After affirmation of the all members being joined togetheras one working body, Paul reviews a select number of BodyGifts a...
ICorinthians 12:27 – Now are ye the      body of Christ, and members in par-    ticular. 12:28 – And God hath set some    ...
Discerning of Spirits is an Individual intuitive Gift. It isthe spiritual ability to indiscriminately know and judgewhat i...
The spirituals have become corrupted in the possession of       sage for a single occasion.city built upon physical beauty...
outside agent to survive.The Church Body is uniquely designed to also be self-regulating, self-sustaining, and self-healin...
the intended purpose of God. Without spiritual gifts orgrace, believers have no spiritual mission or ministry. Wewould be ...
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried     away unto these dumb idols, even as ye      were led. Wherefore I give you to u...
of a whole body has led to self-endowed subdivisions break-                                                           ing ...
way for the presence of great spiritual ignorance. Thisparadox explains why Paul opens this section of the Corin-thian let...
value of being one or united; but we equally must under-stand and respect the importance of not all being the same.Oneness...
tive strength of the whole body. The end goal the eternalBody Gifts is to make one perfect man; one complete un-ion among ...
There are needs in the body that are un-met because people     Pastor they are shepherds that lead sheep to spiritual pas-...
Apostle’s voice establishes order in the Church Body andhelps drive the church in the right direction to conquerspiritual ...
not measure the results of one gift against another. Results      behind work that is not yet completed.are the outcome of...
– That we henceforth be no more     children, tossed to and fro, and car-     ried about with every wind of doc-     trine...
ket place a person that wanted to exchange material goodsfor money or to trade one material item for another neededto know...
The gift of Ministry is defined by service and waits to beused to serve wherever needed. The gift of teaching servesby pro...
Ministry is defined by the Greek word “diakonia”, which     means “servant”.     The word “Deacon” has its origin from thi...
The Body Gifts are listed in two sections of scripture. TheBody Gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8 are gifts that are used tose...
Grace is universally given because grace is universallyneeded. The gift of grace demonstrates God’s favor towardsall men. ...
The universal gift of faith is given to every man to keepevery man from thinking to highly of himself. Egotism andself-exa...
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Ministry gifts bk doc

  1. 1. After affirmation of the all members being joined togetheras one working body, Paul reviews a select number of BodyGifts and Individual Gifts. The selected Body Gifts reviewthe succession order of the work of the Apostle, Prophet,and Teacher. The order is not a ranking order of impor-tance; instead the succession order demonstrates how theworks of these gifts follow behind each preceding gift. TheIndividual Gifts can come after the preceding work of theBody Gifts.Gifts that follow the succession order allow the ChurchBody to receive the full benefit of the Gifts of the Spirit. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant - I Corinthians 12:1 by Pastor Del Phillips42
  2. 2. ICorinthians 12:27 – Now are ye the body of Christ, and members in par- ticular. 12:28 – And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondar- ily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Summation of Gifts : In the midst of the divisions and schisms among the Corin- thian believers Paul asserts that they are “now” one body. Many appeals and arguments have already been articulated in respect to the particular members of the church becom- ing one spiritual working body. When people take on the task of problem solving sometimes they become absorbed with the task of solving a problem instead of taking action that will bring a resolution. The best remedy for resolving division and conflict is to put into practice the instruction that has already been given and become one “now”.2 41
  3. 3. Discerning of Spirits is an Individual intuitive Gift. It isthe spiritual ability to indiscriminately know and judgewhat is spiritually true and make that truth known to a an-other member part of the body. Note: the word spirit comesfrom Greek word “pnuema” which means “current of air”.To discern spirits is to know what direction something orsomeone is flowing in or from what direction it originated.Divers Tongues is an Individual speaking Gift. It is thespiritual ability to speak or prophecy the words of the Now concerning spiritual gifts, breth-Torah in other languages unknown to the speaker butknown to another member part of the body. *study ref: ren, I would not have you ignorant.