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Summary: God has gifted every believer and that giftedness can help us to discover our purpose in Him.

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God Can Help Us Discover Our Purpose Through Spiritual Gifts

Introduction: There are many New Testament teachings, which we in the Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ have allowed to be taken from us by those who choose to abuse them. In so doing, we have become as guilty as they of misrepresenting scripture.

Examples of this are:

1) Justification by faith

2) Sovereignty of God

3) Spiritual gifts

The larger problem is that by neglecting the teachings concerning spiritual gifts, many believers are robbed of ever being able to find fulfillment in serving God.

I) WHY IS AN UNDERSTANDING OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS SO IMPORTANT?

Our Service for God can generally be characterized by one of the following illustrations.

A) Motion without movement-Leads to burnout

B) Making a mark-Leads to fruitful ministry

1) We are to be aware of Spiritual gifts (I Cor. 12:1)

2) We are to use our Spiritual gifts (I Tim 4:14)

3) We will be held accountable to God for the use of our Spiritual gifts because e we are stewards ( I Peter 4:10, Matt. 25:14-30)

4) We will know God’s will for us if we know what Spiritual gift we have been given (Rom. 12:1,2)

What God has called you to do he has gifted you to do. What God has gifted you to do he has willed you to do.

Knowing God’s Will Changes Our Attitude About Serving

A Christian Prompted by Servility

Serves out of obligation

Is motivated by fear of men

Serves with the attitude not my job

Has a ministry mind set that says me first

Serves with a spirit of pride

The results of such service are self-seeking

A Christian prompted by Servanthood

Serves out of obedience

Is motivated by fellowship with God

Serves with the attitude whatever it takes

Has a ministry mind set that says the Father first

Serves with a spirit of humility

The results of such service are God glorifying

5) We will know the satisfaction of being fruitful and fulfilled (Jn. 15:10,11)

6) You will understand how the Holy Spirit works through you

7) The church will benefit

There will be unity and harmony (Eph 4:13)

There will be less pride and false humility (Rom. 12:3)

There will be growth and maturity (Eph 4:11-15)

8) God will be glorified (I Peter 4:11)

9) You will fulfill a deep inner need

10) Adds to your self-acceptance

II) WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL GIFT?

The problem is not that Christians do not know what their spiritual gift is. The problem is Christians do not know what a spiritual gift is.

1) A spiritual gift is the primary channel by which the Holy Spirit can minister through the believer. (I Cor 12:25 & I Peter 4:10,11)

2) A Spiritual gift is a supernatural capacity

3) A Spiritual gift is a supernatural desire ( I Tim 3:1)

4) A Spiritual gifts are the tools for doing the work of ministry (Eph 4:12)

5) A Spiritual gift is a source of joy

6) A Spiritual gift is a divine motivator

7) A Spiritual gift divinely influences our motives

8) A Spiritual gift is a divine calling and responsibility

9) Spiritual gifts are the building blocks of the church

III) WHO HAS A SPIRITUAL GIFT?

1) Every Christian

A) Spiritual gifts are received at the moment of conversion

B) Spiritual gifts declare the presence of the Holy Spirit

We should not confuse spiritual gifts with

A) The fruit of the spirit

Note this comparison

Fruits of the spirit are:

a) Related primarily to the believer

b) Related to character

c) All are essential for everyone

d) Can never be misused

e) Every believer may and should bare all of the fruits all of the time

f) All of us can be command to manifest the fruits

Spiritual gifts are:

a) Related primarily to the body

b) Related to ministry

c) May be classified as to order of importance

d) May be exercised in a way that offends others

e) No single believer receives all of the gifts

f) No gift can be demanded of all believers

B) Rewards

C) Natural talents

Note this comparison

Natural Talents

Source - God through heredity

Possessed - From birth

Purpose - To benefit self

Process - Developed

Function - Should be dedicated to God for his use

Spiritual gifts

Source - God though the Holy Spirit

Possessed - From conversion

Purpose - To benefit the body

Process - Developed

Function - For God’s use

D) Place of service

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