Spiritual Gifts

How God Communicates With Us (Audio)

 

Title:  How God Communicates With Us

Subject Matter:  A teaching on the variety of ways that God communicates with, along with some practical advice on knowing what to do with it.

Speaker:  Bill Alsop

Recorded April 29, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  How God Communicates With Us

The Purposes and Effects of Prophecy (Audio)

 

Title:  The Purposes and Effects of Prophecy

Subject Matter:  A look at the proper use of the gift of prophecy, along with some of the effects that it should produce.

Speaker:  Bill Alsop

Recorded April 22, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Purposes and Effects of Prophecy

Speaking for God (Audio)

 

Title:  Speaking for God

Subject Matter:  Some foundational teaching on what it means to speak for God.

Speaker:  Bill Alsop

Recorded April 15, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Speaking for God

What Is Prophecy (Audio)

 

Title:  What is Prophecy

Subject Matter:  An introduction to prophecy and prophetic ministry

Speaker:  Bill Alsop

Recorded April 8, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link: What Is Prophecy

 

Five-Fold Ministry Gifts and Functions (Audio)

 

Title:  Five-Fold Ministry Gifts and Functions

Subject Matter:  An introductory overview of the five ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4:11 (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher).

Speaker:  Neal Leazer

Recorded March 25, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Five-Fold Ministry Gifts and Functions

The Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Audio)

 

Title:  The Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Subject Matter:  An overview of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Speaker:  Neal Leazer

Recorded February 11, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  The Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Gifts of the Spirit – Grace Gifts (Charismata)

“CHARIS” is a word in the original Greek language of the New Testament.  It is often translated as grace, kindness, favor, blessing, etc.

It means “unmerited favor.”  It means “goodwill that is not deserved.”

CHARIS only applies with the recipient is undeserving.  If it is deserved in any way, it is not CHARIS.  If there is anything that you can do earn it, it is not CHARIS.

CHARIS is a very general and broad term.  When it is used in a specific instance, the Greek word is “CHARISMA.”  This is often translated “gift.”

This is unmerited favor (grace) that is made specific in a specific instance.

It is an undeserved gift.  If there is any part of it that is deserved, then it is not a CHARISMA.  If you try to deserve it, then you make yourself ineligible.

Now if you want to make this word plural, you add “TA” to the end and you end up with “CHARISMATA.”

CHARISMATA means “free, undeserved gifts.”

That brings us to our passage in 1 Corinthians where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed

1 Corinthians 12:4-11
4 There are diversities of gifts (CHARISMATA), but the same Spirit.
5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

These nine manifestations of the Holy Spirit are gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to people that don’t deserve them.  There is no requirement on anyone to receive them.  If there are requirements, then they are not CHARISMATA.  Another word would have to be used.  If you have to attain a certain level of maturity or holiness in order to receive them, then they would be called rewards instead of gifts.

But the word that is used here is CHARISMATA…free gifts that are not deserved in any way.

To bring this point out more clearly, consider the context of the passage that was quoted above.  It comes from a letter (1 Corinthians) that was written to a group of Christians in the city of Corinth. In this letter they are being corrected for things that would make many of today’s believers blush.  Here are a few examples:

  • They were getting drunk during communion (ch 11 v 21)
  • They were suing each other (ch 6 v 7)
  • One of them was sleeping with his father’s wife (stepmother), and the rest of the group thought this was something to be proud of (ch 5 v 1-2)
  • Some of them evidently didn’t know any better than to call Jesus “cursed” (ch 12 v 3)

To sum it all up, read the following passage from chapter 3:

1 Corinthians 3:1-3
1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ.
2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?

These people are not mature. Rather, they are immature. Paul calls them spiritual babies. They are not ready for meat, they still need milk. The are carnal and worldly, they are not demonstrating holy living.

However, when you read chapters 12-14, you can see that this doesn’t stop the Holy Spirit from operating His supernatural gifts through them in miracles, healings, prophecy, and so on.  The gifts of the Spirit are operating mightily in this group of believers.  Paul even makes this statement in chapter 1:

1 Corinthians 1:7 – Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.

It seems to me that many Christians have a very different idea about this.  People seem to think that to operate in the gifts of the Spirit, you have to fast and pray, and live holy, and so on.  But if that were true, then they wouldn’t be called gifts (CHARISMATA).

Don’t get me wrong, sin is bad and can ruin your life.  And immaturity is nothing to be proud of.  However, sin and immaturity do not stop the Holy Spirit from using us in His supernatural gifts.  By definition, CHARISMATA gifts are only given to people that don’t deserve them.

Think about it like this:  What human could work hard enough to deserve the power of God?  Who could earn the right to demonstrate the power of God?  Nobody but Jesus.   You don’t earn this.  You can’t earn it.  You have to just receive and use/exercise the gifts by faith, and be thankful to God that He gives a bunch of misfits the opportunity to participate in whatever He is doing.

