Search word: Retrieve verses, illustrations, etc
Facebook - Preceptaustin
Twitter - Preceptaustin
Blog - Preceptaustin
Studies, Devotionals, Sermons, Illustrations
Old and New Testament.
(Part 1) (Part
key Scriptures on spiritual
What Spiritual Gifts
Are and Are Not
Spiritual Gifts: What Do We Need to Do?
How Are Spiritual Gifts Described?
Who Receives Spiritual Gifts?
SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE...
who are to
(minister) one another & be good
of the manifold grace of God
SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE NOT...
the purpose of our gift?
(see also column 5)
"so that in all things God may be
through Jesus Christ"
gift is sovereignly given by God to benefit the Body of Christ
Are you a faithful
steward of your spiritual gift(s)?
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
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
in using our spiritual gifts because anything that is not used
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
think so as to have sound [sober]
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)"
Paul told Timothy
"Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you" (1Ti 4:14)
Stop neglecting (what he was doing)
1Cor 12:2, 3
"[Don’t be like] pagans... led astray to the mute idols"
"[Be led] by the Spirit of God...by the Holy Spirit"
Ephesians 4:1, 2
"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"
stewards of the manifold grace of God"
"Employ [your spiritual gift] in serving one
1 Peter 4:11
"[Speak] the utterances of God"
"[Serve] by the strength which God supplies"
"Earnestly desire the greater gifts"
"Earnestly desire" is a command in the plural, not to individuals to
seeking specific gifts which would counter truth in 1Co 12:11, 18, 24)
The "greater" spiritual gifts in context include those
he has just mentioned. Without prophets and teachers the body cannot be
edified and prepared for the work of service. This is not a command to seek
after tongues. God gives gifts as He desires.
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
of gifts but the same
of ministries and the same
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
have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same
do not have to perform the same function that is being carried out by another
"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)
believer has at least one spiritual gift
cf 1Cor 12:11,18,28
"To each one
the Spirit for the common good"
"Manifestation" (root =
shine forth) so the point is that your spiritual gift should be visible to
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
of us grace was given"
"Each one has received a
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
Howard Hendricks adds that "If you don’t know what
your gift is, and if you are not using it to serve the body of Christ,
you are crippling your spiritual life"
For Serving One
[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
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...
the staff or the saints?
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!
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
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
Metaphor Is Used to Explain Spiritual Gifts?
What Is the
Order of Spiritual Gifts?
How Are Spiritual Gifts Exercised?
one is given the manifestation of the Spirit"
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
Paul writes that "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."
anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him"
Elsewhere Paul emphasizes that "
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
"to another faith by the same
Although Hudson Taylor had no money, he believed God would use him to win
China and and God did use him mightily to spread the gospel into inland
Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret)
healing by the one Spirit,
to another the effecting of
to another prophecy,
to another the
to another the
one is given one gift and next person another spiritual gift
Who gives gifts?
How are they distributed?
"One and the same Spirit
works all these things, distributing to each one individually
just as He
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
"God has so
body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked"
appointed in the church..."
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)
"He gave gifts to men"
"He gave some as apostles"
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.
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
Christ is one Body
How does Paul
explain the composition of the body of Christ?
"For by one
we were ALL baptized (Click
baptizo) into one
whether Jews or
Greeks, whether slaves or free and we were all
to drink of one
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
foot... is not...any the less a part of the body"
"if the ear says," 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"
"If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be?'
"If the whole were hearing, where would the
sense of smell be?"
All parts of body are important and necessary for healthy
There is no grounds for competition or envy
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
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
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
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
"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)
appointed or placed
various kinds of
There is an ORDER but it is NOT indicative of importance. The idea of order
is similar to a husband as head over the wife but both are equally important
is to be
utterances of God"
is to be
strength which God supplies"
(gifts, ministries, effects) in all persons"
works (energizes) all these things"
God is the "power" Source
for our spiritual gift. We exercise our gifts in His power not our
Ro 12:6, 7, 8
7 Gifts Listed:
prophecy, according to the proportion of
service, in his
teaches, in his
exhorts, in his
he who shows
If gift is teaching then teach, etc
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.