*Ex. 19:1-10/ ICor. 14:1-40 - I Corinthians 12:1Note:The Day of Pentecost is apart of the Jewish celebration of Firstfruits (Lev.23:10-15), including in this celebration is the reading of the Torah as it wasfirst done at Mt. Sinai. God established His first covenant with the exilesfrom Egypt before the would enter into the Promised Land. The people wererequired to respond to every word they heard God speak. (Ex. 19:1-10) Thewords of God are said to have appeared before each man and woman as aflame of fire. (Ps. 29:7) It is believed that the word of God went forth unto the Spiritual Ignorance“mixed-multitude” (Ex. 12:38) and was heard by everyone in the surroundingarea. The translated text for verse one actually reads: “Now con- cerning the spirituals brethren, I would not have you ig-Psalm 68:11 teaches that “Every single word going out from the Omnipotent norant”. Ignorance of the “spirituals” is the focus of thiswas split up into seventy languages.” Psalm 29:7 reads, “The voice of Yahwehhews out tongues of fire.” It was understood by Jewish folk of 2000 years ago, chapter in Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. We knowthat a “tongue as fire” had presented itself to each person at Sinai, to ask if he that in using the term ignorant that Paul cannot mean thatwould accept the Covenant. Those present were from all seventy nations, a the church of Corinth is unaware of the “spirituals”, because"mixed multitude." in chapter one verse seven he acknowledges the fact thatInterpretation of Tongues is an Individual speaking Corinth comes behind in no gift. The word ignorant in thisGift. It is the spiritual ability to Cantor the words of the To- text means to ignore. Paul is challenging the church ofrah *study ref: *Ex. 19:1-10/ ICor. 14:1-40 Corinth because they are ignoring the purpose and intent of the “spirituals”.Note:The same conditions exist in the celebration of Firstfruits in the account givenin Acts 2:1-12, the term tongues of fire / interpretation of tongues is a Hebraic Spiritual gifts for the Corinthians have become a badge ofexpression that represent the distribution of the word of God through out theland to be heard by all men. (Ps. 68:11) This would make the day of Pente- honor to exalt the gift recipient instead of the gift giver.cost in Acts chapter two a replica of the event that took place at Sinai to dis- They see the gifts as spiritual decorations to be worn for ad-tribute the “Torah” or “Word of the Lord” to every nation and tongue. miration perhaps so others might be inspired to become like them.40 3
  4. 4. The spirituals have become corrupted in the possession of sage for a single occasion.city built upon physical beauty and grandeur. In name“Corinth” was a term used for ostentatious or ornate elabo-rate beauty. The entire city was known for its visible orna- Word of Knowledge is an Individual speaking Gift. It ismental décor. Now the believers in Corinth were modeling the spiritual ability for one member part to speak and givethe attitude of the city and ignoring the true intended pur- instruction/information on a subject matter that could onlypose of their spiritual gifts. be revealed by the spirit of God that causes another member part of the body to take action. Note: this gift is illustrated as a single “word” of wisdom indicating it is a single mes- sage for a single occasionThe GiftsPersonal gifts we often exchange are usually given based on Faith is an Individual speaking Gift. It is the spiritualthree common factors: the quality of our relationship with a (super-natural) ability to believe God on any matter and toperson, their personal desires or needs, or what we believe speak the word of faith with confidence and boldness to an-fits their personality. Spiritual gifts are not given to meet other member part of the body.these requirements. The basis of these gifts is to fulfillGod’s express purpose. Everything that God has createdwas created for His pleasure and for His glory. (Rev. 4:11) Healing is an Individual demonstration Gift. It is theSpiritual gifts are not given to believers as a reward or as spiritual (super-natural) ability believe/produce physical,evidence of spiritual superiority. The word used for gifts in emotional, or spiritual healing for another member part ofthe study text comes from the Greek word “Charis of Charis the body. Note: this gift is illustrated as a plural “gifts” of-mah” which is the derivative root for the word “Grace”. healing indicating using one ability, (one individual), toWe could correctly translate spiritual gifts as “spiritual heal many types of sickness or disease.grace” that we are given as a gratuitous, undeserved, en-dowment from God. We have been empowered because ofgrace not because we are great. Miracles is an Individual demonstration Gift. It is the spiritual (super-natural) ability to be used to demonstrate the “dunamis” power and presence of God on the earth to a another member part of the body Prophecy is an Individual speaking Gift. It is the spiritual ability to foretell the works of God in the earth and in the life of a another member part of the body.4 39
  5. 5. outside agent to survive.The Church Body is uniquely designed to also be self-regulating, self-sustaining, and self-healing. The spiritualBody of Christ does not require the aid or assistance of for-eign outside agents for its survival. The Individual Giftsshould be used to survey the needs of the body parts andthen provide whatever is needed to keep the body regulated,sustained, healthy, and whole. For I long to see you, that I may im- part unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established – RomansThe human anatomy is so self-regulated that the need ofone body part can trigger a response from another body 1:11part in an entirely different location of the body. For exam-ple, the foot is designated to provide standing support tothe other body parts that tower above the foot. The footalso has the power to move the body from a standing posi- God’s Intenttion and take steps for walking. Before the foot can take astep the body survey must determine what is needed and What is God’s intention for giving us “spiritual grace”? Thewhat is required