Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Week of Renewal 2008 - Spiritual Gifts

5th Annual Week of Renewal 2008

“What are Spiritual Gifts and how do I use them?”

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

Click here to Listen to this Sermon

I. Introduction to Renewal

a. 5th Annual Week of Renewal



b. What are Spiritual Gifts and how do I use them?

Pneumatology (Greek) – The study of the Spirit.

Until I attended Seminary, I really didn’t know or understand too much about the Holy Spirit.

But shortly after I started my classes I discovered something that I thought was the most awesome thing in the world, the Holy Spirit and the Spiritual Gifts.

God didn’t just leave us stranded down here, He has equipped us to serve, and we need to understand what it is He has given us.

God has given us through His Holy Spirit which dwells within believers:

The Whole Armor of God (Ephesians 6)

The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5)

Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12)

II. What are Spiritual Gifts?

a. Defined

1 Corinthians 12:1 – 7 (What are the Spiritual Gifts)

To understand what Spiritual Gifts are, where they come from and what they are for, we must examine what the scriptures say.

An important scripture to remember is;

Psalm 127:1

“Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”

Only God can build us and this church. If we try to do it ourselves, we are doing it in vain, or wasting our time.

Although we do have responsibilities in our Christian walk, it is of nothing we DO that causes this church or ourselves to grow in the Lord. Other than submission and obedience to the Lord.

It is only by God’s hand that we grow.

Here in the Hebrew text the word Banah (baw-naw) is used, which was translated into build.

The literal translation of banah would be ‘to establish’.

Establish means to make firm or stable, to ordain.

So a more accurate translation of Psalm 127:1 would be;

“Unless God ESTABLISHES the house, they labor in vain that establish it.”

We cannot truly establish ourselves or this church. It must be done by God.

So we know that God has to establish us as a body of believers. He does this by creating unity among us.

Unity is the result of all acting in the Spirit of God

Unity is attacked in a church if;

Members live in selfishness instead of love

Members do not belong to the Body of Christ

Members gossip

Members back bite

Members slander

Members try to control the church or others

There are tears among the wheat.

Sewing discord within the body because they are self-serving, self-seeking, just plain selfish.

God instructs us to put others before ourselves.

Jesus said “If you love me, you will obey my commands.”

Jesus told the Apostles in the Great Commission “Teach them to obey all I command”.

So what does Jesus command?

When asked what the greatest commandment was, He responded,

“To love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, body and soul, AND to love your neighbor (the unsaved) as yourself.”

This is the difference between love, and selfishness.

Selfishness destroys churches.

b. Gifts / Fruits

Spiritual Gifts are not to be confused with the Fruits of the Spirit.

The Fruits of the Spirit

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." (Galatians 5:22)

c. Where do all these come from?

Paul tells us that these Gifts are from God, Specifically the Holy Spirit.

And although there are many diverse Gifts, they are all from the same spirit.

Paul mentions this so that all would know that they are from 1 Spirit, the Spirit of God, Christ does not contradict Himself, neither should the Gifts contradict Scripture.

d. Can I choose which Gifts I have?

1 Corinthians 12:11

But all these work that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.

The Holy Spirit decides what Gifts you receive, but to every believer at least one gift is given. In this reference it says “severally”.

III. The Holy Spirit

a. The Holy Spirit

One MUST be saved (born again) to receive the Holy Spirit.

To Acknowledge Jesus Christ is God, confess you are sinful and in need of saving, and call on the only name that can save you.

Jesus will impart His Holy Spirit to you in a portion. To each man a measure is given.

But receiving the Spiritual Gifts is separate from Salvation.

b. Saved / Empowered

The Apostles were saved after Christ died on the Cross.

If they would have died with Him, they too would have went to be with the Lord.

But they did not receive the power of the Holy Spirit until the day of Pentecost.

c. Pentecost

Pentecost took place 50 days after the Crucifixion of Jesus.

This holy day was given to the Jews in Leviticus, when they were told to count 50 days after the Passover Sabbath, which was the Day Christ rose from the tomb.

This day was given as a celebration of receiving the Torah (the Word of God).

