What Spiritual Gifts Are and Are Not
Spiritual Gifts: What Do We Need to Do?
How Are Spiritual Gifts Described?
Who Receives Spiritual Gifts?
Why Are Spiritual Gifts
SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE...
Spiritual gifts are
Sovereignly given to
Saints who are to
Serve (minister) one another & be good
Stewards of the manifold grace of God
SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE NOT...
What is the purpose of our gift?
(see also column 5)
"so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ"
Your gift is sovereignly given by God to benefit the Body of Christ
If you are not the Body will not function properly
Do not seek the gift but seek the Giver and to know His spiritual gift to you
DEFINITION of SPIRITUAL GIFTS
Spiritual gifts are divine enablements for ministry, given by the Holy Spirit, in some measure, to all believers and are to be completely under His control and to be used for the building of the body of Christ, all to glory to God through Jesus Christ.
John MacArthur writes that "A spiritual gift is a channel through which the Holy Spirit ministers to the Body. A gift is not an end in itself." (The Body Dynamic)
Thayer defines spiritual gifts as "extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the Church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit"
Spiritual gifts are "special gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit upon Christians for the purpose of building up the church." (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary )
Spiritual gifts are "Varied endowments graciously bestowed by the triune God upon individual Christians, but particularly intended to enhance the community, worship, and service of locally gathered Christians and thereby to enrich the whole Church." (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
We are called to be faithful and dependable stewards in using our spiritual gifts because anything that is not used doesn’t develop.
A pianist said...
“You know, I must practice every day. If I don’t practice one day I know the difference. If I don’t practice two days, those who hear me know the difference.”
"present [our] bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God"
"[Don't] be conformed to this world"
"be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind"
"[Don't] think more highly of [self] than ought to think but
think so as to have sound [sober] judgment"
"God has allotted to each a measure of faith"
Which means we can know limits of our spiritual gift.
Use the spiritual gift God gave you - this gives maximum impact and minimum frustration
"Concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware (unaware)"
Know your gift
Paul told Timothy
Stop neglecting (what he was doing) your gift!
1Cor 12:2, 3
"[Don’t be like] pagans... led astray to the mute idols"
Ephesians 4:1, 2
(Eph 4:1-2 exposition)
"Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called – with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love"
"[Be] good stewards of the manifold grace of God"
"Employ [your spiritual gift] in serving one another"
1 Peter 4:11
"[Speak] the utterances of God"
(Click word study)
Charisma is a grace gift or "the result of grace". We did not and cannot earn grace or the spiritual gift which is freely bestowed.
Therefore we should not be proud on the one hand nor should we complain on the other! To do so is a personal affront to the Giver!
"Varieties of gifts but the same Spirit"
"Varieties of ministries and the same Lord"
"Varieties of effects but the same God Who works all things in all persons"
In short, the results are dependent on God. Note that involvement of the Trinity in spiritual gifting
"We have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function"
I do not have to perform the same function that is being carried out by another saint
"He gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as pastors and teachers"
Paul describes the gifted individuals Christ gave to the church
(Note for context read Eph 4:7, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
Each believer has at least one spiritual gift
cf 1Cor 12:11,18,28
"To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good"
"Manifestation" (root = shine forth) so the point is that your spiritual gift should be visible to all
It follows that we need to pay attention to mature believers who say "I think you have (manifest) the spiritual gift of ____".
The practical application is that although the spiritual gift is not our choice, we are responsible to recognize it
"To each one of us grace was given"
"Each one has received a special gift"
For the common good
Our spiritual gift is not to edify self but profit the whole body of Christ and to not exercise your spiritual gift affects the health of the entire Body
For Serving One Another
"Employ [your gift] in serving one another"
To Glorify God
1 Peter 4:11
"So that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ"
To Equip Saints for Ministry
Eph 4:11, 12
" For equipping [make fit ] of the saints
for the work of service...
building up of the body of Christ"
Equipping includes Edification, Exhortation, Consolation
"One who prophesies speaks to men for
Who should perform the work of ministry...
Are you serving or just sitting and soaking the sermons?
“It is better to put 10 men to work than to do the work of 10 men” -- D L Moody
The church is not a spiritual rest home, but a barracks for training soldiers of the cross!
