God’s Unconditionally-Loving Favor of Grace & Grace-Gifts of God’s Spirit
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The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are such a vital aspect of this Spirit Music Meet-Ups ministry that you will see much written about these throughout this website, but especially on this page and Body-of-Christ Ministry, Coaches & Facilitators, Teaching, Spirit-Baptism, Anointing, and Prophetic pages.
The NT Greek singular word charisma and plural charismata are translated “gift(s)” in most bibles, but actually they are derived from the Greek word charis which mean “unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace,” so should be translated grace-gift(s) as I have throughout this BLOG website. Paul makes this connection: “Having charismata grace-gifts that differ/vary [only] according to the charis unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace given to us, let us USE them” (a). Peter says the same: “As each has received a charisma grace-gift, USE it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied charis unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace” (b). During the first century the problem wasn’t so much about ignorance of the grace-gifts, just their USE. We have both problems today! We will also see that charisma/charismata is the term used of the Holy Spirit’s grace-gifts given for Body-of-Christ ministry. <Notes> a) Roman 12:6, b) 1 Peter 4:10.
Many bibles also obscure the obvious connection to the noun chara or verb chairo for joy and rejoice, respectively. Chara means “the joyful awareness/recognition of God’s charis unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace as ‘unmerited, unearned, unconditional-loving favor,’ thus joy because of God’s unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace.” The verb form chairo means “to actively rejoice or passively become joyful/delightful because of the experience of God’s unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace.” In Romans 5:2, Paul says Christians can “chairo rejoice in/by/with hope, i.e., faith in an expectant future, of the glory of God” and couples this to “we have obtained access [to peace with God] through Christ by trusting-relying-faith [in Christ] in this charis unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace in which we stand.” Can you see how charis unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace, pistis trusting-relying-faith, and chara joy are all related? We will now explore this further and see how it relates to Christian music. I can attest that being aware of God’s unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace and putting our trusting-relying-faith in this definitely affects your joy level, which then greatly affects playing worship music! And if you are being anointed through the Spirit’s grace-gifts, then your playing will go to a whole new level!
The grace-gifts and signs & wonders of the Holy Spirit are God’s way of “working together with us” to confirm the preaching of the gospel logos message (a). If we don’t preach the gospel, or we don’t seek the Spirit’s Baptism to be immersed-resulting-in-change or “completely-filled with all the abundant-fullness of God by the means of the Spirit” (g), or we don’t “routinely aiteo ask for, seek or earnestly desire” the supernatural grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit (b), which involves proseuchomai conversationally-praying and psalming in tongues (c) but especially involves prophesying (d), or we quench the Spirit (e) by forbidding or despising any of these grace-gifts but especially tongues and prophecy (f), then we simply can NOT expect the same profound results that the early Church had until around 200 AD. This was about the time the Catholic Church started persecuting the Montanist churches that held to “New Prophecy” given by modern prophets, and the time of Tertullian’s extensive writings, the premiere documenter and theologian of the Holy Spirit. However, the history of revival confirms the absolute truth of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit through grace-gifts and signs & wonders over and over – see Spirit-Baptism – BT2 and – BT3 and Cure of All Ills by Dr. Mary Stewart Relfe. <Notes> a) Mark 16:17-20, b) Luke 11:13; 1 Corinthians 12:31, 14:1, c) 1 Corinthians 14:5, 14-15, 18, d) 1 Corinthians 14:31, 39, e) 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 – see The Great Wall, f) 1 Corinthians 14:39, g) Ephesians 3:19, 5:18.
The grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit are given by unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace by God’s own will so that nobody can feel more superior than another! Actually, the entire Triune Godhead is involved in the initial deposit “grace-gift of the Holy Spirit” and subsequent grace-gifts from the Holy Spirit. The early Church believed and expected the grace-gift of the initial “deposit,” the initial Spirit-Baptism or filling, and the subsequent grace-gifts of the Spirit to ALL be given during a Christian’s Water-Baptism, an immersion that changed the very nature of the person! In the modern Church, I fear many people have just performed a ritual, “having only a form/appearance of godliness but have denied its real enabling-power” per 2 Timothy 3:5 – see Water-Baptism and Spirit-Baptism pages.
