The Difference Between Truth and the Gifts of the Spirit 

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32 KJV)

Though truth and the Gifts of the Spirit are closely interwoven, there is a subtle but crucial difference between these two facets of our relationship with the Spirit.

This distinction is especially important for Charismatic or Spirit-filled Christians. The typical Pentecostal knows the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Power—often through the gift of the Spirit—but often knows little or nothing about Him as the Spirit of Truth.

Let’s begin by clarifying our terms. Truth, as we use here, is the knowledge of the things of God revealed to us in the Bible, and the gifts of the Spirit are supernatural abilities the Spirit gives us to perform specific tasks. The relationship between the two will best be explained using a practical example—physical healing.

God can heal us in many ways, including the gift of the Spirit and truth.

These are the steps of healing through the truth of God’s Word: we know what God’s Word says, believe it, and stand on it to see healing. The knowledge of the Word alone that is understood and believed releases God’s power to heal; no need for any laying on of hands, anointing with oil, using handkerchiefs, etc. (other valid means by which God heals).

In contrast to truth, the gift of healing works quite differently. For the gift of healing to work, God gives that gift to a believer to help others, and they minister that gift through different means such as laying on of hands, direct prayer, etc. Often, the sick person does not need to understand healing or be a believer. If they do, the better; if not, it is a gift. God gives gifts to help our weaknesses.

You can immediately tell there is a problem with truth: truth demands greater spiritual maturity, understanding, and faith. For example, it takes great faith to receive from God’s Word alone. 

The overwhelming majority of the Church has yet to experience God by truth, that is, encounter the Spirit of Truth or the Spirit of knowledge. Truth and Gifts of the Spirit are not options for us to choose from. God uses both, so we need both. But truth far supersedes the Gifts of the Spirit.

Meditate

The truth above is deep, and I have struggled to condense it. Please ensure you soak in it.

Apply the Word

Have you encountered the God of truth? Yes, you did when you received Jesus. You heard the truth, beloved it, and were immediately transformed. No one laid hands on you. That same is the Word revealed in  the Bible you carry today. It has not lost its power after conversion. Crave truth, and be proficient in the Gifts of the Spirit!

Pray

Ask the Father to help you grow in truth and the Gifts of the Spirit. 

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