Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part III

This will be the longest post in our present series. But I felt it would be better to keep this particular topic all together instead of breaking it up in pieces.

I want to briefly examine how I understand the spiritual manifestations of 1 Corinthians 12 in light of their usefulness. It seems to me that these manifestations can be divided into three categories: The revelatory gifts, the inspirational gifts, and the power gifts.

Note that these manifestations are different from other “gifts lists” in the NT (e.g., Romans 12) in that they are all supernatural in nature. To my mind, any supernatural act exhibited through humans in the NT can be ascribed to one of these nine manifestations. (By the way, I’ve addressed the so-called “Five-Fold Ministry Gifts” in a previous post.)[Continue Reading...]

Interview with Brad Russell: Faith Village

Today I’m posting an interview I did with Brad Russell. Brad runs FaithVillage.

Frank Viola: What is FaithVillage.com and why did you build the site? In other words, what is your vision for it?

Brad Russell: At its core, we think of FaithVillage as a social network for faith experiences. Our vision is to gather an online community of thought-shapers, artists, church leaders and cause advocates who want to share their gifts for the inspiration of others. We think there hasn’t been a really compelling place for Christians to gather online without all the distractions, security issues and commercialization of so many other channels. We’re all about creating a compelling space where faith can be freely sparked, challenged, focused and shared.
[Continue Reading...]

Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part II

A cardinal mistake that many believers make is to confuse spiritual gifts with spiritual life. God’s highest aim for His children is that they grow and develop in spiritual life (1 Pet. 2:1-2). As we grow in the life of Christ, we move closer to realizing the Divine Purpose of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:28-29; 2 Cor. 3:18). We also begin to function in ministry. And effective functioning requires the exercise of spiritual gifts.

Stated simply, spiritual gifts are the tools by which we express spiritual life and spiritual power. Put another way, gifts are the utensils by which we supply spiritual food to others.

Now I ask you, which is more important—gift or life? Obviously, life is more important than gift, for food is more important than the utensil. Would it really matter if you were served a piece of steak with a spoon rather than a fork? Although it is easier to serve steak with a fork, the substance of what one is served is of greater significance than the utensil by which it is served.[Continue Reading...]

Raised with Christ: An Interview with Adrian Warnock

As we consider Easter this year, I want to draw attention to my friend Adrian Warnock’s recent book Raised with Christ. The book is an excellent treatment on the resurrection of Jesus . . . why it’s important and how it applies to our lives today.

Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything  -<br /><br /><br />
        By: Adrian Warnock</p><br /><br />
<p>

Adrian Warnock blogs at Patheos, and serves on the leadership team of Jubilee Church, London. He is passionate about refocusing the church on the resurrection. He is also keen to introduce a new generation to the life and works of Charles Spurgeon and is part of a planned documentary about Spurgeon’s life that is currently seeking crowd-sourced funding.

I caught up with Adrian recently and interviewed him on the book. Enjoy![Continue Reading...]

Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit: Part I

Today, I’m beginning a new series entitled Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit. The entire series will be 12 posts long. So at three posts per week, it will last for some time. If you find the posts of help, you can share them with your friends using the Facebook and Twitter buttons at the bottom.

In 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul discusses the manifestation of the Holy Spirit saying,

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

As the name implies, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is given by God to manifest—to make known or display—the presence of Jesus Christ to and through His church.[Continue Reading...]

Interview with Andrew Farley

Andrew Farley is a friend of mine. Andrew recently released an intriguing work of fiction entitled, Operation Screwtape: The Art of Spiritual Warfare. The book is a compelling read and it highlights some wonderful truths about who we are in Christ and where our focus should be. I caught up with Andrew to hear him talk about the book. Enjoy the interview and order Andrew’s Farley’s new book.

Operation Screwtape: The Art of Spiritual War  -<br /><br />         By: Andrew Farley</p><br /> <p>

Give us the premise of “Operation Screwtape.” What is the book about?

Andrew Farley: It’s a fiction book. And in the book, an expert linguist encounters a device containing thousands of archived files revealing a worldwide conspiracy. Operation Screwtape is the largest of these files and details the intelligent scheme to steal, kill, and destroy Christianity. Here’s a video clip of the discovery of the device:

[tentblogger-youtube 4E19uzrXkjw]
[Continue Reading...]

Two of My Best Books $1.99 on Kindle For a Limited Time

I don’t usually post on Sundays, but I thought today’s news warranted it. Someone on Twitter drew my attention to the fact that Amazon is offering two of my best books (on Kindle) for only $1.99. I’m not sure how long this insane sale will last, but I suspect it won’t be long.

Here are the Amazon links with book descriptions (to see how these books specifically benefit readers). Tomorrow’s post will begin a response to a question I’ve been asked countless times. It’s called Rethinking the Gifts of the Spirit. Stay tuned![Continue Reading...]

For God So Loved the World vs. Love Not the World

In this conference message (uploaded to the podcast), I address the paradox in the New Testament concerning the world. On the one hand, Christians are to love the world because God loves it. But on the other hand, we are exhorted to love not the world. The message resolves the paradox and explores our relationship to the world. You can listen to it on iTunes, RSS, or stream it on your computer.

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Logos 5 – The Best Bible Software Available on Discount!

Today, I’d like to let you all know about what many Christians consider to be the best Bible software available today. It’s Logos Bible Software, version 5.

You can get a 15% discount if you are a new Logos user. Just click the link and ensure that VIOLA5 is listed as a coupon when you check out. Note that the discounted price will only appear later in the checkout process.

If you’re an existing Logos user, you can still follow the link. But sign in with your Logos user account at the top right of the screen, then click products-upgrade to get the same discounted price which is currently available for all upgrades.

My friend Adrian Warnock wrote such a great review on Logos 5 that I decided to repost it here (with his permission, of course) rather than re-invent the wheel. I cannot improve upon what Adrian wrote. Here it is:[Continue Reading...]

Milt Rodriguez

Milt Rodriguez is a close and long-time friend of mine. He’s also one of my co-workers. Milt and I have spent much time together over the years . . . in prayer, in spiritual labor, in navigating others through problems, in struggling to find God’s mind, in mutual help and encouragement, and in fellowship.

In addition, Milt and I have made numerous trips together over the years, including going overseas. In short, Milt is a beloved friend and a trusted co-laborer in God’s work. It’s been a personal joy to work side-by-side with him over the years. With the Lord’s enabling, we’ve been privileged to serve in helping to plant and encourage numerous organic missional churches over the last seven years.

While I’m presently not focused on organic church in this season of my ministry, I recently received a wonderful report from Milt on the status of the churches we relate to and it was super encouraging. The Lord is doing some wonderful things in and among His people.

In that connection, I want to highlight Milt’s contributions in this post.[Continue Reading...]