Saturday, December 22, 2007

Praise God for the gifts of the Holy Spirit

Jesus told us that when the Holy Spirit came to us he would give us power to witness about the truth of the gospel. HE also gave us authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. St Paul tells us what the gifts of the Holy Spirit is. The word of knowledge: A word that tells people something about their past, present or inner life. The word of wisdom: A spiritual advice or comment that is so powerful and wise the person hearing it is enlightened. Prophecy, gifts of healing, gift of faith, gift of miracles, speaking in tongues. And of course the greatest gift, the most excellent way, the love of God shed in our hearts.

Paul tells us that he didn't preach the gospel as mere philosophy or doctrine. He taught with a demonstration of the Holy Spirit's power. This is how Jesus taught the good news also. He healed the sick, cast out demons, cleansed lepers. By the time he was finished doing miracles, people were ready to believe the gospel.

We live in a multicultural world with many religions claiming to be the true ones and many supposedly holy books stating that our holy book is wrong. Folks, plain old doctrinal arguments aren't gonna get a believer anywhere when faced with someone indoctrinated against Christianity or the Bible. One can talk until one is blue in the face but nothing's gonna happen because deep in the heart of the non-Christian is a conviction against Christianity that the person does not want to change. Common sense doesn't help in these situations.

My good friend is a muslim. And a feminist. I asked her how she felt about Mohammed marrying a seven year old girl and consummating the marriage at age nine. IT didn't bother her. She thinks the Bible has errors but that the Koran was delivered by the angel Jibril (Gabriel) to Mohammed from God. Yet when I point out that the Koran has errors in it such as stating in Sura 18:83 that Alexander was one of the great saints of God who did God's will and that Alexander lived to a ripe old age. Yet, history tells us that Alexander certainly has some sexual issues and that Alexander died at age 33.

Or one could tell a Mormon til one is blue in the face that its so-called history, linguistics, archeology, and geography are all wrong. One could even talk about the historical documents --Mormon and non-Mormon-- that show Mormon and Joseph Smith history. That kind of evidence simply won't help matters.

But when one has the Holy Spirit's gifts of witnessing...ah things become differnt. IF the Holy Spirit shows you that the pushy mormon missionary at your door was sexually abused at age 6 on his birhtday by his uncle Hal and you pass that information on to the missionary....that will make the guy know you serve a living God...and that you aren't mistaken about your religion. Or if the holy spirit tells you that the person in front of you denying the resurrection of Christ has a sister who is dying of cancer and you go to said person's house and pray for her healing and the sister improves remarkably and the cancer goes into remission...well.... there is no word for that.

Be filled with the Holy Spirit and praise ye the Lord.
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