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SPIRITUAL GIFTS (10)

 

Serving, Encouragement, Leadership, Giving, Mercy

 

INTRODUCTION

 

When a group of people, in a new way, begin to be open to the reality of spiritual gifts, there are some predictable dangers that also emerge. Over-emphasis and imbalance is one of them. Becoming selective is another. In other words, some people want to choose what gifts are acceptable to them and reject those that are not.

 

As we come to this second last study in the series, let's recall that, according to 1 Corinthians 12/11, these God-given abilities are distributed sovereignly by the Holy Spirit. We need to recognize that EVERY gift which the Holy Spirit imparts is valuable and needed for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Read 1 Cor 12/14-20 and note how Paul acknowledges and challenges INFERIORITY in the Body of Christ. What is the essence of his argument? Now read vs. 21-26 and observe how Paul confronts attitudes of SUPERIORITY. Again, what is the essence of his argument?

1. THE GIFTS OF SERVING/HELPS

 

a) "The God-given ability to give support and aid in the Body of Christ as a ministry".

b)  Read Romans 12/7 and 1 Corinthians 12/28 - these are references to this gift

c)  Read Acts 13/5 and Romans 16/1,2 - these are examples of the gift.

2. THE GIFT OF EXHORTATION/ENCOURAGEMENT

a)  "The God-given ability to come alongside and minister encouragement"

b)Read Romans 12/8.

c)  Can you see such a gift in Jonathan? (1 Samuel 23/14-18).

d)  Do you know someone who has this gift?

3. THE GIFT OF ADMINISTRATION/LEADERSHIP

a) "The God-given ability to exercise positive influence in the ministry of the local church".

b)   Read Romans 12/8 and 1 Corinthians 12/28

c)  The same word is used in Acts 27/11 where it is translated 'helmsman' or 'pilot'. What image does this word evoke in your mind? Does it help you understand the gift of leadership?

d)  Again, do you know people with this gift?  Did Jesus have this gift? Can you give an example of His leadership?


4. THE GIFT OF GIVING/LIBERALITY

a)'The God-given ability to share and use material possessions with others as a ministry"

b)Read Romans 12/8 for reference to the gift.

c)  Read Acts 4/36 and compare it with Acts 5/1-4. Both references speak of giving yet they are 'poles apart'! Discuss the difference.

d)  We are all called upon to give but some have the "gift of giving".[Another example is to say that all of us are called upon to witness but some have the gift of evangelism]. How does this distinction help us? Are there any inherent dangers in drawing such a distinction? What might we say to the person who says, "I don't have the gift of giving so I don't have to give"?

5. THE GIFT OF SHOWING MERCY

a)"The God-given ability to actively express genuine compassion towards disadvantaged, marginalized and outcast".

b)  Read Romans 12/8 for referenced to the gift.

c)  Who are the 'disadvantaged' in our society? Who are the marginalized in our Church family? Who in our neighbourhood are treated like outcasts?

CONCLUSION:

 

The 19 gifts we have considered do not constitute a complete or exhaustive list. For example 1 Corinthians 13/3 might suggest that martyrdom is a gift and 1 Corinthians 7/7 could suggest celibacy is a gift.

 

Next week we will complete the series by exploring the question, 'How can I discover my gifts?'




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