What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Unlike the fruits of the spirit such as love, joy, peace, gentleness, and goodness, which are compact, and point to examples of Christian character to be emulated, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are specialized, foundational skills that God in his infinite wisdom gifts to select children of God for whom he has a special calling. An example would be prophecy.

Guidance on these gifts and how they are given is found in first Corinthians 12:4-11.

There are a diversity of gifts. The manifestation of the Spirit given to each one for the profit or benefit of all: for one there is the word of wisdom… to another the word of knowledge… to another the gifts of healings… the working of miracles. In addition to these, there are the gifts of compassion, helps, administration, hospitality, teaching and even speaking in tongues for a few. One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing each one individually as He wills.

Finally, the purpose of spiritual gifts is to build up the church as Christ’s body on earth. So, spiritual gifts are actually given for the common good of the church. To thrive, the church needs many attributes just like the human body requires many attributes to function effectively. God in his infinite wisdom gives different people special spiritual gifts at certain times so that the church can complete its mission before Jesus returns.

Jesus is coming back for his church. Are you ready? Do you know Him? Jesus is the only way to heaven and eternal life. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Christ-follower, check out my May 5th post: How does One become a Christian. I also encourage you to consider these passages of scripture:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

1 John 5:11-12

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What does it mean to think like a Christian?

What does it mean to think like a Christian?

God created man and woman as rational beings with a mind capable of logical reasoning and capable of discovering truth in all the elements of life and in the culture in which one lives. A Christian, at the moment of belief in Jesus as Savior, receives the marvelous and supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit. That gift enables a Christian to discern truth from lies by comparing competing ideas and philosophies against the Word God.

This capability enlightens the Christian to develop a viewpoint on subjects ranging from Philosophy and Biology to Politics, Law, Economics and every subject in between. When a person knows God and His Word and has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, he or she can begin the journey to, ‘Think like a Christian’.

The Christian thinker searches for evidence to
1) Distinguish opinions from reality
2) Understand human nature, both its potential and limitations
3) Learn the lessons of history and the reasons for the rise and fall of civilizations, i.e. cause and effect
4) Understand the laws of nature and discern the discoveries in science and creation.

The Christian Thinker reads, examines studies and discusses the truths of the Bible to learn God’s laws and principles for living a meaningful, purposeful, and peaceful life—a life that honors God and serves and loves his neighbor as himself. Studying the Bible provides wisdom, discernment, and understanding of life’s issues. (Proverbs 1:1-7) Over time, a Christian develops a Biblical Worldview through which he or she can evaluate and respond to all the subjects within the human experience. This is what it means to, ‘Think like a Christian’. In other words, it means to see the world as Christ sees it and respond accordingly.

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Should Christians be involved in politics and human government?

Should Christians be involved in politics and human government?

YES! Jesus is the answer as the perfect role model of a humble servant leader. His living it was the hard part and it will be for us. We can only imagine what it would be like if we don’t even try to be involved. We have His life, His words, His actions and His whole ministry from which to learn. And, we know that He will be with us, and will never forsake us no matter how long it takes.

So where do we begin as Christians? Prayer, of course, whatever the issue, seeking wisdom and never stopping. In prayer use plain words, heartfelt words and know that Jesus as our advocate will make whatever translation is needed. Pray expecting guidance and answers. They may pop up in your head or even come from the mouth of a supposed political opponent. It’s okay to test them against reality but then trust them. Keep an open mind for a further word of wisdom or even a nudge in a different direction as things do change, sometimes very frequently, in the world of politics and human government.

When a particular work is finished or has a significant pause, take a look back to see if there are any footprints of Jesus beside yours and then thank him. That’s sometimes hard to see during the journey. When you see them, it may also mean that He’s prepared you and gotten you ready for the next challenge.

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How does One Become a Christian?

How does One Become a Christian?

Maybe you’ve gone to church when you were younger, but never took that step to become a Christian. Maybe you’ve been living your life your own way and not taking into account what it takes to live life differently, one with meaning and purpose. Man looks on the outside but it’s really our hearts and our character that God is concerned about.

Becoming a Christian requires a decision. In the Bible we read:

“if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that He was raised from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:8-11

Jesus waits patiently for our decision and our heart to be open to receive Him and His love. God responds to genuine humility and sincere acknowledgment that one is a sinner in need of a Savior and seeks God’s forgiveness and acceptance. God is loving and merciful and does not want anyone to be lost.

If becoming a Christian is the desire of your heart, I encourage you to talk to God and voice this simple prayer. You can do this aloud or silently because God hears your heart speaking as well as your mouth. In your own words, admit you are sinner in need of a Savior. Then ask God to help you turn away from your old way of living and thinking. (This is called repentence.) Invite God into your life and promise to follow Him for the rest of your days.

When you pray this sincerely, God, in the form of the Holy Spirit will enter your your mind and heart bringing peace, forgiveness of your sins, and assurance of eternal life with God after you physically die.
When you seek God’s forgiveness for your sin and acknowledge Jesus as your savior, you become a child of God. In effect, you become ‘born again’, a new creation in Christ and enter into a personal relationship with Him. The old life will have passed away and a new life will begin. Will everything in this life suddenly become perfect? No. But how you see and react to your circumstances and the people around you will change for the better.

Giving your life to Jesus is the most important decision you can ever make. Eternity hangs in the balance; heaven or hell. Today is the day of decision.