In our previous studies, we have been looking at the “Accrediting” or “Sign” Gifts that were given to establish the New Testament Scriptures, the ministry of Christ and the Apostles, and the ministry of the local church as the newly created house of worship. We saw that these type of gifts are no longer needed, nor are they given to men, as we now have the historical record of the accrediting gifts found in the New Testament.
With this lesson, we will begin looking in detail at the “Spiritual Gifts For Today”…
Evangelist – Ephesians 4:11 – “One who proclaims the gospel”
In other words, those whose main thrust is to minister to the lost giving them the gospel message. In today’s time this gifted man is best described as “a Missionary”.
Pastor/Teacher – Ephesians 4:11 – “a Shepherd / an Instructor”
He is described as a “Shepherd (or Pastor)” because his three responsibilities are to lead, feed and protect the local assembly over which he has been given oversight. He is described as a “Teacher” because one of the main thrusts of their ministry is to teach all aspects of God’s Word (doctrinal, practical, evangelistic) to the members of the local assembly.
Prophecy – Romans 12:6, 1 Peter 4:11 – “to show forth the mind of God”.
This gift emphasizes the PROCLAMATION of the Truth.
How do we know God’s mind today? It is through the revelation of His Word. The gift of prophecy is the ability to proclaim God’s Word. This is clearly shown in the description “to speak as the oracles of God” in 1 Peter 4:11. This description is translated from a phrase meaning “to speak the logos (Word) of God”.
It is to be done “according to the proportion of faith” ie “according to the level of persuasion and conviction that he possesses.” In other words, a prophet is only to teach that which he is convinced is the truth. He is not to teach something because others teach it, but he is to study and be led by God to the truth of the Word and only then, proclaim it. (Romans 8:38-39)
Ministry or Helps – Romans 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Peter 4:11 – “service, laboring to meet needs of others”.
This gift emphasizes HUMILITY based on the Truth.
This gift involves recognizing the needs of those around us and the ability to identify how to fulfill those needs. This gift also is closely associated to the exercise of several spiritual fruits including love, gentleness, and patience.
Teaching – Romans 12:7 – “to explain, to inform, to instruct”.
This gift emphasizes the EXPLANATION of the Truth.
The clear explanation of the principles of God’s Word is in view with this Spiritual gift. This gift enables a man to understand Biblical truths and then to clarify, illuminate and expound on them. Many times this gift is given in conjunction with the gift of Prophecy. While the gift of Prophecy’s greatest goal centers on the application of the truth to the life of their listeners, the gift of Teaching majors on their students coming to a clear understanding of the truths of the Word with the application of these truths a secondary goal.
Both of these ministries are of equal importance and rely upon each other. Truth cannot be applied to the life (goal of the prophet) until it is properly understood. Likewise understanding truth (goal of the teacher) without application to the life is of very little profit to the hearer.
Exhortation – Romans 12:8 – “to call near, to comfort, to stand with”
This gift emphasizes the ENCOURAGING to keep the Truth.
This gift involves encouraging others to keep the truth. This is done through strengthening and reassuring words, as well as actively supporting the actions of others in service to Christ. It involves standing with them in the midst of heartaches, testings, and temptations. Many times this gift is used along with the gift of ministry.
Giving – Romans 12:8 – “to give over, to share with others”.
This gift emphasizes GIVING to display the Truth.
This gift involves sacrificing of ourselves in order to illustrate what our Lord has done for us as recorded in His Word. This can involve the sharing of our finances, time, talents, possessions, or knowledge with others with no intention of restitution. It is handing over what we possess in an effort to display, on a very very small scale, the tremendous sacrifice that Christ has made on our behalf.
Note our text tells us this gift is to be exercised with “simplicity”. This relates to us the sincerity of motives and willingness to give of ourselves. Our giving should not be forced or manipulated but must be an act of our freewill, as we sincerely desire to share our blessings with others.
Ruling or Governments – Romans 12:8, 1 Corinthians 12:28 – “to stand before, to preside over”.
This gift emphasizes ORGANIZATION AND EXAMPLE SETTING to effectively reveal the Truth to others.
This gift involves the ability to effectively exercise directive authority over others. It involves organizing and delegating roles of service to most effectively serve the Lord. A part of this gift involves setting the proper example to those who are placed under their authority. Also, it involves a willingness to fulfill any role that is delegated to others.
Our text explains that this gift must be exercised “with diligence”. This helps us to understand that this gift must be exercised in a serious, eager, and careful manner. Many times the success of a ministry hinges upon the quality of leadership of that ministry.
Mercy – Romans 12:8 – “to show compassion to undeserving, to withhold deserved punishment”
This gift emphasizes the ability to EMPATHIZE WITH THE NEEDY to more effectively share the Truth.
This gift involves possessing a willingness to aid an inferior and/or forgive the guilty. This gift specifically involve the use of empathy (the ability to put ourselves in the “shoes” of others allowing us to emotionally share in the difficulties of others) as we minister to those who have wronged us or are suffering.
In the eyes of the world punishment is meted to the guilty and aid is to be given to those who are profitable to us. This gift enables us to put ourselves in their place, share in their emotions and recognize their needs. This then allows us to forgive instead of punish and to aid them in their suffering regardless of their social status.
Celibacy – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 – “to live in unmarried state, to live a celibate lifestyle”
This gift emphasizes the ability to live WITHOUT PHYSICAL INTIMACY for the sake of the Truth.
This gift involves living a chaste lifestyle for the purpose of placing our full attention and efforts on service for Christ. This gift involves the ability to control our fleshly desires for sexual intimacy which allows us to concentrate solely on service to Christ. The exercise of this gift allows our service for Christ to be unfettered with the concerns of meeting the needs of a spouse or children.
Marriage – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 – “to be a party in the Biblical marital covenant”
This gift emphasizes being FAITHFUL TO THE CONDITIONS OF THE BIBLICAL MARITAL COVENANT to show the Truth.
This gift involves receiving the God given ability to keep all the responsibilities of the Biblical marital covenant. The varied responsibilities of the husband and wife center upon the willingness to always working to meet the needs the other person while living in harmony between themselves and God. This gift involves the ability to recognize the needs of the spouse, sacrificially meet those needs, while yet placing the Lord first in the marriage.
Hospitality – 1 Peter 4:9 – “to be fond of aliens, foreigners”
This gift emphasizes CARING FOR STRANGERS to communicate the Truth .
This gift involves the ability to readily accept strangers as if they were long-time associates, friends, or family members. It is having the ability to care for those we do not personally know by accepting them into our presence while sharing our blessings with them.
Please note the following gifts found in these texts are accrediting (sign) gifts that no longer exist and are covered in previous lessons:
- Office Of Apostle – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
- Office Of Prophet – 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11
- Gifts of Healings – 1 Corinthians 12:28
- Diversities of Tongues – 1 Corinthians 12:28
In our next lesson, we will look at how we can recognize which gifts we have received of the Lord
A Description Of Spiritual Gifts For Today (Verses Used In This Study):
Rom 12:4-8 KJV
(4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
(5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
(6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
(7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
(8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Rom 8:38-39 KJV
(38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
(39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1Co 7:7-9 KJV
(7) For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
(8) I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
(9) But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
1Co 12:27-31 KJV
(27) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
(28) And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
(29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
(30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
(31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Gal 5:22-25 KJV
(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
(24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
(25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Eph 4:11-15 KJV
(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 5:8-10 KJV
(8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
(10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
1Pe 4:8-11 KJV
(8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
(9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
(10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
(11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.