to complete the task. The body cannot gift is an impartation. In Romans 1:11, we find two impor-move forward without being able to see where it is going. tant terms used in Paul’s declaration that will help us un-The foot cannot see. It does not have the gift of sight. The derstand the intended purpose of God’s gift. First we mustfoot was not designed to see how to move forward. The eye understand that a gift is bestowed upon the believer. Paulgift must provide what the foot gift does not have to allow uses the term “impart”, which means to give over, bestow,the body to execute the task of walking. The foot naturally or put upon someone with the hand. Using this word Paulconcedes to ability of the eyes to lead and the eyes naturally puts emphasis on the fact that a spiritual gift is somethingdefer to the foot to move the body forward. The Individual that must be put upon someone. The gift is not somethingGifts are distributed to individual body parts to allow each that can be earned or purchased by someone who wants it.body part to serve and support another body part for the It must be given, it must be bestowed. Natural gifts can bebenefit of the whole body. conveniently be purchased whenever we feel we deserve to be treated with something special. Spiritual gifts require us to wait for the gift giver. The second important term de- fines the intent for which the gift is given: “to the end yeWord of Wisdom is an Individual speaking Gift. It is the may be established”. The Greek word for established usedspiritual ability for one member part to speak words of di- in this verse is “sterizo”. This term means to settle and turnvine counsel that reveal and confirm the plan of God to an- in a resolutely in a certain or fixed direction. Spiritual giftsother member part of the body. Note: this gift is illustrated are given to turn the believer in a fixed direction towardsas a single “word” of wisdom indicating it is a single mes-38 5
  6. 6. the intended purpose of God. Without spiritual gifts orgrace, believers have no spiritual mission or ministry. Wewould be saved from our sins without any further specificpurpose.Many believers live as if they have no specific purpose, as ifthey are simply awaiting their departure for the first raptureflight to heaven. There are believers become enamoredwith the work of their own hands and are absorbed with ICorinthians 12:8– For to one is givenpursuing personal accomplishment. Every gift given to by the Spirit the word of wisdom; toevery believer is intended to be used to fulfill God’s purposefor our life. another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit; 12:9 – To another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing, by the same Spirit; 12:10 – To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discern- ing of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues Individual Gifts (service, examine, repair par- ticular parts of body): The Individual Gifts listed in ICorinthians are gifts desig- nated to respond to the individual needs of the body. Using the human body as an example of how the individual gifts work to keep the Church Body whole and healthy is fitting because the anatomical structure of the human body is the most amazing example of perfection in all of God’s creation. The human body is a self-contained micro-universe of cells, nerves, and tissue that do not require assistance from any6 37
  7. 7. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to un- derstand, that no man speaking by the spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. - I Corinthians 12:2-3 Our Spiritual Past Sometimes we must be reminded of our past to get us prop- erly focused on our present task. Paul recalled how the Co- rinthians were once carried away with the God’s crafted by their own hands. Great skill and craftsmanship went into the construction of their Gods. No expense was spared in using the finest gold and jewels for the decorum of their idol temples as a monument to their God’s which attracted travelers from around the world. The idolatry of the Corinthians was an example of how men are influenced to worship the work of their own hands.36 7
  8. 8. of a whole body has led to self-endowed subdivisions break- ing away from the general church to create their own brandPaul had to remind the Corinthian church how dull their and preference of ministry. Body parts may despise andsenses were in the past. The influence of our own work discriminate against one another but because they aremakes us numb to the work of God. We cannot recognize joined together in Christ they cannot be spiritually survivethat Jesus is Lord when we are carried away with our own if they are separated. Spiritual body parts cannot survivehuman accomplishments. We can only confess Jesus as being separate from other parts of the Church Body noLord by the Holy Ghost speaking in us not by anything more than a physical body part can survive being separatedthat we can do or accomplish. from the human body. Break away ministry branches are spiritual anomalies and the branches should be encouraged to re-connect to the spiritual body. The secondary problem that follows when body parts are discontent with their placement is the body will attempt to diminish the role of the whole body to one diluted single function. Every body part has a unique assignment in the Church Body. In ICorinthians 12:17, Paul challenges the church with respect to what would happen if the whole body were to function as a single gift. If the whole body func- tioned as an eye; how could the body hear? If the whole body was an ear; how could the body smell? The signifi- cance of an individual gift is only relevant in the contrast mixture of other gifts. If the whole body has only one gift the ability to meet the diverse needs within the body is greatly diminished. The natural and spiritual body benefits from the unique gift each body part furnishes. Every body part has a designated gift function and the body needs the function of every desig- nated gift.8 35
