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Understanding Spiritual Gifts

Pastor Keith Hassell



Foundation Scripture:   John 14:15-17; Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-4, 38-39; 1 Corinthians 12


I.       The Church at Corinth

          A.      They came behind in no good gift (1 Corinthians 1:4-7)

          B.      They were also a very carnal church (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

          C.      Conclusion:

                   1.       Spiritual gifts do not show spiritual maturity

                   2.       Spiritual gifts and carnality can operate in the same church

                   3.       Spiritual gifts can be abused and misused

4.       The solution that Paul takes is not to throw out the gifts but to speak correction to their usage and to address carnality

II.      “Now concerning spiritual gifts”

A.      1 Corinthians 12:1  The word “gifts” is italicized because it does not appear in the original Greek.  The literal interpretation should read, “Now concerning spirituals” (or spiritual things)

B.      Paul does not want us to be ignorant (verses 2-3)

1.       Paul takes three complete chapters to address this issue of spiritual gifts.  We should take notice.

2.       The converts in Corinth were converted pagans who worshiped idols and operated under the inspiration of demons.  Now they are in the church and must be educated to distinguish what is of the Spirit of God and what is not.  They must also understand how to operate in the gifts of the Spirit in a way that will edify and benefit the church.

3.       A genuine inspiration and manifestation of the Holy Spirit will not degrade Jesus but will seek to magnify Him as Lord.

III.    The unity and functions of the Godhead (Trinity) in the Church (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

          A.      There are diversities of GIFTS but the same HOLY SPIRIT

                   1.       “Gifts” – Greek charismatons meaning “graces”

                             a.       Grace is the power and desire to do God’s will

b.       Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.”

2.       These gifts of the Spirit are often referred to  “Motivational Gifts” and are listed in Romans 12:6-8:

a.       PROPHECY – Motivated to expose the evil heart of man and to cause him to conform to the truth and standard of God

b.       SERVICE – Motivated with a desire to discern and meet practical needs

c.       TEACHING – Motivated to clarify the truths of Scripture through research and instruction

d.       EXHORTATION – Motivated by a desire to admonish and encourage individuals to pursue a course of conduct by helping them to visualize God’s best

e.       GIVING – Motivated to share one’s self or personal resources to meet specific needs

f.       LEADERSHIP – Motivated to inspire and help others to fulfill their delegated responsibilities

g.       MERCY – Motivated by a compassionate desire to help others experience God’s grace and love in times of need.

3.       These gifts are in operation in our lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days of the year.

4.       These gifts are given to us when we are saved and baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:12-13)

B.      There are differences of MINISTRIES but the same LORD (JESUS)

1.       “Ministries” – Greek diakinion meaning, “services” or “ministrations” (from this word we get the word “deacon” in Acts 6)

2.       These “ministries” are positions of responsibility within the church

3.       These ministries can be found Ephesians 4:7-11 and in 1 Corinthians 12:28

a.       Apostles – establish foundations of truth; fathers, pioneers

          b.       Prophets – confirm truth and direction

          c.       Evangelists – impart a passion for winning souls

                   1)       Sowing Evangelists

                   2)       Reaping Evangelists

          d.       Pastors – regular caregivers within the church

          e.       Teachers – teach and clarify truth

          f.       Helps – meet practical needs in the church

g.       Governments (administrations) – organize and oversee the operations of the church

4.       The purpose of the ministry gifts is given in Ephesians 4:12:  “for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

5.       How long will these gifts be needed?  Ephesians 4:13  “Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

C.      There are diversities of ACTIVITIES but the same GOD who works all in all

1.       “Activities” – Greek energamaton meaning “operations” or “effects”

2.       This is not a listing of gifts, but is the RESULT, producing the will and purpose of God

3.       God sovereinly causes all gifts and ministries to work together for His specific will and purpose

4.       There are therefore diversities of ways that God will work to accomplish the same goal

5.       God always keeps His promises but not necessarily in our way

          D.      The unity and functions of the Godhead RESTATED:

1.       God sovereignly works all things together according to His will

2.       Jesus, as the Lord of the Church, calls men and women into different positions of responsibilities to equip, minister, and serve His church.

3.       The Holy Spirit empowers each ministry with the grace to will and do the will of God

IV.     The MANIFESTATIONS of the SPIRIT (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

A.      Manifestation – Greek phanerosis meaning “exhibition” or “expression”

1.       I Corinthians 2:4  “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

B.      These “manifestations” are given to EACH ONE for the PROFIT OF ALL

C.      The manifestations of the Spirit are not owned by individuals but are distributed to EACH ONE individually as HE WILLS

D.      The Holy Spirit grants these manifestations for the purpose of meeting a specific need that would otherwise go undetected or unmet

E.      There are nine manifestations of the Holy Spirit listed:

          1.       The word of wisdom

          2.       The word of knowledge

          3.       Faith

          4.       Gifts of healings

          5.       Working of miracles

          6.       Prophecy

          7.       Discerning of spirits

          8.       Various kinds of tongues

          9.       Interpretation of tongues

F.      Three groupings according to the words for “another” used in verse 8-10

1.       Word of wisdom and word of knowledge operate together under the same anointing

2.       Faith, gifts of healings, working of miracles, prophecy, and discerning of spirits operate together under the same anointing

3.       Tongues and Interpretation of tongues operate together under the same anointing

          G.      Three common groupings held by Pentecostals and Charismatics

                   1.       The INSPIRATIONAL Gifts

                             a.       Prophecy

                             b.       Tongues

                             c.       Interpretation of tongues

                   2.       The DEMONSTRATION Gifts

                             a.       Faith

                             b.       Gifts of healings

                             c.       Working of miracles

                   3.       The REVELATION Gifts

                             a.       Word of wisdom

                             b.       Word of knowledge

                             c.       Discerning of spirits

H.      The SAME Holy Spirit works in all of these manifestations (verse 11)

I.       The Holy Spirit Himself works all these manifestations as HE WILLS (verse 11)

          1.       The manifestation

          2.       The person through whom the manifestation will come

          3.       The timing of the gift

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