Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Gifts of the Spirit


The Pentecostal Movement (including the "Assemblies of God") are very "charismatic." This means that they emphasize, much more than other denominations, the element called "charisma." In the Biblical sense, this word implies not a stimulating personality, but the supernormal, supernatural "gifts of the Spirit."

These include healing, speaking in tongues, prophecy, and other spiritual gifts.
In your note, you mention others:
1. saving, 2. sanctification, and 3. speaking in tongues.

Re the first, when it comes to salvation, no human being can ever "save" another. No church, cult, denomination, or teaching can ever "save" anyone. This is God's job, His responsibility, and His pleasure. All salvation -- bar none-- comes from grace only, and this is the Love that can come, and does come, from only God. No human being, no human church, can "give grace."

"Sanctification" means "making holy." This is a state that also comes from grace. A person is "sanctified" when she is forgiven from sins, and lives in a state of graceful purity. This does not occur because she works harder, or knows more, than others. It occurs in her heart because she has fully recognized herself as a sinner," and has cast herself upon the mercy of God. She surrenders entirely to His will. She is then forgiven by grace.

Speaking in tongues can occur because, in a past life, a person spoke another language. But, in a church-setting, it is seen as evidence of the blessing of the Holy Spirit. In some cases, it probably is; in others, it probably is not. This all depends upon the Presence of Love in all other areas of the person's life. This special gift is called "glossolalia," and can be either spiritual, a gift of grace, or paranormal (it has occurred in hypnosis and other non-religious contexts).

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