Summary: This is the seventh in a series of 8 messages centered around the importance of changing the climate in which we live, work or play.
CHANGING THE CLIMATE – PART 7 OF 8
The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit
As you know I have been preaching a series based around Changing The Climate that we live in – changing the environment that we work in rather than the other way around.
Jesus said in ACTS 1:8, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Jesus did not give us such a huge responsibility and then not give us the ability to be able to fulfil this task. And as we know, this ability to be witnesses is through the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
And so this morning I want to begin to look at the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Paul said in 1 CORINTHIANS 12:1 that he doesn’t want us to be ignorant about spiritual gifts. And so this morning I am going to attempt to clarify some issues.
1. There is a difference between the "gift" of the Holy Spirit and "gifts" of the Holy Spirit.
*** The "gift" of the Holy Spirit occurred at Pentecost (ACTS 2) when the Holy Spirit came in answer to the promise of Jesus:
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter...Even the Spirit of truth...(John 14:16-17a)
*** "Gifts" of the Holy Spirit are supernatural abilities the Holy Spirit gives believers, after being baptised in the Holy Spirit, to be able to minister more effectively.
When you get baptised in the Holy Spirit, you SHOULD experience something. The creator of the universe has just chosen to place His Spirit within you. And with that, He has given us access to His supernatural powers so that we CAN and WILL be witnesses. His Holy Spirit is now available to you in an added dimension to live that abundant life that Jesus promised in John 10:10.
This is the whole issue of changing the climate, because ministry is not JUST something that should happen in these four walls. Ministry should happen in your work place, in your school, in your home, in your sports team. Ministry should be an automatic outworking of your relationship with Christ.
Ministry happens when you pray for people that you have contact with; ministry happens when you reach out in compassion to someone that everyone else rubbishes; ministry happens when you respond in the RIGHT way to criticism at work; ministry happens when you least expect it – played golf – the other people joked that I had an unfair advantage with God on my side – people watch how you respond – that is ministry!
In LUKE 10 you can read the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus used this parable to illustrate who is our neighbour. In this parable there is this person who ministered because he saw a need.
2. There is a difference between spiritual gifts and natural talents.
A talent is a natural ability inherited at birth or developed through training. But a spiritual gift is a special ability given by the Holy Spirit to be used for specific spiritual purposes.
Now sometimes natural gifts become spiritual gifts because the Lord supernaturally adds to your natural ability.
You all know that I have a natural ability to tell really funny jokes………………
I know that there have been times when I have been preaching, when the Lord suddenly anoints my words – there is a sense that at that instant something different is happening – that the words are not just being spoken into the room to be left hanging there doing nothing but that God has taken them and impacted someone.
Sometimes as I am praying for people, I will get a picture come to my mind or a phrase, or a word or a scripture and as I share this, God uses it to speak to the person.
We need to yield our natural talents to God and allow Him to add to them and to use them for His glory …… NOT OURS! Being a Christian is not difficult – living a Christian life is!
Look at MATTHEW 24& 25 – here Jesus is talking to His disciples about the things that are going to happen to them in the future – His return, the difficult days ahead, there is the challenge to be ready for His return, the parable of the ten virgins, at the end of 25 He talks about the judgement AND RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS IS A PARABLE ABOUT USING YOUR TALENTS – the blessing when you do and the challenge when you don’t!
3. One gift is not more important than any other.
The Bible indicates there are many gifts that the Holy Spirit gives the believer. Some may have more prominence, but they are equally as important. But, and I’m going to mention this in my next point, even though each gift is as important as any other, some gifts DO HAVE a greater RESPONSIBILITY.