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Romans 12:3-8 Serve God With Your Spiritual Gifts

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Serve God with Spiritual Gifts

3 For I say, fthrough the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, gnot to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt hto each one a measure of faith. 4 For ias we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so jwe, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is kgiven to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us lprophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; mhe who teaches, in teaching; 8 nhe who exhorts, in exhortation; ohe who gives, with liberality; phe who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, qwith cheerfulness.

Serve God with Spiritual Gifts

3 For I say, fthrough the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, gnot to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt hto each one a measure of faith. 4 For ias we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so jwe, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is kgiven to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us lprophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; mhe who teaches, in teaching; 8 nhe who exhorts, in exhortation; ohe who gives, with liberality; phe who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, qwith cheerfulness.

In the Book of Romans Paul showed how human beings lack God’s righteousness because of our sin (1–3), receive God’s righteousness when God justifies us by faith (4–5), demonstrate God’s righteousness by being transformed from rebels to followers (6–8), confirm His righteousness when God saves the Jews (9–11), and apply His righteousness in practical ways throughout our lives (12–16). Some of this may have been mentioned before, that is ok. We all need to hear certain things more than once.
Paul showed how human beings lack God’s righteousness because of our sin (1–3), receive God’s righteousness when God justifies us by faith (4–5), demonstrate God’s righteousness by being transformed from rebels to followers (6–8), confirm His righteousness when God saves the Jews (9–11), and apply His righteousness in practical ways throughout our lives (12–16).
The structure of Romans provides a hint into the importance of the book in our everyday lives. Beginning with eleven chapters of doctrine, the book then transitions into five chapters of practical instruction. This union between doctrine and life illustrates for Christians the absolute importance of both what we believe and how we live out those beliefs.
Unity in diversity is the theme of this passage: working together as parts of the body function together.
Unity in diversity is the theme of this passage: working together as parts of the body function together. This is made possible through Jesus Christ, the head and chief commander of the church. Does your day-to-day life mirror the beliefs you hold, or do you find yourself in a constant battle with hypocrisy? Take heed of the doctrine you find within the pages of Romans, but don’t forget to put it into practice as well.
Does your day-to-day life mirror the beliefs you hold, or do you find yourself in a constant battle with hypocrisy? Take heed of the doctrine you find within the pages of Romans, but don’t forget to put it into practice as well.
This is made possible through Jesus Christ, the head and chief commander of the church. Take heed of the doctrine you find within the pages of Romans, but don’t forget to put it into practice as well.
Serve God with Spiritual Gifts
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
*****Unity in diversity is the theme of this passage: working together as parts of the body function together.
I. Don’t Think we are God’s Gift to Humanity, when we are NOT!
Our text divides into three main sections. In verse 3, Paul introduces the subject of spiritual gifts with a call to clear thinking.
In verses 4 and 5, Paul calls Christians to think corporately. Spiritual gifts must be understood and practiced in the context of the body of Christ.
Paul starts out in verse 3 by telling us not to.....
Paul illustrates Christian thinking in verses 6-8 by focusing on the attitudes and actions appropriate to specific spiritual gifts.
*****Paul starts out in verse 3 by telling us not to.....
I. Think we are God’s Gift to Humanity, when we are NOT!
Nothing causes more damage in a local church and ourselves than a believer who overrates himself or herself. (Sometimes the opposite is true, and people undervalue themselves. Both attitudes are wrong.)
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Nothing causes more damage in a local church than a believer who overrates himself and tries to perform a ministry that he cannot do. (Sometimes the opposite is true, and people undervalue themselves. Both attitudes are wrong.)
A. We need to remind ourself of three things: “think soberly”
1. First, you and I are made in the image of God. We have an ability within us, given by God himself, to react and relate to God.
2. Second, you and I are filled with the Spirit of God. Though you and I didn't deserve it in the least degree, We have the power of God at work within us. We have become, in some sense, the bearer of God, and God himself is willing to be at work in us in terms of the little problems and the little pressures that we are going to go through this day.
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God prepares you for this particular purpose by GIVING YOU CERTAIN SPIRITUAL GIFTS. In order to discover God’s unique purpose in your life, you must IDENTIFY YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
God prepares you for this particular purpose by GIVING YOU CERTAIN SPIRITUAL
3. And third, We need to remind ourself that we are part of the plan of God, that God is working out all things to a great and final purpose in the earth and we are part of it. We can do nothing without Him. What we do today has purpose and significance and meaning. It is not just a meaningless thing that we are going to go through. Even the smallest incident, the most apparently insignificant word or relationship, is involved in that great plan. Therefore it has meaning and purpose.
GIFTS. In order to discover God’s unique purpose in your life, you must IDENTIFY YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
B. The gifts that we have came because of God’s grace. “dealt to each one a measure of faith”. They must be accepted and exercised by faith. We were saved “by grace, through faith” (), and we must live and serve “by grace through faith.” Since our gifts are from God, we cannot take the credit for them. All we can do is accept them and use them to honor His name.
take the credit for them. All we can do is accept them and use them to honor His name.Gifts differing according to the grace.—The word translated “gifts” means specially “gifts of grace,” grace standing here for the operation of the Spirit. Different kinds of grace, with different forms of expression, are given to different individuals, and they are to be cherished and used accordingly.
Gifts differing according to the grace.—The word translated “gifts” means specially “gifts of grace,” grace standing here for the operation of the Spirit. Different kinds of grace, with different forms of expression, are given to different individuals, and they are to be cherished and used accordingly.
The gifts that we have came because of God’s grace. They must be accepted and exercised by faith. We were saved “by grace, through faith” (), and we must live and serve “by grace through faith.” Since our gifts are from God, we cannot take the credit for them. All we can do is accept them and use them to honor His name.
*****By Recognizing our gift and using it, we are pleasing God. Verse 4-5 tells us that we are part of the Body of Christ, the Church of the Living God......
*****By Recognizing our gift and using it, we are pleasing God. Verse 4-5 tells us that we are part of the Body of Christ, the Church of the Living God......
God. Verse 4-5 tells us that we are part of the Body of Christ, the Church of the Living God......
