Summary: This sermon looks at the different spiritual gifts outlined in Romans 12. It encourages a biblical responce to 1) Prophesy 2) Serving 3) Teaching 4) Encouraging 5) Contributing to others 6) Leading and 7) Mercy
Spiritual gifts part 3
What are the different spiritual gifts?
Sometimes we put people on pedestals and we say, "Wow, I wish I was like that! I wish I had his brains! I wish I had his money! I wish I had his car!"
And even Christians can get envious of other people. We might say, "Oh, I wish I knew the Bible as well as this person. He knows the Bible inside and out, and I have a hard time finding John 3:16! ‘Oh God, please help me in this area!’"
Or we might say, "I wish I could fix things like Dave can. Because he can fix almost anything that needs fixing. and the only thing I know how to fix is a peanut butter sandwich. ‘Oh God, help me to be more like Dave!’"
Or we say, "I wish I could be a good conversationalist like Susie. She always has something interesting to say. She’s always making people laugh. But when I get around people, my brain is so frazzled that I can barely remember how to say ’Hello." Oh God, help me to be more like Susie."
Too many of us stumble through life with a inferiority complex: We say "I’m not special. I’m not smart. I don’t have anything to bring to the table in terms of serving God." But today’s Bible passage proves that everyone has a ministry. Every Christian has a gift that they can use to make their mark for the kingdom of God. Romans 12:6 says that "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." God blessed each of us differently so that each one of us would play a special role in His kingdom.
This morning, we’re going to look at the gifts mentioned in verses 6-8. And we’ll talk about how we can use these gifts.
In Romans 1-11, Paul talks about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He talks about how we are made respectable through faith in Jesus. He tells us how it is God’s desire to have mercy on each one of us, first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Now in chapter 12:1, Paul is saying ’In response to God’s mercy on our lives, we should present ourselves to Him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.’
And one of the ways we can present ourselves to the Lord is by using our gifts for the Lord.
5) Contributing to others
Verse six tells us that "If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it!" In fact, every single time Paul mentions a Christian with a gift, he says to the church "Let him use it.’ Don’t try to stop him. Don’t try to tell him he’s out of line. Don’t try to tell him that he’s too young. Don’t try to tell him that ’it’s never been done that way before.’ If God has given him a special gift to serve the Lord, then do everything you can to encourage this person to use his gift for the Lord."
The first gift Paul mentions is prophesying. We tend to think of prophecy as the gift of being able to tell the future. Sometimes that’s what it is but another definition is:
to declare or foretell by or as if by divine inspiration.
to speak as a mediator between God and humankind or in God's stead. (dictionary.com)
The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and, however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true to fact. The people are turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right.
( 1757 – 1804) the first United States Secretary of the Treasury and American Founding Father
6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
An example of this is found in the book of Acts
8Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. 9He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.
10After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11Coming over to us, he took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, "The Holy Spirit says, 'In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.' "
12When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered, "Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." 14When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, "The Lord's will be done."