Jul 10, 2014

FAQ about Understanding Spiritual Gifts - (A study from IBLP)

"Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant."              (1 Corinthians 12:1)

"Spiritual gifts are an expression of the "manifold grace of God"  (1 Peter 4:10).  Just as there are many gifts, there are many ways to organize them for study and application.  The following study has brought joy and freedom to thousands of Christians who have wondered what their spiritual gifts are and how they could effectively use them.

1.     What are Spiritual Gifts?    Drives, opportunities, and results given by the Holy Spirit to achieve God's supernatural goals - 1 Corinthians 12 - 14.
            Each person who is born again into God's kingdom takes on a "debt of love".  It is designed to 
            motivate us to fulfil the law of God.  Thus, we are instructed in Romans 13:8, "Owe no man
            anything, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law."   God gives 
            spiritual gifts so that we are able to pay our debt of love.
2.     Who is given a Spiritual Gift?   Every Christian.  It is activated at salvation when the Holy Spirit unites with our spirit - Romans 8:16-17
            When we are born physically, we possess certain natural abilities.  When we are born again     
            spiritually, God takes these natural abilities and turns them into the means by which He can 
            work through us supernaturally.   Christ "...gave gifts unto men...For the perfecting of the   
            saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; Till we all come in the 
            unity of the faith..." (Ephesians 4:8,      12-13)
3.     How many gifts does each Christian have?
            There are three types of gifts: Motivation, Ministry and Manifestation - 1 Corinthians 12:4-7.  We 
             have one motivational gift and the possibility of many ministry and manifestation gifts.  
             - 1  Peter 4:10, 1 Corinthians 12:31
            "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of 
             administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same 
             God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit 
             withal"  (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
            Each Christian's motivational gift is given by the Holy Spirit.  the Greek root word for gift is 
            charisma which comes from the word char meaning "joy"Charis is the Greek word for grace
             which is God giving us the desire and power to do His will.  (Philippians 2:13).
            The Greek word from which operations comes is emergeia.  Its English equivalent is energy.   
            As God gives power trough our motivational gift, the effects produced by it are the operations 
           (energema) or manifestations of the Spirit.
            Each Christian may also have several ministry gifts given by the local church.  After listing the 
            ministry gifts in 1 Corinthians 12: 28-30, Paul concluded by saying "But covet earnestly the best 
            gifts..."  those that would most effectively strengthen believers and advance the kingdom of 
            Peter emphasizes the singularity of the motivational gift when he states,  "As every man has 
            received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold 
            grace of God"  (1 Peter 4:10)
4.     Why Do We Receive Only One Motivational Gift?   So we can concentrate on it - Romans 12:6-8.  So we can see our need for each other - Romans 12: 3-5.
            The ear is designed to carry out a different function that the eye, and the hand to perform 
            different functions than the foot.  Gifts are distributed so that no one Christian will "...think of 
            himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to 
            every man the measure of faith.  for as we have many members in one body, and all  
            members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one 
            members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to 
             us..." (Romans 12:3-6).
            If one Christian had all seven motivational gifts, he would certainly be self-sufficient 
            and would not need the other members.
5.     How Do We Discover Our Motivational Gift?
·         Accept Christ for Salvation - Romans 10:9-13
·         Enter into Christ's victory over sin - Romans 6 thru 8.   It is significant that spiritual gifts are not explained in the first chapter of Romans, but in the twelfth chapter, after sin has been identified and conquered in the believer's life.
·         Concentrate on the needs of others - Ephesians 4:12-13     Only as we begin using our gifts will we confirm them and also see the need for other's gifts.
·         Discern your real motive in helping others - Romans 12:4
·         Identify what Christians do to irritate you - 1 John 3:16     Most Christians fail to understand that their spiritual gifts allow them to see needs which are overlooked by those with other gifts.  Rather than frustrating them, this should be their signal to confirm their gifts and use them to help others see what they see.
·         Understand the categories of gifts - 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
·         Distinguish the characteristics and misuses of each gift.     Most of the problems which we face come when we try to fulfil our spiritual gift in the energy of the flesh rather than by the energizing power of the Holy Spirit.  Most of those who have discovered their spiritual gift have done so by detecting misuses of their natural abilities.

6.      What Are the Rewards Of Spiritual Gifts?     Knowing we have a gift that is valuable to the Body Of Christ, we are able to achieve a deeper level of self-acceptance and purpose in life.
            As we exercise our gifts, we experience personal fulfilment and a deep sense of joy.  By concentrating          on our gifts, we achieve maximum fruitfulness with minimum weariness.

Use of the skills (gifts) that God gives to Christians - Romans12:3-8
v3 God has given to me his *grace. So I say this to each one of you. Do not have too proud an opinion of yourself. But rather, think clearly. *Judge yourself by the *faith that God has given to you. v4 Each of us has one body, which has many parts. All these parts do not have the same function. v5 So we who belong to *Christ are many people. But we are like one body. We all belong to each other.
v6 By the *grace of God, God has given different skills to us. These skills are different because of the nature of God’s *grace. For example, someone might give a message from God. But that person must be careful not to use this skill in a way that is greater than his *faith. v7 And a person who has some other skill should also use his skill in the same way. So, some people serve. Other people teach. v8 And other people can encourage. The person who gives should be generous. The person who leads should be eager. And the person who shows kindness should be cheerful.

Verse 3 Paul uses the words, ‘I say to you.’ Often Jesus began an important statement with similar words (for example, John 3:3). God had shown his *grace to Paul, so that he had become an *apostle. So he speaks with authority. He tells Christians to think properly about their skills. They must not be proud. They must not think that they are better than other people. The standard by which they must *judge themselves is the standard of the *faith. That *faith means to trust in *Christ. He lived and died for them. When they think about *Christ’s action they will be humble.
Verses 4-5 Paul talks about the human body. All the different parts of a body are necessary. In the same way, all members of a Christian church should work together. Then the church can work properly. The people may have a variety of skills. But each skill is necessary for the purpose of God’s work in that church.
Verses 6-8 Christians should be humble because their skills come from God. Then Paul gives 7 examples of special skills that Christians should use. He mentions other special skills in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 and in Ephesians chapter 4.

1. *Prophecy. A Christian might receive a message from God. That Christian would give this message to the local church. But he must only give such a message if he has *faith. In other words, he must trust God that the message comes from God. Christians must not give *prophecies that do not come from God. So any *prophecy must agree with the Bible’s message.
2. To serve. The *Greek word is ‘diakonia’. It can mean various activities. The *apostles were ‘serving’ when they *preached (Acts 6:4). And the same word describes the work of the 7 *disciples who gave food to poor widows (see Acts 6:2-3). So a person should use whatever skills he has in order to serve other people.
3. To teach. After people become Christians, they need to learn about the meaning of their *faith in their daily life. Someone must teach them.
4. To encourage. This has two meanings: a) to persuade with strong words. A *preacher can do this. b) to comfort and give courage. Barnabas is an example of this meaning. He was well-known among the first Christians because of the way that he encouraged people (Acts 4:36-37; Acts 9:27).
5. To give. If we share our possessions, money or time with other people, we should do so in a generous way. We should enjoy ourselves as we give to other people.
6. To lead other people. Church leaders should carry out their responsibilities eagerly.
7. To show kindness. This can mean a) to forgive people who have offended us or b) to give help wherever anyone needs help. The good Samaritan was a man from Samaria whom Jesus spoke about. We can read this story in Luke chapter 10. This Samaritan had *mercy on a traveller who was hurting. The Samaritan delayed his own journey in order to help the man. And the Samaritan even paid so that the man could stay at a house (Luke 10:30-37).

ONLINE Spiritual Gift Inventory  (http://buildingchurch.net/g2s-i.htm)

Online Spiritual Gift Inventory

> Studies in 1 Timothy Chapter 4
   With this chapter, Paul's strategy for Timothy starts to emerge clearly. Timothy's mission was to deal with the false teachers. Paul sees, however, that fighting false teachers with ideology alone is fruitless. 

    The church must be healthy so that Jesus Christ is communicated through it!  ...the Apostle Paul has other missionary plans and can't be the bishop;  Paul has delegated Timothy as the Bishop of the Church at Ephesus, and gives him much in-depth instruction so that the church stays healthy!  He writes Timothy to instruct, equip and encourage him in his task.  This week we look at an important instruction in Chapter 4:  

"... Do not neglect your gift, which was given you...". 1 Timothy 4:14

Men, I want to encourage each one along in the same way.  God has designed us each in just a certain way, and He has given each of us certain giftings.  The happiest and healthiest christians I know are those who discover their giftings ...and use them!  Are you using your "kingdom" gift?

Discover and use your gifts for God's kingdom. Click this link Below and see if this online site will help!