In a recent survey Barna reports that
69% of church goers have heard of spiritual gifts but do not know their
Know the limits of your spiritual gift
Don't seek a particular
gift that you would like to possess (but do seek to
know the gift you already possess)
spiritual gift is – if you are a "hand" you will be drawn to functions a hand
is capable of doing.
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
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)
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
illustration of a "steward" who fails to fulfill their function)
NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES
ON SPIRITUAL GIFTS
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
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
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
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
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
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
Bible Dictionaries, Theological
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology -
Gift of the Holy Spirit - Craig Blomberg
Holman Bible Dictionary - Spiritual Gifts t - Fisher
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Spiritual Gifts
Person of the Holy Spirit Pt 8 The Work of the Holy
Spirit in the Believer - John Walvoord
The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts - John F. Walvoord
Contemporary Issues in the Doctrine of the Holy
Spirit-Spiritual Gifts Today- J. Walvoord
Spiritual Gifts: Definitions and Kinds
- James F Stitzinger
Women, Spiritual Gifts, and Ministry -- Ann L. Bowman
Concerning Spiritual Gifts- A Study Of 1Corinthians 12
-- Thomas A. Jackson
Calvin And The Spiritual Gifts -- By:
And Prophecy Shall Cease- Jonathan Edwards On The
Cessation Of The Gift Of Prophecy -- Philip A. Craig
Wayne Barber sermon series
(discussion of spiritual gifts)
Romans 12:1 Our Responsibilities
Under Grace - Pt 1
Romans 12:2 Our
Responsibilities Under Grace - Pt 2
Romans 12:3-5 Our Responsibilities
Under Grace - Pt 3
Romans 12:5-8 Our Responsibilities
Under Grace - Pt 4
Romans 12:1-8 Our Responsibilities
Under Grace - Pt 5
Bible.org Website - List of Contents
Related to Spiritual Gifts
Content On: Spiritual Gifts - numerous
The Gifts of the Spirit - adapted from
his book "Conformed to His Image"
J Hampton Keathley, III
The Stewardship of Talents (Multiplying the Life
Through our Spiritual Gifts)
John MacArthur - cessationist
Concerning Spiritual Gifts - study
guide - see dropdown menu for following topics
The Permanent Edifying Gifts--The
Serving Gifts: Leadership, Serving, and Giving (1 Corinthians 12:8-10)
The Permanent Edifying Gifts--The Serving Gifts: Mercy, Faith, and
Discernment (1 Corinthians 12:9-10)
The Temporary Sign Gifts--Miracles (1 Corinthians 12:10)
The Temporary Sign Gifts--Healing, Part A (1 Corinthians 12:9, 28, 30)
The Temporary Sign Gifts--Healing, Part B (1 Corinthians 12:9, 28, 30)
One Body, Many Gifts--Part 1 (1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 18, 24, 28)
One Body, Many Gifts--Part 2 (1 Corinthians 12:15-31)
The Counterfeit Background of Spiritual
Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1)
The Importance of Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-3)
The Source of Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11)
Concerning Spiritual Gifts, Part 1 1 Corinthians
Concerning Spiritual Gifts, Part 2 1 Corinthians
The Permanent Edifying Gifts, Part 3 1 Corinthians
Ministry of Spiritual Gifts, Part 1
How Do Spiritual Gifts Operate
Discovering Your Spiritual Gift
The Gifts of the Body, Part 2
The Gifted Men--Apostles and Prophets (1 Corinthians
The Gifted Men--Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers
(1 Corinthians 12:28a)
John Piper (spiritual gifts)
- not a cessationist
(and other passages)
Ray Pritchard (Includes
discussion of seven spiritual gifts)
Romans 12:3-8: Blueprint for a Healthy
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
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
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
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
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
Good Stewards Of God's Spiritual Gifts
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
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Order Out Of Chaos
1 Corinthians 14
Ron R. Ritchie's List of the Spiritual
Ray Stedman from his book
Children Have Gifts
Using Your Gift
According to the Power
How the Body Works
Ray Stedman - other messages on Spiritual Gifts
Romans 12:3-8: The Body at Work
Romans 12:3-8 Who Am I, Lord?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A "KEY" PLAYER
FAILS TO FULFILL THEIR FUNCTION?
