Ray Van Gilst


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The "I AM" - His Presence in My Inadequacy

[fa icon="calendar'] September 26, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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If we have the evangelists planting churches and pastors teaching, one of the things that needs to dawn on all of us is that it’s not enough.

After I Corinthians 12:28 the scripture says, miracles, then gifts of healings, then helps, then administrations, and various kinds of tongues. If we back up to verses 8-10 it says, “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a 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.”

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People Are Gifts Too: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists and Pastors

[fa icon="calendar'] September 14, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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A bricklayer whose brother was a famous violinist was talking with his boss one day. His boss said, “It must be great to have a brother who is known around the world.” Then, not thinking that he might have offended his worker’s pride, he continued, “Of course, we must accept the fact that talent isn’t equally distributed – even in the same family.”

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How Our Spiritual Gifts Build Up the Body of Christ

[fa icon="calendar'] September 5, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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Spiritual gifts have been given for one reason and one reason only – as a stewardship – something that we are to manage in building up the Body of Christ.

I Corinthians 12:5, “There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” These services build the Body for the common good. Spiritual gifts are not for our edification – that’s very important as we lay our foundation. They are not to make us feel more important, or more spiritual, or to build us up.

Does what you do edify other people? Is who you are an edifying influence on other people? 

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Do We Have One Spiritual Gift or Many?

[fa icon="calendar'] August 29, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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When we use the phrase “different kinds of gifts” - or the word graces is sometimes used as well - it means God has gifted every one of us in a variety of ways. No two of us are the same! (I Corinthians 12:5-6)

Later in verse 11, Paul says something interesting, “All these are the work of one and the same spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” He distributes to each one or individually. The Greek word for that is idios. What do you think of when you hear that word?

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To Test or Not to Test What Your Spiritual Gifts Are

[fa icon="calendar'] August 22, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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A few years ago, it was all the rage to find out what your spiritual gifts are. There are tests you can take to find out, but I want you to consider something. If first and foremost we realize that spiritual gifts are beyond the natural – characterized by the spirit – then our focus as we deal with the gifts shouldn’t necessarily be the gifts but should instead follow what Paul said when he said, “Walk by the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

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Let's Reach an Unengaged Unreached People Group in Central Mexico

[fa icon="calendar'] August 20, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Missions, Fundraising

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Whenever we come across people groups that are not yet reached, it is a big AHA moment.  And especially when they are so relatively close to home.  After all, Mexico is pretty much in our backyard.  So, my question for you is, "Do you want to be a part of something big?"  Actually, I would challenge you to be a part of something big - like bringing back the King - by engaging an unreached people group with the gospel! 

Read more from our Missions Director Tim Agnello on how you can be a part of this "something big." - Ray


As most of you know, my heart beats for the unreached people groups around the world – and that we, the CPD, would be diligent in bringing the name of Jesus to those who have not yet heard! Well, we have an unprecedented opportunity, as a District, to help pioneer a brand new initiative and engage an Unengaged Unreached People Group (UUPG) in the mountains of Central Mexico.

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Are the Gifts Really Supernatural?

[fa icon="calendar'] August 8, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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In Jesus Christ there is the full expression of every one of the gifts. Did Jesus have the gift of giving? Yes! Did He have the gift of mercy? Yes! Did he have the gift of preaching? Yes! Gift of teaching? Yes. Faith? Yes, he did! Now in the body of Christ, the church, I do not have all those gifts, and YOU do not have all those gifts, but you know what? WE have all those gifts. And as the body begins to function and use those gifts, and minister to each other, all of the gifts are there.  And the ministry begins to take place – not with just 5 people, but with everyone having their part.

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The Corinthian Struggle with Balance

[fa icon="calendar'] July 25, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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The full functioning of the gifts of the Spirit within the church is absolutely essential to the building up of the body, that the body may indeed look like Christ. There is no way that the church can be the church without the functioning of the gifts of the Spirit. They are the gifts God has given to us to help us be Christ in the world.

But not only is the subject vital, it’s also controversial since not all Christians agree on how the gifts are to be expressed, how they are to be used, how many there are, how important certain ones are, what those gifts even are, or how they are discovered. And to top it off, what about tongues?

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Are Spiritual Gifts Really for Today?

[fa icon="calendar'] July 11, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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Recently I started a new blog series on "The Gifts of the Spirit" by talking about being “Equipped for Significance.” I want to take a different approach to the gifts than what you might normally see. My view of the gifts is simple: they are supernatural. They are given (hence the word "gifts") by God as needed for service. As I said, simple. So, go on this journey with me as we flesh out what Paul has to say about them and how we are "gifted" to glorify God.

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My Encounter with an Atheist Church Starter

[fa icon="calendar'] June 27, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Church Planting

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One time on a flight from Baltimore to Sacramento I was sitting next to a guy who asked what I do. When I told him that I help people start churches he said, “Really, I’m starting a church – how do you do that?” So, we talked for a bit as I briefly described the process. I began asking him questions about his goals, etc. When I asked him, “So what kind of church are you trying to start?” He said, “An Atheist Church.” Long story short, he turned out to be the guy from Sacramento that sued to get “One nation under God” out of the pledge of allegiance. 

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