Spiritual Gifts (2)
Week 17 of the Believe series - the topic is Spiritual Gifts. Brief overview (bullet points) of gifts, then 1 Cor. 12, then some application.
1. What is a Spiritual Gift?
Spiritual gifts are spiritual. They are supernatural empowerments or abilities given to a child of God by the grace of God that he or she would not otherwise have.
They are not natural, human, developed skills or talents … they are absolutely of Divine origin.
Gifts of the Spirit - often is one word in Greek - πνευματικός (pneumatikōs or pneumatikōn) - comes from two words: pneuma (spirit or breath - His lifegiving energy or presence) and charisma (gift) which comes from the word charis – grace.
At the root of spiritual gifts is charis or grace. Grace means unmerited favor. There is no earning God’s favor or grace.
God gives grace because God gives grace.
No one can say “I deserve grace.” Grace is received. Same with spiritual gifts – charisma – we don’t earn them (level 10 Christian) or deserve them, but God gives them.
2. Are Spiritual Gifts Important Today?
Absolutely! Think about the
Key Idea: “I know my spiritual gifts and use them to fulfill God’s purposes.”
In his letter to the Corinthian church, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul wrote,
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.
God wants us to know about, understand and employ spiritual gifts.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Spiritual gifts are just that - gifts from God for His children.
Imagine God giving but we neglect …
To neglect my spiritual gift is to neglect something very special God has given me.
To neglect my gift is to rob the Church of power, presence and effectiveness.
This is not a guilt trip. It’s a reality. Let this be a motivator
So, what do you think - are spiritual gifts important?
3. Let the Word of God Speak
Don’t make too much or too little of spiritual gifts.
Spiritual gifts are real but mysterious.
No one fully understands spiritual gifts -
Embrace the mystery.
Enjoy the gift! Spiritual gifts were never meant to be put into a box with neat little file system with neat little categories. Spiritual gifts were never meant to be formulaic. Not meant to be analyzed, dissected … meant to be received, enjoyed ….
Let the Word of God speak. Be careful of superimposing our past experiences or modern images … onto Scripture. Sometimes, the Bible is vague. When it’s vague, let it be vague. It’s written that way for a reason. What do I mean by that? Get there in a moment.
Whenever we read about spiritual gifts - always in the context of love and serving others
Let’s go through 1 Corinthians and put all this together and then do some application
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
We see another list in
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Paul talks about the body …
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.
Application: Most common question concerning spiritual gifts …
4) How Do I Discover My Gift?
Back in the 80s, we used to say, “That’s rad!” short for radical. Remember,
Spiritual Gifts are R.A.D.
R - Relationship
- healthy relationship with God / love / serving …
A - Availability
- Am I available to be used …?
D - Desire
- Have I asked God?
How do I know?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Spend some time asking … seeking … dreaming … receiving …
What are 2 or 3 gifts that you desire or think would be “great” to have?
What is it about this gift(s) that stands out to you?
How would you use this gift for the Kingdom of God and His glory?
Are you willing to be available to God?
What gift might God like you to have and use?
Imagine the people of Sunnyside Naz knowing and using their gifts. How might this change our effectiveness in our church and in our community? Our homes?
What are some hindrances or fears that you may have?
How could you purse the gifts of the Spirit in the weeks to come?