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Gifted: You have a Gift

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Good Morning, We are going to be starting a new series entitled “Gifted.” Towards the end of last year we did a sermon Series on Vision 2020 — As we move forward into a new Decade.... We need to keep in the forefront of our minds our Vision…which is to Know Jesus and to make Him known…
Part of knowing Jesus is getting His word inside of us — and so what I would like us to do is as we go through various sermons this year we are to memorize some scripture together… we are going to hide the scripture in our hearts so that when there are times that we need it God can bring some of the things we have learned back to remembrance.
Lets say this verse together…(Christian Standard Bible)
1 Corinthians 14:12 CSB
12 So also you—since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek to excel in building up the church.
Here we are at the begining of the New Year.... Can we say that we Zealous Spiritual Gifts? How many of us want 2020 to be a Supernatural year? Where God does something in and through us?
Well it begins with desiring the things that are from the Spirt… Having an appetite and spiritual desires…
The Vision that the apostle Paul had for the church… was One that was gifted…A Body that function well together --- having diversity but yoked together in Unity..
The church being One Body unified under One Lord, One Spirit…having... different members variety of Gifts functioning together as one… all working towards the common good..
T/s The principle of Unity and diversity is not something new.
When it comes to winning games, most pro sports teams go after talented players.
Everyone wants a team of stars. But a new research study suggests that too many talented players can actually hurt the team's overall performance.
When researchers analyzed professional sports, especially basketball and soccer, they discovered that talented players helped teams win—but only up to a point.
Teams loaded with star players found that the too-much talent effect actually hurt the team's chances of winning.
Teams with the greatest proportion of elite athletes performed worse than those with more moderate proportions of top level players.
Star-studded basketball teams had less assists and rebounds than teams with more average players. The researchers concluded, "When teams need to come together, more talent can tear them apart."
We often talk about ministry in terms of teams… we have the Worship team, the ushers team, Overseers team.... we have the Action Team.... The word Team Communicates the way that body life is meant to work..
Yesterday service was a great example of how team works…Everyone did there part and this happens its a beautiful thing because ministry happens… we collectively become a blessing....
The way that the church functions is through team..
There are three primary chapters in the scriptures where the gifts are listed - Romans 12, 1 Cor 12 and Ephesians 4
These are basically the lists of gifts… in coming weeks we are going to look at those lists..
Paul was not trying to give us an exhaustive list of the gifts but rather a range of gift that are available to the church… there are actually 24 listed in these verses… Peter Wagner who written extensively about Spiritual gifts adds three more to his list.
1. Worship Leaders 2. Writing gifts 3. Preaching.. These are implied but not necessary stated.
As a way of introduction to this series we are going to ask three key questions..

1. What are Spirtual gifts?

The phrase...”Spiritual Gift” comes from the root word Grace - Charis or charismata - it means favour, give freely, un merited favor
When we use grace in the sense of a spiritual gift its always in the plural form—
Grace becomes becomes graces or gifts… We can say that God has given these graces… blessings…
Paul in Ephesians 4 tells us that when Jesus ascended He gifted the Church for the purpose of continuing His ministry..
Ephesians 4:7–8 CSB
7 Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 For it says: When he ascended on high, he took the captives captive; he gave gifts to people.
Paul tells us that.. these gifts were given out broadly not to select few…In fact...
Every Christian shares in the bounty of Christ’s. No one is unimportant; no one can feel useless and negligible in the life of the church.
this truth is affirmed in a beautiful way.
In the charter of the Church of the Savior, Washington, d.c.,
“On the ship of the church there are no passengers; all are members of the crew” Church of the Savior..
What were these Gifts?
The word “Grace” here means the ability to perform the task God has called us to.
These are not ordinary gifts they extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit given to Christians for special service. Each gift is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit
In the OT the Holy Spirit would come upon specific people and various times.
In the New Testament the Holy Spirit indwells believers and the Spirit gives these gifts to us as he sees fit… We can desire and seek Spiritual gifts but we cannot earn them
Spiritual Gifts are different from talents..
This is where it can get a little confusing….. We might talk about talented people as being gifted…and some of the Spiritual Gifts look like they could be classified as talents…
but there are some clear differences.
T/S Here are a couple of key markers to distinguish difference

a. You don’t have to be a believer to have Talent..