  9. 9. way for the presence of great spiritual ignorance. Thisparadox explains why Paul opens this section of the Corin-thian letter with the words: “Now concerning the spiritualgifts, brethren I would not have you ignorant”. The evi-dence convincingly points against the brethren at Corinthfor being divisively ignorant.The New Testament Church was a union of Jew and Gentilebelievers. The differences within their cultures created di-vision and inequity in their relationship with each other.The early Church needed to eradicate the discrimination Having then gifts differing accordingbetween Jew and Gentile in order to homogenize all believ-ers as one in Christ. Paul uses the human anatomy as a to the grace that is given to us…point of reference to describe how the union of many sepa-rate parts makes a whole physical body. In ICorinthians -Romans 12:612:13, he illustrates how Jews and Gentiles are both bap-tized, (immersed), into the same body. Now there are diversities of gifts but the same spiritHe further argues that a body part cannot be separated - I Corinthians 12:4from the body by simply declaring it is not a part of thebody. There was discord in the church because Gentilebody parts were competing to assume the gift function ofJewish body parts and vice-versa. Body parts are set into Diversity of giftsthe human body and they are not interchangeable. A foot Types, Administration, Operation,cannot exchange places with the hand or an eye exchangeplaces with an ear. The same is true with the spiritual body;every believer must use their gift in the place where God has Types - In this passage we discover that we have gifts thatset them in the body. differ according to “the grace” that is given to us. We have already learned that we are empowered because of grace, Paul now leads to us understand that all gifts are universally distributed through grace but each members of the body isJews or Gentiles in the Corinthian church that were not sat- given a gift that makes us distinctively different.isfied with their gift placement wanted to use their gift inalternate areas of the body more desirable to them. Whenthey were admonished to remain in their set place somemember parts would declare they were no longer a part of The word diversities used in ICorinthians in the Greekthe body. The idea that Body parts can survive independent language actually means “distinction”. We must learn the34 9
  10. 10. value of being one or united; but we equally must under-stand and respect the importance of not all being the same.Oneness is not to be mistaken for sameness.We often eliminate the opportunity for unique expression ofgifts that God has planted in the body because we overlookthe gifts that don’t mirror our expectation of sameness.There is an implied expectation for other member parts tobe identical to our own individual likeness. We don’t want ICorinthians 12:14– For the body isother gifts to make us feel uncomfortable in the way that the not one member but many. 12:15 – Ifgift presents itself. This prejudice causes many gifts in thebody to inactive; and over-all makes the body less distinc- the foot shall say, Because I am not thetive and more typical. hand, I am not of the body; is it there- fore not of the body? 12:16 – And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 12:17 – If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 12:18 – But now hath God set the members ever one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. Individual Gifts (service, examine, repair par- ticular parts of body): The church at Corinth was blessed with great gifts but they were also plagued with great division and competition con- cerning the use of Individual Gifts. Division and infighting are directly related to the misuse and misunderstanding of the “spirituals”. The absence of spiritual knowledge makes10 33
  11. 11. tive strength of the whole body. The end goal the eternalBody Gifts is to make one perfect man; one complete un-ion among all the body parts. The work that Christ left be-hind was making all believers as one in faith, one in ourknowledge of God’s son, and one in the mature stature ofChrist. This is the final work of Christ in the life of everybeliever so we will no longer be like children tossed to andfro with every wind of doctrine. That was our status whenChrist left the earth. The eternal Body Gifts are given to thechurch to make the whole body strong. Making the whole Having then gifts differing accordingbody strong keeps the spiritual body healthy in order to pre-vent single body parts from straying off in the wrong direc- to the grace that is given to us…tion. -Romans 12:6 Now there are diversities of gifts but the same spirit - I Corinthians 12:4 Administration – The administration of gifts refers to how gifts serve the body. Each gift is distinctive in how it serves the needs of the body. How each gift serves is based upon what the body needs. The body should not adjust for the needs of the gift, the gift should adjust for the needs of the body. A ministry gift should naturally find its place based on where it is needed not based on where the gift wants to function. In Proverbs 18:16 the wisdom of Solomon teaches us that “a man’s gift will make room for him and bring him before great men”. When our attention is focused on what the body needs we will discover that our gift will naturally make room for us to serve the body.32 11
