Using Your Spiritual Gifts
Week Four (p. 47-62)
There are many views concerning the types and use of spiritual gifts. Our goal is to come to understanding of the truth and to preserve unity.
I. Seeing the subject from all sides
There are four passages of scripture that speaks on the subject of spiritual gifts. In order to see the all picture, we must look at all four passages in their context. These pages are: Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 1 Corinthians 12; and Romans 12:1-16.
In these passages of scripture we see three categories of gifts: equipping, edifying, and evidence.
(Ephesians 4:11-12) – The focus in this passage is the equipping gifts.
“All gifts that involve instructing others in God’s truth are placed in this category.”
Notice that in Ephesians that the role of those listed is for the equipping of the saints for the edifying of the body. The edifying gifts are the gifts of serving. The leaders of the church have as their primary role the responsibility of training the believers in using their gifts of service.
“In other words, their main job is to help others do an effective job of serving. While certainly that can and should ‘edify’ others, equipping is their job description.”
The edifying or service gifts are not the main focus in this passage. The focus is on the church leaders who have the gift of equipping in order that others may edify.
“If the saints (believers) aren’t engaged in serving, and the members of the body aren’t maturing, then the leaders are not succeeding—no matter how dynamic they are.”
II. View from a different window
(1 Peter 4:10-11) – We are to use are gifts for the glory of God.
The categories of gifts seen in the context of 1 Peter 4 is the same as in Ephesians 4, which are equipping and edifying.
The focus in this passage is not on how we serve, but on that we serve.
“A steward is one who manages the resources of another. Our gifts are not our own to be used or unused as we see fit, but they belong to God. Therefore, we will answer to Him for what we do with our gifts.”
“The goal of any and all service is the glory of God.”
III. Many ways to serve
“As we look at the body of Christ, it is marked not by sameness, but by amazing beauty and diversity.”
(1 Corinthians 12) – All three categories of gifts are found in this passage: equipping, edifying, and evidence.
The reason all three categories of gifts are seen in this passage is the fact that Paul is emphasizing diversity in the body of Christ.
Paul is showing how that everyone is important in the body of Christ.
*When it comes to the evidence gifts we must understand their purpose. The evidence or sign gifts (healing, tongues, miracles, etc.) is for the purpose of being a ‘sign’ for unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:22). It should also be understood that speaking in tongues is not some unknown heavenly language. Speaking in tongues is a miraculous intervention by God to give a lost soul the opportunity to hear and understand the gospel in his or her own language. Clearly, what we often to see today as ‘speaking in tongues’ is completely unbiblical and has no place in the church
IV. Abiding service
(Romans 12:1-16) – “Paul gives us only two categories of gifts here: equipping and edifying. The equipping gifts mentioned here are prophecy, teaching, exhortation, and leading. The edifying gifts mentioned here are service, giving, and mercy.
(v. 6) – It is by the grace of God that we are given these gifts.
“Whatever gift we have, it is by God’s choice, not through our own efforts. If we are good at something, it is because He has made us good at it. “
V. For me to follow God
“Often our giftedness is accompanied by burdens, desires, and opportunities that coincide with one another.”
Small Group Discussion
1. As you have participated in this study, what spiritual gifts are you discovering that God has given to you?
2. How can you use those gifts in the ministry of this church?
3. Do you have a tendency to expect others to do things that may be outside of their area of giftedness?
4. Am I a good steward of the gifts that God has given to me?