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Spiritual gifts and responsibility

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A spiritual gift may be intended to equip its recipient for a specific function or appointment. Those who are equipped in this way need the enabling power of God’s spirit to carry out their appointed tasks.

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OT examples of God’s gifts or appointments

God appoints prophets

Jeremiah 1:5 NRSV
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

God appoints Israel’s kings

1 Samuel 15:11 NRSV
“I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me, and has not carried out my commands.” Samuel was angry; and he cried out to the Lord all night.
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God appoints the Persian king Cyrus

Isaiah 45:1 NRSV
Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes, to open doors before him— and the gates shall not be closed:
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God empowers leaders and kings with his Spirit

Numbers 27:18 NRSV
So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him;
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The Spirit is given to the servant of the Lord

Isaiah 42:1 NRSV
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.
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Jesus Christ is endowed with the Holy Spirit

Matthew 3:16–17 NRSV
And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
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The apostles are endowed with the Holy Spirit

Acts 1:8 NRSV
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Spiritual gifts given to the church

Ephesians 4:11 NRSV
The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,
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Many functions within the church yet unity is preserved

Ephesians 4:4–7 NRSV
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
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All Christians are appointed to build up the church

Ephesians 4:15–16 NRSV
But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
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The experience of spiritual gifts

Associated with the laying on of hands

2 Timothy 1:6–7 NRSV
For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
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Associated with prayer and fasting

Acts 14:23 NRSV
And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
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Spiritual gifts must not to be neglected

1 Timothy 4:14 NRSV
Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.
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