One of the main reasons there is such division in many churches today is due to the lack of understanding spiritual gifts. For some time, I have been burdened over believers who just sit on the sidelines. There seems to be a lack of understanding that everyone is important and everyone has a place in the local church body. For this reason, I began to lead our adult Sunday School through a study on spiritual gifts. We are using the book Using Your Spiritual Gifts by Eddie Rasnake as our guide for this study. Each week, the students of the class will do the work in the book and then we have an overview of the lesson in Sunday School as we highlight the main points. We also allow time for small group discussion at the end of the class. This study is of such importance that I felt it necessary to provide our study guides for all to access. These study guides will help you in understanding spiritual gifts. I also encourage you to order the book Using Your Spiritual Gifts for your own personal study and perhaps for your church. Below is our study guide for week one:
Using Your Spiritual Gifts
Week One (p. 1-16)
“Do others see a difference in our lives? That is what God desires. He wants to bear His fruit through us. And not just a little bit—He wants to bear ‘much fruit’ in us (John 15:8).”
I. What is Fruit?
“…our lives should not only bear evidence of God, but that evidence should be attractive and beneficial to others.”
“We won’t all serve the same way, but every mature believer will have a ministry of some kind.”
(John 15:16) – “To be appointed indicates that is it not our choice whether we will serve or not. It is our assignment to serve.”
(Galatians 5:22-23) – The character qualities produced in us as we abide in Christ. “What attractive people we become when Christ produces His character in us.”
(Colossians 1:10) – Spiritual fruit is not selfish; it is for the benefit of others. God wants to work through us in ministry what He has worked in us in maturity
II. Who is supposed to bear fruit?
“Church life in a lot of places is much like a sporting event, where you have a handful of people in the action in desperate need of rest being cheered on by thousands in the stands in desperate need of exercise.”
(Ephesians 2:10) – We were created for good works. We are not saved by good works, but saved for good works.
(1 Peter 4:10) – We all have received a gift and we must all use that gift. All of us have at least one gift.
– Knowing that each of us has at least one gift assures us that the church needs us.
– Knowing that each of us does not have all the gifts assures us that we need the church.
(Romans 12:1-6) – Once we are willing to be used, He will show us His good and perfect will.
“The main things you need to understand are that God wants to use you and He has made you useable. Every Christian is supposed to bear fruit.”
III. How does God want to use us?
“God leaves us here because He wants others to come to know His love and mercy through our witness.”
(2 Corinthians 5:19-21) – We are representatives of God to the earth.
(Matthew 28:18-20) – “Giftedness does not determine if we will share Christ; all are called to that. What giftedness determines is how we will gain opportunity to share Christ.
IV. The motive of reward
“….our service will be rewarded.”
“It is true that the heartbeat of ministry cannot be the heart of a hireling, motivated only by selfishness.”
“The key is: do we understand what the reward is and what we will do with it.”
(2 Corinthians 5:9-10) – Our goal should be to be pleasing to God because one day we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ where we will be judge according to our works
V. For me to follow God
“In divine irony, God has so structured life that living for ourselves guarantees that our deepest needs go unmet, while living for others instead of self puts us in a place where the deep needs of our heart can be met.”
“The church isn’t what it is supposed to be without the contribution of every single member.”
“I was created for good works, and I will never be satisfied until I am doing them.”
“God must work in you if He is able to work through you.”
Small Group Discussion
- Share with those in your group some of the evidences that you see in your life of Christ making changes in your character.
- Honestly and openly share with your group how you are doing when it comes to living for others rather than living for self.
- Each member in the group, share what you think your spiritual gift is. See if you can identify the spiritual gifts of others in your group.
- Commit to praying for one another as we continue this study and pray together as a group.