God. Verse 4-5 tells us that we are part of the Body of Christ, the Church of the Living God......
Verse 4-5 tells us that we are part of the Body of Christ, the Church of the Living God......
4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
II. As One Member in a Body, we have a function.
As a result every Christian should have a proper sense of humility and an awareness of his need to be involved with other members of Christ’s body.
A. As a result every Christian should have a proper sense of humility and an awareness of his need to be involved with other members of Christ’s body......
B. Paul explained, a parallelism exists between a believer’s physical body which has parts with differing functions and the community of believers in Christ as a spiritual body.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Paul explained, a parallelism exists between a believer’s physical body which has parts with differing functions and the community of believers in Christ as a spiritual body (cf. ; , ). The point is that each member functions to serve the body, not the body to serve the members.
C. Each member functions to serve the body, not the body to serve the members.
*****So, as a child of God, we are to think soberly of ourselves[remove pride], serve in unity as one body, and use the gift or gifts, given to us for Gods purpose in our lives. God prepares us for this particular purpose by GIVING US CERTAIN SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the thead—Christ—16 ufrom whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the thead—Christ—16 ufrom whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love
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15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
*****God prepares you for this particular purpose by GIVING YOU CERTAIN SPIRITUAL GIFTS. In order to discover God’s unique purpose in your life, you must.....
5 building up
5 building up
*****So, as a child of God, we are to think soberly of ourselves[remove pride], serve in unity as one body, and use the gift or gifts, given to us for Gods purpose in our lives. God prepares us for this particular purpose by GIVING US CERTAIN SPIRITUAL GIFTS. In order to discover God’s unique purpose in your life, you must.....
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the thead—Christ—16 ufrom whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love
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*****God prepares you for this particular purpose by GIVING YOU CERTAIN SPIRITUAL GIFTS. In order to discover God’s unique purpose in your life, you must.....
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6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson. 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the thead—Christ—16 ufrom whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love
Thomas Nelson. 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the thead—Christ—16 ufrom whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love
*****God prepares you for this particular purpose by GIVING YOU CERTAIN SPIRITUAL GIFTS. In order to discover God’s unique purpose in your life, you must.....
7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
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***** In order to discover God’s unique purpose in your life, you must.....
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.*****God prepares you for this particular purpose by GIVING YOU CERTAIN SPIRITUAL GIFTS. In order to discover God’s unique purpose in your life, you must.....
III. Identify Your Spiritual Gift or Gifts.
GIFTS. In order to discover God’s unique purpose in your life, you must IDENTIFY YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
Spiritual gifts are special abilities God gives YOU to do His work in the world. When you become a Christian, God gives you at least one spiritual gift—and sometimes more than one. You may not know what yours are or how to use them.
Spiritual gifts are NOT natural talents or acquired skills. You can’t learn or earn spiritual gifts by any effort of your own; they’re GIFTS from God.
Spiritual gifts are NOT natural talents or acquired skills. You can’t learn or earn spiritual gifts by any effort of your own; they’re GIFTS from God.
Spiritual gifts are NOT natural talents or acquired skills. You can’t learn or earn spiritual gifts by any effort of your own; they’re GIFTS from God.
Spiritual gifts are NOT for your own private benefit but for the common good. All of us are to use our unique spiritual gifts to serve God and others in specific ways both in the church and out in the world.
Spiritual gifts are only given to believers. No one gift is given to everyone, and no one has all the gifts; that’s why we need each other.
We all have different gifts--that’s just the way God made us. All of us are to use our gifts to glorify God, to help others, and to build up the church. That’s important...let me say it again.
We all have different gifts--that’s just the way God made us. All of us are to use our gifts to glorify God, to help others, and to build up the church. That’s important...let me say it again.
We all have different gifts--that’s just the way God made us. All of us are to use our gifts to glorify God, to help others, and to build up the church. That’s important...let me say it again.
You are given certain spiritual gifts:
(1) To glorify God; communicating God’s message,
(1) To glorify God; (2) To serve others; and (3) To build up Christ’s church.
communicating God’s message,
(2) To serve others; and
(2) To serve others; to strengthen, encourage, and comfort
(2) To serve others; and
to strengthen, encourage, and comfort
(3) To build up Christ’s church.
(3) To build up Christ’s church, lead people to Christ.
Whatever one’s gift, he should exercise it faithfully as a stewardship from God.
Whatever one’s gift, he should exercise it faithfully as a stewardship from God.
Each of the gifts given to us, and to the rest of the body, are given in such a way as to provide all that the body of Christ needs to function properly.
Spiritual gifts are NOT the “fruit of the Spirit”--love, joy, peace, patience, and all the other fruits of the Spirit found in . These fruits are the same for every Christian. They are Christ-like characteristics that reveal Your SPIRITUAL MATURITY; your SPIRITUAL GIFTS, on the other hand, reveal our MINISTRY, that is, what God wants you to do specifically to serve Him. Spiritual gifts are NOT roles or positions in a church. By office, I am your PASTOR; the word “pastor” means shepherd or caregiver. Some of you who have the spiritual gift of shepherding and caring for others, but that doesn’t mean your calling is to be a pastor. You don’t have to be a pastor to exercise the gift of shepherding and caregiving. In fact, there are members of this church that are better pastors than I am. Don’texpecteverybodytohaveyourgiftsandtoserveanddothingsthewayyoudo. My wife has the gift of administration and organization. After we were married , she expected me to be as organized as she is; when I wasn’t, she became angry and frustrated. Over time she realized there was a snowball’s chance in hell of my ever becoming as organized as she is, so she began extending grace to me. We’ve gotten over this hurdle, and our marriage is better. Every spiritual gift is absolutely important. The Apostle Paul compares the different gifts of the members of a church to the different parts of the human body. What if one day your lungs cried out, I’m tired of all this huffing and puffing; I’m going to let some other member of this body do all the breathing. Or what if your kidney said, I’m tired of cleaning up all the mess around here; I’m going to take a vacation; some other members will have to start cleaning up. Of course, THE RESULT IN BOTH CASES WOULD BE YOUR DEATH.
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We shall examine, in turn, each of the seven spiritual gifts Paul lists in these verses. In doing so, it will be helpful to compare the other three lists of spiritual gifts contained in the New Testament, in , in , and in .
The Book of Romans Seeing Ourselves in Service (Verses 4–8)

