Is there a price to pay for the gifts of the Spirit?

Marko Joensuu         No comments

As the word charismata translated as 'gifts of the Spirit' means gifts of grace, many charismatic Christians tend to assume that there is nothing much they need to do about them in order to receive, use and develop them. But they also mean 'gifts of favour', and as we have seen so many revivals that have brought gifts of the Spirit to the Church come and go, it might be time to ask if, indeed, there is a price to pay for them.

Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish theologian and philosopher said about reformation:

"It has often been said that a reformation should begin with each man reforming himself. That. however, is not what actually happened, for the reformation produced a hero who paid God dearly enough for his position as hero. By joining up with him directly people buy cheap, indeed at bargain prices, what he had paid for so dearly; but they do not buy the highest of all things."

Often, that seems to be the case. Someone is fire up with the Holy Spirit, and everyone else joins the party. It seems that most revivals die when the revivalist burns out!

Over the years, I have seen many revivals that have come and gone, and many revivalists who have lost their anointing and their spiritual gifts.

There is a price to pay for the spiritual gifts but it's not the price most charismatic Christians think it is.

The price isn't maintaining impossible levels of holiness. The truth about all of us is that we all sin, daily, and if our sin were to take away our gifts we wouldn't have received in the first place.

If the price for the gifts were holiness, no one would have ever received a single gift of the Holy Spirit, apart from Jesus!

Neither is the price submitting to some 'apostolic' authority or institution, or catching the meeting where some celebrity preacher passes on his or her 'mantle' to anyone who's close enough to him or her. No, there is only one head in the Church and His name is Jesus. Certainly, there are many people who want to be heads, but, thankfully, the body of Christ isn't some multi-headed monster!

No, the price for the gifts is something far simpler and yet profound. It is found in 1 Corinthians 14:1.

The apostle Paul writes,

"Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy."

Indeed, God gives the gifts of the Spirit to people because of His grace, as not one of us is worthy of receiving them, but you must desire them in order to receive them, at least most of the time.

Also, you must walk in love to be able to maintain and develop them. Otherwise they will soon wither in you.

In my life, I have seen more ministers and Christians that have lost the gifts than the ones who have kept them and developed them.

The sad truth of the charismatic church globally is that we get waves of God's Spirit distributing spiritual gifts to His people only for these waves to die as we, by and large, fail to walk in love.

Will this be the generation that will keep and develop the gifts as they will pay the price of love?



Published by Marko Joensuu

Marko Joensuu has worked for over sixteen years in the publishing and media ministries of Kensington Temple. He is an author, publisher and screenwriter.
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