  12. 12. There are needs in the body that are un-met because people Pastor they are shepherds that lead sheep to spiritual pas-are not looking for opportunities to serve. There are more tures where they can feed. As a Teacher they are shepherdspeople that want to be served then there are people that are with a rod and staff to discipline, correct, and instruct thewilling to become servants. The single purpose of having a sheep so they can learn the right path to follow. As Pastorministry gift is to serve the needs of the church body. and Teacher the Body Gift must be used to nourish and nudge the sheep. Pastors are not just expected to lead sheep to the water for nourishment but to nudge them with the rod of instruction to get the sheep to drink. Perfecting –These gifts have a specific assignment, “for the perfecting of the saints; for the work of the ministry; for the edifying of the Body of Christ. The word “perfecting” is Katartismos in the Greek which means: “to arrange or set I order”. The eternal Body Gifts are responsible positioning the body parts and the body ministry in its proper place. Each gift is used to help maintain the spiritual order of the Church Body. Every believer must understand where and how they are fit into the church body. When body parts are out of place the ministry of the church is dysfunctional. The church cannot do the work of ministry when it is dys- functional. If the church is not doing the work of ministry then the church has no purpose. Without fulfilling its pur- pose the church simply becomes a gathering place instead of an assembled body of believers. The church is assembled to do collectively what cannot be accomplished by a single individual. Collectively the church is called to complete and finish the work that Christ began. The work cannot be finished if the church is dysfunctional and out of order. These Body Gifts also help build up or edify the Body of Christ. The Church Body is made stronger when every part becomes stronger. The church can be no greater than the sum strength of all of its parts. The strength of the church is not in the ability of one single body part but in the collec-12 31
  13. 13. Apostle’s voice establishes order in the Church Body andhelps drive the church in the right direction to conquerspiritual and natural territory in the earth. The intent of theapostolic ministry is to push the church to carry the King-dom message to places where it is unknown or not estab-lished. The Apostle is the great seed planter. The Apostle’sministry gift will plant seeds, ideas, and designs in thethoughts and minds of believers; and others may come laterto cultivate, water, and nourish those things into fruition. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…The Prophetic gift is listed in both gift sets to place em-phasis on the necessity the spoken word for the immediateand eternal needs of the Church Body. As a ministry office -Romans 12:6the Prophetic gift is constant voice speaking to the eternalneeds and direction of the church. The Old Testament Now there are diversities of gifts butProphets were known as advisors to Judges and Kings. The the same spiritvoice of the prophet brings Godly counsel to those who havebeen given leadership and oversight in the church. - I Corinthians 12:4The Evangelist is the preaching gift to Body. Careful ex- Operations – The operation of ministry gifts is a termamination of scripture would off-set the current day view of used for articulating the outcome or concluding effect ofthe Evangelist as someone that goes out from the Body to ministry gifts. God uses various gifts to achieve very spe-preach to the lost. The instructions to minister to the lost cific outcomes. The end results of gifts operating in theare given to individual believers not to a specialized group body are not random or left to chance; but instead the out-of preachers. Sheep are responsible for giving spiritual comes are based upon what God is doing specifically in thebirth to more sheep. Paul admonishes Timothy to do the life of every believer. Every gift operates by the same Spiritwork of the Evangelist in the church because of those who and the objective of every gift should be to serve the body sowere giving their ears to listen to tainted doctrine. (IITim that the body can to reach its full spiritual potential.4:3-5) The Evangelist is called to preach and re-preach tothe Church Body to keep them mindful of the truth that hassaved them. Every gift has the same objective as described above but every gift does not end with the same results. The end re- sults will vary because of how God chooses to work in thePastors and Teachers are Body Gifts that are inter- each individual event. Even the results of the same gift inchangeable. They are both responsible for the ongoing operation may vary from one case to another. We shouldspiritual maintenance and development of the Body. As a30 13
