The So-Called Spiritual Gifts

I am still researching and writing a book on the “so-called” spiritual gifts. My present working title is: Gracelets: Being Conduits of the Extravagant Acts of God’s Grace to Others. Below is part of my growing position that will be reflected in my book:

The so-called spiritual gifts are for the most part thought of as being constituted/vested/owned/permanent/possessed or situational in Jesus followers. Arguments are given from both points of view. Some believe that in a both/and world, both are correct. But, even in a both/and world, there are some things that are not both/and. Scripture seems to take positions on issues and presents a “side.” At this point in my journey, this issue of the so-called spiritual gifts seems to be one of those “sided” issues. Therefore, I do not believe that Jesus followers “posses” gifts in the sense that a follower can discover, develop, and deploy them. Rather, I believe the gifts reside in the Holy Spirit and we are the conduits through which they flow. The one to whom the gift is given receives the gift. As an example, I do not believe that anyone has the “gifts of healings” as a resident/constituted gift to use at will. I do believe that when I am praying for a person to be healed that God, at his will, can flow a gift of healing through me to the person being prayed for and she or he receives the a gift of healing. Finally, I think that the common name “spiritual gift” can be better expressed by the name “gracelet.”

“The Holy Spirit is not the private property of Christians.”
—Amy Plantinga Pauw
(Lecture: Society of Vineyard Scholars, Columbus, OH. 2014)
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