Could it be that a paucity of sound Biblical teaching explains the scarcity of Word equipped, Spirit filled saints?
To bring saints to full maturity
Eph 4:12, 13, 14
That we might "all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. No longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming"
Saints who are gifted in handling accurately the Word of truth are given to the Body that it might be brought to full maturity. The Body is not built up by man made programs but Spirit filled men preaching and teaching the pure milk of the Word of Life
When Are Spiritual Gifts Given?
How Are Spiritual
What Metaphor Is Used to Explain Spiritual Gifts?
What Is the
How Are Spiritual Gifts Exercised?
Since EACH believer was given a gift this implies that none at any time lacked a gift..
Therefore we were given our spiritual gift or gifts when we were given the Spirit or when we were Born Again.
1Cor 12:8, 9, 10
"To one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit"
"to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit"
to another the effecting of miracles,
to another prophecy,
Who gives gifts?
"One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills"
The Spirit is in control (sovereign) and the spiritual gifts are determined not by what individuals want or seek but by what God wills.
"God has placed the members each one of them, in the body, just as He desired"
"God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked"
1Cor 12:29, 30
All do not have ALL gifts
Some teach that we should seek "tongues" yet Scripture says not all have this gift
Given by Jesus
(after He ascended)
"we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us"
Note how the pre-underscores God's total sovereignty in the giving of spiritual gifts. We are to seek the Giver of the gifts and not the gifts, for each believer has already been gifted by Him at the time of salvation.
"For even as the [physical] 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"
Many members and one Body
Christ is one Body
How does Paul explain the composition of the body of Christ?
Note Paul's repetition:
How does Paul further explain the body of Christ?
1Cor 12:14, 15, 16, 17
"Body is not one member, but many
All parts of body are important and necessary for healthy function
There is no grounds for competition or envy
What is Paul's point?
We can't say because we don't have a specific gift we are not part of the body - don't have a pity party saying "No one wants my lowly gift"
1Cor 12:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
All members of the body are necessary = No room for self sufficiency (no Lone Ranger believers) We need each other
This truth of our inter- dependence is repeatedly emphasized in Scripture by the use of the phrase "ONE ANOTHER" - Click link to 50 "one another's"
Don’t' feel like you are a "second class" Christian because can't do what someone else does. This truth should set you free from envy and jealousy for God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked
Why greater honor to lesser?
1Cor 12:25, 26, 27
"So that there may be no division in the body but that the members may have the same care for one another"
How is this care explained?
"if one member suffers all the members suffer with it"
"if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it"
Because our physical body is interconnected & interdependent when our head hurts the entire body is affected & so too in the mystical Body of Christ
Romans 12:4, 5
Analogy of many members in one physical body and all members don't have same function (in context the same "spiritual gift") so there are many members of the ONE mystical Body of Christ and all are members one of another (inter-dependent and intimately connected)
"introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union w something else so as to alter its condition or relationship to its previous environment or condition." (Wuest)
God has appointed or placed
various kinds of tongues
"the utterances of God"
God is the "power" Source for our spiritual gift. We exercise our gifts in His power not our own.
Ro 12:6, 7, 8
7 Gifts Listed:
If gift is teaching then teach, etc
The Greek construction in this sentence is what is known as the "Locative of sphere" -- the point is that whatever your spiritual gift is, you are to stay within the sphere of that spiritual gift. If your spiritual gift is teaching then don't try to exercise the spiritual gift of service. The analogy is seen in our body - If one is an "EYE" stay within this sphere.
What's The Message?
Know your spiritual gift
In a recent survey Barna reports that 69% of church goers have heard of spiritual gifts but do not know their spiritual gift!
Know the limits of your spiritual gift
Don't seek a particular spiritual gift that you would like to possess (but do seek to know the gift you already possess)
How Do You Know What Your spiritual Gift is?
You will be drawn to that spiritual gift
You will show interest
You will experience "success" in the exercise of that spiritual gift
Others will see your gift
You can know for sure that you have at least one spiritual gift
You need to understand that your spiritual gift represents a stewardship from God which you are responsible for and will give an account some day as to how you managed this gift. It follows that you must discover your spiritual gift (or as Paul says don't "be ignorant" of it)
You must exercise your spiritual gift within the context of the body of Christ universal and the specific local body where God has planted you
Remember your role in the body is vital for if one member of the body fails to exercise his or her specific spiritual gift, the Body of Christ will not function as it was meant to function
THE NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES
1 1 urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
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.
