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SPIRITUAL GIFTS (2)

NATURAL QUESTIONS ABOUT SUPERNATURAL GIFTS

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

Writing a series of studies on Spiritual gifts is no easy task! Your group will need to take some initiatives in exploring this theme. Keep asking what questions are generated in your mind as you read the various Scripture references? What insights are you gaining that you ought to share with the group? What concerns does this teaching stir within you? What possibilities are opening up to you?

 

1. WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL GIFT?

How do you respond to the following definition?

"These gifts are divinely inspired abilities or capacities to do God's work God's way with God's results".

Actually, the word 'gift' does not appear in the original text as such. The Greek word "charis" is used and means "grace" which conveys the idea of a free gift.

 

2. HOW MANY GIFTS ARE THERE?

Take time to read the following passages and list down as many gifts or "divine abilities" you can find.

a) Romans 12/4-8____________________________________________________

b) 1 Cor 12/7-11____________________________________________________

c) Eph 4/11-13 ______________________________________________________

d) 1 Peter 4/7-11 ____________________________________________________

 

It will quickly become evident that there is quite an overlap with some of these gifts. Some are mentioned more than once. Another 'problem' is that these gifts don't come with precise definitions or explanations. More of that in a future study.

 

3. WHY DOES THERE SEEM TO BE CONTROVERSY OVER THESE GIFTS?

As you are probably aware, the reaction of people to the subject of spiritual gifts varies greatly. Consider the following statements and identify the one that most closely represents your present position. You can adjust or modify any of the statements to make them more accurately represent your conviction.

 

a) "I do not believe that the Gifts of the Spirit are valid or available to the Church today. They were for the time of the Apostles only."

 

b) "I believe that the same gifts that we read about in the New Testament are all available and accessible to the Church today."

 

c) "I believe the miraculous gifts have been withdrawn from the Church but that some or all of the others are still meant to be operative today."

 

d ) "I confess to a fair degree of ignorance on this subject but I am wanting to be teachable."

e) (Other)_____________________________________________________________

 

4. WHO HAS THESE GIFTS? ARE THEY FOR ALL BELIEVERS?

 

Imagine that the person next to you ( a Christian) says "I don't have any gifts. I was away the day they were allocated!!" How would you answer them from.....

 

a) Romans 12/4-6 ____________________________________________________

b) 1 Cor. 12/6b,7a,11 _________________________________________________

c) 1 Peter 4/10 ______________________________________________________

 

5. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THESE GIFTS?

 

Check the following references and write against each one the purpose of spiritual gifts.

a) 1 Cor 12/7 _______________________________________________________

b) Eph 4/12,13 ______________________________________________________

c) 1 Peter 4/11 _______________________________________________________

 

6. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS (IF ANY)?

 

Some people have had no first hand dealings with spiritual gifts. Others have had positive experiences. Still others have been 'turned off' by some negative experience. Would you share with the group which of the above 3 options represents your experience? Does your experience make you excited or cautious about this series?

 

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion, let me remind you that love is the indispensable and critical climate for the operation of spiritual gifts. Hostility, competition, envy, pride are sure to emerge if love does not prevail. So let's conclude by asking the Head of the Church to give us a humble and teachable spirit and a new and continuing baptism of love.

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