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What is Your Spiritual Gift?

The Holy Spirit  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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All Christians possess spiritual gifts that they are to recognize, develop, and employ.

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Introduction

This morning we are coming to the last lesson in our study of the Holy Spirit. That is the study of our spiritual gifts. I want to say that our spiritual gifts are not reliant on our abilities or talents. Though God will use our abilities and talents, our spiritual gifts are divinely given and can only be accomplished through our willingness to be led and filled with the Holy Spirit. John MacArthur states:
Spiritual gifts, however, are not natural, but rather are supernaturally given by the Holy Spirit only and always to believers in Jesus Christ, without exception (v. 7). Spiritual gifts are special capacities bestowed on believers to equip them to minister supernaturally to others, especially to each other.[i]
Gifts ()
The Greek word translated gifts in literally means “graces.” Thus, the term emphasizes that the Holy Spirit bestows these gifts simply as a matter of grace and not because the recipients work harder, have greater intelligence, or are more deserving. This meaning completely undercuts the Corinthian church members’ tendency to assign greater importance to the more exotic spiritual gifts. All gifts are important, and all gifts are valuable.
Lists of spiritual gifts are found in three of Paul’s letters (; ,; ). The lists are not identical, thus indicating that none of them are exhaustive. Many studies have been published about the lists, and the general conclusions include the following: the lists cover areas of church administration as well as individual Christian practice; categorizing the lists is difficult and leads to very different conclusions; nothing in Scripture demands that we conclude certain gifts were limited to the first century and are not in operation today.[ii]

I. We All Have Gifts ()

1 Corinthians 12:4–5 NASB95PARA
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
The first thing we must all know is that if you are saved you have a spiritual gift. Paul wanted the church at Corinth and us to be aware that the we all have spiritual gifts (v.1). He also states the we do not all have the same spiritual gift but, there is a variety of spiritual gifts. Varieties (diaireseis) basically means “apportionments,” “allotments,” or “distributions,” with the derived idea of varieties. God distributes His gifts in many forms, in many varieties, to His children.[iii]
The first thing we must all know is that if you are saved you have a spiritual gift. Paul wanted the church at Corinth and us to be aware that the we all have spiritual gifts (v.1). He also states the we do not all have the same spiritual gift but, there is a variety of spiritual gifts. Varieties (diaireseis) basically means “apportionments,” “allotments,” or “distributions,” with the derived idea of varieties. God distributes His gifts in many forms, in many varieties, to His children.[iii]
Not only is there a variety of gifts there is a variety of ministries that these gifts are and can be used in. Ministries is from the same basic Greek term as serve, servant, and deacon (one who serves).[iv]
Underlining the gifts and the ministries is One Spirit and One Lord. It is critical to understand that spiritual gifts are not given for self-edification.[v] They are given for the building and edification of the church. “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (NASB)
The great majority of the spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible are found in three key chapters: ; ; and . Mark these three locations in your Bible for future reference because they are primary. Several secondary chapters also provide other important details. They include mainly , ; ; and .[vi]
The list the I like to use in judging what my spiritual gifts are: Evangelism, Prophecy, Teaching, Exhortation, Shepherding, Mercy, Serving, Giving and Administration.

II. We Are Important to the Church ()

1 Corinthians 12:4–5 NASB95PARA
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
1 Cor 12:4-
1 Corinthians 12:12 NASB95PARA
12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
Paul continues by comparing the church to the human body which is made up of my parts. And each part is important to the whole. ().
Paul continues by comparing the church to the human body which is made up of my parts. And each part is important to the whole. ().
It is a sign of spiritual maturity in a church when it honors all contributions and does not seek to spotlight certain members who manifest particular gifts. On an individual level, any time a Christian uses a gift as a point of personal pride, church unity is endangered. All gifts create opportunities to serve, not opportunities to boast about one’s own importance.
Both the church and believers must always remember there are differences among believers. And it is God who has made the differences.[vii]
Thought: Note a significant fact. Paul has not mentioned the church. In fact, he does not mention the church until when he begins to mention the spiritual gifts. Why? He does not say, but his thrust is the universal body of Christ: every individual believer around the world, no matter who or where he is, is a member of the body of Christ. And the individual believer is critical to the health of the whole body. The individual believer is desperately needed to make the body of Christ healthy.
Thought: The point is well made: no believer or group of believers are to look down upon, snub, or by-pass the less gifted in the church. All are important; in fact, the less gifted who are using their gifts for Christ are actually more necessary. They are "where the rubber hits the road"; therefore, they should be treated with greater honor.[viii]

