I know this post was expected four days ago but it got holidelayed (see what I did there?). Today we are moving on from Romans 1:11 to Romans 1:12. We are however continuing our discussion regarding the Gift of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
If you have missed any of our previous discussion on spiritual gifts you can find them on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.
Romans 1:11,12 reads, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— — that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
Whatever you may believe about the spiritual gifts: how they come upon a person, when they come upon a person or what the first evidence of their arrival is there is one thing that cannot be questioned; That is the purpose of those gifts.
The purpose of the gifts of the Spirit is to encourage those who experience them in the faith. The purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is to strengthen the force of love in the lives of those who are baptized.
Paul says in effect that the reason he longs to impart the spiritual gift to the Romans is so that they and he may be built up in their mutual faith.
The baptism in the Holy Spirit must make a palpable difference in the lives of those who are baptized. It should also make a powerful difference in the lives of those around the one baptized otherwise the baptism is all for nothing.
In 1 Corinthinas 13:1-3 Paul says it this way, If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
The long and the short of it is that a person can be baptized in the Spirit and still miss the point. The gifts: tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, healing, working of miracles…all of these things are just the method, not the point. If the gifts are manifested but they do not increase the three things which will last forever (faith, hope and love) then it is all just so much useless noise and wasted energy.
I don’t know about you but I have no time or energy to waste! I must let the baptism in the Holy Spirit drive me deeper into faith, hope and love!