The Spiritual Gifts
The spiritual gifts are spoken about in 1 Corinthians 12 and 1 Corinthians 14 in the Bible. Spiritual gifts refer to various gifts given to Spirit-filled Christians by God. They include tongues, interpretation, prophecy, and the like. In this short article, I want to focus on tongues interpretation and prophecy – and they’re placed in the church.
The gift of speaking in tongues is the initial sign of receiving God’s wonderful Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues is a prayer language from God. In the church context, speaking in tongues is what we would call a voice gift. This is to be distinguished from its other use, namely praying in the Spirit for one’s own edification in the Holy Ghost.
The Bible pattern is that all things in the church meeting should be done decently and in order. This means that, when the spiritual gifts are being operated properly, that is in accordance with scripture, two or three (up to three but it could be one] people speak in tongues in an individual church meeting.
Each of these messages in tongues is interpreted by another person, by course. The way that it works is one person will speak in tongues and then one will interpret, a second person will speak in tongues, and a second one will interpret, and so on. There should not be more than three, or this would be out of order.
Interpretation is to be distinguished from translation. When somebody interprets a tongue, they do not understand directly what the tongue means. Just as the message in tongues is inspired by God and that the person elects to step out in faith and use the gift of tongues, so it is with the gift of interpretation. The gift of interpretation is, nonetheless, wholly inspired by God and is a message that will often be based on scripture and is certainly a product of the Holy Ghost Himself.
After speaking in tongues and interpretation are completed, the meeting will move to the operation of the gift of prophecy. The Bible says to let two or three prophets speak, by course. This means that one person will, again, step out in faith and speak prophetically. These messages will be inspired by scripture and speak of God’s will and purpose and, often, what He intends to do in the future.
The spiritual gifts are very inspiring for the Church. Unfortunately, they are not often used in many Pentecostal churches today. This sadly falls short of Paul’s instruction in scripture and to restrict the working of the Holy Ghost in the church. It is noted that these gifts can only be used by people who are Spirit-filled.
Finally, it is important to note that while some people are more proficient in certain gifts, all have the capacity to use these gifts. It is just a matter of exercising them and a great blessing for all those who become involved.
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