Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Not Wanting Us To Be Ignorant...

The following series comes from a study of the Scriptures and with the guidance from a workbook put out in 1994 called "NETWORK". "The Right People... In the Right Places... For the Right Reasons." by Bruce Bugbee, Don Cousins and Bill Hybels. Zondervan Publishing House/Willow Creek Resources. At times, the material is straight from the workbook. I have altered some of the material to fit our needs. I do hope this series will help us reach the places God has for each of us as we seek to please our Father with the gifts He has given to us. God blessing to you as you read and live out this expression of your Christian Walk of Faith.

Spiritual Gifts: not wanting you to be ignorant…
The following list is not a complete list of the Gifts of the Spirit. It is a framwork for us to use as we look into this topic. The verses shown are where the gifts are found. Take some time to look up each verse and learn how it fits into the whole picture of God's Gifts to us.

1. Wisdom 1 Corinthians 12:8-10
2. Knowledge
3. Faith
4. Healing
5. Miracles
6. Prophecy
7. Discernment
8. Tongues
9. Interpretation

10. Apostleship 1 Corinthians 12:28
11. Teaching
12. Helps
13. Administration

14. Encouragement Romans 12:6-8
15. Giving
16. Leadership
17. Mercy

18. Evangelism Ephesians 4:11
19. Shepherding

20. Hospitality 1 Peter 4:9-10

21. Craftsmanship Exodus 31:3

22. Intercession 1 Timothy 2:1-2

23. Creative communication Psalm 150:3-5

Other gifts (usually not sought after):
24. Celibacy

25. Martyrdom

“Listen up, there is something you need to know…” 1 Cor 12:1

Diversity in the Body of Christ is by design. If we all were the foot, we could really walk well but we could not say anything. If we were all the mouth, we could not see anything. We are all unique as individuals and we need to function in this interdependence.

Spiritual Gifts-Defined
Three key characteristics:
  1. God-Given
  2. There is no right or wrong Spiritual Gift
  3. They are given to answer the question “What…” (as in What do I do when I serve?)

There are three elements of serving as a Body Member in the Church.
  • The Uniqueness of the Believer
  • The diversity of Believers within the Body
  • The Interdependence of Believers in the Body

Take some time right now to describe one step to take to become more interdependent. (We need to work together and function as a unit. How can that happen?)

Identify two key points concerning diversity
1. Diversity is not division
Unity is not conformity

The Goal of this series is for each of us to find our passion/gift and to use it in the Body to bring Glory to God. To be fruitful and fulfilled in a meaningful place of service.
As David once said: I was glad when they said unto me: “Let’s go into the House of the Lord!”

Why are we to serve? To bring Glory to God and to edify others.
Ecclesiastes 12:13
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

How are we to serve? According to our passion, spiritual gifts and personal style. Take anyone out of the formula and there is unbalance. We are creators with passion, we are given gifts by the Holy Spirit, and He has given us a personality that fits our duty within the Chrch Body.

Passion is the God-Given DESIRE that compels us to make a difference in a particular ministry.

Know that there is no wrong Passion…just misdirected zeal.
Our passion should answer where we should serve in the Body.

Just as Passion tells us WHERE we are to serve. Spiritual Gifts help us know WHAT to do when we serve. We are not to live in a vacuum. This will not be a complete study of ALL the spiritual gift God gives us…but to give us an introduction to what they are and how God has intended them to function in the Church today.

First understand that Spiritual Gifts are not weird. As a young teen, I attended a 'gathering' that was, indeed, kind of weird, in that strange 'things' happened all around me. Some were acting in a manner that brought fear to my heart. I remember feeling unholy and I needed to get out of that place. As far as I can remember, I never returned to that location.

These Spiritual Gifts are the SPECIAL ABILITIES God gives to His Church so that we can make a unique contribution to the Body. Gifts of His Spirit are given for the common good of the Body, The Church. (1 Cor 12:7)

Spiritual Gifts are given to Believers and are distributed by His Holy Spirit.
These are given by God. I am not the one who hands them out! You can't buy them. It has been tried and God was not pleased with that! The Father ‘bestows’ Spiritual Gifts to us for meaningful service. They will give Glory to Him as He works in our lives to bring about His purpose in our lives. These are discovered as we walk with Him (Being Connected to the Vine-as we studied last time) and as we serve Him with His Joy.

Look at 1 Cor 12:11.
(Only Believers have the Holy Spirit so that only Believers are given His Gifts of the Spirit. Non-believers do not have the Holy Spirit and therefore do not have His Gifts…until they believe.)

These Spiritual Gifts are distributed to every Believer according to the Father’s DESIGN and according to His GRACE. You cannot earn one gift or another by what you do or who you are.

Know that every Believer has ONE gift and has a place of service in the Body of Christ. We are Royal Priest therefore we have a God-ordained ministry. This is GOOD stuff! (1 Peter 4:10)

Why are you are not like me? Good thng, too, because you are unique. Only you can fill the spot where you are. We can’t choose one over another.

1 Cor 12:7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
:11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines.

:18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.

We are unique by His Design. Get over it!

Much like a group playing Hand Bells. One hits D-flat, another hits a C and a F-major, another hits a B. By itself, it is only a D, a C or an F but together, it is music. When it comes together, it creates a mood, a message and it moves the inner spirit.

How can you understand the tapestry from behind? Only when it is turned over and you see the FRONT do you see that there is beauty. Much will be understood LATER. For now, we trust in Him.

Next week we will continue to build on this week's material. We will also be welcoming a Church from Norway called Sion to our services.

We welcome comments from our readers.