Archive for February, 2006

Foundations 3 – The Gift of the Spirit

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006
In many ways this repeats some of what I said about unity in diversity, however, I still think that it is profitable to view things in the light of this core theological concept.
At Pentecost, Christ poured out the Holy Spirit on a diverse bunch of people. Out of the interaction between each individual and the Holy Spirit, a variety of expressions of God emerged that we refer to as gifts, but the Bible refers to as ‘spirituals’.  

 

What causes the variation in expressions of God? In the interplay between how God gives his Spirit and how he is received, variety is produced. The interplay between the Spirit of God and man is a mystery. In Genesis, God breathes his ‘spirit’ (breath) on a statue of mud. The breath from heaven combined with the creature from the earth produced the living soul which is man. Each expression of the Spirit is ‘incarnational’ and, as such, is a product of both the Spirit of God and of the person involved.

The Bible tells us a number of things about these gifts.

  1. They are diverse
  2. They vary in degree
  3. All are necessary
  4. All are partial, imperfect expressions

From these foundations, we can see that there must be a forum for the expression of Christ in diversity and there must be humility about our own gifting and careful listening to others. Paul intimates that the correct handling of gifting will lead to a corporate maturity. This is the goal we are aiming at.