The gifts of the Holy Spirit might be divided into two large categories: some gifts are qualities, other gifts are callings. For example, the gifts of helps, hospitality, exhortation, and teaching are qualities that God imparts to individual believers (Rom. 12:6-8). The gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor/teachers are callings given to individual believers (Eph. 4:11-12). Both categories serve a similar purpose. They have been imparted by the Holy Spirit to strengthen the spiritual life of the church and equip it for mission. Spiritual gifts are not an end in themselves. They have been given by God for the benefit of His church.
What does the apostle Paul mean when he uses the expression, “Walk in the Spirit” in Galatians 5:16? ReadGalatians 5:22-25, and list each fruit that comes from walking in the Spirit. See also John 15:1-7.
Any so-called revival that has little interest in the fruit of the Spirit but is obsessed with possessing the gifts of the Spirit is dangerous. If God gave the gifts of the Spirit in abundance to believers who were not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit, the church would become the center of selfish exhibitionism. For God to turn on heaven’s power when the spiritual power lines are frayed would produce only disastrous results. Beware of movements that concentrate on the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit rather than on obedience to God’s will and a transformed character that reveals the fruit of the Spirit.
What do you say to someone who has experienced what he or she judges to be a supernatural manifestation from God? How could you help him or her to know if it truly were from God or from the other side? How does our understanding of the reality of the great controversy help us when we seek to understand who or what can be behind miracles?