  14. 14. not measure the results of one gift against another. Results behind work that is not yet completed.are the outcome of God’s will not mans will or because ofman’s ability. God is sovereign and His results are sover-eign; they cannot be changed and often cannot be ex- The text makes it clear that Christ gave gifts to men. Theplained. emphasis on how these offices and responsibilities are con- ferred upon men reflects the oversight authority that Christ has upon the Church. The ministry offices that preside overThe Operation of the Spirit also reflects the literal strength, the Church are given they are not elected.might, and power that are used to achieve the end results.The volume or amount of power Giving gifts to men was the end result of Christ “leading captivity captive”.demonstrated by one gift may differ from another, but it This is a folklore term in reference of a defeated army that isdoes not mean that one gift is less powerful than the other. forcibly paraded before his captor. This reference is in-The active power or energy source is the same for all gifts tended to symbolize the victory of the resurrected Christbut the manifestation of that power will different among the and the procession of the captured enemy now parading be-gifts. fore God’s throne. All the plans and the works of God’s enemies have been captured and annulled. During the cap- tivity procession the victor would take the spoils confiscatedConsider the fact that the electrical power or energy that is from the enemy and divide them among the army of sol-transmitted into your home does not vary from room to diers that went to battle on behalf of their King. Christ giv-room. The power that energizes the appliances in your ing gifts to men is type of dividing the spoils of a defeatedkitchen and demonstrates more power does not come from opponent. These gifts were given to further the work ofa different electrical grid than the power that simply turns God’s Kingdom.the lights on in your bedroom. You don’t need the samedemonstration of power in the bedroom but it does notmean there is less power available in the room. The power Ephesians 4:11 intentionally uses the term “some” in de-coming into the house originates from the same source but scribing the distribution of the eternal service gifts. Some iseach room of the house has different needs. not intended to imply a restricted selection; in contrast it actually is a Greek pronoun that means to include all gen- der types. Understanding the use of this term would elimi- nate the debate over whether men and women can be used in the service represented by these gifts. The Apostle Gift: Apostle means ambassador; one who is assigned to represent. The Apostle is the official ambassa- dor of the gospel and the Kingdom message. This ministry gift is used to establish the work of God in the earth. The14 29
  15. 15. – That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and car- ried about with every wind of doc- trine, by the sleight of men, and cun- ning craftiness, whereby the lie in wait to deceive; But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.Body gifts (service eternal needs): - I Corinthians 12:7There are five Body Gifts that Paul identifies in this letter tothe church of Ephesus. These gifts are often considered tobe the official ministry offices that preside over the NewTestament church. A ministry office represents a set, per- Everyman giftsmanent, or ongoing assignment that a person is given in theChurch Body. The great personal quest of many believers is to understand what God wants to do with their life. We often ask: “hasThe Body Gifts in the book of Romans are used to service God given me any special gifts, talents, or abilities”? To be-the immediate needs in the Body and they are not con- gin our quest to answer this question we need to clarify thestantly in use. The service gifts in Ephesians are a life time differences among these three terms.calling to serve the ongoing eternal needs of the ChurchBody until Christ returns. Ability is a reference to personal skills. There are people that are born with natural abilities in the arts, sports, or lit-The distribution of these gifts corresponds with the depar- erature. There are others that come into the world with anture of Christ from His ministry here on earth. This helps aptitude for math, science, or business. These are abilitiesto place emphasis on the disciple’s responsibility to finish that are birth given or skills that are developed throughthe ministry that Christ began; this is the intended purpose training and education.for these gifts. Upon His departure it was imperative thatChrist would empower men to continue ministry in His ab-sence. It is at the height of His ascension that the text illus- The word talent is used differently in today’s language thantrates Christ gave gifts to men. This illustration signifies it was used in its Latin and Greek origin. In application thetransition. Christ is departing at the height of His earthly word talent was used as a reference for weight or measure.assignment; His task is finished, but notably He is leaving A talent was an object that had a known weight. In the mar-28 15
