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Spiritual Gifts Listed in Scripture:

apostle                        prophecy                        faith                teaching                      helps (service)

leadership                  administration             tongues           giving

word of wisdom          word of knowledge                             healing                        miracles

mercy                          encouraging                                           celibacy                       distinguishing of spirits

interpretation of tongues

Church as a body- 1 Corinthians 12:4-26

Truth: You and I can stunt the growth of the church by not using our spiritual gifts, or we can make a vital contribution to the body of Christ, which God has uniquely gifted each one of us to make.

             Helpful resource: www.spiritualgiftstest.com (youth/adult)

We tend to have an individualistic mindset- “spiritual gifts are mainly about my own growth.”  This is unbiblical!  We’ll see in the text the goal of the gifts: building up the body of Christ.  Responsibility to help one another grow in maturity through our gifts!

First Response may be- Can God really use me? Consider the following:

Whatever excuse, hesitancy, doubt, reason, or obstacle you have to serving the Lord with your spiritual gifts- God already knows about and has planned for!  (Someone telling me this week- I put my exercise clothes out the night before, so when the morning comes, there’s less excuse…)

Difference between natural talents, spiritual gifts, and fruit of Spirit:

Natural gifts/abilities– Given to all people by virtue of being made in the image of God. Given to both Christians & non-Christians.  May or may not overlap with gifts.

Fruit of the Spirit- Galatians 5:22-23.  Character & Heart virtues that the Holy Spirit grows in each Christian’s life, in greater maturity over time- All  varieties of the fruit are expected of all Christians in some measure.

Spiritual Gifts- certain supernatural abilities given to each and every Christian—by the Holy Spirit, specifically for the purpose of building up/encouraging the body of Christ. In this way the gifts correlate with faith.  [Romans 12:6 ESV]

[6] Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; [7] if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; [8] the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

[1 Corinthians 12:4-13]

The Holy Spirit apportions and empowers the spiritual gifts in each Christian for the common good of the church.

Isn’t it wonderful that God sees us as individuals?  He has given each of us a unique skill set—with spiritual gifts.  We are not simply a set of data to him, not just an account number, not simply a statistic.  There is variety, but also unity:

Variety- service, gifts, activities. People- station in life, ethnicity, education, financial resources,

many different personalities…

Unity: same God, same Spirit, same goal- the common good.

“Manifestation”- Visible, Tangible, evidence that the Spirit is at work. (this is given by God)  We cannot manifest the Spirit in our own strength.  We trust by faith for God to dwell in us, and then through us demonstrate his Spirit to others.

Question: Where do I find myself desiring to contribute to the common good of the body of Christ?  What burdens my heart?  What excites me?  The answer to these questions may help you determine your spiritual gifts.

[1 Corinthians 12:14-20] Each person has a gift that makes a vital and necessary contribution to the body of Christ

  • Hypothetical question- Because I am not (this or that), I do not belong to the body. (Really a Question of significance).  Do I matter?  Are others more important than I am?

Equality of contribution.- “would not make it any less a part of the body.”

  • Person who volunteers in the nursery, fills communion cups, person on the prayer team–just as significant a contribution as the person who teaches a class, sings on the worship team, or preaches.
  • If certain people are not exercising their spiritual gifts, then the body is incomplete, stilted, or no longer a full-functioning body.

Common Attitude– people say, “Pastor, I could never do what you do.”  “Pastor, I can’t be like so and so- they seem to have such great faith, passion for the Lord…”

  • Remember, God does not call you to have the faith of someone else. God calls you to exercise your unique gifts!
  • (Romans 12:5-8 ESV)

[5] so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. [6] Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; [7] if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; [8] the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. 

[1 Corinthians 12:21-26Each person and gift within the body is dependent upon the others, and is responsible for the others.

  • Imagine trying to play golf- your hands say to your eyes, “I don’t need you.” It would be a disaster!  Impossible!  You would cause harm or injury!
  • Admit humility- I cannot exercise my gifts without others helping. One test of of humility and the gift of leadership- is this person willing to work w/others?
  • 1 Corinthians 12:25- “no divisions, same care for one another”
  • We are to suffer& rejoice together. We have a responsibility to care for one another.
  •  Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV

[15] Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, [16] from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.