the seven spiritual gifts Paul lists in these verses. In doing so, it will be helpful to compare the other three lists of spiritual gifts contained in the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10, in 1 Corinthians 12:28, and in Ephesians 4:11.

Prophecy is the first gift listed here, and is included in each of the other lists, though not first.

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(2) A call to corporate thinking about spiritual gifts — verses 4-5
The Book of Romans Seeing Ourselves in Service (Verses 4–8)

The variety of the spiritual gifts is suggested in verses 6–8. This doctrine is one that needs renewed emphasis in today’s churches for two reasons. One is that current charismatic emphasis on spiritual gifts is distorted and needs correcting. More important, every individual Christian needs to have a sense of usefulness in the Lord’s work and in the church. Many Christians seem to be at loose ends, wondering what their places are. A proper understanding of the scriptural teaching of spiritual gifts will help each Christian know he has a place to fill. Thus, while he will not be proud, as verse 3 warns against, he can still have a sense of his own God-given significance.

Notice, first, that these “gifts” differ according to the “grace” given to us (6a). This carries back to verse 3, the “measure” which God has dealt to every man.

The Book of Romans Seeing Ourselves in Service (Verses 4–8)

Ministering is the gift listed next, and it does not show up in either of the other three lists. Ministering, in Greek, literally means serving

The Book of Romans Seeing Ourselves in Service (Verses 4–8)

Ministering is the gift listed next, and it does not show up in either of the other three lists. Ministering, in Greek, literally means serving.

The Book of Romans Seeing Ourselves in Service (Verses 4–8)

Ministering is the gift listed next, and it does not show up in either of the other three lists. Ministering, in Greek, literally means serving.

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(3) A call for practice consistent with spiritual gifts — verses 6-8
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I. A Call to Straight Thinking About Spiritual Gifts ()

The variety of the spiritual gifts is suggested in verses 6–8. This doctrine is one that needs renewed emphasis in today’s churches for two reasons. One is that current charismatic emphasis on spiritual gifts is distorted and needs correcting.
3 For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
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More important, every individual Christian needs to have a sense of usefulness in the Lord’s work and in the church. EVERYONE IS NEEDED. NO ONE IS LEFT OUT.
Any place of usefulness in the life of the body of Christ is such a “spiritual gift,” and the Spirit of God has one—or more—for every Christian.
Any place of usefulness in the life of the body of Christ is such a “spiritual gift,” and the Spirit of God has one—or more—for every Christian.
Many Christians seem to be at loose ends, wondering what their places are. A proper understanding of the scriptural teaching of spiritual gifts will help each Christian know he has a place to fill. Thus, while he will not be proud, as verse 3 warns against, he can still have a sense of his own God-given significance.
Many Christians seem to be at loose ends, wondering what their places are. A proper understanding of the scriptural teaching of spiritual gifts will help each Christian know he has a place to fill. Thus, while he will not be proud, as verse 3 warns against, he can still have a sense of his own God-given significance.
Notice, first, that these “gifts” differ according to the “grace” given to us (6a). This carries back to verse 3, the “measure” which God has dealt to every man.
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Paul begins to address the subject of spiritual gifts by first telling his readers that in the process of teaching on this subject, he also is exercising his own spiritual gift. He speaks through the “grace” given to him, that “grace” to which he referred at the beginning of this Epistle:
Let us look at each of the seven spiritual gifts Paul lists in these verses. There are other lists of spiritual gifts contained in the New Testament, in , in , and in .
Let us look at each of the seven spiritual gifts Paul lists in these verses. other three lists of spiritual gifts contained in the New Testament, in , in , and in .
Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, for His name’s sake;
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 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
5 Through Him hwe have received grace and apostleship for iobedience to the faith among all nations jfor His name,

prophecy, let us lprophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; mhe who teaches, in teaching; 8 nhe who exhorts, in exhortation; ohe who gives, with liberality; phe who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, qwith cheerfulness.

