Step #4 - Learn Your Spiritual Gifts

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Series Intro

We are talking about the process of self-discovery as we look at who we are in Christ!
As we have seen so far in our study, God has chosen people to do His work.
Ephesians 2:8–10 TNIV
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
To enable us to do this, He has specifically given each of us different gifts. These gifts are abilities or talents that come easy to us or in which we are interested.

Spiritual Gifts 101

All Christians Are Gifted

“All Christians have gifts and tasks of their own within the church’s total ministry.” - J.I. Packer
Ministry = Serve
It is “a necessary part of everyone’s discipleship.”
Paul was eager that
Christians exercise their spiritual gifts
1 Timothy 4:14 TNIV
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
Every member of the body of Christ participates in various roles
1 Corinthians 12:14–19 TNIV
Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?

Purpose Of Your Gifts


A spiritual gift is the God-given capacity of every Christian to carry out his function in the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11–13 TNIV
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.
The health of the body is dependent on individuals using their gifts
Pastor equips + God’s people = Make disciples

Two important key truths concerning spiritual gifts

Given for the entire body, not primarily given to benefit the individual.
Given to enable us to carry out every essential function of the body then we should expect spiritual gifts which correspond to every function described in the Scriptures.
Ephesians 4:11 TNIV
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
Those who are gifted in these various capacities who will excel in this particular function.

Nature of Spiritual Gifts

Spiritual Gifts intertwine the Divine and the Human

To view spiritual gifts in a merely human dimension leads to a gross misunderstanding of their divine element.
To view the gifts only from a ‘spiritual’ perspective will lead to a distorted appraisal.
Spiritual in nature b/c they are given by the Holy Spirit to every believer (only)
1 Corinthians 12:7–11 TNIV
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 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.
Differ from human talents and abilities b/c they result in ‘spiritual’ fruit
Human counterpart
Gift of Helps = Involve some form of human involvement (bring a meal, fix a flat, etc.)
Gift of Teaching = Involves the study of the lesson and the preparation of what is going to be taught
Gift of Administration= Involves sitting down and making plans, calling meetings and evaluation of progress
Gift of giving = Includes the making of the money, the choice of where it is to be distributed and the actual follow-through of giving
Spiritual gifts must not be confused with natural talents, and surely we must agree.
Spiritual gifts should be viewed on the human plane in that they, just as natural talents and abilities, must be developed
2 Timothy 1:6 TNIV
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Incarnation of Jesus.
Fully human and yet at the same time He was fully God. Divinity and humanity in one person.
Scriptures written by men w/backgrounds, education, personalities and styles + Holy Spirit’s leading
2 Peter 1:21 TNIV
For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual Gifts Produce Unity Through Diversity

1 Corinthians 12:4–6 TNIV
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Different people, ways to serve, interests, etc.
This interplay between diversity and unity is illustrated by the story told by Donald Grey Barnhouse:
“Several years ago, two students graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The highest ranking student in the class was a blind man named Overton, and when he received his honor, he insisted that half the credit should go to his friend, Kaspryzak. They had met one another in school when the armless Mr. Kaspryzak had guided the blind Mr. Overton down a flight of stairs. This acquaintance ripened into friendship and a beautiful example of interdependence. The blind man carried the books which the armless man read aloud in their common study, and thus the individual deficiency of each was compensated for by the other. After their graduation, they planned to practice law together.” -

Importance of Knowing Your Gifts

Spiritual gifts are Prominent in the Scriptures

One of the ways we can measure the importance of a principle or a doctrine is to determine the amount of space devoted to it in the Bible.
Subjects or doctrines which are merely implied are surely of less significance than those clearly stated.
Matters mentioned infrequently should not be regarded as crucial as those frequently dealt with.
Using this standard of measurement, the subject of spiritual gifts is a vital one, for we find gifts addressed specifically in four major portions of Scripture:
1 Corinthians 12-14
Romans 12
Ephesians 4
1 Peter 4

Spiritual Gifts are Simple Concepts

Example: 1 Corinthians
Audience not very mature in the faith
Sin rampant in Corinth
Gifts given as a “simple” doctrine for them to understand
Foundational and fundamental to the Christian life

Spiritual Gifts are for us to Learn About Ourselves

Ours to Steward
1 Peter 4:10 TNIV
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
“Stewardship” = Responsible to use it faithfully
Just as we will give an account of our time, resources, we will be held accountable for our use of our spiritual gifts
For our benefit b/c they enable you to:
Find your place of service within God’s Mission and kingdom
Determine your priorities
John Maxwell quote -
Discern God’s will
There is distinct relationship between knowing the will of God and understanding your spiritual gift
Romans 12:1–2 TNIV
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:3–8 TNIV
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Your choice of occupation, job or area of service, will be helped or hindered by your spiritual gifts
Ex. - Not gifted to teach, don’t take a teaching position.

How Can I Discover My Spiritual Gift(s)?

Look at a list of definitions of the spiritual gifts recorded in the Scriptures
Think about these gift and how they relates to your specific situation
Obey the Scriptures
Do the things which you see need to be done (Example - Bible Study + Meeting Rachel)
What you see may be a view of how you are wired
Gift of Giving = Most sensitive to financial needs; he senses needs that go over every one else’s heads
Gift of Administration = Sense a lack of organization and immediately move in to meet that need
Seems that every spiritual gift comes the complimentary ability to discern the need as well as the ability to meet it.
Devote yourself to what you do best
When you once begin to meet the needs which you see you will quickly discover that you do some things better than others
Devote time in the things you do best = development of your gifts
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