When we think about how we should exercise our spiritual gifts, we must remember the gospel. Without the gospel, we would have not spiritual gifts. Without the gospel, there would be no reason for spiritual gifts. The gospel changes lives, spiritual gifts do not. The gospel is of utmost importance, spiritual gifts are secondary.

At the same time, the gospel and spiritual gifts are about a person — the person of Jesus Christ who is the image of God. If we wrongly use our spiritual gifts, we are wronging Christ. There are many people who will do miracles and sings and wonders who will not be saved (Matt. 7:21-23). Just because someone heals or has revelations or speaks in a tongue or does miracles or casts out demons does not mean he is saved. That’s frightening. That should cause us to examine ourselves daily and repent of our evil heart and actions (cf. 10:12; 2 Cor. 13:5; Heb. 3:12-13). It should cause us to believe in the gospel and embrace Jesus.

The gospel is very God-centered. Our spiritual gifts should be God-centered. Still, the gospel edifies people because God gives us a knowledge of the Savior. When we are changed and shaped by the gospel, our minds are renewed so that we can know God’s will.  Our goal is to know God through his Son Jesus, not get a lot of nice gifts (spiritual or otherwise).  We are changed by the gospel to glorify and enjoy God and to spread his fame to other people.

It only makes sense then that our spiritual gifts should be used to edify and build up those who have been changed by the gospel.  They are merely tools to point people to the gospel, namely, Jesus Christ, the blazing center of the universe.

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4 thoughts on “Spiritual Gifts and the Gospel

  1. As i come into 2009 and think about helping lead others to Christ, through evangelism and discipleship, I think about servant leadership.

    Serving others while leading others is the way I think we best use our gifts.

  2. You write: “
    ” I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.””

    You think that Jesus, is the same as le-havdil the historical Ribi Yehoshua from Natzrat (the Mashiakh; the Messias).

    Before I was a Christian for six years and now I instead follow first century pro-Torah and pro-Halakhah Ribi Yehoshua (ha-Mashiakh) by practising non-selective Torah-observance.

    Any candidate for being the Mashiakh must practise non-selectively Torah-observance according to Devarim (Hellenized to Deuteronmy) 13:1-6. Any proclaimed follower of the Mashiakh must do likewise; according to the same passage in Torah.

    Ribi Yehoshua taught:

    “Take heed against false Neviim who come to you in wool like sheep, but inside they are wolves who extort. You shall recognize them by their works. Do men pick grapes from a stinging-nettle? Or figs from a thistle? So, every green tree is unable to produce evil fruit, and a dried-up tree is unable to produce good fruit.””
    NHM (The Netzarim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu )

    The research of world-recognized authorities in this area implies that Ribi Yehoshua was a Pharisee (a Torah-practising Jewish group – who according to 4Q MMT practised both written and oral Torah). As the earliest church historians, most eminent modern university historians, our web site (www.netzarim.co.il) and our Khavruta (Distance Learning) texts confirm, the original teachings of Ribi Yehoshua were not only accepted by most of the Pharisaic Jewish community, he had hoards of Jewish students.

    Historical Scholars in leading universities (for example Bart Ehrman) agrees that NT has been redacted. In the above quote all anti-Torah redactions are removed. According to Dead Sea Scrolls 4QMMT it is impossible for a pro-Torah pharisaic Ribi to say anything anti-Torah; he would have lost his ordination and got excluded from beit ha-kneset (hellenized to synagogues) immediately.

    Instead of getting the book the author recommends which contradicts the research based on historical documents, for example 4Q MMT….

    Ribi Yehoshua warned for false prophets who don’t produce good fruit = defined as don’t practise the mitzwot (commandments) in Torah. See Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:1-6.
    From 4Q MMT we know that that is what every Pharisee meant when they talked about false prophets.

    The way to learn about Ribi Yehoshua, whose followers Orthodox Jews can live with (witness the Netzarim Jews in Raanana, Israel, members in good standing in an Orthodox synagogue), you must start with books like How Jesus Became Christian by Prof. Barrie Wilson (most bookstores) and Who Are The Netzarim? (publ. http://www.schuellerhouse.com) by Israeli Orthodox Jew, Paqid Yirmeyahu Ben-David.

    Finding the historical Jew, who was a Pharisee Ribi and following him brings you intoTorah, which gives you a rich and meaningful life here on earth and great rewards in life after death (“heaven”)!

    From Anders Branderud
    Geir Toshav, Netzarim in Ra’anana in Israel who are followers of Ribi Yehoshua – ha-Mashiakh – in [meta-]Orthodox Judaism

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