6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them:
A. Paul exercises his spiritual gift of apostleship;
A. Paul exercises his spiritual gift of apostleship;
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Paul exercises his spiritual gift of apostleship (and perhaps other gifts as well) as he writes these words of instruction and exhortation. Having been prevented from being physically present with these saints for the time being did not keep Paul from exercising his gift “by mail.” This he did not only to the profit of the Roman saints, but to all those who have been blessed by this Epistle down through history. This Epistle to the Romans is an illustration and evidence of the gifts God gave to Paul for our edification.
Paul is telling us TO USE THEM!
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(and perhaps other gifts as well) as he writes these words of instruction and exhortation. Having been prevented from being physically present with these saints for the time being did not keep Paul from exercising his gift “by mail.” This he did not only to the profit of the Roman saints, but to all those who have been blessed by this Epistle down through history. This Epistle to the Romans is an illustration and evidence of the gifts God gave to Paul for our edification.
prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.Paul exercises his spiritual gift of apostleship (and perhaps other gifts as well) as he writes these words of instruction and exhortation. Having been prevented from being physically present with these saints for the time being did not keep Paul from exercising his gift “by mail.” This he did not only to the profit of the Roman saints, but to all those who have been blessed by this Epistle down through history. This Epistle to the Romans is an illustration and evidence of the gifts God gave to Paul for our edification.
IF:
B. Paul’s teaching here is universal.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
His teaching is not addressed to any one individual, nor to some small group, but rather “to every man among you.” These principles apply to every believer. Paul’s words assume that every Christian has been given at least one spiritual gift which is to be exercised for the edification of the church, the body of Christ.
prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
When Paul says that he should prophesy “according to the proportion of his faith,” I understand him to mean that the prophet must not be governed by his emotions or his love of speaking, but must only speak what God has given him to speak. Also, the prophet must speak everything that God has given him to speak, not holding back difficult truth.
C. Paul calls for sound thinking and judgment.
 ministry, let us use it in our ministering;
ministry, let us use it in our ministering;
[ministry here means service]In other words, if you are a servant, then do it. The gift of service often takes place behind the scenes, but if it is not done, everyone notices.
he who teaches, in teaching;
he who teaches, in teaching;
just because you’re gifted in teaching doesn’t mean that it comes easily. Don’t just wing it. Work hard at it.
he who exhorts, in exhortation;
he who exhorts, in exhortation; Exhortation is to encourage, comfort, confront, and instruct others. Exhortation focuses upon the application of truth to everyday life.
he who gives, with liberality; He should not use his gifts manipulatively, to gain power or status. He should give as to the Lord to meet legitimate needs.
he who gives, with liberality; He should not use his gifts manipulatively, to gain power or status. He should give as to the Lord to meet legitimate needs.
He has already informed us that we must not be “conformed to this age”; we must instead “be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” Paul warns of the danger of “overthinking” (Greek) or “thinking too highly of ourselves.” Our day regards low self-esteem as the great evil, the cause of all sorts of maladies. But here Paul warns of the opposite—we must not have too high an estimation of ourselves.
he who leads, with diligence; “to lead.” “With diligence” means that you can’t be a passive leader. You must take initiative, whether in leading your family or the church. Leaders must see problems that need attention and work through others to provide solutions, giving appropriate oversight.
he who leads, with diligence;
he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Now it is time to draw together all that we have been considering. The first thing to be remembered is that there is no place in the body of Christ for the glorifying of one member over another. The humblest servant of Christ is as important to the Lord as any other. We need to get rid of any idea of grades of importance within Christ's body. Indeed there are different function, some of which by there very nature make the owner of that function stand out, but we must never give them more attention and regard than the humblest and most insignificant believer in the fellowship.
People who are suffering can tell whether you’re there helping them as a duty or because you genuinely care for them. They need a cheerful countenance that helps point them to the Lord as their strength. Be sincere and loving.
8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
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We must not think that we are God’s gift to the church and the world.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the 5edifying of the body of Christ,
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A. How does a person discover what his or her spiritual gifts are?
Low self-esteem is never mentioned. As fallen, sinful creatures, we are great lovers. Among other things, we are lovers of money and lovers of pleasure, evidences that we are lovers of self
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5 building up
Thinking too highly of ourselves may be illustrated in the matter of spiritual gifts. First, we may think too highly of ourselves because of the gifts God has given to us. Spiritual gifts are gifts of grace. “Grace” is the root (CHARIS) on which the term “spiritual gifts” (CHARISMATA) is built. Spiritual gifts are sovereignly given as gifts of grace. Spiritual gifts are unmerited and not an evidence of our spirituality. Neither are they a barometer of our worth. Yet when given one of the more visible, more prominent and prized gifts, we may be tempted to take credit for that which God has given us and which He is accomplishing through us.48
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2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, 2unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 btraitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5
,  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
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The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
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The humblest servant of Christ is as important to the Lord as any other. we must never give them more attention and regard to one over another.
1. First, to discover your gifts, get involved in serving in a number of different ministries. Start serving and if God needs to redirect you, He will. As you serve, you will discover that you enjoy doing some things more than others. God uses our desires to direct us. This doesn’t mean that you will find your area of gift easy to do. I find teaching God’s Word to be difficult and stressful. But like all hard work, there is satisfaction after the work is done.The humblest servant of Christ is as important to the Lord as any other. we must never give them more attention and regard to one over another.
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
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The humblest servant of Christ is as important to the Lord as any other. we must never give them more attention and regard to one over another.
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D. Thinking too highly of ourselves may be illustrated in the matter of spiritual gifts.
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The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.Now it is time to draw together all that we have been considering. The first thing to be remembered is that there is no place in the body of Christ for the glorifying of one member over another. The humblest servant of Christ is as important to the Lord as any other. We need to get rid of any idea of grades of importance within Christ's body. Indeed there are different function, some of which by there very nature make the owner of that function stand out, but we must never give them more attention and regard than the humblest and most insignificant believer in the fellowship.
2. Let us labour to appreciate the privilege of being a member of Christ's body, and the grace poured out on us in this privilege. It is only as we realize our debt to God for his mercy and grace, and our debt to Jesus for his giving himself for our sins, and our debt to the Holy Spirit for raising us to new life in Christ, that we fully appreciate God's goodness to us, and so be motivated to be useful to the Lord in his body in the use of the gifts he has given us.
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1. First, we may think too highly of ourselves because of the gifts God has given to us. Spiritual gifts are gifts of grace. “Grace” is the root (CHARIS) on which the term “spiritual gifts” (CHARISMATA) is built.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.Thinking too highly of ourselves may be illustrated in the matter of spiritual gifts. First, we may think too highly of ourselves because of the gifts God has given to us. Spiritual gifts are gifts of grace. “Grace” is the root (CHARIS) on which the term “spiritual gifts” (CHARISMATA) is built. Spiritual gifts are sovereignly given as gifts of grace. Spiritual gifts are unmerited and not an evidence of our spirituality. Neither are they a barometer of our worth. Yet when given one of the more visible, more prominent and prized gifts, we may be tempted to take credit for that which God has given us and which He is accomplishing through us.48
