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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Diversity of Gifts

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8)

The baptism which the Holy Spirit is always connected with and is primarily for the purpose of testimony and service. Indeed, there is not one single passage in the Bible where this experience is spoken of where it is not connected with power for service.

The baptism with the Spirit is not primarily for the purpose of making us holy, although apart from the work of the Spirit we can know nothing of holiness. Nor is the Spirit given to make us happy, although there is great joy in the Holy Spirit. He is primarily given to make us useful to God. While some connect endless ecstasies with the Holy Spirit, in a world where men, women and children are being swept on unsaved to a hopeless eternity, I would rather go my entire life without one single touch of ecstasy or rapture, and have power to do my part to stem this awful tide and save at least some. The baptism of the Holy Spirit makes us useful for God in the salvation of souls.

This power for service will not manifest itself in precisely the same way in each individual. This is developed in length in 1 Corinthians 12, which speaks of the diversity of the gifts, administrations, and workings of the Holy Spirit. The striking point here is that while there is one baptism of the Holy Spirit, there is a wide variety  of manifestations of gifts that are given to individuals by the Holy Spirit, according to the line of service to which the person is called. It is a great mistake to think that everyone who is baptized with the Holy Spirit must speak in tongues; or that everyone receives power as an evangelist or a preacher of the Word and in a manner similar to Wesley or Finney or Moody. This is unscriptural thinking and contrary to the diversity of gifts given. The Holy Spirit for His own wise reason imparts to every person a special gift for the special service to which he is called.

Heavenly Father, I need to hear this over and over. You know how often I compare what I hear the Holy Spirit has done in someone else's life to what He has done in mine. Show me what it is that You are calling me to do, and empower me accordingly. Amen

~R. A. Torrey~

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