I Love Greek!


There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. — 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

One of the highlights of my Bible college days was my introduction to New Testament Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament. I was blessed to be able to study it for two years, along with my wife Dorothy, who by the way, was named our “Outstanding Greek Student.” Talk about “bragging rights”!

In that context let me share an amazing truth with you that I learned. It all starts with the beautiful word “grace,” which in the Greek language is the word charis. Out of charis comes the word charisma, which means “spiritual gift” and the plural of charisma is charismata. Some translators of the Bible literally interpret charismata as “gracious gifts.” We also get the English word “charismatic” from that word.

I once asked a wise older pastor, due to my own ignorance on the subject, if he had any charismatics in his well-established traditional church. He replied, “Yes, if they’re true Christians, they all should be charismatics!” Needless to say, I was taken aback but further study showed me that he was absolutely right. Whether some like the term or not, we all should be charismatics because we all have been given spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 27-28; Ephesians 4:7-13; 1 Peter 4:9-10) with other possibilities which add up to at least 30 different gifts. So by definition you and the church you attend are charismatic!

Now, for one more connection to that beautiful Greek language that I love. Each one of the words, charis (grace), charisma (spiritual gift), and charismata (spiritual gifts), come from the same common root word which is char. Guess what char means? JOY! God’s spiritual gifts of grace are given to bring us and others “joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Isn’t that the richest of blessings!

I believe Christians should be the most joyful people in the whole world. And I have found over the years that the ones who are, have discovered and are using their spiritual gifts, the gracious gifts, that bring themselves and others great joy. How about you? — Maranatha!

To help us walk closer with God and to know Him better

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.