2. Spiritual gifts are sovereignly given as gifts of grace. Spiritual gifts are unmerited and not an evidence of our spirituality. Neither are they a barometer of our worth. Yet when given one of the more visible, more prominent and prized gifts, we may be tempted to take credit for that which God has given us and which He is accomplishing through us.
II. Second, our response to being given a less prominent gift may reveal an inflated estimation of ourself.
Consider these words of Paul recorded in 1 Corinthians:
3. Lastly let us be humbly dependent on the Holy Spirit for his grace to be what we should in Christ's body, and to use our gift in a gracious and holy way.
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For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body
Lastly let us be humbly dependent on the Holy Spirit for his grace to be what we should in Christ's body, and to use our gift in a gracious and holy way.
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Different parts are needed if a body is to exist (v. 19). So too, no believer should think of himself or his gift as inferior and so desire another member’s gift. The gifts were not haphazardly distributed (cf. v. 11) but carefully arranged according to the perfect will of God (v. 18).
*****Brethren, there is much work to do. Let us be diligent to do it.
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Different parts are needed if a body is to exist (v. 19). So too, no believer should think of himself or his gift as inferior and so desire another member’s gift. The gifts were not haphazardly distributed (cf. v. 11) but carefully arranged according to the perfect will of God (v. 18).
Paul calls for sound thinking which is based upon humility and faith. Whenever our ego is involved in our thinking, our thinking becomes distorted. Because of our natural self-love, we will always think too highly of ourselves.49 Self-love distorts our perception of reality. As frequently mentioned in the Bible, especially Proverbs, “humility” leads us to see and to accept the truth. Humility is seeing things as they are; pride is seeing things in a puffed-up way, which feeds our ego and our self-love. Grace should lead to humility, and thus we find in our text a consistent emphasis upon that which God has sovereignly given to us as a gift of His grace.
1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
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1. Whenever our ego is involved in our thinking, our thinking becomes distorted. Because of our natural self-love, we will always think too highly of ourselves.
1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
2. Self-love distorts our perception of reality. As frequently mentioned in the Bible, especially Proverbs, “humility” leads us to see and to accept the truth. Humility is seeing things as they are; pride is seeing things in a puffed-up way, which feeds our ego and our self-love.
3. Grace should lead to humility, and thus we find in our text a consistent emphasis upon that which God has sovereignly given to us as a gift of His grace.
And finally, the word of encouragement is this: you matter. If you are in Christ, if you have trusted in him for salvation, then the Holy Spirit has gifted you for service. You have a part to play in God’s plan of redemption. You are not a spectator, you are not a bystander. And more than that, you are needed. Your gifts are needed; your skills and abilities are needed. We need you to use what God has given you, to work together with all of us in accomplishing his purposes. You are not insignificant. You matter. And that applies to every single person here today: if you are in Christ, you have something to contribute. You matter. Your life matters. So decide before God today that you are going to make a difference. [Amen]
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c. Sound thinking, according to Paul, involves the mind—it is rational, it is accomplished by the exercise of faith, and it does not go beyond the realm of what is proper and right—it does not overthink.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
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The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible ().
Sound thinking is based upon those truths which God has revealed to us, which are unseen, but true. The foundation for mere human thinking is that which is seen or that which appears to be. The foundation for Christian thinking is the Word of God—that which is revealed and which is believed by faith. Sound thinking is thinking based upon the revelation of God, contained and communicated by His Word, and illuminated by His Spirit.
Abraham was thinking soundly when he chose to obey God, even if it involved the sacrifice of his son, Isaac (see ). Abraham acted out of faith when he sought to obey God’s command, even though it was the most difficult test of his life. His faith was a reasoned faith, based on “sound judgment.” He had come to realize that God is able to give life to the dead. This is what God had done to enable Abraham and Sarah to have a child, even though they were “as good as dead” with regard to child-bearing (see ; ). Abraham’s obedience was based on sound judgment, and his sound judgment was based upon that which God had revealed which he believed by faith.
But why is faith necessary in relation to spiritual gifts? Why does Paul tell us that we are to think “so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith”? There are several reasons. First, we live and walk by faith. Faith is essential in our service and in the exercise of our spiritual gifts, just as it is in every other aspect of our lives. Second, the results of our ministry may not be evident or apparent to us, or even to others. The results of the ministry of spiritual gifts are spiritual. They may not be revealed until eternity. We must act on the basis of faith, even though the results are not visible to us. The results of our ministry may be unseen, and faith deals with the unseen.
The prophets of old faithfully ministered, and yet most of them appeared to fail in their own lifetime. They did not see many repent and turn to the Lord. They were rejected, persecuted, and even put to death. The results were not immediately evident. Even the prophecies they gave concerning the Messiah were perplexing to them (see ). Yet they faithfully persevered with no evidence of success. They served by faith, knowing that God’s Word would not return unto Him void ().
Because the exercise of a spiritual gift may be unseen, faith is required. Most often the ministry of spiritual gifts is described in terms of the function of the human body. In the human body some members are visible and prominent such as the hands and the eyes. But there are other unseen members like the heart and lungs. These unseen members are the “vital” organs. Likewise, the vital members of the body of Christ may very well be unseen; thus faith is necessary.
The analogy of the body should be pursued even further. The work of God is carried out through the body of Christ, the church. God’s work is achieved corporately, as a team, and not just by individuals working independently of others. The hand cannot function alone nor can any other member of the body. God’s work is not achieved directly by any one member but by the body as a whole. The function then of any given member of the body may seem insignificant, even unspiritual, unless viewed in the light of the function of the body as a whole. The one who has the gift of helps may not seem to be doing much in the way of evangelism, but if they are serving in a way that edifies the body of Christ, they have a part in the ministry of the body as a whole. Faith enables us to understand this proper functioning of the body of Christ.
We have at this time a large number of troops in the Middle East. The one peeling potatoes, hauling water, or building outdoor toilets may not seem to be doing much for the cause of world peace. But apart from these vital functions being done, no army could survive, much less win, a military conflict. Each army member has a vital role. Each member of the body of Christ plays a part in the work of the body, as a whole. This the Christian believes by faith.
Only a renewed, transformed mind can think of spiritual gifts as Paul has exhorted here. Our culture would convince us to do the opposite of what Paul teaches. Paul warns us not to “overthink” and not to “think of [ourselves] more highly than we ought to think.” The world tells us we do not have a good enough estimate of our own worth. In the secular way of thinking, we need to think more highly of ourselves. Many tell us there are no limits placed on our abilities except those we impose on ourselves. The solution, we are told, is to believe that within us (not apart from ourselves, enabled by the Holy Spirit) there is unlimited potential for success and achievement. We are told that if we but think more positively, more highly of ourselves, then success is guaranteed—the higher our thoughts and goals, the higher our performance.
The world looks inward to what is within man and finds unlimited potential. The Bible instructs us to look Godward, to look to the Holy Spirit and His enablement, to live our lives in a way that will sacrificially serve God and men. The world believes we cannot think too much of ourselves; Paul warns that thinking too much of ourselves is our natural, sinful, inclination, and that this must be put aside. The world tells us that faith is unreasonable; Paul tells us that faith enables us to think soberly and soundly in a world where our perception of reality is distorted by sin. God’s ways are far from man’s ways.
Thus we are challenged to consider the subject of spiritual gifts with our minds thinking clearly and straight. This is to be accomplished by means of true humility, recognizing that all that we have and are, all that we will ever accomplish, is by the grace of God, and not of ourselves. We will think in accordance with reality, and in accordance with the faith we have been granted. Our thinking must be based upon that which God has revealed in His Word, upon those unseen realities which are not only true, but vastly more reliable than the appearances seen with the human eye. Further and more specific manifestations of this straight thinking are given in verses 4-8. Let us look further, to see how straight thinking manifests itself in the life of the Christian and in the realm of spiritual gifts.

