Greetings in the name of the Lord. I’ve been looking forward to finishing up our study on the “spiritual gifts” listed in scripture. What a blessed opportunity to share God’s Word with you each week and our constant prayer is that God will use this ministry to touch, grow and strengthen you in the Word of God.
We have looked the last few weeks at the four main passages dealing with spiritual gifts- 1 Peter 4:10-11; Ro 12:3-13, Eph 4:7-16, and 1 Cor 12:4-14. We saw in 1 Peter that all believers have a gift, that there are two types of gifts, the speaking gifts and the ministry/serving gifts. We also learned that regardless of which kind of gift we have it is to be used by God’s power, with His grace and to HIS glory. We saw that the gifts are for the benefit of the body of Christ, to grow each believer into the image and glory of Jesus, and to increase God’s kingdom through the work of HIS body, the church.
Last week we looked at the oneness of the body and the priority of the gifts of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists and Pastor/Teachers (remember this is the gift, not the office of Pastor within a church). These four primary gifts relate to the proclamation of the gospel, the instruction of God’s people and the equipping and edifying of each one for service.
Let’s look again at the gifts we compiled from Romans, 1 Corinthians, and Ephesians last week: ministry, exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, gifts of healing, miracles, discerning of spirits, kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues. We’ll look at each gift, it’s definition and some practical understanding of it’s working out. I trust God to open our hearts and minds to the work of HIS SPIRIT within us to help each one of us gain insight, understanding and a willingness to seek to know and fulfill our gift or gifts with our very best, to HIS glory. As we continue, let’s remember Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 12:7 & 11…”7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” And “11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” It’s HIS Spirit, His choice for others profit and HIS glory.
Ministry: Serviceable labor, service, work…assistance, involves compassionate love …..as it’s labor benefits others.** This gift sees needs and has the ability and willingness to meet those needs.
Prophecy (preaching): foretelling, telling forth, the result of God’s grace or divine enablement, to proclaim as telling forth God’s Word. **In contrast to the office of “Pastor” this gift is the ability to speak and proclaim God’s word to others, whether in private or public situations without indication of any response from the hearers.
Teaching: To know or teach, to instruct by word of mouth….with the calculation of the increase in understanding of the pupil. **This gift is in contrast to “Preaching” in that it implies a reception and perception of the hearers, or a situation of interaction and instruction rather than just speaking with no indication of a response.
Exhortation: To call to one’s side, to aid, to call for, beseech, offer consolation or comfort. **This gift is seen in those who have the desire and ability to see needs, and to know who needs help and how to reach them, and walk with them through their difficulty.
Giving: To give over, to share, to impart. (Note Romans says this gift is to be done with simplicity- sincerity, generosity , selflessness). ** This gift is evident in those who are always ready to give of themselves, their resources and their time to meet the needs of others, with that selfless, generous and single-minded heart without thought for themselves.
Ruling: To stand before, to preside, maintain, rule over. (Note Romans says this gift is to be done with diligence- with speed, eagerness, earnestness, care). ** This is a much needed gift of being able to direct and lead others to accomplish God’s work, with eagerness, earnestness, while caring for those involved.
Mercy: To have pity, be compassionate. To show mercy…to extend help for the consequence of sin. (Note Romans says this gift is to be exercised with cheerfulness-literally “hilarity”, obvious JOY). This is different from “pity” in that this is one who sees the “pitiful” and has the desire and the resources to eliminate the problem.
The word of Wisdom: Wisdom, the knowledge of how to regulate ones’ relationship with God, prudence with others, and knowing how to regulate circumstances, judicious and sensible. ** Knowing HOW to apply that which we know, to give good counsel about circumstances-to speak a wise and appropriate “word” to the one in need.
The word of Knowledge: Experiential knowledge in contrast to clear and exact knowledge. **This is the ability to know truth (scripture) and share practical experience from knowledge of the Word, to specific situations—to speak the right “word” from scripture at the right time.
Faith: To persuade or being persuaded. Implies such a knowledge of, assent to, and confidence in certain divine truths. **This is not just saving faith but the confidence to believe God, to trust His word, and to pursue His specific commands and desires in bold obedience.
Gifts of Healing: (Here the word “gifts” is the only plural of “gift” in this list). A cure, or to affect a healing. **Without getting into any debate this gift is the ability to hear from God and pray healing for specific individuals at God’s direction.
Miracles: Force or power, specifically miraculous power, or the miracle itself. Ability, abundance, might. **The performing of “GODLY” supernatural acts.
Discerning of spirits: Judicial estimation, discernment. **Another much needed gift, to be able to recognize the Holy Spirit’s leading in contrast to “false, evil spirits”. (See 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”)
Kinds of Tongues: Kinds-kin, or nations…. Tongues-Tongue, the tongue of a man, a foreign or strange language . ** The speaking of other languages which one has not learned by education.
Interpretation of Tongues: Translation. **To translate tongues.
I pray that this will help you to have a clearer understanding of the gifts, their meaning, and how to recognize them in your own life and the lives of those around you who are seeking to know God and His Word.