Summary: God still uses the “manifestation gifts” to build up his church. Every Christian should be aware and desirous of these gifts from God.
We’re going to spend some time today talking about 9 of those gifts and how God wants to use them in the body – but I was reminded by my “mouse problem” that we must be connected to the giver of the gifts – the Holy Spirit – in order to be able to make use of his gifts. God wants to use each disciple of Christ in unique and powerful ways through the exercise of spiritual gifts that he gives to each one.
My prayer as we discuss the spiritual gifts is that you will be informed of the many ways God gifts His church – and you will develop a healthy desire for spiritual gifts to be at work in YOU!
There are over 25 gifts and roles mentioned in New Testament passages, and it would be difficult to give all of them sufficient time – so my plan is to simply give you a brief explanation of the gifts and demonstrate how those gifts can be used in ministry here at CTK church.
We’ll spend today working through the gifts mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:7-10, and will look at the other gifts mentioned in other passages of scripture over the next 2 weeks.
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
1. MESSAGE (or WORD) OF WISDOM
Different than natural wisdom that comes through experience and learning. The spiritual gift of a message of wisdom is supernatural revelation of the right words to say and the right things to do at the right time.
But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen….They began to argue with Stephen, but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.”
When God gives you the gift of the “word of wisdom” – you will find yourself in conversations with people where you are able to speak exactly what is needed. You’ll find things coming to mind that you had forgotten you knew. When you use the gift of wisdom, It can bring an end to an argument. It can bring enlightenment to someone who is confused. It can help people avoid disastrous consequences of making the wrong choices.
At CTK we need people with this gift to be active in small group ministry. If you have been given this gift, you’ll be called upon by God to use it to help speak wisdom to those in your group. We also need people to utilize this gift when witnessing to others. They may come up with a question you don’t know how to answer. Be praying as you’re talking to them for God to grant you the gift of wisdom, so that you can get through their objections and help them receive God’s love.
This is the gift of wisdom. And it works in conjunction with the second gift mentioned by Paul…
2. MESSAGE (or WORD) OF KNOWLEDGE (Greek “gnosis”)
Supernatural revelation of information and/or skills that were otherwise unknown to the recipient of the gift.
In Acts 4, we find the story of Peter and John healing a blind man on the Sabbath, and then being summoned for questioning about it. As they answer the Jewish authorities, they have a boldness, authority, and courage in speaking that went beyond their training. We read about it in verses 7-13.
They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”