Posts Tagged ‘spiritual gifts’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts, Uncategorized

Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). Paul’s closing words to his teaching regarding spiritual spirits are fitting. He uses two key words to summarize the manner in which spiritual gifts should be exercised: “decently” and “in order“.

The Greek word translated “Decently” actually means honestly, with integrity, as is fitting. Decent has a loose definition that might be open to opinion as to what is decent or not in each context. But, Paul says this must be a goal in each church to do things rightly.

The Greek word translated “in order” is the word ταξις, and it refers to arrangement, succession, and sequence. There should be a flow to how spiritual gifts function. He referred earlier in verse 31 that all may prophesy “one by one“. He said in verse 30: “If any thing be revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace“. The Holy Spirit will always follows his own rules. And, “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets“.

There should always be a flow of how the Spirit works and moves and speaks when the saints are together. Expect God to work through you as He reveals Himself.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

As Paul goes through some rules for ministering spiritual gifts in the assembly of the saints, he steps on troublesome territory in the next verse: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted for them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also says the law” (1 Corinthians 14:34).

Now, in the 21st century this is indeed controversial. Some teach that this is to be taken literally and only men should be speaking in the church. Others say that it had to do with Jewish and cultural traditions that no longer apply. But, this is the word of God, and it is the great Apostle Paul speaking. Therefore, we have to take this seriously. Many younger folks have walked away from the faith because they believe this is one of the verses that prove the Bible is really out of touch with the world today and not relevant to their lives. What do we say to all this?

Dr. Paul E. Paino, one of my faith heroes, used to say that whenever we have two opposite opinions in the church world, the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. When Paul said, “it is not permitted“, he doesn’t tell us whether it was God, church leaders, or the culture that made this rule. Because he also says, “as also says the law“, we know that there is a cultural perspective in his teaching, because Jesus fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17). He also says women are “to be under obedience“. A better translation for the Greek word translated ‘obedience’ is ‘submission’.

What I speak now is my opinion of what Paul was saying. The cultural norm within the Jewish and Gentile culture was for women to be in subjection to their husbands. It would be a stumbling block for many if that cultural norm was violated. Therefore, the Christian women should follow the rules of their local assembly so there will be no confusion and there will be peace (v. 33). This does not disqualify them from speaking a prophetic word individually or in small groups. This interpretation fits with the context of surrounding verses.

I do not believe Paul is teaching here that Christian women are somehow inferior in the church setting. As a matter of fact, thank God for the many women who are spiritual leaders at New Hope. What would we do without them?

OK. This is your opportunity to comment and give me your honest opinion of what Paul means in this verse.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

Paul had just said that we should be patient with one another and let others speak words of prophecy. Then he adds, “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Corinthians 14:32).

In other words, prophets should be in control of their gift. There is a time to share your words and a time to shut up. I often feel God is impressing me to say words to someone, and I say to the Lord, “Lord, if this is what You are saying, confirm it by…”. If God opens the door, I know its Him; if God closes the door, I know it was just me, or I know the timing isn’t right.

Once, I felt God had revealed a word of knowledge from Himself to the church during the worship service. I contemplated stepping up after that song and sharing it. As the senior pastor, I can do that. However, there wasn’t a convenient opportunity in the flow of worship to do that, so I waited.

As I had invited people to the altar following my message, the lord brought to my mind that word of knowledge. I knew then it was for someone who had responded to the altar, and not those who did not. I had to learn to be patient and wait upon God.

If you have a Word from God, he’ll open the door for you. Wait.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

The Apostle Paul is giving rules for order in the ministry of spiritual gifts in a public assembly. He continues, “If any thing be revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace” (1 Corinthians 14:30).

When it comes to spiritual gifts, there must be an order for everything in the church. Spiritual gifts do not bring chaos; people functioning in the flesh with spiritual gifts bring chaos. Spiritual gifts are the power of God to reveal something as a tool for ministering to them. In the hands of competitive-minded people or jealous people (qualities of the soul, not spirit), spiritual gifts become a weapon. This is why Paul inserted his teaching on Agape Love in chapter 13, between chapters 12 and 14 regarding spiritual gifts. This is sometimes called the Pentecostal sandwich, because love is the meat of the matter, not the gifts.

