Understanding Spiritual Gifts

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1 Understanding Spiritual Gifts Have you ever thought you are too much of a hot mess for God to use you? Take a look at these noted Bible characters: Noah got drunk Abraham was old Joseph was a dreamer Jacob was a liar Moses stuttered Gideon was insecure Samson was a womanizer Sarah was baron Rahab was a prostitute Jeremiah and Timothy were young David had an affair with a married woman and murdered her husband Elijah was moody Isaiah thought himself unworthy Jonah ran from God Naomi was a widow Martha was a worrier The Samaritan woman was 5 times divorced Zaccheus was too small Peter denied Christ The disciples fell asleep while praying Paul was too religious Lazarus was dead God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called! Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 How is God going to use you? Time to dig in and learn about what your spiritual gift(s) might be and how you can use them! UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GIFTS Page 1

2 GROUP STUDY: See appendix O and take the gift test See appendix P for the answer sheet See appendix Q for the definitions You are God s Masterpiece God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-10 When a builder wants to build a house, he needs many different tools to accomplish his goal. You can t drill a hole with a wrench nor can you saw a piece of wood with a hammer. Each tool has a purpose! What do you think of when you hear the word masterpiece? God s word says you are His masterpiece! When an artist like Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, chances are, he used many different tools to accomplish this work of art. Like paint brushes, each brush touches a different color and helps to create the final piece. GOD MADE YOU A SPIRITUAL TOOL. You re a masterpiece in the making. GOD will use you to accomplish His goal and final masterpiece! UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GIFTS Page 2

3 Some Principles to Begin 1. Every Christian has one or more spiritual gifts, 1 Peter 4: Many believers have received more than one spiritual gift, 1 Corinthians 12: Spiritual gifts are given at the moment of regeneration, but they may lie undiscovered and dormant for a long period of time, 1 Corinthians 12: Spiritual gifts are not the same as the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2: Spiritual gifts are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5: Gifts are God s spiritual equipment for effective service and edification of the body, 1 Corinthians 12:27. The Difference between Gifts and Talents Talents have to do with techniques and methods; gifts have to do with spiritual abilities. Talents depend on natural ability, gifts on spiritual ability. Talents instruct, inspire, or entertain on a natural level. However, when a gift is exercised, something supernatural happens in and through the one who is ministering. Talent Source Common grace of the spirit Special grace of the spirit Time Given Present from natural birth Present from new birth Gift Nature Natural ability Spiritual ability Purpose Instruction, entertainment, Spiritual growth of saints, Inspiration on a natural level Christian service Understanding Spiritual Gifts Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 Though spiritual gifts are mentioned throughout the Bible, in this class you will focus on four major lists of gifts found in the New Testament. In these four passages: Romans 12 Ephesians 4 UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GIFTS Page 3

4 1 Corinthians 12 1 Peter 4 1 Peter 4:11 says, If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. Gifts fall in two categories: SPEAKING and SERVING There are different kinds of, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of, but the same God Gifts are given by the Holy Spirit specifically to help the church fulfill its ministry purposes. Every believer has a primary gift You are to discover and then develop this gift. Romans 12:6-8 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Gifts Outlined in Romans 12 Tell what your gifts are These are Motivational in nature Prophecy (Speak) Service (Serve) Teaching (Speak) Encouragement (Serve) Giving (Serve) Leadership (Speak) Mercy (Serve) UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GIFTS Page 4

5 The motivational gift (drive & ability) can express itself through a variety of gifts 1 Corinthians 12:27-28; All of you together are Christ s body, and each of you is a part of it. 28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages. Gifts Outlined in 1 Corinthians 12 & Ephesians 4:11 Tell where your gifts are used These are Ministry in nature Apostles Prophets Evangelists Pastors Teachers Working of Miracles Gifts of Healing Helping Tongues Administration When you exercise your motivational gift through your ministry gift, the Holy Spirit determines what effect or will most benefit those impacted by the ministry. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 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 UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GIFTS Page 5

6 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. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. Workings Outlined in 1 Corinthians 12 Tell the Results of using your gift These are Manifestations Words of Wisdom Word of Knowledge Faith/Healing Miracles Prophecy Discernment Tongues Interpretation of Tongues Biblical Guidelines for using Spiritual Gifts Usage of the gift(s) conforms to Biblical teaching (2 Timothy 3:16 ; Romans 12 ; 1 Corinthians ; Ephesians 4 ; 1 Peter 4 ) There is affirmation and positive feedback within the Body of Christ for the expression of the gift (1 Corinthians 12:7 ; Ephesians 4:16 ) There is agreement within the Body of Christ that the Holy Spirit is at work (1 John 4:1 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:21 ) The Holy Spirit provides peace in your spirit as you offer your gift(s) to the Body of Christ (John 15:26 ; Romans 8:16 ) There is evidence of godly fruit in the life of the Body (John 15:8 ; Matthew 7:16-20) Believers offer their gifts for the common good as others have need (Acts 2:44-45 ; 1 Corinthians 12:7 ) Unless gifts are offered in love, they have no worth (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) You should strive to live a life worthy of your calling (Ephesians 4:1) UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GIFTS Page 6

7 Important Reminders Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit gives may have given you more than one gift which serves to keep your other gift (gifts) in check or harmonize to create a blended gift that God uses in unique ways. Everyone has at least one gift and no one has them all! Praise God! This is another reason why each and every one of you has a unique role to play in the Kingdom even if your gift may seem just like someone else you know! 1. Scripture commands us to minister in many areas whether or not we have the corresponding spiritual gift. For example Scripture clearly tells us that some have the following gifts, yet all are to minister in these ways Gifts to some: Commands to all: Help/serving Serve one another (Galatians 5:13) Exhortation Exhort each other (Hebrews 10:25) Giving All give (2 Corinthians 9:7) Teaching Make Disciples (student) (Matthew 28:19) Mercy Mercy, Be kind (Ephesians 4:32) Faith Walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) Evangelism All witness (Acts 1:8) Often as you are faithful to these commands, you will discover your spiritual gift(s). 2. No matter what spiritual gift(s) you have received, the Christian virtue of love must accompany the exercise of those gifts; otherwise, they will prove unfruitful. If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn t love others, I would have gained nothing. 1 Corinthians 13: Knowing your gift enables you to determine your priorities. 4. Knowing your gift will be of great help in discerning God s will. 5. Your God-given personality, talents, abilities and spiritual gifts all work together to make you uniquely you. Whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11 UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GIFTS Page 7

8 HOMEWORK: If you haven t taken the gifting test do so now. Appendix O and P. See definitions in Appendix Q. Why are spiritual gifts so important to God s work in us? What is your primary motivational gift? What practical difference does knowing and developing your spiritual gift make? What is your next step in unwrapping your spiritual gift and putting it into action through a ministry? MEMORY VERSE for next week: But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,1 Peter 3:15 UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GIFTS Page 8

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