Jesus promises in Mark 16:17-20, “And these signs shall actually accompany those who are having trusting-relying-faith: In My name/authority they shall actually cast out demons; they shall actually speak in kainos completely-different-in-kind-new tongues; . . . they shall actually lay their hands on the sick to recover.” And Mark further records, “And they went out and preached (a) everywhere, while the Lord routinely worked together with (f) them and confirmed the logos message by accompanying signs.” Hebrews 2:4 also says, “God also bore witness/testified by signs and wonders and various miracles and by grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed down-from/according-to His will.” All throughout the history of the Church, “grace-gifts, signs, wonders, and miracles as manifestations of the Spirit” (b) were being done as a result of “The Promise” of the Holy Spirit and follow-up practice of Spirit-Baptism that BEGAN on the Day of Pentecost (c). Consequently, the supernatural results should always be the same: “The Lord [Jesus] added to their number daily those who were being saved” (d). This will surely continue if the Church still has the same mission, the same gospel logos message, still preaches it, and doesn’t quench the Holy Spirit by forbidding or despising tongues, prophecy, or any other of the Spirit’s grace-gifts (e). Like Paul and Peter, they should be encouraging the use of ALL of the grace-gifts! <Notes> a) v. 15: the gospel logos message, b) 1 Corinthians 14:12, c) Acts 2:43, 4:30, 5:12, 6:8, 8:6, 13, 14:3, 15:12, 19:11; 2 Corinthians 12:12, d) Acts 2:47, 5:14, 9:42, 11:24, 13:12, 16:34, e) 1 Corinthians 14:5, 39; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20, f) sunergeo: co-working, partnering.
Paul’s ministry was “by the means of gospel logos message and/coupled deed, by the means of the enabling-power of signs & wonders by the means of the enabling-power of the Spirit so that … I have pleroo fully/completely preached the gospel of Christ” (a). This implies that many of today’s preachers that don’t allow the supernatural aspects of the Holy Spirit are ‘incompletely preaching the gospel,’ but that the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches are still preaching a ‘full gospel!’ This is especially true, since Paul qualified this preaching further: “My speech and logos message were absolutely NOT in fact by the means of peithos plausible-persuasive-enticing-skillful words of sophia wisdom, but by the means of apodeixis demonstrating-proof of the Spirit and/coupled of enabling-power” (b), and furthermore “our gospel came to you absolutely NOT in fact ONLY by the means of logos message, but also by the means of enabling-power and/specifically, by the means of [singular] Holy Spirit” (c). Clearly today many churches are NOT preaching a ‘full gospel!’ <Notes> a) Romans 15:18-19, b) 1 Corinthians 2:4, c) 1 Thessalonians 1:5.
The Lord’s model of proseuche conversational-prayer for all Christians throughout the ages tells us HOW TO make our request for “Thy kingdom to come, Thy will to be done” even a possibility in our lives here “on earth as it is in heaven.” Otherwise, we are only “wishing upon a star!” As every good teacher does, Christ’s final teaching on proseuche conversational-prayer in Matthew 7:11 is about God’s “good grace-gifts to His children” (a), which likely refers to the same thing the parallel passage of Luke 11:13 does – “the grace-gift of the Holy Spirit [given] to those who are aiteo routinely asking Him.” This present participle within the Lord’s Prayer Model depicts a lifestyle, routine habit of “diligently asking, seeking, knocking, begging or crying out for, craving, desiring, and requiring of” the Holy Spirit from the Father. If you are going to be doing any deesis supplication-asking within your proseuche conversational-prayer, this surely is key to the Christian life!
Prophecy by definition is hearing/speaking the direct-spoken/heard rhema words of God – it is absolutely not knowledge gained from reading! A lot of preachers are making stuff up or getting it from a book they read! “The Promise” isn’t for more scripture but for more prophesying by ALL of God’s people (a) who are far into the future, even to the end of the ages (b). There are so many NT verses about this (c) – see Prophetic Rhema. <Notes> a) Isaiah 59:20-21 cited by Paul in Roman 11:26-28, b) Acts 1:4, 2:33, 38-39, c) 2 Peter 1:21; Matthew 10:20; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:12; John 14:26, 16:13.
