Summary: Many people within the church have always confused ’Fruit of the Spirit’ with the ’Gifts of the Holy Spirit’ and talents with giftings. Gifts of the Spirit are special abilities provided by the Holy Spirit to Christians for God’s glory and building up the
Opening illustration: You mail an expensive & wonderful gift to someone you love & adore but returns at your doorstep all soggy and wet ~ that’s what the contemporary church has been doing with God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.
Introduction: Many people within the church have always confused ’Fruit of the Spirit’ with the ’Gifts of the Holy Spirit.’ As well as much is talked about talents than the giftings. We must understand that the former does not even exist in the Bible but the latter is expounded in God’s Word to the fullest. How do we differentiate between gift and talent? Where is talent mentioned in ‘God’s Word?’ Only in the gospels when Jesus talks about certain parables. The talent in the Bible pertains to a currency of a particular nation at that time. Talent has no other meaning in the Bible. Whereas today the word talent means a physical or emotional ability to do something which is possible humanly. Whereas a spiritual gift is the ability to do something physically, mentally & spiritually under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit. Some of the gifts may not be operational with our physical or mental ability.
Some of the spiritual gifts were already operational in the OT times with the anointing of the saints. Whereas some more were added to the body of Christ during the advent of Jesus and after His ascension for the edification of Christ and His church. During the course of these series, we will see the different passages in the NT where all the different gifts of the Holy Spirit are mentioned.
Let us look at today’s passage to get a brief introduction to ‘Spiritual Gifts’ ~ 1 Corinthians 12.
First and foremost we need to understand and affirm that our MISSION is LOCKED-UP in OUR GIFTINGS.
[Proverbs 29: 18 ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ KJV]
Today we will tackle the aspect of ‘Spiritual Giftings’ through a series of questions ~
1. What are Gifts / Giftings?
• Natural giftings ~ ability to do something in the physical realm with physical ability.
• Spiritual giftings ~ ability to do something with the help of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God & His church which may not be possible with physical abilities (produced by grace).
2. What are these spiritual giftings? [1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 3, 8; 14: 6, 26]
• Motivational / Functional Gifts (7) ~ Romans 12: 6 - 8: provide motivation for the body of ministries Prophesy, Ministries (service), Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Leadership & Mercy.
• Charismatic / Power Gifts (9) ~ 1 Corinthians 12: 8 – 10: manifestation of the Holy Spirit Word of Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Working of Miracles, Prophesying, Discerning spirits, Tongues (1 Cor. 14: 4) & Interpretation of Tongues (1 Cor. 14: 13).
• 5-Fold Ministry Gifts (5) ~ Ephesians 4: 11: offices to equip & edify the Body of Christ Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, Teacher and Apostle.
3. Which is the most important Spiritual Gift? [1 Corinthians 14: 1, 3, 5, 39]
4. Why are these ‘Spiritual Gifts’ given to the church?
• To equip and edify the ‘Body of Christ’ ~ Ephesians 4: 11 – 12
• Edify the church ~ 1 Corinthians 14: 3 – 4
• Profit of all ~ 1 Corinthians 12: 7
• To draw attention to Christ and the Holy Spirit ~ John 15: 26
5. What are my Giftings ~ how do I know? Matthew 25: 14 – 30
• Submit yourself to God’s Call ~ 2 Corinthians 10: 12
• Give God time ~ Luke 10: 40 – 42
• Get involved ~ some ministry for the Lord
• Consider your abilities and desires ~ what you enjoy doing most!
• Others evaluating you! ~ Mentors / Pastors [Psalm 127: 4, 5]
• Further training & preparation
• Be willing to sacrifice
6. How can we operate our Giftings?
• Not without the application of the ‘Fruit of the Holy Spirit’ in our lives. This is necessary for the church’s health and effectiveness.
7. Why am I not able to operate my Giftings?
Romans 12: 1 – 2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
This is what shows up before the 7 basic spiritual gifts are articulated. Apparently we are always returning the gifts God has been sending us constantly.
• Gifts returned because of wrong address: God thought we were a church but acted like some Christian club ~ therefore we have no need for those gifts.