Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

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1 Discovering My Spiritual Gifts And The Ministry God Created Me For Part Three - What the Bible Says About Spiritual Gifts Based on the S.H.A.P.E. Ministry Training Of The SaddleBack Church 1999 And the book Finding A Job You Can Love by Ralph Mattson & Arthur Miller (Nelson, 1982) Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts Part Three - What the Bible Says About Spiritual Gifts 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 Spiritual Gift: Is a special ability, a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, given to every believer at their conversion (John 14:25-26), to be used to minister to God and others for the common good and thereby building up the Body of Christ. - Here are a few simple truths about spiritual gifts Every Christian is given at least gift. 2. No one receives gift. 3. There are a of gifts. 4. We can not or a spiritual gift. 5. God us spiritual gift/s through the Holy Spirit. 6. God, through the Holy Spirit, our gift/s 7. We are called to and the gift/s we ve been given. 1

2 What is the purpose of Spiritual Gifts? 1. For the and of the Body of Christ. ref: 1 Corinthians 12:7 & 1 Peter 4: To produce and in the Body of Christ, the Church. ref: Ephesians 4:1-16 Cautions about Spiritual Gifts 1. We must not confuse with Spiritual Gifts. - I might be a talented public speaker but that doesn t necessarily mean I have a spiritual gift of preaching. 2. We must not confuse spiritual gifts with the of the Spirit. - In Gal. 5:22-23 we are told that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. - Spiritual gifts show our. - The fruit of the Spirit shows our in faith. - A new Christian may have the gift of teaching but has not matured enough in spirit to teach. - So there is a growing process in developing and using our gifts. - And that development only comes through prayer, study of the scripture, and putting the gift to use at the appropriate levels. (Timothy worked with Paul before he was sent out on his own.) 3. We must not confuse gifts with. - Some may have a gift for preaching (sharing God s Word) but not a gift for being a shepherd/pastor (caring for the needs of the flock). - Which means some preachers are called pastors but do not have a gift for pastoring. 4. We must be aware of the tendency. - In other words, expecting others to serve the way we do and have the same results. 5. We must not feel that our makes us better than or superior to others. - We are all part of the same body (1 Cor. 12:12-26). - One part can not say that it does not need the other but we all must work in unity. 6. We must realize that using our gifts without is worthless. - The greatest chapter in the Bible on love, 1 Cor. 13, is located between two chapters on gifts (1 Cor. 12 & 14). - Chapter 13 clearly shows us that love is the motivational factor for using our gifts. 2

3 7. We must remember that we each have a ministry and a ministry. - My Primary Ministry commitment should be in the area I m am in. - My Secondary Ministry includes serving in any other area of the Body of Christ when I am. Example: If I see someone in need I should not refuse to help by saying mercy is not my gift. Example: Consider a person who has the gift of giving. Some people can make money hand over fist but that doesn t exclude the rest of us from giving as we are able. - This is where our secondary ministry can kick in. - In the examples above we would offer what services and finances we are able to, and we are willing to help out because of our maturity in servant-hood. Unwrapping Our Spiritual Gifts - As we already know the lists of spiritual gifts found in scripture (Rom. 12:3-8, 1 Cor. 12:1-11, Eph. 4:11-12, 1 Pet. 4:9-11) are not exhaustive lists. - In general, we can place these gifts in four categories. 1. Gifts that God s word 2. Gifts that God s people 3. Gifts that God s love 4. Gifts that God s presence 1. Gifts that communicate God s word Preaching - The ability to communicate God s word in an inspired way that convinces unbelievers as well as challenges and comforts believers. One who proclaims the gospel; proclamation of God s saving work. (Mark 16:20) Prophecy - The ability to proclaim special messages from God about the future or about end times. The ability to communicate and or interpret special messages from God that build up, encourage, or console God s people and which indicate God s divine will for those on earth and in heaven. (1 Cor. 14:3) Evangelism - The ability to communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ to unbelievers and lead them to a relationship with Jesus. In a more narrow sense, the word refers to one of the gospel writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Literally, however, the word means, one who proclaims good tidings (Eph. 4:11; 2 Tim. 4:5). The evangelist was a gift of God to the early church (Eph. 4:11). These persons were not attached to any specific local church. They traveled over a wide geographical area, preaching to those to whom the Holy Spirit led them. The early disciples were also called evangelists (Acts 8:4) because they proclaimed the gospel. 3