Jesus expected there to be prophesy (a), even to the end of the ages, just as Peter said (b), even if some of this would turn out to be false (c), even if they did it in Christ’s name/authority (d). The early Church had many prophets including Paul and Barnabas (e), even if some were false (f). The key signs of the Holy Spirit coming upon Christians was tongues and prophesy (g) that are often related (h), even urging “routine proseuche conversational-prayer by the means of the Spirit” (i), likely in tongues (j), to build yourself up in your most holy trusting-relying-faith,” which in turn is directly related to the imperative “tereo ‘carefully watch/observe to safely-guard, care-for/attend-to, firmly-hold/stand-in/maintain-a-present-state’ yourself in The Unconditional-Love of God” (k). <Notes> a) Matthew 10:41, b) Acts 1:4, 2:33, 38-39, c) Matthew 7:15, 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22, d) Matthew 7:22, e) Acts 11:27, 13:1, 21:9-10, f) Acts 13:6, g) Acts 2:4, 10:44-46, 19:6, h) 1 Corinthians 14:6, i) Ephesians 6:18, j) 1 Corinthians 14:14-15, k) Jude 1:20-21.
Prophecy is thus a key grace-gift listed for the entire Church (a), often listed second after apostleship likely indicating its importance in the Church (b) but certainly to be most sought after (c), and clearly assumed to be commonplace or the norm in the Church (d). It was especially a sign for believers (e), even though an ‘outsider’ who hears the whole church doing this “will be convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you” (f). Don’t we want this to happen in our churches? But primarily, prophecy is to build the assembly of the saints up (g), even giving us rules for orderly prophesying so that all of us could participate and/or weigh in on what was said (h). Finally, through prophecy other grace-gifts came into people’s lives (i) as with the laying on of hands to impart the Spirit-Baptism and grace-gifts (j). <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 12:10, b) Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29, 14:5; Ephesians 2:20, 3:5, 4:11, c) 1 Corinthians 14:1, 39, d) 1 Corinthians 11:4-5, 13:8-9, 14:6, 24, 37, e) 1 Corinthians 14:22, f) 1 Corinthians 14:23-25, g) 1 Corinthians 14:3, h) 1 Corinthians 14:29, 31-32, i) 1 Timothy 1:18, 4:14, j) Acts 8:18, 9:17; 2 Timothy 1:6.
After the outpouring of the promised Holy Spirit on Pentecost, complete with supernatural prophecy and worship in tongues, Peter says in Acts 2:17-19 citing Joel 2:28-29: “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: In the last days it SHALL ACTUALLY BE, God declares, that that I will pour out My Spirit on pas all mankind: For your sons and your daughters SHALL ACTUALLY prophesy – that is, your young men SHALL ACTUALLY see visions (a) and/coupled your old men SHALL ACTUALLY dream dreams, that is, upon My male servants and female servants in those days I SHALL ACTUALLY pour out My Spirit, and they SHALL ACTUALLY prophesy.” As often is the case, pas doesn’t mean “every of a whole, but all those of a class/category/portion of, as defined by the context” – here ultimately, the smaller class of “My servants” of the larger class “mankind” during the Church Age (b) before Christ’s Second Coming. <Notes> a) optanomai: gaze in awe with wide-open eyes upon, b) Hebrews 1:2.
Zechariah 4:6 also spoke 520 years earlier about the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant period: “It shall absolutely no longer be by might nor power (c), but by My Spirit.” No more religious working FOR God! Clearly “The Promise” is the “the Spirit’s manifested outpouring, most often demonstrated by tongues and prophecy – speaking God’s directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words, particularly received by dreams and visions. There is absolutely no hint of more sacred gramma letters collected into graphe scripture hundreds of years later, or any second-hand contact, communicated logos messages! <Notes> a) Hebrew for all of man’s external resources and internal abilities.
