In my last post, we looked at what God wants you to be by addressing seven questions to help us lay a foundation for discovering our spiritual gifts. In this post, I want to outline how many gifts are mentioned in the Bible and an ancillary issue dealing with those gifts.
How Many Gifts Are There?
Just as the human body is made up of many parts, so too is the spiritual body – the Kehilah. Everybody knows the basic parts of the human body such as our toes, legs, hips, fingers, arms, ears, nose, mouth, brain, heart, lungs, etc. We need to be equally familiar with the body parts of the Kehilah, characterized by the spiritual gifts that God has distributed.
The great majority of the spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible are found in three key chapters: Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. Several secondary chapters also provide other important details, including: 1 Kefa 4, 1 Corinthians 7, 13-14 and Ephesians 3. Let’s take a look at the gifts listed in these passages:
Notice that I have appended an alpha character on the Part identifier. Due to the amount of the material that I want to cover in “Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts” as well as the final part on “Exploring the Gifts of the Ruach,” I have elected to do multi-parts to keep the length more manageable, while also giving you the information that you will need in Discovering Your Ministry Within the Kehilah.
Know Your Gift
Rabbi Sha’ul likens the gifts of the Ruach to various parts of the human body in 1 Corinthians 12:14-27. The body can function best when all the parts are functioning according to His design. He wrote, “Now you together constitute the body of the Messiah, and individually you are parts of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)
The task of the Kehilah is too great for any one person to handle and too varied for the skill of any one person to accomplish. God has met this difficulty by dividing the task and giving to every Believer gifts that enable us to do our part. By distributing the work, He lightens the burden for all and makes possible the smooth carrying out of His purposes. That is undoubtedly the reason behind the gifts of the Spirit given to the various members of the Kehilah. Kefa wrote, “As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of God’s many-sided grace.” (1 Peter 4:10) The Ruach desires to take us, control us, and use us as instruments and organs through whom He can express Himself in the body of Messiah. The Spirit of God, His presence and His gifts are not simply desirable in the Kehilah; they are absolutely necessary.
As Believers, we have been called to minister or serve others, both fellow Believers and non-believers in meeting their needs. One thing that I have learned is that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He will always equip His saints with what we need to accomplish His will for us as members of the Kehilah.
God has uniquely shaped you, as a potter shapes the clay (see Isaiah 64:8), in an amazing way. You are fully equipped to accomplish all the good works He has prepared for each and every moment of your life. This equipping is an unique, custom combination of capabilities that is called your S.H.A.P.E.:
Let me quickly recap what we have learned in this series to date. In Part 1, we looked at who is the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit). In Part 2, we explored the Rauch’s involvement in creation and His ministry in the Tanakh. In Part 3 we looked at the promise of the Father in Joel 2:28-29, identified three eras of the Ruach’s ministry in the Brit Hadashah, and I also gave my personal experience in the period of the realization. In Part 4, we addressed the question of why did God send and what is the ministry of the Ruach in this period of the realization. Finally, in Part 5, we discussed when and how we are filled with the Ruach.
Assuming you have already prayed to Abba (My Father, Daddy) for the filling of the Ruach, I want us to look at cultivating our relationship with Him.
There are too many Spirit-filled believers who don’t know what it’s like to remain full of the Spirit of God by acknowledging Him and pursuing His ways daily. The Ruach is in them, but they don’t let the evidence of it show up in their normal, day-to-day life. Just like we can fill a glass with water without filling it to full capacity, we may not yet be totally filled and have the evidence of His power in our lives.
It does not please God when people leave Him out of their daily lives and then follow religious formulas to try to appease Him. Instead, He wants us to live the Spirit-filled life of freedom, boldness and courage. Remember, it’s not about religion, but a relationship with Yeshua through the indwelling of His Ruach.
How to Cultivate a Personal Relationship with the Ruach
Well the results are in and it appears that the clear majority like the current length of the blogs ~ 2-3 typed pages. Thank you for your input on that issue.
The potential podcast isn’t as overwhelming, but still you believe it would be a valuable addition to the site. I need to do a little bit more exploration on the cost and time involved in doing a podcast before I make a final decision. Frankly, I’m thinking because of the time involved, that it would be easier to combine two lessons into one podcast which would be approximately 45 minutes in length. Please feel free to give me any feedback in the box below.
