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 The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit -poonen


[b]The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]

There are three lists of spiritual gifts given us in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 12:8-10, Romans 12:6-8 and Ephesians 4:11). In 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, the exercise of spiritual gifts is compared with the functioning of the members of our physical body. A man may have life and yet be blind, deaf, dumb and paralyzed. Many churches are like that. Their members are born again. But they have no gifts of the Holy Spirit with which to serve the Lord - and so they are powerless. The gifts of the Spirit are what enable the Body of Christ to see, hear, talk and walk. Godliness is the life of the Body of Christ. But what can Christ's Body do for others, without the gifts of the Spirit. What would Jesus Himself have been like if He had no gifts of the Spirit? He would still have overcome sin and lived a holy life. But without the anointing of the Spirit, He would not have been able to preach the way He did, heal the sick, cast out demons or do any miracle. Jesus' anointing with the Holy Spirit at the age of 30 did not make Him any holier than He was earlier. His 31st year was not any holier than His 29th year. But with the anointing of the Spirit, He received power to serve others. If Jesus had merely gone around showing people His holy life, He could not have accomplished His Father's purposes. Neither can the church today accomplish God's purposes by merely manifesting holy living to others. Jesus had both holiness and the gifts. His Body today must have both of these too.

The tragedy in Christendom today is that some groups emphasise holiness of life while others emphasise the gifts of the Spirit. But these are not "either-or" options. The Bible says, "Let your clothes be white all the time (live a holy life at all times) and let not oil be lacking on your head (live under the anointing constantly)" (Eccl.10:8). We need both. The gifts of the Spirit do not make anyone spiritual. The Corinthian Christians had all the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor.1:7). They exercised "the word of wisdom" (one of the gifts of the Spirit) in their meetings. In spite of that, there was not one wise (spiritual) man among them (1 Cor.6:5). A word of wisdom can come through a carnal person. But wisdom itself is found only in a spiritual person. One can receive a word of wisdom from God in a moment. But wisdom itself can come only through many years of taking up the cross. We cannot choose our spiritual gift ourselves, because it is God Who determines what gift will best fit us for our ministry in Christ's Body. But we are told to seek earnestly for those gifts that will build up the Body - and especially for the gift of prophecy (1Cor 14:1,12).

When Jesus taught His disciples to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit (Lk.11:13), He illustrated the way they were to ask with a parable of a man who went to his neighbour's house to ask for food. There are two important points to be noticed in this parable: 1. The man was asking for food not for himself but for someone else. 2. He kept on asking until he received what he needed. What do we learn from this parable? First of all, that we are not to seek the gifts of the Spirit for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others. If only those who have sought for the baptism and the gifts of the Spirit had kept this one principle before them, they would have become far more spiritual. And there would have been far less exercise of counterfeit gifts in Christendom today. Unfortunately, most people are taught to seek for the power of the Holy Spirit only in order to get an experience for themselves, and not in order to be a blessing to others. There are many around us who have needs that God wants to meet - and He wants to meet their needs through us. That's why He allows them to cross our path. He wants us to seek Him for the gifts of the Spirit that are needed to deliver these people and bless them.

A man came to Jesus' disciples once with his demon- possessed child. But the disciples could not help him. The man then went to Jesus and said, "I went to your disciples for help but they could not help me." Are these the words that our neighbours and friends are saying to the Lord today about us? If we seek the Lord's blessing only for ourselves, we will remain dry. God waters only those who water (help) others (Prov.11:25). Perhaps some brother near you needs a word of wisdom to solve his problem. Another may be in need of a word of encouragement for his depressing situation. Yet another may need deliverance from some bondage. We must seek God for the gifts needed to help such people. Every gift of the Spirit is given that we might bless and edify others. Luke 4:18,19 tells us the result of Jesus being anointed with the Holy Spirit. He was enabled thereby to preach good news to the poor, release the captives, give sight to the blind, bring freedom to the downtrodden and proclaim the favourable year of the Lord. Notice that everything mentioned here is for the benefit of others. The gifts of the Spirit did not bring any benefit to the Lord Himself in His life. We must have a concern for others and a sense of our own inability to help them, if we are to seek for the gifts of the Spirit in the right way. The second thing that we learn from this parable is that we must keep on asking God for the power of the Holy Spirit until we receive it. God tests us to see whether we are really eager to receive His power and whether we really value His gifts. He also waits to see whether we feel really helpless and unable to serve Him, without His power. Many give up praying too soon because they are self-confident - and thus fail these tests.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2007/6/6 3:42Profile
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 Re: The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit -poonen

