What Are the Fruits of the Spirit According to Paul  Essay

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Pneumatology: Spiritual Gifts

Pneumatology is often defined as the study of the spirit, or the spiritual relationship between humanity and God. It is often one of the most difficult and ephemeral concepts for believers to understand, especially the concept of spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are defined as gifts specifically given to the Christian to enable him or her to perform a holy service. [footnoteRef:1] Spiritual gifts are special gifts bestowed for an unusual service and figure prominently in the life and writings of Paul, who was given the spiritual gift of ministry. Paul was dramatically called to the ministry on the road to Damascus and experienced a profound conversion to Christianity that changed his life and also the history of Christianity. Paul became an apostle to the gentiles, educating the entire world about what the sacrifice of Christ meant for humanity. It is said that there are five gifts of the Holy Spirit: the working of miracles; gifts of healing; gifts of helpers; gifts of government; and the gifts of faith.[footnoteRef:2] [1: Walter Elwell, "Spiritual gifts," Evangelical Dictionary Theology. 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), p.1135] [2: Elwell, p.1135-1136]

As well as gifts of the spirit, there are also gifts of the discernment of the spirit, one of which is speaking in tongues and the other of which is interpreting the speaking of tongues. [footnoteRef:3] However, while "tongue-speaking was not forbidden, but intelligent
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exposition of the Word, instruction in faith and morals, and preaching the gospel were infinitely superior" as spiritual practices than such showy exhibitions.[footnoteRef:4] There is always a danger in over-emphasizing these types of gifts, which can lead to an over-exultation of the offices that grow out of them. Speaking in tongues is thus far from a necessary sign of baptism in the Holy Spirit. The concept of baptism in the Holy Spirit is a unique product of the Christian religion: it is not synonymous with baptism itself but instead suggests the act of being filled with the Holy Spirit as a spiritual experience. It emerged as a component of charismatic theology.[footnoteRef:5] "The spirit of the living Christ seeks to enrich, empower, and use Christians in every generation" even though the interpretation of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit may differ in various denominational contexts.[footnoteRef:6] This different view of what constitutes baptism in the Holy Spirit also often varies by denomination. For example, some Christian sects believe adult baptism in the form of immersion is required for a baptism of the spirit and others do not. [3: Elwell, p.1138] [4: Elwell, p.1138.] [5: Walter Elwell, "Charismatic movement," Evangelical Dictionary Theology. 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), p.220] [6: Walter Elwell, "Baptism of the spirit," Evangelical Dictionary Theology. 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), p.1138]

Today, within most branches of modern Christianity speaking in tongues is often considered an example of a manifestation of the spirit that existed in primarily in of the past.[footnoteRef:7]…

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Bibliography

Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary Theology. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001

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