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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
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Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Spiritual gifts...
A post over at Jonathan Moorhead's blog got me to thinking about the nature of spiritual gifting.

If you are like I was, your "spiritual gift" expectations are rather indistinct. We know there that spiritual gifts exist and we know even the categories of gifting - we are even certain that we have been gifted, but we are not really sure about the details. Others seem more confident that we are gifted one way or another than we are ourselves.

I hope that what I write will be used by the Spirit to shed a bit of light on this whole thing - that is, if I have some light on the issue, I would be glad to share it.

The bible makes a clear distinction between what is of the flesh and what is of the spirit. It draws that hard line between the two on purpose - whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit - in other words, that which is spiritual is not born of the flesh - it doesn't operate in a carnal way, and it has nothing at all to do with our old self.

We all would agree with that pretty quickly I suppose, but the conclusion drawn from this opening premise is that we shouldn't expect a spiritual gifting to function in our flesh. That is, the spiritual gifts operate in our spirit, as opposed to our flesh (how apropos!)

Perhaps the best description I can give is this: "A spiritual gift is a manifestation of the very heart of God when it is poured out into the believer's own spirit."

For example, God is generous. Amen? of course God is generous, the scriptures tell us so! When God imparts this divine sentiment into a believer's spirit, the believer's spirit is saturated with this particular aspect of God's nature. The result is that if God imparts into the believer the gift of generosity - the believer receives a special attenuation (if you will) with God's own generosity - the believer thereafter longs in his or her spirit to act upon the God endowed impetus to be charitable. Simply put, the believer has a new found spiritual hunger to be generous to others.

Likewise, God is The Teacher. When God endows a believer with the desire to see other believers mature in their knowledge of, and especially their relationship to/with God - that desire comes because God has imparted a sense of his own hunger for men to learn about Him into the believer.

Etc. The gifts work in the spirit. The believer who is gifted with discernment strives for spiritual clarity, the evangelist is hungry for souls etc. All the spiritual gifts therefore are, at their very heart, manifestations of God's own character distributed throughout the church.

That is why unity in the church is such an imperative - God is not fully manifested in a church where believers are divided.
posted by Daniel @ 8:50 AM  
  • At 1:51 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    So, say you are a church leader (head pastor for example) and you are trying to decided if someone on your staff really has the Gift of Teaching. How would you go about doing this? What are signs that you would look for in the person? Would you look at just how the person responds/acts/teaches? Or would you look at the response of the congregation/people when he teaches?

    I'm very excited about your post here :) And I want to really understand this, so I'm looking forward to digging in with you on this.

  • At 2:26 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Matthew Celestine said…

    Interesting thoughts.

  • At 2:46 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    "How would you go about doing this? What are signs that you would look for in the person? Would you look at just how the person responds/acts/teaches? Or would you look at the response of the congregation/people when he teaches?"

    Daughter to mother: Mom? How will I know when I find the right man to marry?

    Mother:You will just know.

    Was ever a more infuriatingly obtuse answer ever given? Yet if you ask most married women - your own mother evem - You will hear again and again that they just knew.

    A good lecture leaves you admiring the speaker - a good preacher leaves you admiring god. You know the difference - a gifted speaker is the Lord's messenger, and is concerned about passing along the Lord's message - he is passionate about it because the message is for him as much as it is for the congregation - he is preaching from the well of his own soul's passion, and if he is gifted as a teacher, he will be able to share that passion, and not just the information.

    It is easier demonstrated than explained.

    The gift isn't in the speaking, it is in the spirit.

    Let me know if that makes any sense.

  • At 3:38 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    Kid: "Yea makes sense, sort of."
    Kid: "Mommy... But how will I know?!?!"

    Anyway... yea I understand... I don't think I'm convinced the leaders in my Church really understand what it is to look for in teachers.

  • At 3:50 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    Frank, The guy who sits on the wall and sees the army coming - it is his job to ring the bell and warn the town. :-D

    By that I mean, you owe it to your leadership and to your congregation to voice any concerns you have promptly - not by way of accusation or complaint of course - but just to short circuit any divisive agenda our enemy might have. ;)

  • At 5:24 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    yes I agree Daniel.

    I feel like I need to get a proper understanding of it before I can sound the warning.

  • At 5:41 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    Gotcha- ;-)

    s'nice being on the same page.

  • At 8:44 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Rose~ said…

    This is a great statement: All the spiritual gifts therefore are, at their very heart, manifestations of God's own character distributed throughout the church.
    I think I read that same thought in your comment on the Moor. I never heard it put that way. Then again, I have not read or heard a great deal about spiritual gifts.

  • At 7:05 AM, November 23, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    Rose, I could be wrong of course - there is wisdom in the multitude of counselors after all. I have not pulled this understanding out of a commentary or theology, so my advice is to exercise caution when you consider it.

    This is just my present understanding explained in a way that is consistent with both my own experience and my understanding of scripture.

    The heart of the matter is that spiritual gifts by definition are spiritual - that is they operate in our "new" spirit as opposed to in our pedestrian, everyday, carnal selves.

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