Summary: Each of us has different giftedness and God has bestowed these gifts so our local body can grow in a balanced and effective way. These gifts are like tools in the box of the Master Carpenter.
ROMANS 12: 6-8a
GIFTS OF SERVICE, TEACHING AND EXHORTATION
Here in Romans 12 we encounter a partial treatment of spiritual gifts. Previously we learned that we all have "gifts that differ according to the grace given to us." In verses 6-8 Paul enumerates seven forms of Christian ministry vital to the church's life and witness. For each of these interrelated ministries there is an empowering spiritual gift. Paul urged the Romans to exercise them conscientiously for the common good of the body. Each of us has different giftedness and God has bestowed these gifts so our local body can grow in a balanced and effective way. These gifts are like the tools in the box [body] of the Master Carpenter.
Today we will look at the gifts of prophecy, service, teaching and exhortation.
THE GIFT OF PROPHECY, 6b.
THE GIFT OF SERVICE, 7a.
THE GIFT OF TEACHING, 7b.
THE GIFT OF EXHORTATION, 8a.
The first motivational ministry gift Paul discusses is prophecy in the second part of verse 6. "if prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith."
Prophecy means more than foretelling the future. It primarily means "forth-telling" or expounding the Word, declaring truth. The Word burns within the heart of those with the gift of prophecy. They know what should be shared and feel a pressing need to speak out.
The original meaning of the Hebrew word rendered prophet in the Old Testament, is interpreter, one who explains or delivers the will of another. One with the gift of prophecy is to explain or interpret the will of God from the Word of God.
The expounder of the Word is to do so according to the proportion of his faith. God's overriding concern is that the believers utilize their grace gift fully.
The next gift is that of service or general practical ministry. If service, in his serving;"
Prophecy declares truth. Ministry depicts or demonstrates truth through deeds (1 Cor. 12:5, Eph. 4:12). Service translates the Greek word diakonia from which deacon is derived. Literally it means "to wait on tables" and encompassed a wide variety of common labors [Beyer, TDNT, vol. 2, p. 81]. Ministering simply means serving. This service or ministry can be of various kinds. It is as an everyday necessary gift that has broad uses or applications.
In the story concerning Martha and Mary (Luke 10:40) service was whatever work was done in servicing in the home. In Acts 6:4 it is applied as "the ministry" or service "of the Word." In 2 Corinthians 5:18 it is used as the ministry or service of reconciliation. It is also used for the ministry of tables by the seven who are called diakonia or servants. So "there are different kinds of service (but the same Lord," 1 Cor.12: 5). But whatever kind of ministry or service gift people have been given is not so important, what is important is that you use it. It could be ministering the word in a nursing home or maintaining the building and property, working in the tape ministry, doing secretarial, computer or book keeping chores, setting up or taking down chairs and tables, working in the nursery etc. The gift of service is manifested in every sort of practical help that Christians can give one another in Jesus' name.
How valuable are the men and women who joyfully and faithfully minister. This gift is not to be minimized. These persons are as needed and important to the local Church as the front line is to a football team.
III. THE GIFT OF TEACHING, 7b.
The third gift listed is in the later part of verse 7. He who teaches, in his teaching;
Teaches of course refers to the act of teaching or instructing. Teaching can refer to what is taught as well as to the act of teaching. A teacher gives understanding to the truth.
A person with the gift of teaching will be marked by three distinct characteristics. He will have a keen interest in the personal study of the Word. Second will be interested in interpretation disciplines involved in studying the Scriptures. Third he will have a desire to communicate what he has learned. They will be adapt at research into Scripture and may be only gifted to communicate in written form but most usually it involves verbal communication of the Word.
Teaching is the divine ability to interpret and present God's truth understandably. It is the ability to impart the facts and insights, which the gifts of knowledge and wisdom discover, and to pass them on to others in learn-able form. The man or woman who possesses all three of these gifts, knowledge, wisdom and teaching, is a valuable person to have around indeed!
Though it is the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth (John 16:13), it is the teacher who explains God's Word to us in a comprehendible manner. After you have heard a teacher teach your response should be, I see what he means. The exercising of this gift is a blessing to other for the glory of God, and has as an indirect benefit the teachers own growth