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We conclude the Spiritual Gifts Bible Study, ending the controversy as God's Word provides the answers about Spiritual Gifts.

Conclusion of  Gifts Of The Holy Spirit-2

f. Use and Control Of The Gifts: I must admit, in my 51 years I've visited hundreds of churches in all different denominations…none of them follow what the Bible says about using Spiritual Gifts. Glen

1 Co 14:26 "…When you come together, ________ has a hymn… instruction… revelation… tongue… interpretation. All of these ____ be done for the _____________ of the church. Why is the church so Spiritually weak? Why don't we know what our spiritual gifts are? Because we hire speakers and musicians to do what God says is our job. If we're not going to use the gifts, why would God give them to us? How would we ever know if we had them? Are you starting to see why God called us to found a Christian fellowship based on home groups without professional leaders? So you can use the Gifts He gave you! Once we're committed to using our gifts we need to learn how to control them.

While Paul directs us of all that must be done, he also teaches us to use control and order when doing these things. In 1 Co 12:23-25 he says all parts of the body are valid and necessary, but some must have special modesty. In context, this must be understood to mean some spiritual gifts are not for public display. Rather than dissect 1 Co 12-14, let's just discuss the broad strokes. We are to use self-control, pay attention when someone else is speaking, be careful to not confuse visitors, don't babble with no interpretation, and speak in a way that builds everyone up. If we follow the broad strokes, we never have to get into the details of what each word means. This teaching has been dissected for 2,000 years and still there is no agreement among the various factions. Some stress indiscriminate exercise of gifts and others stress order to the point of squelching the Holy Spirit. As in every other major issue in the Bible, God is looking for us to be balanced. We can achieve this balance if, as Paul directs, we make love our aim. More about love in h. below.

g. Truth About Tongues: Just as with Spiritual gifts in general, there are controversies over the gift of tongues. Actually, there are three things in the Bible that modern Christians call "tongues". 1. Speaking in a "known language", a human language that is unknown by the speaker, but known by the person to whom the Holy Spirit wishes to convey a message. This gift is what was manifest at Pentecost, and recorded in Acts 2:4-6 "…and began to speak in other _______ as the Spirit enabled them…each one heard them speaking in his own ________." 2. Speaking in an "unknown language" with interpretation, the interpretation is a message from the Holy Spirit for someone present. 1 Co 14:27 "If anyone speaks in a ______, two-or at the most three-should speak…and someone ____ interpret." These first two are the "gift of tongues", given only to some as the Holy Spirit determines, similar to the gift of prophecy (Acts 2:15-18, 1 Co 14:32). 3. Praying, or singing "in the Spirit" is something everyone can and should do Ep 6:18 "And pray in the ______ on ___ occasions.", can be done quietly (1 Co 14:28), and can't be taught (1 Co 14:14-15) "my spirit prays, but my mind is __________". Ro 8:26 "In the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the ______ Himself intercedes for us with ______ that words cannot express."

h. Preeminence Of Love: There is so much controversy over the gifts that most people page right past 1 Co 13, the "love" chapter. Fact is, any gifts we may have are useless without this fruit of the Spirit called love. It's interesting to note that the people at the extremes of the discussion on Spiritual gifts are almost completely lacking in love. I've seen them fire staff members, kick families out of their fellowships and even prevent people from following through on their calling to serve God, all because they differed in how they interpret the Bible concerning Spiritual gifts. Our focus at Web-Church will be on promoting and nurturing love among followers of Jesus, because this is what He commanded us to do. As we grow in the love of Christ, the Holy Spirit will give us gifts as He sees fit. If our heart is to love each other and to serve each other and to bear each other's burdens, which person has what gifts is completely unimportant. If we're willing to be used by God, the gifts belong to God, and to His whole body. Therefore, let us love one another.

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