Thinking Corporately About Spiritual Gifts (12:4-5)

4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
We live in a very independent, self-centered age. In many ways, we are teetering on the brink of anarchy. The winning governor-elect in a recent state election boasted that people could live without government looking over their shoulder, restricting or condemning individual freedom and choices, choices which clearly included abortion and homosexuality. Marriage is being redefined, because neither the husband nor the wife wish to give up their independence. “Self” is the watchword of our culture. The public good seems to be eagerly sacrificed to individual freedom. Being independent and self-sufficient is viewed as the goal for many. The new evil of our day, from which people need desperately to be delivered, is “co-dependency.”
Paul teaches that Christians must think quite differently. The watchword of our text could be “inter-dependency.” Spiritual gifts are God’s means for sustaining His body, the church. Spiritual gifts mean that I am both weak and strong. I am strong in the area of my gift; I am weak in the areas where others have been gifted. Thus, I must minister to the body of Christ and others out of my strength, and I am dependent upon the ministry of the rest of the body in my areas of weakness.
For the proper functioning of spiritual gifts, we must cease thinking individualistically and begin to think corporately. We cannot look at ourselves as an island, independent of all others. We must see ourselves as a member of the body of Christ, with certain gifts or special enablements which equip us to carry out functions necessary to the equipping and ministry of the body. There is individuality within the body, because there are many members, all with a different role to play. But there is no room for individualism, for we are inter-dependent as members of one body. We must rely on other members of the body just as they must rely on us.
While we have been individually chosen, called, and justified, we have been joined to a body, the body of Christ. We must therefore think and act as members of this body. Spiritual gifts are one of the means by which the body of Christ is sustained and through which the life of our Lord is manifested. Thinking straight necessitates thinking corporately.