Brother Poonen wrote:

Quote:
First of all, that we are not to seek the gifts of the Spirit for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others. If only those who have sought for the baptism and the gifts of the Spirit had kept this one principle before them, they would have become far more spiritual.



This reminds me of Paul saying of Timothy

Phil. 2:19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.

In Christ
jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2007/6/6 6:15Profile
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Joined: 2004/11/21
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 Re:

I love this man of God Poonen he is very balanced in his teaching of God's word and very anointed by the Spirit.

We need the fruits of te Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. How powerful will be the body of Christ if born again charismatic amphasised holiness and godliness and reached spirtual maturity, and on the other side the evangelical fundamentalists sought earnestly the Spirit gifts and the Spirit's anointing and power in their ministry?

I have listened and read some of his sermons, articles or his testimony (the day of small beginnings - Vol 1) and have been encouraged and instructed, i love his lifestory it's very powerful. He teaches often from what he has seen, heard, done, or experienced; no superficial or boring preaching comes out of his mouth. He is fresh, on fire and strong in the word. No lover of money, he speaks in tongues but you cant say he is a charismatic, he is so metriculous in the study of God's word and its accurate interpretation but he is not a Brethren (Plymouth).

For me this godly man is an example to follow, yeah, we are encouraged in scriptures to follow the examples of Godly men.

It seems like God has raised up godly men and giants from the third world to shame the the western christians and to teach them true christianity. Those proud western theologians and church leaders better sit and learn from these humble servants of God that come from far away with the humility of Christ to teach the authentic primitive christianity.





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Redi

 2007/6/6 11:58Profile
PaulWest
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 Re:

Quote:
For me this godly man is an example to follow, yeah, we are encouraged in scriptures to follow the examples of Godly men.



I agree. Poonen is very balanced. You are right to observe that though he speaks in tongues, [i] he is not charismatic[/i]. He has also been known to teach from the unpopular [i]Message[/i] translation by Peterson. But his teachings are puritanic and holy. He doesn't like to use notes, but his exegesis is always solid. I love his stance on money...and find it supremely challenging. This is a true man of God to imitate, even as he imitates Paul and Paul imitates Christ. Poonen's life and ministry have opened my eyes to many things and responsible for changing much of my ministerial dogma. I am indebted and glad God brought him into my life.

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/6/6 15:08Profile
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Joined: 2006/1/31
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 Re:

i just the other day had the opportunity to spend a day in fellowship with a brother who is a 'member' in the same church as Zac Poonen , i heard some very encouraging things that made me like his teachings even more,
to my delight since Ive listened to many of his messages i found out that Zac Poonen lives what he preaches,

and sadly we think this is something extra good, when it should be standard.


Edit: and isent it wonderful God has no respect of persons? we can all be made like Jesus ! we can receive grace to become like our Lord more and more until that wonderful day!


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CHRISTIAN

 2007/6/6 15:18Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
He doesn't like to use notes, but his exegesis is always solid.



This is how a preacher is supposed to deliver his message, he should prepare his sermon in study of God's word and by prayer and let the Holy Spirit be the teacher and guide.Writting down sermons or taking notes can be helpful especially when you dont have a good memory but preaching is meant to be extemporary, this was the apostolic method. They heard from God and delivered out the message,and they gave it out under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

The reason many write down their sermons is they dont listen to the voice of God, they dont have a word from Him to say to the people, "thus says the Lord".Some are too intellectuall and "incomprehensible", others very emotional and noisy, very few touch the heart and speak to the conscience.


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Redi

 2007/6/6 17:00Profile





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