This is the same day that was later celebrated by the Jews because a declaration was given (Esther) by the King granting authority and power to the children of God to protect themselves from their enemies.

Now…We receive the Word of God through understanding given by the Holy Spirit.

And we receive power and authority from our King, along with Armor, Fruits and Gifts to build up, edify and defend ourselves from our enemy.

Which is a spiritual one!

Ephesians 6:10 – 12

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

On Pentecost, 50 days after the Passover Sabbath, and the Holy Day given by God in Leviticus, the same day in Esther a declaration was made giving the children of God authority by the King to defend themselves against their enemies; we…receive power and authority from God.

IV. Parable of Talents

Listen to what Jesus says in this parable, ironic how the term for currency used “Talent” also means gift or ability.

Matthew 25:14-30

14“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants (WE ARE CALLED) and entrusted his property to them.

15To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.

Then he went on his journey. (Ascended to Heaven)

16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.

17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.

18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. (Took his to the grave)

19“After a long time the master of those servants returned (THE SECOND COMING) and settled accounts with them (JUDGMENT).

20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

21“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! (HEAVEN)’

22“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

23“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! (HEAVEN)’

24“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.

25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?

27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28“‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.

29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (GEHENNA – Lake of Fire, final hell)’

He has given us these gifts for us to use and get a return from them. They must be used to profit withal, the whole body!

In doing this with our gifts, we are living as obedient believers in Christ. We are DOING what He has called us to do as Christians.

This is the DOING part of the scriptures.

We are to be DOERS of the word, not just hearers.

DOING is absolutely part of our obedience.

The servants had been given a measure according to their ability to obey.

Some may have more talents than others, but whatever you have you are expected to use.

To those who use all of their Spiritual Gifts to the best of their ability, receiving a profit from those gifts, God will reward them with more gifts.

Some of our gifts may still be undiscovered and buried.

This is why we are doing this series.

Together we are going to look at what the scriptures say about Spiritual Gifts.

We will examine scriptures showing different Spiritual Gifts being used in the Bible, what some of those gifts are, and finally, how we can discover what our gifts may be.

Because you can’t use your gifts if you do not know what those gifts are.

V. Gifts are entrusted to you

a. What / who are they for?

Each believer has been given God-abilities or Gifts from the Holy Spirit to strengthen or edify the whole body of Christ.

Your Gift may seem small or large, but it is yours to use in God’s service edifying His body of believers!

1 Corinthians 12:7

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal:”

To profit withal, does not mean to profit the individual believer, but the body of Christ. The whole of the body of believers.

All believers are given the Holy Spirit, this is the Gift Christ gave us after His ascension. It was first given at Pentecost to the disciples, and continues today to enable us to do God’s work.

This is how God works through us and in us.

This is how God establishes His body of believers.

So these Spiritual Gifts are not us, but God in us.

God set this up in a way to continue His theme of unity in the body of Christ.

He does this by giving us different gifts, so that we work together to make up a whole.

You will NEVER meet 1 person who has all the gifts, at least not here on earth. We will when we meet Christ.

God has equipped us in a way which causes unity among us, and dependence on each other to function as a whole.

We need each other to BE the body of Christ. We need each other to function and serve Christ the way in which God has called us.

1 Corinthians 12:12-18

12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”

If you are here today, and I am assuming you are,

You are here because God has arranged you to be here. He has placed you here for a reason.

It is by God’s arrangement that you be here, and by God’s will you have been given a portion of Spiritual Gifts through the Holy Spirit to function as part of this body of believers.

He has arranged the composition of this body of believers the way HE wants it to be.

So, our gifts are given to us by God “Just as HE wanted them to be”

He chooses which Gifts you have.

So what are some of the gifts?

This is just a partial list…

· Missionary

· Healing

· Intercession

· Craftsmanship

· Hospitality

· Faith

· Discernment

· Mercy

· Giving

· Administration

· Leadership

· Helps

· Serving

· Knowledge

· Wisdom

· Exhortation

· Music

· Teacher / Preacher

· Pastor

· Evangelist

· Prophet

· Apostle

Tomorrow we will be talking about the Spiritual Gifts in the Old Testament, and how God chose who would receive the Holy Spirit and His abilities.


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