The Spiritual Use of Spiritual Gifts (12:6-8)

6 And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Paul’s expressions, “according to the grace given to us” in verse 6 and “as God has allotted to each a measure of faith” in verse 3, point to an important truth to consider before pressing on in our study. Spiritual gifts have nothing to do with ambition. The spiritual gifts mentioned here and elsewhere are not a shopping list from which we make a choice and then seek to gain that gift. The gift(s) we have received have been sovereignly bestowed by God. We already possess the gifts. God gives to us not only the gift (the grace), but also the faith by which they are to be exercised. When we belittle the gift we have been given, we quibble and question the sovereign will of God which determined the gift given to us, along with the place of ministry and measure of success (see ).
Each of the gifts given to us, and to the rest of the body, are given in such a way as to provide all that the body of Christ needs to function properly. Given these different allocations of grace and faith, each of us must exercise our gifts in a certain way if we are to please God and be consistent with His purposes.
The structure of verses 6-8 seems to be indicated by Paul. This is somewhat evident in the English translations and more clearly evident in the Greek text. Allow me to arrange Paul’s words according to the structure I think he intends us to recognize:
And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy — according to the proportion of his faith; if service — in his serving; or he who teaches — in his teaching; or he who exhorts — in his exhortation; he who gives — with liberality; he who leads — with diligence; he who shows mercy — with cheerfulness.
Paul’s words in the first half of verse 6 tie what follows with what he has just said in verses 3-5. The last words of verse 6 seem to distinguish two major categories of gift: (1) spoken gifts (prophecy) and (2) serving gifts (service). This same distinction is found in :
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as 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 ().
Teaching and exhorting both fall under the category of spoken gifts (or prophecy). Giving, leading, and showing mercy, all fall in the category of serving gifts.
The spoken gifts as a group are given one major word of exhortation, one fundamental guideline: “Keep within the boundaries of the revealed Word of God.” The New American Standard Bible and many other translations seem to stress the need to stay within the boundaries of the faith God has allotted us. This is certainly consistent with Paul’s words in verse 3, but why should Paul need to repeat this again? The rendering is also consistent with the lexical definition of the term employed. There is, however, a second meaning, one that seems more appropriate. This meaning is, “in agreement with,” rather than “according to.” This first, more restrictive meaning is totally consistent with the second, more general meaning. I think Paul is cautioning all who speak to do so in a way completely consistent with Scripture. Paul seems to be saying the same thing to the Corinthians when he writes,
Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other ().
Notice that in Paul’s words to the Corinthians the danger of going beyond “what is written” is arrogance, the very thing Paul is warning us about here in .
Those who serve are given the exhortation to be diligent in their service. If those who speak are in danger of wandering beyond the prescribed boundaries of God’s Word, those who serve are in danger of wandering outside the context of the service they have been given. Servants are tempted to critique and correct their fellow servants when their God-given calling is to perform their own service ().
Having given a general exhortation to everyone whose gifts fall under one or the other of the categories he has used, Paul now gives more specific exhortation. He first addresses those in the category of the speaking gifts in verse 7b and 8a, specifying the gifts of teaching and exhorting. He then turns to those who serve in verse 8b, specifying the gifts of giving, leading, and showing mercy.
Those with gifts of service have already been urged, as a group, to diligently devote themselves to their areas of service (verse 7a). In verses 7b and 8a, Paul urges those who have the speaking gifts to likewise devote themselves to doing that which they have been gifted to do. The one with the gift of teaching should devote himself to teaching. The one with the gift of exhortation, to exhortation.50
But why would the teacher need to be exhorted to teach and the exhortor to exhort? Is this not their natural tendency? Our natural tendency is to be self-centered and self-serving. Our service to God is to be self-sacrificing. When our service does not appear to be successful and when our ministry is not self-serving, our tendency is to resign. We, like Elijah and Jonah, want to turn in our badge and give up. Paul urges us to stick with that which God has given us to do, to persevere, because he knows that in the flesh we would give up. Here is where faith and obedience evidence our perseverance.
Those who fall under the speaking gifts category have been urged to stick with it, as those who serve have also been exhorted. Now Paul turns to those in the category of serving gifts to encourage them to exercise their gifts and ministries with spiritual attitudes and motivations which are befitting and edifying.
The one who has the gift of giving is encouraged to give “generously” or, as the marginal note in the NASB indicates, with “simplicity.” I think it is this second sense which is prominent in Paul’s words. Those who give may be tempted to give in a way that “works both ends against the middle.” Giving, in other words, might be done in a way that appears to be generous and sacrificial but which is actually self-serving. Ananias and Sapphira (see ) seem to have given with multiple motives and thus became deceptive and dishonest. They were not as generous as they wished to appear. One’s giving should be done for the benefit of the recipient, not the gain of the donor. The emphasis of “giving in order to get” appears to be in contradiction to Paul’s teaching here. Giving, as with the exercise of all other spiritual gifts, is to be a self-sacrificing act of worship and service (see 12:1).
The one who leads is to do so “with diligence.” Because spiritual leadership may not enhance and promote the leader (as spiritual leadership is marked by servanthood, and not lording it over others), he may be tempted to back off of spiritual leadership. Because the rewards of spiritual leadership come from God and not men, and they come at His return and not immediately, Christian leaders may be tempted to exercise their leadership in more “fulfilling” and “self-serving” causes. They may be tempted to go about their tasks casually and half-heartedly. This is not the manner of exercising the gift of leadership in which God takes pleasure.
The one who shows mercy is to do so “with cheerfulness.” All of us have attempted to show mercy at various times. Showing mercy is acting graciously toward those who need mercy. Often, such people are not pleasant to be around. All too often, such people are not even grateful for the mercy they are shown. It may not take long for the one showing mercy to be tempted to have a cynical, sour grapes attitude. Spiritual gifts are gifts of God’s grace, and they are to manifest God’s grace to those whom we serve. The gift of showing mercy (and every other gift as well) must be exercised in a gracious way so that God’s grace is neither distorted nor disfigured by our service.
Paul sees two great dangers in the exercise of spiritual gifts. The first is in not devoting ourselves to doing that which we are gifted to do.51 The second is exercising our gifts in a way inconsistent with the grace of God which is to motivate them and be manifested by them. We are therefore challenged to devote ourselves to the function for which God has gifted us and to the ministry to which He has called us. And we are to do so in a manner pleasing to Him and consistent with the goal of the task in the overall plan and purpose of God.

