Summary: 24th in Ephesians Series dealing with spiritual gifts.
Eph 4, 1 Pet 4, 1 Cor 12, Rom 12
I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-3
II. Our Worthy Walk in Christ 4-6
A. Walk in Unity
1. Exhortation to united walk worthy of our high calling 1
2. Characteristics of a united worthy walk 2-3
3. Unifying factors of the church 4-6
4. Individual gifting for the church 7-16
1. Every Christian has been individually gifted by Christ. 4:7
2. Jesus descended to earth and rescued us in order to gift us. 4:8
3. Christ's ascension enables him to permeate and gift the body 4:9-10
4. Jesus gifts the body with gifted leaders. 4:11
5. God gifts leaders to equip members to serve and encourage the body. 4:12
6. We serve and encourage until we attain unity of the faith, knowledge of Christ, maturity, Christlikeness4:13
7. Faithful equipping prevents unstable thinking and living. 4:14
8. Consistent teaching motivates continual growth in Christ 4:15
9. Jesus empowers and nourishes the body 4:16
10. The body grows by the efficient working of individual members 4:16
What is a spiritual gift?
The topic of spiritual gifts is found in 4 key passages – Eph 4, 1 Peter 4, 1 Cor 12, Rom 12.
The word used in relations to gift is the same Greek word for grace (charis) or blessing.
It is a term applied broadly in connection with the basis of our Salvation to daily empowerment to live the Christian life.
In this case, it is applied to empowerment for specific functioning in the body of Christ.
Just as we need the various systems in our physical body i.e. Respiratory, skeletal, circulatory the body of Christ flourishes by the proper working of various gifts in the body.
A spiritual gift is a special aptitude or ability assigned to each individual member by the Holy Spirit at conversion to serve the body of Christ.
Principles related to all the gifts
"To EACH ONE of us grace was given according to Christ's gift." Eph 4
"As EACH ONE has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." 1 Peter 4
"To EACH ONE is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." 1 Cor 12:7
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to EACH a measure of faith…Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, EACH of us is to exercise them accordingly” Romans 12:3, 6
• Everyone is gifted.
• Not everyone has the same gift or measure of gifting by Jesus
• The Holy Spirit determines and dispenses the gifts according to his will.
• The gifts are distributed for the benefit of the body of Christ not the individual member.
• Love is the overriding factor for all the gifts.
There are some obvious implications flowing out of these verses.
• Complacency (failing to employ gifts) is not an option. God intends us to employ them.
• Comparison and competition with others is futile not to mention sinful.
It is by God's favor not our fervor that we have been gifted
• Coveting is forbidden since gifts are determined and distributed by the Holy Spirit.
• Cooperation is vital since we are interconnected.
• Conceit (self-focus) is prohibited. Gifts are for the benefit of the body.
Principles related to specific gifts
Paul provides a key to understanding how all passages on gift work together.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Cor12:4-7
Paul mentions three categories in this passage; gifts, ministries and effects.
All three apply to the gifted believer.
Every member of the body has been gifted.
Each member of the body functions in a particular kind of ministry.
The Holy Spirit brings about various “effects” through their core gifting and current ministry.
Some feel the things listed in the four passages are not exhaustive in nature.
There may be more gifts not mentioned.
Some make a big deal out of discovering you spiritual gift.
My personal opinion is that more important is out consistent connection to Jesus and our walk by the power of the Holy Spirit.
When we are living by the direction and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we will automatically function in our gifting whether we know it or not.
Know it helps us understand why we may feel the way we do about things an also understand why other are so passionate about he way they see things.