So, if one person is sharing a prophetic word with the group, and God inspires another from that word, the first should back off and let his brother/sister speak. I was once in a meeting where God was giving a spiritual message (not a sermon) through one person, and right in the middle of the thought, another person picked up right where the first left off, and soon, a third person did the same thing. Three persons giving one message. And it all flowed together. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses” is where God’s word is confirmed.

Obviously, he is not telling us that people should jump up and interrupt the pastor’s message on Sunday morning. He is telling us that everything must be done in order in God’s church, both in large assemblies and in small.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge” (1 Corinthians 14:29).

Having just given advice for the use of tongues in a public meeting, Paul now progresses to prophecy in public meetings. Remember, prophecy is equal to messages in tongues with interpretation, so similar rules apply: only two or three at a public meeting. Much of chapter 14 has been dedicated to explaining the differences between tongues and prophecy, but both are spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:10), and supernatural in origin. They are both God speaking to His people.

Often I find myself saying something unintended in my sermons that is likely prophetic in nature, and I can’t take the credit. That’s the way spiritual gifts operate. You won’t find them in churches that don’t recognize or seek spiritual gifts, and they can’t be planned in advance. We can pray for them, and they can operate in a pastor’s private study as he/she prepares for a message.

Note also that Paul says, after the prophets speak, that the others should judge. In the first year of my experience with the Holy Spirit, I was invited to go with my pastor who spoke at a Pentecostal church in Harlan. I was a novice but eager to learn. The pastor who invited me was speaking on the topic, ‘How to Judge Prophecy’. When the Harlan pastor introduced him to the church he mentioned the topic and said, “If prophecy is a word from God, I don’t know how can we judge it”. He was seriously challenging the concept of judging a prophecy.

If we don’t judge words of prophecy when they come our way, we will be most gullible. Prophecy will always confirm something that God has already been saying to us. If a prophet tells us to leave our spouses and become hermits, should we judge that? Not everyone has the maturity to discern what God is saying.

But, if a prophet/prophetess shares a word that confirms what God has already said, how fulfilling is that!?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

Paul, in giving a list of rules for spiritual gifts in the church, had just said that messages in tongues should be limited to two or three at the most, one at a time, and each interpreted. In today’s verse he addresses the issue of no interpreter present: “But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God” (1 Corinthians 14:28).

That can be embarrassing. A person steps out in faith and gives a message in tongues, but no one interprets that message. If we don’t allow ourselves some room to grow, we’ll just shut up and never try again. I’ve made mistakes and missed God before. Is it better to try and fail or never to try and miss God all the time?

None of us have a “corner” on God. All these spiritual gifts come from Him, not us. Paul tried to use spiritual gifts and ended up beaten and in prison. But, we’ve got to allow others to step up and partner with us in spiritual gifts.

I remember as a young believer being at a prayer meeting when someone brought forth a message in tongues. We waited. I had an impression that God was saying something, but was afraid to speak out. Pretty soon an older lady spoke out with the same message God had put in my heart. She used different wording than I would have, but the message was the same. That emboldened me to speak out the next time.

But Paul is very clear: if there is no one to interpret, that person should pray to him/herself and to God. Don’t give another message in that meeting.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

If any man speaks in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret” (1 Corinthians 14:27).

Now, here the Apostle Paul gives specific advice on public messages in tongues. Notice he doesn’t want the entire time together to be just messages in tongues, rather, he puts a limitation of two or three per meeting. Tongues should never be the centerpiece of a group meeting, unless, of course, the whole purpose is prayer. There are other spiritual gifts that should be exercised by various people when we all come together.

He also tells us that those gifts should operate “by course“, meaning one at a time. Wait for the interpretation of the first message before we race into the next.

And when there is a message, there should be only one interpretation per message. What would it accomplish if God brought forth through a believer a message in tongues, and two different people gave two different interpretations? That would not only be a confused God, but a confused body, as well.

And, it appears on the surface, the interpretation should be from someone other than the speaker; that would embrace teamwork. And any group that considers itself a body should also work as a team.

To allow these gifts to operate in a group, there needs to be reflective time as the group waits upon God to move. Let’s face it, in the 21st Century we’re just too rushed to wait upon God.