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Church Leadership

Spiritual Gifts Session One

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Understanding God's call to us with Spiritual Gifts

Now that I am a Christian, I get presents?
"Spiritual Gifts" Session One
 
Understanding God's call to us with Spiritual Gifts
 
Read: Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 7:7;12:4-7; 13: 8-13; 28-30; Ephesians  4:7-12; 1 Peter 4:10 
 
 Now that I am a Christian, I get presents?

Well, yes you do; wonderful ones that build you up with growth, maturity, and the Church, as a whole! These gifts keep giving as we give to one another and to the community and world in which we live. A functioning Spiritual Gift is a far greater gift than anything the world can offer.  

Question: Did you ever wonder why you are given a Gift?  
 
Answer: To build up the Body! 
 
Open:  
 
This study is designed to give an honest, Biblical, verse-by-verse inductive study into Romans as well as other passages concerning Gifts. You will find that God indeed has a gift--perhaps gifts--for you. He has already given them, and they may be knocking on your door. It is our hope to teach you how to open the door to ministry. By this, we can all function better, stronger, and closer to one another, and be all we can be for Christ's Glory! We will seek to give you a general overview of Spiritual Gifts. It is our intention to give an honest Biblical teaching of this topic without adding any theological agenda. This is a tough task, as there are so many views on Spiritual Gifts, and it is an emotionally charged subject. There are also many bad and false teachings on this subject, where people read their perceptions and agenda into it without concern to what God is communicating to us. 
 

Romans 12 and Spiritual Gifts 

The General Idea: The term, Spiritual Gifts, ("pneumatikov├č / Pneumakitos" spiritual and cavrisma / Charisma for gift in the Greek, is mostly used by Paul except in 1 Peter 4:10) means, "abilities characterized or controlled by the Spirit, given by Grace." This subject usually brings a response from Christians from all walks of life and from many Denominations. Some are passionate with excitement, desiring to discover and use their Gifts, while others hide for fear of being convicted to do so. What does the concept of Spiritual Gifts mean? The term means "a gift of Grace."  It literally refers to a specific favor or special gift given to a Believer (Romans 5:15; 6:23) to empower them with a special talent and/or an ability to better serve the church and glorify Christ. (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 7:7;12:4-7; 13: 8-13; 28-30; Ephesians  4:7-12; 1 Peter 4:10). These Gifts are to edify the church, serve the community, and build personal character and maturity.  

These Gifts are also a responsibility, as they direct us to sacrificially serve others as Christ has served us. Yet, so often we fight over them, nullifying their true purpose and intent. These Gifts also have a supernatural source, the Holy Spirit. They can be miraculous or normative; however, each Gift, whether it is miraculous or not, is  essential to the Body of Christ. Some have a greater need and importance as stated in

1 Corinthians 12-14. Spiritual Gifts cannot be earned or bought by us in any way, shape, or form. The Holy Spirit purely and graciously gives them to us for His clearly defined purposes. Thus, they are to be used to serve the body of Christ, His church, not our whims, ideas, plans, or greed. They are to be used; they are practical, and a church cannot function effectively without them! We are to see His love pouring onto us so we can let is pour from us to those around us. If we remain in our pride, we will remain ineffective!  

1.      Spiritual Gifts have one of two areas of ministry in the church.  

a.      First are the "assigned offices" such as ministers, elders, deacons, etc. These are the "offices" of (Acts 6:1-6; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:5-7; 1 Timothy 3: 8; 5:17; James 2:15-16) leadership roles. These people must have the appropriate gifts of leadership, as well the Gift in their area of ministry

(1 Corinthians 14: 3-40; Ephesians 4:7-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Hebrews 13:17). They must be all working together in love and cooperative unity.  

b.      Second are the Spiritual Gifts assigned to each Believer. We each have at least one.  

Spiritual Gifts are the abilities given and characterized by the Holy Spirit. Charisma means that they are Gifts of God's grace. This is imperative to know, because we cannot earn them, and we certainly do not deserve them! They are gifts of Grace, regardless of what you have been taught, or what you think the term "charismatic" means. (It actually means being led by the Spirit, and if you are a Christian, then the Spirit leads you. The question is, are you obeying Him?) On another note, all Gifts are charismatic gifts, since they are all Gifts of Grace by the Spirit.   

                                                  i.      Spiritual Gifts enable one to fulfill a specific function in ministry. The effect is to glorify Christ by displaying the attributes of Christ's character in a specific function that ultimately strengthens the church.  Examples are "pastor/teacher" for the minister, or "mercy" to those who visit the sick.

                                                ii.      It is the Believer's responsibility to find, develop, and exercise the Gifts given.

                                              iii.      Some of the Gifts include leadership, teaching, pastoral care, mercy, giving... (See Gift Definitions)

                                               iv.      Spiritual Gifts guide us on how we are to behave and interact with one another.

                                                 v.      We must acknowledge our role in the body of Christ. It is His church, and there are no lone wolves in Christ! We all have a duty to fulfill, and a role to play. We have a duty to find our Gifts, then use them for the edification of those in the church and those around us outside of the church to point to Christ's glory. When we refuse to yield to His truths and His call, we hurt ourselves, one another, and our Lord!  

 

Discussion Questions: 

1.      What comes to your mind when someone says, "Spiritual Gifts?" 

 

2.      Why do some Christians fear this?  Do you? If so, why?  

 

3.      Do you have passionate excitement, desiring to discover and use your Gifts? 

 

4.      Spiritual Gifts can be scary and may cause us to hide in the fear of coming under conviction of God or moving outside of our comfort zone. Why is this so?  

 

5.      What can you do to remove this fear? What can you do to develop trust in our Lord and the wonder He invokes? 

 

6.      Why do some Christians deny the existence of Spiritual Gifts? 

 

7.      What do Spiritual Gifts mean to you and your church? What can they mean?  

 

8.      If you could choose any special talent and/or ability in order to serve Him better, what would it be? 

 

9.      Spiritual Gifts guide us in how we are to behave and interact with one another. What happens when we refuse to exercise them? 

 

10. What is your church's position on Gifts? Does it promote them, hide from them or what? How does your church's leadership affect the ministry of your church by their position on Gifts?  

 

11. How are Spiritual Gifts determined and used in your church? 

 

12. How would Spiritual Gifts help you to build personal character and maturity? 

 

13. How would Spiritual Gifts help you serve your community? Do you see needs in your community that people in your church, including yourself, could meet?  

 

14. How are Gifts a responsibility? 

 

15. Why do Christians fight over Spiritual Gifts, when the fighting nullifies their true purpose and intent?  
 
 

 ├ú 1983, 1987, revised 2001 R.J. Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries  www.intothyword.com

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