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.
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.
12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.
2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the dumb idols, however you were led.
3 Therefore I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
6 And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
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.
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 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.
16 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.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
20 But now there are many members, but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;
23 and those members of the body, which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness,
24 whereas our seemly members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,
25 that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.
26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.
28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?
30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?
31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
8 Therefore it says, "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN."
9 (Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 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.
Devotional Illustrations from Our Daily Bread (Click)
Bible Dictionaries, Theological Articles
Wayne Barber sermon series (discussion of spiritual gifts)
Bible.org Website - List of Contents Related to Spiritual Gifts
J Hampton Keathley, III
John MacArthur - cessationist
John Piper (spiritual gifts) - not a cessationist
1Peter 4:10-11 (and other passages)
Ray Pritchard (Includes discussion of seven spiritual gifts)
Grant Richison (abstracts from devotionals on Spiritual Gifts - click link for full article)
1 Peter 4:10 We exercise our (spiritual) gift in grace because we received our gift by grace. God does not want us to be ambivalent about the gifts He gives us. In fact, He warns us not to neglect our gifts...If someone were to give us a gift at Christmas and we threw it in the attic without opening it, it would be an insult to the giver. If Christians receive special supernatural endowments to do the work of God and leave them latent, this is an insult to God who gave the gift. God gave every Christian a special endowment to do His work without exception. Will you stand at the judgment seat of Christ empty-handed with no representation of using our gift responsibly? It will do no good to say, "Well, I'm not talented. I really do not have anything to offer the church. I am a speckled bird that does not fit in. I can't do anything. All I can do is sit. All I can do is be a religious spectator all my life. I watch others serve. All I can do is pity myself." Neglecting our gift indicates our lack of appreciation for the grace of God. Very few Christians seize their gifts and use them for God's glory to the benefit of the body of Christ. Never did so many owe so much to so few.
1 Peter 4:10b Spiritual Gifts serve no purpose except to serve. Each gift is a pipe that relays the blessing for which God designed the gift. We are a pipe, not a reservoir. We are a channel of God's blessing to others. We are the channel through which God's blessing flows to others.
1 Peter 4:10c Christians are managers of God's grace through their spiritual gift. God wants us to be faithful, not famous. He does not even want us to be successful but faithful....Stewards serve others by distributing their gift to meet the needs of others. A good steward manages God's provisions well. As a minister of Christ, God entrusts us with the treasures of the gospel. The first requirement is trustworthiness. What kind of steward have you been with God's gifts to you? Have you opened your gift? Have you neglected your gift? Do you use your gifts to serve others? There is room for everyone in the service of the King.
1 Peter 4:10d God's gifts of grace come in all sizes and shapes. The grace of God comes in all colors, shapes and sizes. It takes a great variety of gifts to produce a healthy, growing church. Our computer has outward functions but below the surface are many little parts that make it work. You may be one of those small parts. Without you there would be no effective church of God. That is the way God works. The church needs big parts and little parts, big roles and little roles without which the church would not be the church. Will you make yourself available to be used of God in the local church? Without you, the work of the Lord will suffer loss. We ultimately do not serve the church but we serve the Lord. Say to the Lord, "Here I am. Harness me. Put a saddle on me and I will do my best." All He expects is our best, nothing more. All He wants from us is to do what we can with what we have.
1 Peter 4:11 God gives us the gift of dispensing revelation....The message is not our own. We are just messengers who deliver the telegraph of good news. We do not say a messenger is great because of the good news in the telegram. The glory is in the content of the telegram. Men are simply mouth-pieces for communicating God's truth. We do not trust in our own powers but live under a power not our own.
1 Peter 4:11b To speak as an oracle of God is to speak with authority....Do you speak God's Word or are you a purveyor of your own notions? In speaking gifts, God designs that we transmit His truth. We simply chime the truth and the Holy Spirit does the work of applying truth to experience.
1 Peter 4:11c A characteristic of Christianity is to serve others....Few of us minister to saints. Most of us cater to our own needs. We love to minister to ourselves.