  16. 16. ket place a person that wanted to exchange material goodsfor money or to trade one material item for another neededto know the weight their goods in order to determine theirvalue. The talent was used to determine the weight of an-other object and subsequently establish a market value forthat object.In some of the later Latin uses the word “talent” would findthe terms “inclination, leaning, will, desire” attached to itsdefinition. From these the terms the word talent hasevolved to imply natural abilities that a person “leans to- Ephesians 4:8 – Wherefore he saith,ward”. When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts untoAbiding by the original definition, we should use the word men. 4:9 – (Now that he ascended,talent as a reference to how we weigh or measure our re-sponse to the task or assignment God has empowered us to what is it but that he also descendedfulfill. The servants in the parable of the talents were first into the lower parts of the earth?judged for how they made use of the talents given to them.(Matthew 25:15) The illustration portrayed in the parable 4:10 – He that descended is the samedemonstrates how the profitable servants used the talents also that ascended up far above allto gain more talents. If the talents are objects used formeasuring and weighing, then gaining more talents means heavens, that he might fill all things.that the talents would be used to weigh and measure the 4:11 – And he gave some, apostles,servants value in their master’s kingdom. The teachingprinciple in the parable is about increase not ability. How and some prophets; and some,we increase our usefulness, accessibility and availability, in evangelists, and some, pastors andGod’s kingdom work is what is expected of God’s servants. teachers, 4:12 – For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of theWe can now focus our attention on the question: “has Godgiven me any special gifts”? In ICorinthians 12:7, there are ministry, for the edifying of the bodytwo key words, manifestation; which means “to reveal or of Christ: 4:13 – Till we all come inmake known” and profit which means “to gain an advan-tage or increase”. The definitions help us to understand the unity of the faith, and of thethat in order to gain an advantage or increase in the knowledge of the Son of God, unto aopportunity for all men to know God, that He will useany man or every man. perfect man,unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 4:1416 27
  17. 17. The gift of Ministry is defined by service and waits to beused to serve wherever needed. The gift of teaching servesby providing instruction that helps the body to grow and Unique qualifications on the part of men are not required tospiritually develop. The gift of Exhortation serves as ready make it possible for God to use men for His purpose. Therevoice to build up and repair breaches and brokenness when are many examples in the Old and New Testament that pro-the body has been damaged. The Giving gift will give with vide proof of God using people to further His divine causesimplicity; which means it gives with singleness of purpose, and purpose that do not meet the norms of traditionalhaving no intentions to receive something in return. Giving qualification.serves by specifically supplying the body with what it needsat the time it is needed. Mercy serves as the gift of compas-sion. Mercy is love in action responding to service needs We often discount the possibility of God empowering us towithout conditional requirements. The gift of ruling is serv- do anything great for Him because we don’t believe we areing as an over-seer; to stand watch and take responsibility qualified. Every believer must learn and understand thatfor what is needed without hesitation. God has pre-qualified us for whatever He chooses to do with our life. Every man and every believer is a potential instrument for God to reach all men. In response to the question: “has God given me any special gift”, we answer, “Yes”; everyman can be used by God.26 17
  18. 18. Ministry is defined by the Greek word “diakonia”, which means “servant”. The word “Deacon” has its origin from this same Greek word. The ministry of the Deacon is to serve the body. In truth, the ministry of every Body Gift is to serve the body. In a previous lesson it was established that the Administra- tion of the gifts refers to how the gifts serve the body. The gifts listed in Romans 12:7-8 are “service” gifts. Ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, ruling, and mercy are all gifts dedicated to service the needs of the church body. Paul also refers to these gifts as “wait on gifts”, which means the gifts are to be used as or when they are needed. Service is not a new principle in ministry. The model for Administration-Service was established by David, the sec- ond King of Israel. In IChronicles 15:1, David is preparing a place for the Ark of the Covenant that he has retrieved from the Philistines, but he must first restore the order of the Le- vite ministry. The tribe of Levi was set apart to “serve the house of God”. (Numbers 1:49-50) Only Levite hands can handle the cart that carries the Ark. David restores the Ark into the hands of the Levites. He then appoints singers and musicians to lead the tribute in honor of the return of the Ark. (IChron. 15:17-23) Until the end IChronicles, chapter 27, David continues to make new appointments of musi- cians, treasurers, door keepers, vineyard keepers, herds- man, shepherds, and rulers of the Kings substance. Each appointment represents service that must be rendered for the benefit of the tabernacle. This is the model upon which the purpose of the Body Gifts is based. Every ministry gift like every Levi appointment is intended to benefit the Body of Christ, God’s spiritual tabernacle. Ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, ruling, and mercy are all gifts dedicated to service and should be used as Le- vite gifts to serve the needs of the church.18 25
