God’s Gifts of Service, Ministry, and Caring for the Needs of Others in the Church
A. What Are Spiritual Gifts?
1. Abilities that God gives to a believer that enable them to achieve God’s goals through them
2. Spiritual gifts have a two-fold purpose within the church:
a. To glorify God, the giver of the gifts - 1 Peter 4:10-11. (The proper use of spiritual gifts never draw attention to self, but—as the Holy Ghost Who gave them—points to Christ!)
b. To enable believers to edify one other in the church - Ephesians 4:11-15. Oh that we sought to accomplish this!
3. There are three kinds of gifts that God gives
a. Sign gifts – no longer available
b. Servant Gifts – Leaders in a Church
c. Service Gifts – abilities given so that a believer serves the Lord not in the flesh, but by the power of that gift. These gifts are the best gifts (1Cor 12:28-31)
B. We Have Studied the Sign Gifts, and the Servant Gifts to the Church. Today, we want to begin to study the Service Gifts – Gifts of service, of ministry, of caring for the needs of others. These are what people do to bless the people in a Church.
C. The Sign Gifts - Gifts not to be concerned with (found in 1 Corinthians 12:1-10, 28)
1. Word of wisdom - the gift of wisely explaining a spiritual mystery that could not have been understood apart from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Like the ability to interpret dreams
2. Word of knowledge – knowing things not yet written down as Scripture
3. Faith - the ability to trust that God will work specifically for you as you pray about something – i.e., work miracles on your behalf.
4. Healing – the ability to heal anybody, anywhere, anyhow!!!
5. Working of miracles – a verifiable act accomplished contrary to the known laws of nature. This is a generic gift allowing for all kinds of miracles, not just healing.
6. Prophecy - A message from God, supernaturally delivered by a person, that reveals a future event, and is 100% always accurate.
7. Discerning of spirits (the fail-safe ability to tell the difference between good and evil spirits in a person)
8. Tongues (the ability to speak the Gospel in a known language – it was unknown to the speaker, but not the hearer)
9. Interpretation of tongues (the ability to interpret for everyone what someone was preaching)
10. These gifts were for Reaching the Jews (1Cor 1:22), and have passed away (1Cor 13:8-10)
D. People NOT to listen to:
1. People claiming to be apostles and prophets (Rev 2:2)
2. People claiming to be able to do miracles, and heal, and speak in tongues
3. We will provide you a “Test” at the end of this study to show you how NONE of those people are truly Spirit filled
E. What We Will Study. We will look at each Service Gift and explore what are the signs that a person has such a gift, but at the end of this study, a test will be given to help you better know what your gift is.
II. Message – The Service Gifts – Gifts of Enablement to the Church
A. Who Gets Spiritual Gifts?
1. Every believer is given a spiritual gift – just like the gift of eternal life
2. When we were born physically, we got certain natural abilities from our parents
3. The same is true when we were born again (Eph 4:8,12,13)
B. How Many Gifts does each Christian have?
1. At least one Service Gift is given to a believer at salvation (1Pet 4:10)
2. As many as all of the Service Gifts could be given to a person
3. A gift is only utilised according to our faith
4. We are commanded to live out the work of each and every gift even though we may not possess that gift. In other words, even if I don’t have the gift of Mercy, I must still be merciful to the best of my ability.
C. What Gifts are Available? (Romans 12:3-8)
1. Prophecy (Preaching) – Proclaiming Truth
2. Teaching – Instructing People
3. Ministry / Helps – Supporting Weaker Brethren
4. Exhorting – Urging and Encouraging Others
5. Giving – Sharing With Others
6. Governments / Ruling – Governing and Managing People
7. Mercy – Showing Compassion on Others
D. The Blessing of Having Spiritual Gifts
1. Help you UNDERSTAND God’s WILL for your life. What God calls you to do, He has gifted you to do and what He has gifted you to do He has called you to do (1 Thes. 5:24). Just knowing that we have a special gift from God beyond our salvation helps us in the following ways:
a. It helps us know we have a purpose in THIS life
b. And it helps us know that God thinks we can do something great for His glory (with His help only)
2. Relieve you from serving only out of DUTY. Many are serving out of duty rather than God’s calling. Your duty is to recognize what God wants you to do, then do it.
3. Build unity among Christians (Heb 10:25). Understanding spiritual gifts will help Christians understand the burdens and desires in other believers.
4. It also allows us to use the fruit of the Spirit in us that is meant to flow outward
5. As we use our gifts and see them grow, we will experience personal fulfilment and joy
6. And when things are done by the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we will see maximum fruitfulness with the minimum weariness (John 15:8,11)
E. How Do We Discover Our Service Gifts?
1. Only available to a believer (1Cor 2:14,15)
2. Discovered only as we clear away any sin and get victory in our lives over anything that can block the Spirit of God (Heb 12:1; Eph 4:14-32). These are all sins of the heart:
a. Lasciviousness – indulging in pleasures without restraint
b. Greediness – discontentment with what God already has given you
c. Habitual Lying – can never just be who they are
d. Sinful anger
f. Laziness – lost the desire to work
g. Corrupt communication – filthy words and thoughts coming out of your mouth
h. Bitterness – holding grudges against someone - unforgiveness
i. Wrath – taking out your bitterness on someone - revenge
j. Anger – repeated because it is so wrong
k. Clamour - yelling
l. Evil speaking – saying evil things about other people
m. All malice – hatred towards people
n. These things grieve, and quench the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and hinder us from both knowing, and using the gifts that God has given us – they are massive roadblocks to God’s use of a person
3. Look for just ONE main gift – ask God to show you your main gift to use in serving Him
4. Concentrate on the needs of others ahead of your needs (Eph 4:12,13)
5. Attempt to meet the needs of others. Only as we begin to use our gifts will we be able to confirm them, and also see the need for others to use their gift to meet the needs of the church body as a whole.
6. Be careful not to misuse your gifts, or fake a gift in you (Pr 25:14)
a. Faking gifts means serving in the flesh
b. Misusing gifts means using God’s gifts for your own benefit instead of for others (like a corrupt politician, who was elected to serve, and yet is making loads of money)
A. The Best gifts are Service Gifts (1Cor 12:31)
B. And the best life is the Servant Life (Matt 25:21)
C. Are you saved yet? Born again into God’s family? Have you received the free gift of eternal life through what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross?
D. If so… are you ready to discover your gift and start using it to live for God?
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland