I really love it when God reveals His amazing plan for us. Sometimes we have to dig a little to find it but there it was all along. I think it is part of the journey of hunger and thirst that makes the meal all the more enjoyable. Sometimes you find a jewel that is so profoundly beautiful and significant it changes your course completely. For me that was learning to trust God completely. Once I surrendered my understanding and just trusted Him to give me His wisdom, all the parts began to fall into place. I discovered very quickly that I had been missing the most important thing in my life, Him in me. Our journey with the Holy Spirit is our purpose on this planet. Depending on your background or experience that may be an uncomfortable thought. The enemy doesn’t want you to know about God’s plan. He would rather you wallow around in self-pity and doubt with no expectation of hope fulfilled in this life so you don’t do anything but build your bunker, horde you supplies and usher in the great tribulation. Never mind all those people who don’t know Jesus. I want you to know definitively God’s plan is victorious, offensive and powerful. It is not hiding and waiting. It is going and changing.
Over the next few (or more) posts I want to share some stretching and thought-provoking truths regarding God’s plan. This first installment is to lay out the list and begin with the truth of “gifts.”
Religion has so distorted the idea of God’s gifts. Some of it is problematic since English doesn’t capture all that the Greek has to say. I don’t want to kill you with the Greek but there are two words that the scholars translated as “gifts” in English. They are charisma and dorea (or dorema). So to keep it simple charisma is a supernatural, life changing, life altering, power infused, divinely imparted gift from God that He intends for us to use. It is powered by Him, backed by Him, irrevocable and exactly what we need. In the “Charismatic” movement or “Pentecostal Churches” this idea of gifts has been distorted in the past. It sometimes turns into “I have this one, which one do you have?” kind of thing. There is one charisma: The Holy Spirit or The Spirit of Christ or The Spirit of God. Pick the name that suits you but the charisma gift is God Himself living in you. It isn’t metaphorical it is actual. The more awareness and surrender to Him-in-you the more you become who He intended for you to be. It is you natural state as a believer. It is your born-again over and over experience. It is the truth of why Christ died to save you.
The second word is dorea which is a gift like a package. It is like a present for your birthday. In context it is the gift of Jesus on the cross. It is the gift of Him for you. It is the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus for your sins. He who knew no sin became sin so we could become His righteousness. It is our forgiveness of sins. It is what reconciles us to God. It is the gift that brings us back into a right relationship with our Creator. It is what changes our identity from sinner to saint. It is our adoption papers as a child of God. It is our relocation from the Adam’s family to the Jesus family.
All gifts are called gifts because you have to receive it to have it. That may seem trivial and maybe over simplified but it is profoundly true. If someone offers you a gift you have to receive it. In this case since it is a present you put your hands out and take it. God offers us these two gifts. Yep that is right…there are two. Check this out. English really doesn’t do us any favors.
Rom 5:15 But the free gift (charisma) is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift (dorea) by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift (dorema) is not like the result of that one man’ s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift (charisma) following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man ‘s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift (dorema) of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Can you see it? Two gifts right there all along. I had no idea that the word “gift” was two different words in the Greek. Still it is so obvious now. This explains why there are so many “believers” still struggling with stuff. They received the first gift but not the second one. The first gift includes all the mercy associated with Jesus death on the cross. I don’t mean to trivialize anything associated with Jesus on the cross. It is why He came and died but it was to open a door to receive the second gift. We can be forgiven but often you see people living like they were in hell on Earth. We can be free of the penalty of sin but assume a life filled with struggles and shame and guilt and condemnation and be powerless to change our circumstance. The second gift is Christ in us the hope of glory. He died to get inside us. He died to make it possible for us to be the Temple of the Holy Spirit. He died to set us free from us to we could be dependent on Him. He died so we would know we were loved, know the heart of the Father and live in the faith of who our God is.
I could go on and on but for now I will leave you with this list. Don’t hear me wrong. If you don’t have the first gift you can’t have the second. The intent of this list is to provoke you to think, create a hunger for more of God and infuse you with hope. Our existence in Christ here and now on this planet, filled with the Holy Spirit, should look like joy and victory and purpose. So I will tackle some of the rest of these comparisons in posts to come. Enjoy.
|Gift of Dorea||Gift of Charisma|
|Baptism John||Baptism Jesus|
|Faith in facts||Faith in God|
|Jesus death||Jesus resurrection|
|Forgiveness of sins||Eternal life|
|Righteousness because of Jesus||Righteousness from Jesus|
|Flesh centered||Spirit centered|
|Salvation after death||Salvation in life|
|Internal struggles||External circumstance|
|Suffering from pain||Suffering for passion|
|Self improvement||Holy Spirit cleansing|
|Program maintained||Presence maintained|
|Improved form of law||Power of Grace|
|Bondage to performance||Freedom from self|
|Obligation to love||Manifest love|
|Managed by fear||Based on trust|
|Anointing by man||Anointing by God|
|Product of fallen thinking||Requires a renewed mind|
|Born of water||Born of spirit|
|Kingdom only in heaven||We bring the Kingdom in us|
|Hope deferred||Hope assured|
|Blessings as rewards||Blessings as gifts|
|Character determined by behavior||Character based on faith|