Jesus had already told them “I am sending ‘The Promise’ of My Father upon you, but stay in Jerusalem until you are clothed with enabling-power from on high” (a). So Luke further records after the resurrection, “While Jesus was staying with them, He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for ‘The Promise’ of the Father that you have heard from Me [many times earlier], for although John baptized (b) with water, you will be baptized (b) by the means of [singular] Holy Spirit (i.e., Spirit-Baptism) not many days from now” (c). Peter thus records this event in Acts 2:33, 38-39, “Having received ‘The Promise’ of the Holy Spirit, which He has poured out, this is what you yourselves are seeing and hearing (d). . . .Therefore, repent (e) and/coupled/thus be water-baptized every one of you in the name/authority of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (f). And moreover, you will [at an unspecified future time] receive the grace-gift of the Holy Spirit, for ‘The Promise’ is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” Clearly ALL of this is for the entire Church age! The Cessationists are dead wrong! <Notes> a) Luke 24:49, b) baptizo: transformational immersion in any liquid, even cucumbers in vinegar changed into pickles, c) Acts 1:4-5, d) this isn’t an invisible, quiet ‘deposit’ made into many Christians that churches that you just have to “take by faith” happened. No! This is clearly manifested in context by prophecy and tongues, e) turn your mind’s direction back, f) Clearly repentance and/coupled water-baptism are required for forgiveness of sins in order to save you – see 1 Peter 3:21.
Paul also says, “In Christ, the blessing of Abraham (eternal inheritance) might also come to the Gentiles, in order that we [all] may receive the promised Spirit through trusting-relying-faith,” not by obedience to OT commandments (a), and “The [previously hidden but now revealed to us] mystery [of Christ] is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same Body [of Christ], and/thus partakers of ‘The Promise’ in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (b), and so “when you heard the logos message of The Truth, that is, the gospel of your salvation (c) and had trusting-relying-faith in Him, and were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance” (d). Paul uses “The Promise” consistently to refer to the demonstrable Holy Spirit that is a visible proof you are a Christian! <Notes> a) Galatians 3:14, b) Ephesians 3:6, c) the logos word/message of God in the NT has radically been redefined from the OT because of a completely different-in-kind New Covenant. In the NT 99% of the time it’s either refers to Jesus Christ Himself as with John 1:1 or His gospel message, as here. d) Ephesians 1:13-14.
As Christian musicians, shouldn’t it be clear that “The Promise” for the completely different-in-kind New Covenant wasn’t more graphe scripture that never really worked in the old covenant to reveal God, bring people closer to Him, or help them do His will. It is the definition of insanity to believe and do the same things as before and somehow expect different results! God isn’t insane, but apparently many churches and Christians are! What we should be expecting from God is signs & wonders and the grace-gifts, especially tongues and prophecy! Don’t we want to be filled with joy and all the other abundant-fullness of God and have the same results in ministry as the early Church? Is our poor theology telling God “No” when He is saying “Receive My gifts?” Are we asking for the kingdom but then denying the power of the kingdom? Are we trying to “run with Christ’s marching orders” without obeying Him to “wait for the Promised Holy Spirit” that came with tongues and prophecy? Do we have a “message-only” gospel without the power of God in signs, wonders, miracles, healings, and the Spirit’s gifts to confirm it and enable us to actually do ministry?
Lord, keep us from going insane by pursuing You the same ways that religious Jews did but failed miserably – through endless bible-study! Lord, give us the faith to seek Your completely-different-in-kind, superior New Covenant Way of the Holy Spirit’s prophetic rhema word knowledge through visions and dreams, now confirming your gospel message with demonstrable power of signs, wonders, miracles, healing, and ministering gifts of the Holy Spirit, all given by your unconditionally-loving-favor-of-grace. Lord, we want to hear, see, and feel You directly as the early Christians did before a religious Church built “The Great Wall” that quenched the Spirit! We reject religion! We want relationship! Lord, we will lambano ‘grab hold of this to receive it for ourselves’ and run with it!
Please follow the BLOG Etiquette Guidelines for these Grace & Grace-Gifts of God’s Spirit BLOG Topics:
Cessationism versus Continuationism of the Gifts for today – see Spirit-Baptism – BT3
See also The Grace-Gift of Prophecy
See also The Grace-Gift of Faith
More to come!
Thank YOU for visiting: God’s Grace and His Spirit’s Grace-Gifts