Summary: God’s power and presence is apparent when we use our gifts as stewards in total reliance upon Him.
1. Review and Overview
a. Imagine this Christmas leaving your presents unopened under the Christmas tree and never opening them. You take the tree down and you leave the presents there. You look at them every once in a while and even go over and shake them, but you make no effort to open them. You have guests over who ask you, “why do you still have those presents in the corner?” You reply, “I’ll open them someday, when my life becomes less chaotic and difficult.” There is a problem with this scenario. You cannot use the contents of those packages until you open them. You cannot benefit from them until you unwrap them. In fact, you probably won’t even know what they are until you open them! It is the same thing with our spiritual gifts…you won’t know what they are until you make a decision to take the time to unwrap them and discover them and figure out how to use them.
b. Judging from the sparse attendance at our Sunday Night session on the practical steps to unwrapping our spiritual gifts, I can only make one of two conclusions: Either everyone in this congregation already knows and is using their gifts…or you’ve decided to leave them under the tree and stare at them.
2. Lets review a few things about Spiritual Gifts that we learned about last week:
a. Spiritual gifts are supernatural abilities given to believers to equip them to minister supernaturally to others…producing supernatural results.”
i. I found most commentators didn’t have that last bit on their definitions… “producing supernatural results” but I added it. I did so because everywhere in the bible where someone uses their spiritual gifts, God’s shows up and does something that only He can do. It might not be understood or seen, but it is supernatural in its effect.
b. Each Spiritual Gift is a manifestation of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7).
i. By manifestation we are to understand that the work of God, literally, the glory of God becomes visible when you exercise your spiritual gift.
ii. You might say, “I don’t ever see God.” I say, “pay attention when people are using their spiritual gifts and you will!”
c. Spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents which you get when you are born. Spiritual gifts are given to us when we are “born again.” Every Christian has at least one.
a. NAS: 10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever.
b. AMP: 10 As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]. 11 Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages).
Analysis of the passage
4. V10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
a. The passage starts off with two key words: Each One has received:
i. Each of us has received a spiritual gift. You may not have opened it, you may not know what it is…but you are still responsible to use it.
ii. Received =Literally “Lay ahold of”.
1. It is not about a passive act (our meaning of receive), but one that involves our dedication, focus, and intention.
2. God has given you a gift. If you don’t open it, you have not truly “received” it.
b. Employ it, (use it) to serve one another:
i. The idea is that if we are bad stewards of the manifold grace of God, it is as if that grace was given to us in vain
ii. It is as if that grace is wasted, because it only comes to us instead of moving through us.(David Guzik)
iii. Spiritual gifts make each of us dispensers of God’s grace.
iv. Do you know the difference between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea?
1. One has fish, the other cannot support any life.