various ways: as the completion of the Bible (spiritual gifts not needed anymore, since we now have the New Testament) or the Church will exist eternally in “a state of perfection,” being “complete both in knowledge and holiness.” The ability to speak in tongues will cease once the end has come and we are in heaven. Believers will see Jesus “face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12) and live in a “perfect age” (to which I agree).
Since I am in the middle position for speaking in tongues, the negative school of thought may argue: since the New Testament is now complete, speaking in tongues is not necessary for the Bible’s completion. In response, using “perfect” as the completion of the canon underestimates the continuing power of the Holy Spirit today. Also, the positive school of thought may argue that tongues is the necessary sign of baptism in the Holy Spirit. Since tongues is the least of the spiritual gifts in hierarchical order, and not everyone receives the gift, it must not be a prerequisite for salvation.
Differences in belief should not allow for the obstruction of Truth. Every believer is in need of the Holy Spirit for salvation, to receive gifts to serve God, and for His producing the Fruit of the Spirit to become like Him.
Word Count: 795
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 13". Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament,...