1 Peter 4:11d God will give us the ability to minister. God will enlarge our capacity to serve Him. He first gives us the capability to minister by giving us a gift. Then as we cultivate the gift, He makes us more potent. If we are faithful to our gift, God will enlarge our area of responsibility. He will push back horizons for greater ministry. Are you dying of spiritual dry rot? If God opens an opportunity for you, seize the day no matter how insignificant it may seem. If you are faithful in the small thing He will give you something greater
1 Peter 4:11e God supplies any provision we need to minister for Him. We do not invent our gift. God both gives the gift and produces the ability to use the gift. God is both the source of our gift and the sustaining of it. We often act as if it is our great gift that produces the results. We forget that God both gave us the gift and gives us the ability to use the gift (1 Corinthians 4:7). There is no room for pride because from beginning to end it is God that supplies.
1 Peter 4:11f Our purpose in life is to manifest God's glory. Use of our gifts is a combination of self-possession and self- abandonment. We should exercise our gift with a sense of excellence and yet the gift should not call attention to ourselves. The focus should be upon the Lord Jesus...Do you live a life of doxology? All doxologies ascribe glory to God. Do you ascribe to God what God truly is? There is always the temptation to ascribe glory to ourselves
1 Peter 4:11g God's purpose for us is to be God-centered. What is your motive for ministry? Do you do what you do for self? Are you self-centered or God-centered? The message here is that God wants us to be God-centered. Everything we do we do to the glory of God.
1 Peter 4:11h God wants us to recognize His sovereign rule for our lives.
1 Peter 4:11i We need to put our gifts in the perspective of eternity. Our master motive should revolve around the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). If we live for the glory of God, our gifts will be used for eternal purpose. What we do in time counts for eternity. The phrase "forever and ever" puts our ministry and gifts in eternal perspective. We need to keep eternal values in view. We look at time from the viewpoint of eternity.
Ron Ritchie (series on Spiritual Gifts)
Good Stewards Of God's Spiritual Gifts 1 Peter 4: 1-10
The Benefits Of Spiritual Gifts Romans 12: 1-8
The Joy Of Spiritual Growth Ephesians 4: 7-13
The Proper Use Of Gifts 1 Corinthians 12: 1-30
Expressing Our Spiritual Gifts With Love 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Order Out Of Chaos 1 Corinthians 14
Ray Stedman from his book "Body Life"
How the Body Works (spiritual gifts)
Ray Stedman - other messages on Spiritual Gifts
Are You a Good Steward of the Spiritual Gift God has Entrusted to Your Care?
The following story by an unknown author gives an interesting illustration of how one believer not exercising their gift in the Body can affect the message produced by the entire Body.
A Brokxn Kxy
MISCELLANEOUS NOTES ON
Wayne Barber has an interesting illustration of unity among diversity in the realm of spiritual gifts
R. A. Torrey described the Spirit’s ministry in his book The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit:
1 Corinthians 12:12 Why does Paul chose the metaphor of the body?
The human body is an illustration of unity and diversity. The body is one, yet has many members. Although all the believers are different and perform different functions, yet they all combine to make one functioning unit —the body. When we see that diversity is essential to a normal, healthy body, it will save us from two dangers—from belittling ourselves (vv. 15–20) and from belittling others. It would be absurd for the foot to feel unimportant because it can’t do the work of a hand. After all, the foot can stand, walk, run, climb, dance—and kick, as well as a host of other things.
1Corinthians 12:11 "But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills."
John MacArthur comments that...
1Corinthians 12:17 "If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be?"
Paul is saying in essence can you imagine your body as one big eyeball (possibly alluding to the more "showy" gifts)? How would you get around town? You'd have to roll, wouldn't you? When you rolled, you would be on the ground & you'd get dirt in your eye. You wouldn't have a hand to get the dirt out of your eye. What is Paul's point? The point is that you can't say because I don't have this gift that I'm not part of the body.
1Corinthians12:31 How do we understand the statement "but earnestly desire the greater gifts."? William MacDonald gives a well reasoned answer...
Warren Wiersbe explains that in Ephesians 4:11-12
Commenting on Ephesians 4:11-12, the Bible Knowledge Commentary writes that...
Vance Havner in his pithy, penetrating style comments on Ephesians 4:11-12...
William MacDonald illustrates Ephesians 4:11-12 schematically as shown below and explains it as follows: