Spiritual Gifts

  SPIRITUAL GIFTS

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)  INTRODUCTION – I JUST FINISHED PRESENTING A SERIES OF MESSAGES ON THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.   INCLUDING 1) THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT  2) THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT  3) THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (3 PARTS) AND FINALLY 4) THE NEW TESTAMENT PATTERN FOR THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.  THIS MORNING I WOULD LIKE TO PROVIDE A PROPER CONCLUSION TO THIS SERIES OF MESSAGES BY STUDYING THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO BELIEVERS AND THE CHURCH RESULTING FROM THE IN-FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.  THESE “SPIRITUAL GIFTS” ARE IMPARTED BY GOD THROUGH THE AGENCY THE HOLY SPIRIT INTO THE BELIEVERS LIFE FOR THE PURPOSE FOR BUILDING HIS CHURCH AND STRENGTHENING THE BODY OF CHRIST. (1 CORINTHIANS 12:1 – 11)

II) SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE FOR THE CHURCH THEN AND THE CHURCH TODAY

A)       WE ARE IN THE DISPENSATION OF THE CHURCH TODAY, AS THEY WERE

1)    THIS DISPENSATION BEGAN WITH THE DAY OF PENTECOST

2)    IT WILL END WHEN CHRIST COMES TO TAKE HIS BRIDE, THE CHURCH

3)    THIS MEANS THAT GOD DEALS US UNDER THE SAME COVENANT AND WITHIN THE SAME SPIRITUAL FRAMEWORK – THE SAME TRUTHS APPLY.

B)       WE ARE OF THE SAME UNSPIRITUAL LINEAGE AS THE CORINTHIANS

1)    HE WAS SPEAKING TO FORMER GENTILES (VS 2) SPIRITUAL JEWS BY THE NEW BIRTH

2)    PAUL WAS RESPONDING TO A LETTER THAT THEY HAD SENT HIM ABOUT PROBLEMS IN THE  CHURCH IN CORINTH:  “NOW CONCERNING SPIRITUAL GIFTS …”, REFERRING TO THEIR QUESTION ON THIS MATTER.

3)    THEY HAD THEIR IDOLS, WE HAVE OURS, BUT THEY ARE STILL IDOLS, THE FOCUS OF OUR WORSHIP, ATTENTION, THINGS THAT COME BETWEEN GOD, DISTRACTING AND DEGRADING OUR WORSHIP OF THE ONE TRUE GOD.

III)   SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE IMPORTANT – THEY SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED OR DEVALUED BY CHRISTIANS

1)    WE SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE GIFTS AND THE DIVINE PARAMETERS WITHIN WHICH THEY OPERATE: “NOW CONCERNING SPIRITUAL GIFTS, BRETHREN, I WOULD NOT HAVE YOU IGNORANT.”

2)    WE SHOULD NOT BE IGNORANT OF THE GIFTS OR OF THEIR PROPER USAGE AND BENEFITS TO INDIVIDUAL BELIEVERS AND THE CHURCH (THE LOCAL ASSEMBLY OF BELIEVERS)

3)    ALL OF THE THREE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY ARE ALL INVOLVED:

(a)  THERE A DIVERSITIES OF GIFTS (DIFFERENT GIFTS, FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES AND APPLICATION) BUT FROM THE SAME SPIRIT OF THE ONE TRUE GOD

(b)  THE DIVERSE GIFTS ARE ADMINISTRATED DIFFERENTLY, BUT THE SAME LORD OVERSEEING THE ADMINISTRATION OF THOSE GIFTS IN THE CHURCH

(c)  THERE ARE DIVERSITIES OF OPERATION AND APPLICATION OF THOSE GIFTS BUT THE SAME GOD WHO WORKS ALL IN ALL.

4)    THE GIFTS ARE THE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD, GIVEN FOR ALL (EVERYONE IN THE CHURCH) TO PROFIT WITHAL (BY ALL OF THEM)

5)    SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE GIVEN TO MEMBERS OF THE BODY AS THE SPIRIT OF GOD WILLS AND DESIRES. (HE IS THE ON-THE-JOB SUPERINTENDENT DIVINE PROJECT CALLED THE CHURCH.)

6)    SUMMARIZATION OF FACTS CONCERNING SPIRITUAL GIFTS:

(a)   DIFFERENT KINDS OF GIFTS, BUT THE SAME SPIRIT (SINGLE SOURCE)

(b)   DIFFERENT KINDS OF SERVICE, BUT SAME LORD (SINGLE AUTHORITY)

(c)   DIFFERENT KINDS OF WORKING, BUT SAME GOD WORKING (SINGLE OBJECTIVE)

(d)   MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT (THROUGH THE GIFTS) FOR COMMON GOOD

IV)  SPIRITUAL GIFTS – GREEK “PNEUMATIKA” DERIVED FROM WHICH THE GREEK WORD “PNEUMA” (SPIRIT).

A)       THIS DOES NOT SEEM TO BE AN ALL INCLUSIVE LIST.  THERE ARE NINE GIFTS LISTED.   THREE ARE GIFTS OF THE INTELLECT (I) OR CONTRIBUTING TO OUR COGNITIVE OR THOUGHT PROCESS.   THREE RELATE TO DIVINE EMPOWERMENT OR POWER (P).   THREE RELATE TO SPEAKING OR SPEECH OR A DIVINE DEPLOYMENT OF THE TONGUE (T).

B)       THE WORD OR MESSAGE OF WISDOM (I) – A MESSAGE CONTAINING GOD’S WISDOM FOR A SPECIFIC SITUATION, E.G. THE GOSPEL WAS GIVEN TO THE GENTILES WITHOUT RESTRICTION, ISSUES RELATING TO CIRCUMCISM, MEAT OFFERED TO IDOLS, ETC.  THIS IS NOT THE WISDOM THAT COMES FROM GOD FOR DAY TO DAY LIVING, BUT WISDOM FOR SPECIFIC PROBLEMS OR SITUATIONS.

1)    SOLOMON ASKED FOR WISDOM AND GOD HONORED HIS REQUEST AND HE HAS BEEN KNOWN AS THE WISEST MAN THAT EVER LIVED.

2)    ONE OF THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD IS HIS OMNISCIENCE.  HE IS ALL KNOWING, ALL UNDERSTANDING.

C)      WORD OR MESSAGE OF KNOWLEDGE (I) – KNOWLEDGE GIVEN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT RELATING TO SPECIFIC SITUATIONS.  THIS GIFT IS OFTEN CONNECTED CLOSELY WITH THE GIFT OF PROPHECY.  KNOWLEDGE THAT WAS NOT ACQUIRED BY OTHER MEANS, E.G. PETER KNEW THAT ANANIAS AND SAPPRIA HAD LIED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ACTS 5 CONCERNING THE DISPOSITION OF THE INCOME DERIVED FROM THE SALE OF THEIR PROPERTY.

D)      THE GIFT OF FAITH (P) – THIS IS NOT SAVING FAITH BUT THE EXTRAORDINARY, SUPERNATURAL FAITH THAT MOVES MOUNTAINS OFTEN FOUND IN CONJUNCTION WITH MIRACULOUS HEALINGS AND MIRACLES.  JESUS EXHIBITED THAT KIND OF FAITH IN FEEDING THE 5000, IN WALKING ON THE WATER, CALMING THE STORM, ETC. (MRS. GAMBLE, MY FATHER-IN-LAW’S MOTHER DEPENDED UPON THAT KIND OF FAITH TO RAISE HER FAMILY, AT TIMES SITTING DOWN AND GIVING THANKS FOR A MEAL THAT DID NOT EXIST.   AFTER GIVING THANKS, HEARING A KNOCK ON THE DOOR, SOMEONE BRING A BASKET OF FOOD.)

E)   GIFTS OF HEALING (P) – (NOTE THAT GIFTS IS PLURAL.) DONALD STAMPS – GIFTS GIVEN TO CHURCH TO RESTORE PHYSICAL HEALTH BY SUPERNATURAL MEANS.  SUGGESTS THAT EVERY SUPERNATURAL HEALING IS A DISTINCT AND SEPARATE GIFT FROM GOD.  (EXAMPLE:  PETER AND JOHN BEING USED OF GOD TO HEAL THE LAME BEGGAR AT THE GATES OF THE TEMPLE.)

F)  THE WORKING OF MIRACLES (P) – THIS GIFT SUGGESTS THE ABILITY TO PERFORM A BROAD RANGE OF MIRACLES.   WHEN SUCH POWER HAS BEEN EXERCISED THERE ARE OBSERVABLE PHYSICAL PHENOMENA THAT ARE IMMEDIATE AND BEYOND THE REALM OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE OR EXPLANATION.  (EXAMPLE: JESUS CALMING THE STORM ON THE SEA OF GALILEE.

G)  THE GIFT OF PROPHECY (T) – HERE WE MUST DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN A TEMPORAL MANIFESTATION OF PROPHECY SPOKEN ABOUT HERE AND A MINISTRY GIFT SPOKEN OF IN EPHESIANS 4. WE ARE REMINDED THAT GOD SAID “IN THE LAST DAYS HE WOULD POUR OUT HIS SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH, AND THE YOUNG MEN WOULD SEE VISIONS AND THE OLD MEN WOULD DREAM DREAMS …”

H)  DISCERNING OF SPIRITS (I)  – THE SUPERNATURAL ABILITY TO DISCERN TO SEE INTO THE SPIRIT WORLD AND TO DISCERN WHETHER A SPIRIT MOTIVATING OR DIRECTING A PERSON BE OF GOD OR OF SATAN.  (EXAMPLE ACTS 16 WHERE A SLAVE GIRL, WHO HAD A SPIRIT, USED FOR FORTUNE TELLING WAS FOLLOWING PAUL AROUND FOR DAYS SAYING “THESE MEN ARE SERVANTS OF THE MOST HIGH GOD WHO ARE TELLING YOU THE WAY TO BE SAVED.”  PAUL CAST THE SPIRIT OUT OF HER AND SHE COULD NO LONGER MAKE MONEY FOR HER MASTERS.  MATTHEW 24:5 “MANY WILL COME IN MY NAME SAYING I AM THE CHRIST…” (SEE ALSO 1 JOHN 4:1)

I)    DIVERS KINDS OF TONGUES (T) – “GLOSSIA”.  WHEREIN THE SPEAKER SPEAKS IN A LANGUAGE THAT HE DID NOT LEARN, AS THE SPIRIT GIVES HIM UTTERANCE. HIS SPIRIT IS COMMUNICATING DIRECTLY WITH GOD’S SPIRIT IN A LANGUAGE UNKNOWN TO THE SPEAKER.  TONGUES MAY BE IN A KNOWN LANGUAGE AS IN ACTS 2 OR AN UNKNOWN LANGUAGE (1 COR. 13:1, 1 COR. 14:16).  IN 1 COR. 14 WE ARE TOLD THAT MESSAGES IN TONGUES IN THE CONGREGATION MUST ALWAYS BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN INTERPRETATION.   A MESSAGE IN TONGUES IS DIFFERENT THAN PRAYING IN TONGUES.  (  READ: 1 COR. 14: 2, 13 – 15)

J)  INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES (T) – THE ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND AND COMMUNICATE THE MEANING OF A MESSAGE IN TONGUES.  (THERE ARE THOSE THAT CONTEND THAT TONGUES WERE ALWAYS SPOKEN IN A LANGUAGE THAT WAS UNDERSTOOD BY THOSE IN THE AUDIENCE AS IN ACTS 2, IF SO WHY WOULD PAUL HERE TALK ABOUT THE SPIRITUAL GIFT OF INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES.

V) CONCLUSIONSUMMARY OF FACTS CONCERNING SPIRITUAL GIFTS

A)   GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT MANIFESTED (SHOWN) THROUGH A VARIETY OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO BELIEVERS.  INTENDED FOR UP-BUILDING AND SANCTIFICATION OF THE CHURCH (1COR 12:7, 14:26)

B)  MANIFESTATION OF THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT GIVEN ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT’S SOVEREIGN WILL (1COR 12:1) WHEN NEED ARISES AND ACCORDING TO THE BELIEVER’S EAGER DESIRE (12:31, 14:1)

C)  SOME GIFTS MANIFESTED THROUGH AN INDIVIDUAL ON A REGULAR BASIS AND BELIEVER MAY BE GIVEN MORE THAN ONE GIFT TO MINISTER TO PARTICULAR NEEDS.

D) BELIEVER SHOULD DESIRE GIFTS TO INCREASE THEIR EFFECTIVENESS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD, NOT JUST ONE GIFT (1COR 12:31, 14:1)

E)  IT IS UNSCRIPTURAL AND UNWISE TO ASSUME THAT BECAUSE SOMEONE EXERCISES A MORE SPECTACULAR GIFT, THAT PERSON IS MORE SPIRITUAL THAN ONE WHO HAS LESS SPECTACULAR GIFTS.  FURTHERMORE, POSSESSING A GIFT DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOD APPROVES OF ALL A PERSON DOES OR TEACHES.  SPIRITUAL GIFTS MUST NOT BE CONFUSED WITH THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH RELATES MORE DIRECTLY TO CHRISTIAN CHARACTER AND SANCTIFICATION. (GAL 5:22-23)

F) GIFTS ARE INEFFECTIVE EVEN DETRIMENTAL IF NOT OPERATING IN LOVE AND WITH THE PROPER MOTIVE AND PURPOSE.

G) SPIRITS GIFTS CAN BE COUNTERFEITED BY SATAN OR FALSE WORKERS DISGUISING THEMSELVES AS SERVANTS OF CHRIST (MAT 7:21-23, 24:11,24, 2COR 11:13-15, 2TH 2:8-10)

H) BELIEVERS ARE TO TEST THE SPIRITS TO SEE WHETHER THEY ARE FROM GOD, BECAUSE MANY FALSE PROPHETS HAVE GONE OUT INTO THE WORLD (1JN 4:1, 1TH 5:20-21)

I)   1 PETER 4:10 “… AS EVERY MAN HATH RECEIVED THE GIFT, [EVEN SO] MINISTER THE SAME ONE TO ANOTHER, AS GOOD STEWARDS OF THE MANIFOLD GRACE OF GOD.”

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