We have talented comedians, actors, musicians… Shows on TV like the Voice and Americas got talent… are always discovering new talent… These are natural Gifts opposed a Spiritual gift that is received from God.
A second Marker (difference)

b. Natural talents are those abilities that are inherited and developed

We all know people who are talented and come from a long line of family members who share the same talent.
If one member of such a family does not possess this shared talent, they typically will say something like, “I didn’t get the gene”.
In our family it’s Art… my family is incredibly artistic… and see these gifts in my kids… but.. skipped a generation...
Natural talents are just that: “natural.” Natural talents are innate come from birth…
Spiritual gifts are spiritual and they come with Spiritual birth.. Spiritual Gifts given by God for purpose.
Spiritual gifts are Given by God for purpose - they are given for the building up of the body of Christ”
This is important differential for the gifts.
J.I. Packer says it like this:
if you have the
“Ability to speak or act in a particular way—performing ability, as we may call it—it is only a [a spiritual gift] if and as God uses it to edify.” J.J. Packer
Gift is not always about your technical ability… The gift is all about Edification… Building up of others..
Are people encouraged? are people challenged? helped through the gift? let me give you an example..
The 19 th Century Charles Spurgeon was a tremendous orator - started preaching at the age of 16 never went to college… he was so eloquent that he got the nick name the silver tonged preacher - he had tremendous power to sway crowds. He had incredible talent… He was born with this natural talent...
On the other hand at the same time there was another influential preacher D.L. Moody was uneducated had bad gramma, he stuttered, poor tone.. He did everything wrong when it comes to public speaking. Both men touched 100 000 of people…
What is happening here is that Spurgeon had talent as the basis of his gift… Moody… had less talent… but what he was lacking in talent the spirit made up in gifting.
If you have a gift of teaching, it doesn’t matter whether you can project. It doesn’t matter whether your gestures are right.
It doesn’t matter whether you speak clearly. It doesn’t matter whether you have round tones. Do people learn? If you have a gift of counseling, it really doesn’t matter how many degrees you have. Are people helped? (keller)
When Spiritual Gifts in operation people are built up and encouraged....
The first question is ...
1. What are Spirtual gifts?

2. Why are Spiritual gifts important?

Can you imagine a church that didn’t use it’s gifts… Nobody was willing to teach, no one was willing to be hospitable..No one willing to sing or lead worship.... … no one was willing to serve others… What would happen to that congregation? It would eventually just fade away…
Why is that? Spiritual Gifts is the Expression of the church… It is how we express our love towards one another… it is the way that we express our love to our community…
Spiritual gifts are important Because it is the the way God strengthens and builds his church… When spirtual Gifts are in operation.... .... When Christians are serving one another with Gifts.... the church is going to grow from strength....
Eph 4:16 tells us that Everything in the Church flows from Christ who is the Head of the Church… and then from Him the body is held together by each part...
Ephesians 4:16 CSB
16 From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.
When each of us began to function fully in our gifting not only are we going to be held together joint upon joint…People are going to be ministered too and hearts and lives will be changed…
This comes by understand the Purpose of Spiritual gifts… lets look at our text..
In 1 Corinthians Paul begins with a warning of being unaware… or lacking in understanding… of the purpose and importance of Spiritual gifts..
1 Corinthians 12:1–3 ESV
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
What is happening in this text is that...
Paul had received a letter from one of the church members or from some reports problems that existed in the church at Corinth --- Seemed that the gifts of the Spirit were actually causing some problems..
…Some of the members of the church were looking at one another and are placing value judgments on one another based on performance, competence, and charisma. Some followed Paul and Some followed Apollos..
Some members have more “impressive” talents, skills, and gifts than others, and the Corinthian obsession with power and status is causing them to overvalue some members’ contributions and to undervalue the contributions of others.
Notice that Paul does not put down the gifts… What Paul says is that we need more understanding about Spiritual gifts.. How these gifts work together rather than against each other…
Paul tells us that when we have knowledge of Spiritual gifts it will bring discernment...

a. Spiritual Gifts brings DISCERNMENT.

Discernment is a mark of maturity
To Contrast the Works of the Holy Spirit Paul uses the example of how before they were before they Christians they were easily led astray by Idols…
Evidently, in the cult religions, evil spirits “spoke” through their followers in what was called “ecstatic” or “inspired” speech
Sometime people will be possesed speak forth from these mute idols…
So you can imagine that it could be difficult to discern --- especially with the gift of Prophecy…or the gift of tongues... words wisdom and words of Knowledge… How do we know it is God speaking???
1 John 4:1 CSB
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
The way to discern whether a person was speaking from God was to listen to what he or she said about Jesus Christ. Those who proclaimed and believed that Jesus is Lord were speaking by the Spirit, for only by the Holy Spirit can a person acknowledge the lordship of Christ..
T/S The reason spiritual gifts are important is because

