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Tragically, preachers and evangelists in the Pentecostal and charismatic movements are often seen as people hungry for power, who control the masses through promises of supernatural encounters only to gain money and status for themselves. Even though the accusation sometime is exaggerated, there are indeed many genuine cases of manipulation and control among us, which is extremely sad and stupid. This is defenitely not something that the Holy Spirit produces; and thus, it contradicts true charismatic living.
The basis of Christianity is love. God is love (1 John 4:8) and He loves us more than we can understand (Eph. 3:19, Rom 8:38-39). Although people have turned away from Him and sin, He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to give us eternal life through He died our death (John 3:16, Rom 5:8). God forgives our sins; by his grace we are saved and receive eternal life, not by earning it with good deeds, but by God’s grace (Eph. 2:8-9).
This grace is the basis not only for our salvation but also for the supernatural gifts that Jesus used to spread the Kingdom of God and instructed his disciples to use, they are gifts given by grace (greek charismata, grace gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4)) that we can not earn or deserve, but we recieve them freely by God’s grace (Ephesians 4:7). (more…)