III. How Do I Discover My Spiritual Gift(s)?

Every believer has spiritual gifts. It is expected and necessary for everyone to use their spiritual gift if the church is going to be a healthy church. To do that they must take the time to discover their gift.
You ask how I discover my spiritual gifts. Here are some recommended steps.
· Pray seriously seeking guidance. Pray seriously and seek God’s guidance, and this isn’t one of those, “Oh, God, please.” I mean pray seriously.
· Study the passages in God’s Word for yourself
· Take a Spiritual Gifts Survey: I have given a website at the bottom of your handout where you can go and take a Spiritual Gifts Survey for free. I personally know the author that created this survey and I have used it for years.
· Test the Waters: Get involved in the areas that you feel God has gifted you.
· Four, examine the fulfillment factor. I mean, when you’re doing what God made you to do, I will tell you, there’s something that will come back that you’ll say, “Wow, I’d love to do this. This is exciting.” And then, evaluate honestly. Ask yourself, “What am I really good at? What am I really good at? Where do I see God show up that it kind of surprises me?
· Get quality counsel: take some steps to talk someone who will actually be honest with you, and ask them.
· And then finally here, recognize God’s evident blessing. Where’s the fruit? Where’s God using you? Where are lives changing? What happens that you can’t explain when you teach, or give, or lead, or show mercy, or counsel, or exhort, or preach, or organize, or serve behind the scenes?

Conclusion

The Holy Spirit bestows a variety of spiritual gifts, and we who are believers have received one or more gifts.
It is important that we discover our Spiritual Gift(s)
We who are believers are part of Christ’s body, the church, and each of us is essential for it to function as intended.
All Christians are to use their spiritual gifts for their intended purpose, to benefit the church.
Whatever our spiritual gift or gifts, we are to use each of them in ways that will build up one another and the church as a whole.

Table Discussion

Why is it important to know and develop your Spiritual Gifts?
What, if anything did you learn that was new to concerning spiritual gifts?
How could this information be used to enhance the way God wants to use your life?

Spiritual Gifts Survey

http://gifts.churchgrowth.org/spiritual-gifts-survey/
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[i] John F. MacArthur Jr., 1 Corinthians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), 290.
[ii] Explore the Bible, Summer 2010, Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, TN
[ii] Explore the Bible, Summer 2010, Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, TN
[iii] John F. MacArthur Jr., 1 Corinthians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), 290.
[iii] John F. MacArthur Jr., 1 Corinthians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), 290.
[iv] John F. MacArthur Jr., 1 Corinthians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), 291
[iv] John F. MacArthur Jr., 1 Corinthians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), 291
[v] John F. MacArthur Jr., 1 Corinthians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), 291
[v] John F. MacArthur Jr., 1 Corinthians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), 291
[vi] C. Peter Wagner, Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow, (Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 1979), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 53-54.
[vi] C. Peter Wagner, Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow, (Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 1979), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 53-54.
[vii] The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – 1 & 2 Corinthians, (Chattanooga: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "B. The Spiritual Gifts, 12:4-11".
[vii] The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – 1 & 2 Corinthians, (Chattanooga: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "B. The Spiritual Gifts, 12:4-11".
[viii] The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – 1 & 2 Corinthians, (Chattanooga: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "C. The Church--the Body of Christ and the Gifts, 12:12-31".
[viii] The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – 1 & 2 Corinthians, (Chattanooga: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "C. The Church--the Body of Christ and the Gifts, 12:12-31".
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