THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We will look at this subject in small pieces so that they may more readily be absorbed. This subject has a very emotional and fleshly attachment to it that has a tendency to direct the thoughts and energies of some that feel a need for a sign to be attached to their spirituallity.
The history: In 1896 a Southern Baptist by the name of Richard Spurling declared that the restoration of the first century A.D. Gifts-including those of tongues and healing – had occurred at a revival meeting in North Carolina. In 1901, students of Charles Parham at the Bethel Bible College, Topeka, Kansas, announced they had received “the baptism” and had spoken in tongues. In 1907 William Seymour, a black Nazarene preacher, founded what was to become the world famous “Azusa Street Revival” in Los Angeles, California.
Thus began Pentecostalism, rooted in the “Holiness” movement, issuing in a number of disunited denominations, and characterized by Arminian (the loss of one’s salvation) theology, sensationalism, the “gift” of tongues and healing. This movement found little acceptance amongst the mainline denominations, and by the 1950’s was in a state of decline.
It was at this time, under the leadership of Demos Shakarian, a wealthy Californian, that the “Full Gospel Business men’s Association” was formed. This movement adopted tactics of infiltrating the established mainline denominations promoting their views on the “gifts,” and financing and editorializing what was in the 1960’s and 1970’s, to explode into the Charismatic Movement.
Consequently there is a great focus on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the area of Spiritual Gifts today.
The Book of I Corinthians, chapters 12,13, and 14 deals with the subject of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- In considering this subject ist is important to keep in mind the following:
- The Book of I Coringthians was primarily addressed to “the church of God which is at Corinth.” This was a literal, local, visible, assembly of baptized believers – I Corinthians 1:2.
- The Book of I Corinthians was also a circular letter, addressed to believers associated with “every place” – i.e. who were in other New Testament churches.
- The subject of I Corinthians is ‘divisions’ and ‘unity’ – I Corinthians 1:10. It is not a complimentary letter.
- The occasion for writing I Corinthians was ‘contentions’ – I Corinthians 1:11.
- The time of writing the Book of I Corinthians was 55 A.D. – 25 years after the events on the Day of Pentecost.
Now we have a little back ground and will proceed with the next posting.