Never let anyone tell you that you need to reach a certain level of behavior or maturity in your walk before you can move in the wonderful, powerful, and supernatural gifts (CHARISMATA) of the Holy Spirit.  Don’t get tricked into disqualifying yourself.  The gifts are free to all that will receive them and use them.  They are given as the Holy Spirit wills (1 Corinthians 7:11), and they are given freely.  If you don’t deserve them, then you are a prime candidate to receive them.

Principles of the Spirit Realm (Audio)

 

Title:  Principles of the Spirit Realm

Subject Matter:  In this class we discuss some of the different ways the Holy Spirit interacts with us, and some of the ways that we can choose to cooperate with Him.

Speaker:  Neal Leazer

Recorded April 23, 2014 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Principles of the Spirit Realm

Gifts of the Spirit – Manifestation of the Spirit

One of the most helpful keys in understanding the gifts of the Holy Spirit is found in the phrase “manifestation of the Spirit.”  Paul uses this phrase in 1 Corinthians 12:7.  Here is the quote, along with some surrounding verses to provide context:

 

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.

6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,

9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,

10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

 

The Greek word translated “manifestation” in v7 is the word phanerosis.  It means “expression” or “manifestation.”  It means that something invisible has become visible.  It means something undetectable to our senses has become detectable.  A manifestation of the Spirit is when the invisible Holy Spirit makes Himself detectible to our senses.  It is a way that He expresses Himself to you and through you.

The nine gifts of the Spirit listed in the passage above are nine different “expressions of the Holy Spirit.”  These are nine different ways that the Holy Spirit makes Himself detectible to our senses.  In v11, we see that these expressions take place at the time of the Spirit’s choosing.  In that same verse we also see that these expressions will take place in or through whichever person He chooses at the time.

Here is a way to describe this, using and example of one of the many ways this could happen.  Let’s say that there is a group of people praying together, and the Holy Spirit decides that He wants to do something in the group.  He chooses someone from the group and gives them the means to express what He wants to happen.  It may be a prophetic message of comfort, or a nugget of divine wisdom, or any number of other things.  The “expression” is presented to the person the Holy Spirit selected, and if they choose by faith to cooperate, then the gift is exercised and the people are blessed.

Another way to describe this is through an analogy.  Each gift of the Spirit is like a firecracker.  You are handed a firecracker, and you set it on the ground, light it, and then it explodes.  Then you no longer have it because you have already used it.  (However, there is an unlimited supply of firecrackers that will be handed to you when they are needed.)

Each “spiritual gift” takes place when the Holy Spirit desires to express Himself.   That means there is no pressure on you to make something happen.  It also means that you don’t need to take a test to see what your spiritual gifts are…at least the ones in the list above.  If you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, then you have all nine of the “manifestation gifts” available to you at any time He wants to express Himself in one of these ways.  That is very exciting, to say the least.

So, what is my part?

God wants you to “pursue love and desire spiritual gifts…” (1 Cor 14:1).   In the same way that He wants us to pursue love, He also wants us to desire spiritual gifts.

It is important to have this perspective, and to remember that this whole thing was His idea.  It is not something you are trying to earn, and it is not something that you need to try to talk Him into doing.  He already wants to do this with you.  It seems like Holy Spirit enjoys expressing Himself to us and through us.  It also seems like He is willing to take action more than we realize.  He likes “handing us firecrackers.”

If you want to grow in the gifts of the Spirit, you should talk to Him about it.  You should get to know Him better and spend time in relationship with Him.   It has been my experience that the more I get to know Him, the more often I seem to recognize when He is about to do something.   As I learn to discern His voice better, I am able to participate in whatever He is doing more often.  That is not a prerequisite, but it is very helpful.

You can ask Him to train you to recognize His voice, and you can deepen your relationship with Him by intentionally including Him in your daily activities.  Talk to Him.  Tell Him what you are thinking about.  Ask Him for advice about whatever issues you are facing, or whatever decisions you are making.  Develop a habit of being mindful that He is always with you to help you.  One of His names is ‘The Helper.”

It also seems that there are certain situations where He becomes particularly passionate about making Himself tangible to us.  He will bring out the gifts when there is a need that can be met by Him.  For my wife and I, we operate in the gifts most often when we are ministering to someone that is is need of divine rescue, or when we are helping to equip other believers.

Start taking steps of faith, and go out to meet the needs of others.  This is pursuing love and desiring spiritual gifts.  This puts you in a position where you can join in with whatever Holy Spirit is doing.

“Thank you Holy Spirit that you want to express Yourself through me.  Teach me how to recognize Your voice and join in with whatever You are doing.  Amen!”