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
Evxn though my typxwritxr is an old modxl, it works quitx wxll
xxcxpt for onx of the kxys.
I havx many timxs wishxd that is workxd pxrfxctly.
It is trux that thxrx arx forty-onx kxys that function wxll xnough,
but just onx kxy not working makxs thx diffxrxncx.
Somxtimxs it sxxms to mx that our church is somxthing likx my
typxwritxr -- not all thx kxy pxoplx arx working propxrly.
As onx of thxm, you may say to yoursxlf, "Wxll, I am only onx pxrson,
I don't makx or brxak thx church."
But it doxs makx a big diffxrxncx, bxcasx a church, to bx xffxctivx,
nxxds thx activx participation of xvxry pxrson.
So, thx nxxt timx your xfforts arx not nxxdxd vxry much, rxmxmbxr my
typxwritxr and say to yoursxlf, "I am a kxy pxrson in thx
congrxgation and I am nxxdxd vxry much."
This is what happxns to thx wholx church, and multiply this by many
timxs -- thx whole thing just doxs not makx sxnsx!
"Belovxd don't bx
like a broken kxy."
You must utilize your spiritual gift.
The local body of Christ where you worship needs you
and cannot be the same without you!
Do you really believe that?
><> ><> ><>
MISCELLANEOUS NOTES ON
Wayne Barber has an interesting
illustration of unity among diversity in the realm of spiritual
in chapter 2
(sermon series on Ephesians) we are told we are of God’s household and also His Temple.
We are living stones being fitted into His Temple, each one of us with
different sizes, shapes, gifts, personalities and individualities, but
every one of us under the control of the Spirit of God. If someone played
a middle C on the
piano for a while, it is a pretty note. If he played it
for a long time, you would say, "Will you quit? You are driving me crazy!"
Isn’t it great that unity doesn’t mean uniformity? It doesn’t mean we are
all alike. Wouldn’t that make church the most boring place you have ever
been in your life? If that fellow added an E and a G and a high C, all of
a sudden you would say, "Whew, that sounds good! Now that blends." You’ve
got more than just one. You’ve got other diversified notes. But when you
put them together played by the same hand, you have unity amongst
the diversity. That is what Paul wants you to see. This is the
body. This is how it functions. When we are each functioning under the
Spirit’s power, letting His ability be ours, then our gifts begin to
function. Even though our gifts are different, we are still preserving the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We are different. Folks, you
need to grasp that and stop coveting somebody else’s gift and somebody
else’s ministry and simply say, "God, anything short of hell is grace. I
accept what you have given to me. I receive what you have given to me. Let
me just be who I am in your power. When you do that, the unity of the
body is being preserved....The word for grace, charis,
means that which you don’t deserve. It is Christ who is the source of
every bit of it. Again, unity is not uniformity. We are all
diversified in our gifts as to the amount and as to the gifts themselves.
" (bolding added)
R. A. Torrey described the Spirit’s
ministry in his book The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit:
the Holy Spirit takes the one who seems to give the least natural promise
and uses him far beyond those who give the greatest natural promise.
Christian life is not to be lived in the realm of natural temperament, and
Christian work is not to be done in the power of natural endowment, but
Christian life is to be lived in the realm of the Spirit, and Christian
work is to be done on the power of the Spirit.”
SELECTED PASSAGES IN 1CORINTHIANS 12
1 Corinthians 12:12
Why does Paul chose the
of the body?
"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."
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
1Corinthians 12:11 "But one and
the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one
individually just as He wills."
another important point—the Spirit sovereignly apportions the gifts. If we
really grasp this, it will eliminate pride on the one hand, because we
don’t have anything that we didn’t receive. And it will eliminate
discontent on the other hand, because Infinite Wisdom and Love decided
what gift we
should have, and His choice is perfect. It is wrong for
everyone to desire the same gift. If everyone played the same instrument,
you could never have a symphony orchestra. And if a body consisted only of
tongue, it would be a monstrosity. " (MacDonald,
W., & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments.
Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
John MacArthur comments
"Every believer receives the exact gift
and resources best suited to fulfill his role in the body of
Christ....every person has his own special but limited set of
capabilities. Trying to operate outside those capabilities produces
frustration, discouragement, guilt feelings, mediocrity, and ultimate
defeat. We fulfill our calling when we function according to God’s
sovereign design for us."
Warren Wiersbe explains that...
baptism of the Spirit occurs at conversion when the Spirit enters the
believing sinner, gives him new life, and makes his body the temple of
God. All believers have experienced this once-for-all baptism (1Cor
12:13). Nowhere does the Scripture command us to seek this baptism,
because we have already experienced it and it need not be repeated. To be
baptized by the Spirit means that we belong to Christ’s body... To
be filled with the Spirit means that our bodies belong to Christ."
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
"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...
When Paul says: “But earnestly desire
the best gifts,” he is speaking to the Corinthians as a local church, not
as individuals. We know this because the verb is plural in the original.
He is saying that as an assembly they should desire to have in their midst
a good selection of gifts that edify. The best gifts are those that are
most useful rather than those that are spectacular. All gifts are given by
the Holy Spirit and none should be despised. Yet the fact is that some are
of greater benefit to the body than others. These are the ones that every
local fellowship should ask the Lord to raise up in the assembly." (MacDonald,
W., & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments.
Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
COMMENTS ON EPHESIANS
See Verse by Verse notes on site
Warren Wiersbe explains that in
"The saints do not call a pastor and pay him to do the work. They call him
and follow his leadership as he, through the Word, equips them to do the
job (2Ti3:13-17). The members of the church grow by feeding on the
Word and ministering to each other. The first evidence of
spiritual growth is Christ-likeness." (Ibid)
Commenting on Ephesians 4:11-12, the
Bible Knowledge Commentary writes that...
"Gifted people (Ephesians 4:11) are to minister the Word to others so that they
in turn are readied to get involved in ministering to others (cf 2 Ti 2:2).
The goal is the building up or edifying of the body of Christ
(cf Eph 4:16). This shows that all saints and not just a few leaders
should be involved in the “ministry.” All saints are gifted (v7) to serve
others spiritually." (Walvoord,
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor).
Vance Havner in his pithy,
penetrating style comments on Ephesians 4:11-12...
"Every Christian is commissioned, for
every Christian is a missionary. It has been said that the Gospel is not
merely something to come to church to hear but something to go from the
church to tell—and we are all appointed to tell it. It has also been said,
‘Christianity began as a company of lay witnesses; it has become a
professional pulpitism, financed by lay spectators!’ Nowadays we hire a
church staff to do ‘full-time Christian work,’ and we sit in church on
Sunday to watch them do it. Every Christian is meant to be in full-time
Christian service ... There is indeed a special ministry of pastors,
teachers and evangelists—but for what? ... For the perfecting of the
saints for their ministry."
Ephesians 4:11-12 schematically as shown below and explains it as
"The circle in the center depicts, let us say, the gift of a
teacher. He ministers to those in the circle around him so that they are
equipped, that is, built up in the faith. Then they go forth and minister
to others according to the gifts God has given them. In this way the
church grows and expands. It is the divine method of producing growth in
the body of Christ, both in size and spirituality. Limitation of Christian
service to a select class of men hinders the development of God’s people,
stifles the cause of world evangelism, and stunts the growth of the
church. The distinction between clergy and laity is unscriptural and
perhaps the greatest single hindrance to the spread of the gospel." (Ibid)
for free. It is an
easy to install and simple to use Bible Verse pop up tool that allows
you to read cross references
in context and in the
Version you prefer. Only the KJV is free with this download
but you can also download a free copy of
which in turn offers
that work with
including the excellent, literal translation, the English Standard
Version (ESV). Other popular versions are available for
purchase. When you hold the mouse pointer over a Scripture reference
anywhere on the Web (as well as offline in Word for Windows, email,
etc) the passage pops up immediately.
can be disabled if
the popups become distractive. This utility really does work and makes
it easy to read the actual passage in context and not just the chapter
and verse reference.