b. Spiritual Gifts brings unity to the Church body

Paul continues he says there are variety of gifts.. but they are working together for a common purpose.
1 Corinthians 12:4–7 CSB
Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God produces each gift in each person. A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good:
When it comes to ministries and Gifts.. there are many different variations of gifts and ministries. But The Same Spirit behind the Gifts —
Variety of services --- or Expressions of ministry..
I was talking my family and in their church in New Town Wales... have in their church street pastors that go out every week and help drunks get home… that a genuine ministry in their church… get to help these people in practical ways…
Our friends at the Free Church in Yuba City.. Corner Stone Church have started a virtual church… They are having online services…
There are different activities (expressions) of that gift… But there is One Spirit.....
The Idea of Diversity and Unity is Expressed in the Trinity...There is a trinitarian emphasis here: “the same Spirit … the same Lord … the same God.”
The trinity are made up of three persons with different expressions and functions… but collectively they one… they are always in Unity.… Diversity and Unity… A Church reflects God is going to have Diversity and Unity..
Paul’s vision of the church is one where the Spiritual gifts are in function for the common good.
God himself is working to the Common Good..... Each one has something they have received directly from God and have been empowered to share with the rest
The first question is ...
1. What are Spirtual gifts?

2. Why are Spiritual gifts important?

3. What is the Purpose of Spiritual Gifts?

Walmart is no stranger to interesting characters—there's even a calendar featuring its eclectic clientele. Not so long ago a Texas patron went to his local Walmart for a very specific purpose: to be knocked unconscious.
According to Global News, Manuel Garcia "stood underneath a dangling sign outside of Walmart's pharmacy for two days," in the hopes that one of the sign's letters "would fall and knock him out."
Garcia posted on his Facebook page, alongside photos of himself standing outside the store. The caption read: "waiting for the P to fall and knock [me] out to be able to sue Walmart."
You don’t find purpose by standing under Walmart signs.... One of the exciting things about discovering and using our gift is that we get this sense of Purpose.... Doing what God called me do....
For some of us Discovering that gift is part of the journey...
George Elliot said.
“There is a great deal of unmapped country within us.” George Elliot
Sometimes we are just skimming the surface of What God… had in mind for our lives…

a. Your Spiritual gift will Help You discover you God given purpose.

When you think about every thing in creation was designed to fulfill some purpose… Have you ever tried to use a tool…..for something other than it was designed for… How many of us have stripped the thread on a screw because we used the wrong bit… The reason is simply design...
There is a purpose for your being here. You are meant to answer something, solve something, provide something, lead something, discover something, compose something, write something, say something, translate something, interpret something, sing something, create something, teach something, preach something, bear something, overcome something, and in doing so, you improve the lives of others under the power of God, for the glory of God.
Our Gift will help us find our purpose…

b. Your Spiritual gift will give you Value

When David thought about how God wove him together in depths of the earth before existed.. in that moment he tells us that “HIS FRAME” was known by God… David looks at himself and it leads him to praise..
Psalm 139:15–16 ESV
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
If you don’t see value in yourself — it is going to be very difficult to bring value into the lives around you… If you have depreciated view of yourself it is going to come through in all your dealings with others..
Everyone of us in this room as at least one gift or a combination of cluster of gifts…. Our gifts function collectively as a church body....
The reason why two churches never feel the same is because of the Spiritual gift mix within the congregation…
Every Church has a unique footprint.. because of it’s gift mix… but here is the thing — We together --- with our Gift mix… Make Jesus know in the World… It is a collaborative effort.... When we don’t use our gifts… We actually limit the potential ...
Paul tells Timothy not to neglect his gift…
1 Timothy 4:14–16 CSB
14 Don’t neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
The Bible tells us that once God has given you a .Every gift has to be developed…
How do we develop our gifts?

1. Practice your gift

- The word means to cultivate your gift- I don’t think we often think about this — just because you have a gift within you --- doesn’t mean that you stop growing…There are measures of a gift… the goal here is to reach your full potential… I might be a gifted singer… but.. am I developing the gift.
it still is going to take strenuous effort and repetition… Development of your gift— “Practice these things.” We need to be willing to be life long learners…
Paul takes it to another level.

2. Immerse yourself in them-

This is baptismal language.. it is to dip or to submerge (immerse oneself or be immersed) involved oneself deeply in them… The subject here is the gift that has been given...

3. Persist in the Gifts

to Persist is the same word as to stand or to continue doing something…
Paul is encouraging Timothy in his gift of evangelism that came with the laying on of hands… Keep persisting.. means failure would be part of the program… keep motivated because your gift has the potential to save others..
CHALLENGE: God has given each in this room at least One gift… more likely a gift mix… Finding and using your gift is a decision..... Earnestly desire the Gifts....
How are you going to Build up the Body in 2020?
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