  19. 19. The Body Gifts are listed in two sections of scripture. TheBody Gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8 are gifts that are used toservice the immediate needs of the Body of Christ. Thesegifts also have a starting point and end point, because thegift is designed to be used on an as need basis. The BodyGifts listed in Ephesians 4:11are gifts that are used to ser-vice the eternal needs of the Body of Christ. These gifts areset as a spiritual office in the Body and they will not end un-til Christ returns.Body gifts (service immediate needs): As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to an-Prophecy begins the list of Body Gifts identified in Ro- other, as good stewards of the mani-mans 12:6. The prophetic gift is used as God’s mouthpiece fold grace of God.to speak instruction, direction, and correction to the wholechurch body. The prophetic message is spoken in propor-tion to the faith and reliance the messenger has in God. The - I Peter 4:10word proportion comes from the Greek word “ana-logos”,which binds together two words: “ana” which means “apiece” and the word “logos” which means “spoken word”. There are two gifts that God has given to all men: grace andTogether the meaning of “ana-logos” means to speak faith. Grace and Faith are universal gifts. Both gifts canpieces or portions of something. be unused and under-developed; but they cannot be earnedThe prophetic word will not reveal the whole of any matter; and they cannot be lost. These two gifts are intended toonly to the portions of what God has given to the messenger make all men equal and should keep all men parallel to eachto speak. This restriction keeps the messenger and the mes- other.sage receiver reliant to follow God and not to follow thewords of a man. If men were given the ability to see andforecast the complete future no one would remain faithful In IPeter 4:10, the apostle acknowledges that every man hasto hearing God for more instructions. received the gift of grace and should minister the sameIncorrect use of this gift can create self-promotion because grace to one another. The reference to minister the sameof the ability that this gift gives to men; self promotion has actually means to reach backwards to others as if you werecaused many to follow after gifted men and the words they reaching to help yourself. The Greek word “autos” that isspeak instead of following after God. The gifts empower used here, for minister the same, implies an unconsciousmen to allow God to do great things through them; but they act. Our desire to show grace to one another should beare not intended to make men powerful and great beyond done without thought in the same manner we would wanttheir need for God. someone to reach out to us if we were the one in need.24 19
  20. 20. Grace is universally given because grace is universallyneeded. The gift of grace demonstrates God’s favor towardsall men. In turn all men that have received God’s graceshould share this gift freely and as often as needed. We livein such a response and reward society that it is often chal-lenging to automatically respond to needs without evalua-tion. The universal gift of grace reinforces the understand-ing that men enjoy benefits and blessing from God that theyhave not earned. Giving us this common shared thread isintended to prevent us to assume ownership and control of Romans 12:6 – Having then gifts dif-ministry gifts that we did not earn and that do not belong tous. fering according to the grace that is give to us, whether prophecy, let us proph- esy according to the proportion of faith; 12:7 – Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 12:8 – 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. There are variable gifts in the body that are a contrast to the universal gifts of grace and faith. These gifts are separated into two categories and can be classified as: “Body gifts” and “Individual Gifts”. The “Body Gifts” are used to set order, sustain spiritual growth, and provide stability for the entire church body. Individual gifts are used to service, examine, and repair particular parts of the body in order maintain the harmony of the whole body.20 23
  21. 21. The universal gift of faith is given to every man to keepevery man from thinking to highly of himself. Egotism andself-exaggeration are signs insobriety. These attributes donot represent sober behavior. Men who are not sober arenot balanced. Spiritual imbalance is a result of losing thesuperior reference point that keeps us grounded. Whenmen stop looking to God for support they become self reli-ant and self aggrandizing. They will also expect others tosee them in the same way they see themselves. For I say through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you,When the influence of self-drunkenness wears off men willcome to their senses and how much they need God and not to think of himself more highlywhat little they can do without Him. The hang-over reality than he ought to think; but to think so-is that everyman has the same faith that comes from Godand everyman needs the measure that God has given to berly, according as God has dealt tothem. everyman the measure of faith -Romans 12:3 The second universal gift is faith. Faith is defined as total reliance upon something or someone. The gift of faith is a stabilizer. Gifting us with faith gives us stability while we journey through the ups and downs of life. Our faith in God gives us a superior reference point to keep us grounded and secure when we face the difficult moments in life. The gift of faith is not a talent or ability; instead it is confi- dent reliability in something that we do not need physical evidence to sustain. Our ability to believe God when facts are not present is a gift, because maintaining confidence in something when facts are not present is un-natural.22 21
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