4 Apostle - Is a special messenger of Jesus Christ; a person to whom Jesus delegated authority for certain tasks. Originally this was the official name of the twelve disciples whom Jesus sent forth to preach the gospel and to be with him during the course of his ministry on earth (Luke 24:46 49; Acts 1:8). They were chosen by Christ himself. They were led by the Holy Spirit and worked miracles. Their work was preeminently that of founding the churches and upholding them by supernatural power specially bestowed for that purpose. Missionary - The ability to become like others in order to share the love and grace of God with them (1 Cor. 9:19-23). Of course many spiritual gifts besides those that communicate God s Word can be used in a mission field. Missions are about having a heart for another people in need. 2. Gifts that educate God s people Teaching - The ability to educate God s people by clearly explaining and applying the Bible in a way that causes them to learn. The ability to equip and train other believers for ministry. (Eph. 4:12-13) Exhortation (Encouragement) - The ability to motivate God s people to apply and act on Biblical principles, especially when they are discouraged or wavering in their faith. The ability to bring out the best in others and challenge them to develop their potential. (Acts 14:22) Wisdom - The ability to understand God s perspective on life situations and share those insights in an understandable way. The ability to explain what to do and how to do it. (1 Cor. 2:1, 6-16) Discernment - The ability to distinguish right from wrong, truth from error and to give an immediate evaluation based on God s word. The ability to discern whether the source of an experience is Satan, human, or God s Spirit. (1 John 4:1-6) Knowledge - The ability to discover, collect, analyze, and organize information that is vital to individual believers or the church family. The ability to comprehend a large amount of information and provide it when needed for effective decision making. (Dan. 1:17) 3. Gifts that demonstrate God s love Service - The ability to recognize unmet needs in the church family or the community and take the initiative to provide practical assistance quickly, cheerfully, and without need of recognition. (Acts 6:1-7) Mercy - The ability to detect hurt and empathize with those who are suffering in the church family. The ability to provide compassionate and cheerful support to those experiencing distress, crisis, or pain. (Luke 10:30-37) Hospitality - The ability to make others, especially strangers, feel warmly welcomed, accepted, and comfortable. The practice of entertaining strangers graciously. Hospitality was a very important trait in Bible times. In the New Testament, the Greek word translated hospitality literally means love of strangers (Rom. 12:13). Hospitality was specifically commanded by God (Lev. 19:33 34; Luke 14:13 14; Rom. 12:13). It was to be characteristic of all believers (1 Pet. 4:9), especially bishops (Titus 1:7 8; 1 Tim. 3:2). Jesus emphasized the importance of hospitality by answering the question of who should inherit the kingdom: I was a stranger and you took Me in (Matt. 25:35). 4

5 Giving - The ability to generously contribute material resources, beyond our tithe, so that the Body of Christ may grow and be strengthened and to support the ministry of others. (2 Cor. 8:1-7) Elder (shepherding) - The ability to be an example to other believers in Christian living and faith. The ability to care for the spiritual needs of an individual or group of believers and guide them in their faith journey and help equip them for ministry. (1 Pet. 5:2-4) 4. Gifts that celebrate God s presence Music - The ability to celebrate God s presence through music, vocal or instrumental, and lead others in worship. (Psalm 150) Intercession - the act of petitioning God or praying on behalf of another person or group. One of the earliest and best examples of intercession of this type occurs in Genesis 18, where Abraham speaks to God on behalf of Sodom. His plea is compassionate; it is concerned with the well-being of others rather than with his own needs. Such selfless concern is the mark of all true intercession. Healing - The ability to pray in faith specifically for people who need physical, emotional, or spiritual healing. The ability to sense when God is prompting you to pray this kind of prayer. (James 5:15-16) Miracles - The ability to pray in faith, under God s direction, for God s supernatural intervention into a specific situation and see God s answer. The ability to sense when God is prompting you to pray in this way. As with the Old Testament, the New Testament miracles are essentially expressions of God s salvation and glory. Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus answered this question Himself (Matt. 11:3). Jesus declared that His miracles were the fulfillment of the promises of the Messiah s kingdom as foretold by Isaiah (24:18 19; 35:5 6; 61:1). Jesus miracles were signs of the presence of the kingdom of God (Matt. 12:39). Crafts, Trades, & Art - The ability to build, maintain, or beautify a place of worship, a place of ministry, a home or shelter for the needy all for the glory of God. The ability to make, design, something as a testimony to God and God s saving grace. (Gen. 31:3-11) 5. Gifts That Support All Four Purposes Leadership - The ability to clarify and communicate the purpose and vision of a ministry in a way that attracts and encourages others to get involved. The ability to motivate others by example to work together in accomplishing a ministry goal. (Heb. 13:7 & 17) Administration / Organization - The ability to recognize the gifts of others and recruit them to a ministry. The ability to organize and manage people, resources, and time for effective ministry. The ability to coordinate many details and oversee the execution of a plan of ministry or support effort for ministries. (1 Cor ) Faith - We are each given our measure of faith as seen in Romans 12:3. This gift of faith must be used if we are to grow in Christ. According to Hebrews 11, faith was already present in the experience of many people in the Old Testament as a key element of their spiritual lives. In this chapter, the various heroes of the Old Testament (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses) are described as living by faith. Living by faith means we are willingly trusting in God for what we can not see and acting on God s promises regardless of our present situation or circumstance. Living in faith is about 5

6 putting to use those gifts that God has blessed us with even if we don t know what the outcome will be. We will go where God sends us and do what God tells us. - Our task now is to examine our own lives in light of these areas of spiritual gifts. - We need to prayerfully go through each area and ask ourselves a few simple questions Do I feel confident that I have this gift? 2. Do I feel that I might possibly have this gift? 3. Do I feel certain that I do not have this gift? - There are a few other things we can do to help answer these questions as well. 1. Ask someone else what gifts they see in us. 2. Look back in our faith journey to see what gifts we might have displayed at one time. 3. Look back to see what ministries or services areas we have participated in... what worked and what didn t. - We need to remember that the areas we have discussed here are only representative of the many gifts God gives us. - So we might find that our gifts are similar to those listed but different as well. - And our gifts may also be a combination of things so we need to let the Spirit guide us as we work through these questions. - With that in mind let us turn now to God in prayer... 6

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