As I stated in Part 4, scripture clearly teaches us that the Ruach is given only to believers in Yeshua (see Yochanan 14:15-17). As we have learned in previous posts, with rare exception, the permanent indwelling of every believer by the Ruach was not experienced before Shavu’ot. His teaching ministry, His comfort, and His intercession are benefits that all believers in Yeshua may now experience without restriction or limitation today. This is truly the period of the realization; the age of the Ruach.
If God has put His own seal of ownership upon us in the person of His Ruach, then nothing can make our redemption more secure. The seemingly impossible work of uniting Jews and Gentiles in one body was and is being accomplished by the Ruach. “It is through Yeshua that all of us, Jews and Gentiles, are able to come in the one Spirit into the presence of the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18 TEV)
This posting is not a “how-to-be-filled-with-the-Spirit-in-five-easy-step-by-step-lessons.” There are some critical things that we have to get settled first.
Have you ever had this experience? You’re attending your usual weekly worship service. Your Rabbi or Pastor begins his drash (sermon). Within a matter of minutes or immediately, you know he is talking directly at you; even though he might not be looking in your direction. Immediately, you start to wonder if he has been reading your social media posts, emails, tapping your phone conversations, spying on you, etc., etc. How does he know that is what is going on in my life right now? Well, that has happened to me frequently. It happened to me just a couple of weeks ago. Most of the time, I just chalk it up to what I call a God-incident rather than coincident.
My Pastor recently started a series on the Book of Ephesians. On July 19-20, 2014, he was teaching from Ephesians 1:13-14 (NLT). “And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” I said to myself, “This is so strange. I’m planning on doing a blog series on ‘Discovering Your Ministry in the Kehilah’ with an emphasis on the work and gifts of the Ruach. It must be true, great minds thing alike.”
Well, I soon came to my senses. I’m no great mind. The Ruach had laid it on my heart to do this series and He had also laid it on Pastor’s heart to teach what he shared with us. I have to give a shout-out to Pastor Rick Countryman for inspiring me with the outline for this part of the series.
Why Did God Send the Ruach HaKodesh in the Brit Hadashah?
Pastor Rick gave us four key points in response to his question on why God gives us the Holy Spirit:
To help us navigate life.
To help us understand Biblical truth.
As a deposit for our inheritance.
To empower us to do His will.
While I will be using many of the same scriptures he used, I intend to dig a little deeper into this topic. My prayer is that you will find this enlightening and an encouragement to go even deeper with God than you have gone before.
I want to thank you all for reading my blog, but I could use your input. I have been writing like I use to teach. I would prepare my weekly sermons to cover about 35 to 45 minutes and include sermon notes for the Congregation to take notes. When it came to the blog, I thought it might me better to shorten each teaching and post twice per week to cover the same material that I would in a normal sermon. But, I want to serve your needs, not mine. Consequently, I need your feedback. Please complete the two polls below. You may also post any comments in the Leave A Reply box below.
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In the last posting, we explored the role of the Ruach HaKodesh in the Tanakh. In discussing His ministry, I deliberately left out a very key passage because it serves as the foundation for our study of the Ruach in the Brit Hadashah.
Perhaps the most crucial passage on the Ruach in the Tanakh was when the prophet Yo’el (Joel) declared: “After this I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions. I will even pour out My Spirit on the male and female slaves in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29 HCSB) Recall from Part 1 what Yeshua promised: “Now I am sending forth upon you what my Father promised, so stay here in the city until you have been equipped with power from above.” (Luke 24:49) The promise of the Father was fulfilled during Shavu’ot as we read in Acts 2:17-18.
In fulfillment of Yo’el’s prophesy and Yeshua’s promise, we can identify three discernible periods of the Ruach’s ministry in the Brit Hadashah:
In my last posting, we began to look at who the Ruach HaKodesh is and concluded that Scripture is very clear that HE IS GOD! I also challenged you to read B’resheet (Genesis) chapter 1. In Part 2 of this series, I want to answer the question: Did the Ruach minister in the Tanakh (Old Testament)?
In the Beginning
Let’s start in the beginning! B’resheet 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” We have already seen that the Ruach is God. So, He was there I the beginning. Yochanan (John) 1:1 also indicates that Yeshua was there as well. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” [The “Word” (GK logos) is a title for Yeshua in the Brit Hadashah.] So, we see in this very first verse of the Bible the three persons of God – Father, Son and Spirit. B’resheet 1:2 offers additional proof that the Rauch was present at the time of creation. “The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water.”
Permit me to take a brief detour from our main subject of discussion today. It is almost impossible for me to quote B’resheet 1:1 without giving a little more background information. Some of you may have never heard this before.