Tag Archive: Gifts of the Spirit


Define a Spirit Filled Life.

Some will be quicker to respond than others.

Some are looking for external evidence.  Others will dig for the internal proof.

The Charismatic Movement brought the Gifts of the Spirit to the forefront of the Christian mind.  I believe it has prompted a shift in what is evidence of a Spirit Filled Life.

The Charismatic Movement utilizes and values the Gifts of the Spirit identified in 1 Corithians 12.       (I personally think some left wingers have added a few of their own ‘gifts’ to this list)

Those Gifts are:

A Word of Wisdom
A Word of Knowledge
Faith
Healing
Miracles
Prophecy
Discernment
Tongues
and Interpretation of Tongues.

The Fruits of the Spirit are listed  in Gal 5

Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control

So What is the difference between a Gift and a Fruit?

Gift:

As used in 1 Corinthians 12:4

Greek – Charisma – a favour which one recieves without any merit of his own

              From the Root – Charizomai – to give graciously, freely

              From the Root – Charis – What is due to Grace

Fruit

As used in Gal 5:22

Greek – Harpos – that which originates or comes from something, an effect, result;

              From the Root – Harpazo – to seize

              Derivative from – Haireomai – to take for oneself

              Akin to – Airo – to take upon one’s self and carry what has been raised up – bear

 By definition a Gift is bestowed upon one, and does not require any preparation or input from the recipient.   A fruit on the other hand, is produced by work. 

If an Apple Tree Tree and an Oak Tree are standing next to eachother in the field, God can bestow rain on one and not the other.  The Gift of Water. The trees did nothing to acquire that rain.

That Apple Tree will be working throughout the season to develop Fruit, utilizing the sun, the ground, and the water.  The internal workings of the tree are unseen, and the Fruit develops over time.

But you won’t walk into that field one morning and see a bunch of apples on the Oak Tree.

The Oak hasn’t done any of the work, and will not be bearing any fruit. 

Don’t get me wrong.  The Oak is valuable.  The Apple Tree is valuable.

The Gifts are Valuable.  The Fruit is Valuable.

The Emphasis on  the value of one over the other is detrimental.

I believe the Gifts of the Spirit (operating properly) are evidence of God, not proof of a person’s spiritual maturity.

I believe the Fruit of the Spirit is evidence of God working in a person, as that person surrenders and works in accord with God.

Perhaps the presence of the Fruit of the Spirit is a more accurate gauge of a maturing walk witht the Lord.

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Over the years the Lord has brought me face to face with the gift of tongues.  Using different people, whom I respect, at different times in my life, to teach me different things.  This issue comes up in conversation at a bible study, or service and I camp on it, trying to come to a decision in my mind as to where I stand on what the Word really teaches about the gift of tongues.  Then life happens, I get distracted and I never come to any real conclusions.

Recently, I determined to stay in the Word and not let go of seeking God on this issue of tongues until God gave me some answers to some very basic questions. 

So here I am going public with a very brief summary of my studies.

1) What is the gift of tongues?

Acts 2:4-6 describes the Holy Spirit descending upon them and they spoke in languages foreign to themselves, and were understood by men who spoke that as their native language.

2) Are there two distinct gifts of tongues?

I have been told that there is a gift of tongues to be spoken and interpreted for the edification of the body and a second gift of tongues that is a private prayer language.  This distinction is made quoting Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14.

I see no evidence that Paul is speaking of two different types of tongues. Chapter 12 is simply a list of gifts given by the Holy Spirit.  In Chapter 14 Paul is explaining how tongues should be used and interpreted to edify the body.  i see no distinction there from the gift of tongues demonstrated in Acts. 

Gifts of the Spirit are clearly distinquished, even to separating wisdom and knowledge.  why would God via His penman Paul, not differentiate between tongues (a foreign language unbeknownst to the speaker) and tongues (a private prayer language).  After all, God is not the author of confusion.  And it seems an interpretation supporting two types of the gift of tongues would bring some confusion.

3) Is tongues a gift of the Spirit given to all believers?

The distribution of gifts according to 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 “to one is given the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge…to another divers kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues” seems to indicate that not all believers receive the gift of tongues.

The most common argument I have heard opposing this position is from Mark 16:16-18 “and these signs will follow those who believe, in my name they will cst out demons, speak in new tongues, they shall take up serpants, if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hur them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they will recover”

in response to believing this vers supports all believers having the gift of tongues I find Vernon McGee’s remarks illuminating “if you want to accept any of these sign gifts, then you must take them all, brother, I will be glad to prepare you a formaldehyde cocktail if you think you can drink it.”

4) Can a believer be taught to speak in tongues?

This takes the cake for me to be told that one who doesn’t speak in tongues simply hasn’t been taught.

Go with me on a tangent for a moment:

The other morning I was in my dressing room preparing for the day.  Tiny Dancer was in her exersaucer jabbering away in a flow of syllables strung together creating her own baby language.  I began mimicking her noises.  First interjecting only a syllable here and there, then stringing them together as she did, communicating my own message.  I laughed out loud to myself as I thought, ‘my baby just taught me to speak in tongues’

Is this idea as silly to anyone as it is to me?

But the answer is not in my opinion, it’s in the Word of God…1 John 2:27 “But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you…”

When I look to the Word for answers on the subject of tongues, the truth seems simple,and clear. 

There is a gift of tongues, given by the Holy Spirit, for interpretation which results in the edification of the body of Christ.

As far as a gift of tongues that is a private prayer language which can be taught among believers I see no scriptural evidence.  In fact, to the contrary, the Word says in Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can not be uttered.”

‘Cannot be uttered” does not indicate to me that the Spirit will grant us an additional prayer language.

It appears to me that this idea of a prayer language can only be supported by reading between the lines. 

I prefer to stick to the text.