Conclusion

Paul’s words raise some important questions I call to your attention, for they require answers which only you can give. I will conclude by raising the questions, and I urge you not to leave this text without arriving at some answers.
Paul is speaking to believers about the spiritual gifts God has bestowed upon each of those who have become His children, by faith. First, have you received God’s gift of eternal life? Have you been born again? If not, then the subject of spiritual gifts is but an academic exercise, a purely hypothetical question. If so, then you have received, along with the gift of eternal life, a special enablement to serve God through His body, the church.
Second, is your pursuit and interest in spiritual gifts one of personal ambition motivated by self-interest? Or do you, out of gratitude, wish to offer up your body to God in sacrificial service to others? If you wish to sacrificially serve God by serving others, then spiritual gifts are the means God has provided for you to do so.
Third, have you discovered the special abilities God has given to you and the place of service where these can be employed for His glory? Paul teaches that every believer has a special enablement, a spiritual gift, by which to serve God. You are to be a steward of that gift. Do you know what it is that God has entrusted to you? Have you found a place of service where your gift can be put to good use? If not, why not?
Fourth, how closely are you linked to a local church and to the broader body of Christ, so that your gift may benefit others and so that you may draw from the strengths and gifts of others? Spiritual gifts are not given so that we may set ourselves above or apart from the rest of the body. Spiritual gifts are to be employed by serving the body, and they also cause us to be dependent upon the body for those areas in which we are not strong (gifted).
Using the analogy of the Book of Nehemiah, I ask you very practically, “What is your piece of the wall?” What are you contributing to your local body and to the body of Christ at large? What are you doing in obedience to this passage to fulfill your responsibilities to the body of Christ?
Allow me to assume that you cannot satisfactorily answer my question, and that you are uncertain about what your spiritual gift is and the ministry where your gift can be employed. Spiritual gifts are not intended to be a mystery. The teaching of spiritual gifts is both fundamental and elementary. If you do not know your spiritual gift and ministry, God is not hiding it from you, if you are seeking to be obedient to Him. Three practical suggestions may help you identify and exercise your spiritual gift.
(1) Offer yourself to God as a living sacrifice, out of gratitude for His mercies to you. Give yourself to serve Him sacrificially, selflessly, through serving others. This is the starting place Paul specifies in . It should also be our starting place.
(2) Study the Scriptures which not only name the spiritual gifts, but also describe their function. The gift of exhortation, for example, is illustrated by the life of Barnabas, the “son of exhortation.”
(3) Be obedient to the commands of Scripture. We are commanded to give (verse 13). Pray for wisdom and insight as to how you may give in a way that pleases God. I am convinced that for every vital spiritual gift there is a corresponding command to perform this function. Ask God to open your eyes as to how He wants you to obey in each vital area. As you begin to obey, take note of those things in which God’s blessing is confirmed by others and becomes clear to you. Develop this particular ability further, and seek different ways to implement this gift.
(4) Look for needs, and seek to meet them. Look for those who are weaker than you, and serve them from your strength. Spiritual gifts are given in order to meet the needs of others. Others needs are all about us. We need but the eyes to see them and the obedience to respond to them by God’s grace and power. Look in your church bulletin. Who are those in need this week? What needs are going unmet in the church? Is there a need for Sunday School teachers? What an opportunity if you have the gift of teaching.
I am convinced that the matter of spiritual gifts is not as mysterious as some suggest and as it might seem at first. If you have first given yourself to God, and you are seeking to obey Him in the strength He supplies, you will know what He has given you to do, and you will have the faith and the grace necessary to do it.
44 In addition to , see ; ; .
45 See .
46 See , ; .
47 When I speak of the church here, I am referring not only to the local church, but to the broader body of Christ of which the local church is but a small part. Each individual believer is thus conceived of as a member of the church universal and as a member of a local congregation of believers. Our ministry should not to be restricted only to the local church. Paul’s ministry, for example, was much broader, although he did minister to the local church.
48 Two serious errors are the root of pride over the possession of our spiritual gifts. First, we may believe we deserve the credit for what God has given us and what He is doing in and through us. We dare not take credit for grace, neither saving grace nor serving grace. Second, the most visible and prominent gifts are not necessarily the most important gifts (see ). Our vital organs are not visible. So too the vital members of the body of Christ may be the least visible.
49 Even so-called “self-hate” is really “self-love.” We “hate” ourselves because we fail to live up to that which we think we are worthy of and deserving. We hate ourselves for failing to live up to that which our self-love desires and demands.
50 This is not intended to mean that the teacher only teaches and the exhortor only exhorts. All of us are to give, to teach, to encourage, to show mercy, and so on. But the one with the gift of teaching ought to make teaching a priority. One should do most what God has enabled him or her to do best. This is good stewardship (see again ).
51 Could this also be because we do not gratefully accept the gift God has given to us, but stubbornly seek to do that which we think is more important, more spiritual, more fulfilling, and self-serving?
Related Topics: Spiritual Gifts
Report Inappropriate AdBob Deffinbaugh
📷Robert L. (Bob)Deffinbaugh graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with his Th.M. in 1971. Bob is a pastor/teacher and elder at Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, Texas, and has contributed many of his Bible study series for use by the Foundation. Bob was born and raised in a Christian home i... More
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August 18th 2004
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