• Matt Beaney

#561 (21/3/22) WHAT ARE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WHAT ARE THEY FOR?



This week, as we continue our 6-week study on the person of the Holy Spirit, we will be looking at the gifts of the Holy Spirit.


1) WHAT ARE GIFTS?


It’s vital that we don’t confuse spiritual gifts as being something other than God being present and working among us, as Sam Storms wrote,

‘Spiritual gifts are nothing less than God Himself in us, energising our souls, imparting revelation to our minds, infusing power in our wills and working His sovereign and gracious purposes through us.’

When we consider the varying lists in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, 28, Roman 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Peter 4:10-11, it is clear that Paul did not have a consistent, exhaustive list of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.


What is a gift of the Spirit?

‘We may define spiritual gifts as: A spiritual gift is any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church.’ (Wayne Grudem)

A BRIEF LOOK AT 1 CORINTHIANS 12

i) Gift: ‘Charisma’ – means a gift given by grace.

1 Corinthians 12:4a There are different kinds of gifts,

All the gifts (not just the miraculous) are given by the grace of God.


ii) The Spirit ‘distributes them’ as he determines

1 Corinthians 12:4b, 11 but the same Spirit distributes them…11. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. (See also Hebrews 2:4)

We cannot control the gifts that we get or don’t get. Don’t judge yourself by other people; be content to respond to how the Spirit leads you.


iii) Service: ‘Diakonia’ – Service of others

1 Corinthians 12:5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

The various Gifts are given for service and love.


iv) Working: ‘energema’ – divine power

1 Corinthians 12:6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

The gifts and their outworking are dependent upon ‘divine energy’. Yes, one may be using a natural talent – music for example - but it becomes a spiritual gift, as it is inspired and made fruitful by the Spirit’s working.


v) Manifestation: ‘Phanerósis’ – disclosure of what is hidden

1 Corinthians 12:7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

The invisible God is revealed through the gifts (principally in our meetings), as we sing, hear teaching, prophecy etc. God is revealed to us.


2) WHAT ARE THE GIFTS FOR?

Many churches seem to get along perfectly well with the gifts of the Spirit. But, in actuality, many churches will be using a narrower range of gifts without calling them gifts. They fail to see teaching and administration and those ‘hunches’ that leaders get from time to time as gifts!


i) GIFTS ARE GIVEN TO BUILD/MATURE THE CHURCH

Ephesians 4:11-13. So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Here is a limited range of gifts but it is clear that God’s intention is that all gifts ‘equip for works of service… build up…unify…impart knowledge of Jesus…mature…creating Christ-likeness’

1 Corinthians 12:7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Gifts are not given for the ‘bad’ but for the ‘common good’. Gifts are Jesus walking into our meetings and doing what we need for our health and the salvation of the lost.


ii) GIFTS ARE FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF OTHERS

1 Corinthians 14:3-4 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.

Prophecy (and all the other gifts) is for ‘strengthening, encouragement and comfort’. This doesn’t mean that gifts don’t challenge – But the challenge is for the purpose of restoration. In the public setting, gifts do bless the giver, but they are principally for the blessing of the community. This is why Paul doesn’t encourage the use of private tongues in the gathered church (unless it is brought publicly and interpreted).


RESPONSE

Read, meditate and pray from the following two texts: How do you and I need to respond to God’s will that we know and use our gifts in our local churches?

1 Corinthians 12:8-11. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
1 Corinthians 14:26. When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

 

Please come and join us on Tuesday evenings in the church building (Werter Road) from 7:30 pm (7:00pm if you want food) as we go through Dave Holden's Holy Spirit course together.








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