Guest Writer | Kevin McCall
Living in the grace, truth, and power of Holy Spirit is key for Ballistic Breakthrough! Many of you have been asking about gifts of the Spirit, so we'll be unpacking those gifts over the next several weeks, but we must start at the beginning. In 1 Cor 12:4 Paul tells us "Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all." Article 1699 of the Catechism states," Life in the Holy Spirit fulfills the vocation of man." To flow in the gifts of the Spirit, we must know Holy Spirit in a deep, intimate way. If you take some time to read John chapters 14, 15, and 16, you'll discover the amazing job description of Holy Spirit, the third PERSON of the Trinity. He isn't an abstract, nebulous "it". Soak in the descriptions JESUS gives of the part of Himself and the Father that would come to live in US!
Moving on to Acts 1:8 we find this amazing PROMISE, again, not an abstract concept, that " You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you." The Greek word for power in this verse is dunamis. Check out its meaning:
The Greek word “Dunamis” loosely translates to strength, power or ability. It is the root word of words like “dynamite, dynamo and dynamic” in English. It is not just power, but miraculous power or marvelous works. It can also refer to “moral power and excellence of the soul."
Sign me up for more of that! In Acts 2:1-4 we see this promise fulfilled, but it doesn't stop! In Acts 4:31, after praying for boldness in the face of persecution, the building shook, and AGAIN they were filled with the Spirit! In Ephesians 5:18, where Paul is admonishing his listeners to be filled with the Spirit, he uses the present imperative tense of that word, which implies continual and repeatedly. In reference to Holy Spirit in John 7:38 Jesus said rivers of living water would FLOW out from within, not just be deposited one time.
John the Baptist made this powerful declaration in Matt 3:11, " I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." After this initial prophecy was fulfilled in Acts chapter 2, read about how it continued to play out in Acts 8:15-17, Acts 10:44-48, and Acts 19:1-7. Notice, the founders of our Church, Peter and the apostles, along with COMMON, everyday people, manifested powerful gifts of the Spirit! This is our heritage and birthright!
In addition to the traditional gifts of the Spirit: knowledge, fortitude, counsel, wisdom, understanding, piety, and fear of the Lord, there are a multitude of other gifts listed throughout scripture. Oftentimes, we refer to these gifts as charisms. Towards the end of article 2003 in the Catechism we find this, "There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms after the Greek term used by Saint Paul meaning "favor," "gratuitous gift," "benefit." Whatever their character - sometimes it is extraordinary such as the gift of miracles or of tongues- charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church." Article 799 says this, "Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the church, ordered as they are to her building up, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world." This all ties into what St. Paul said in 1 Cor 12:7, "A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church." He goes on to make this bold admonition at beginning of 1 Cor 14,
" Pursue love but strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts (charisms)." I'll wrap this up quoting Jesus in Luke 9:13, " If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Not only is it OK to ask for gifts of the Spirit, we're told our Father loves to give them! And so we ask!!!
Blessings to you in the Most Holy Trinity as we journey together.