(ALL AT ONCE, NO ANIMATIONS THIS SLIDE) Title : Spiritual Gifts, Gender, & the Great Commission: A Biblical Theology Workshop Description : This presentation describes spiritual gifts based on Scripture, discusses their purposes, and reflects theologically on their relationship to gender and the Great Commission. Biographical Introduction : Deborah M. Gill National Director, Division of Christian Education; and Commissioner, Commission on Discipleship General Council of the Assemblies of God, USA; and co-author of God’s Women—Then and Now (2004).
(TITLE) [1st animation, on slide transition] (TIP) [2nd animation] There are many traits that some Christians may call “gifts.” Indeed, as James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father … .” All good traits and abilities are gifts from God in a general sense. This session, however, will focus more narrowly on “ spiritual gifts,” and taking a textual approach, will examine only what the Bible calls spiritual gifts. (TEXT) [3rd animation] (explain definition line by line) The original text of the New Testament uses two Greek words for these gifts. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Thus they do not distinguish kinds of gifts, but give insight into the character of all spiritual gifts. • pneumatika [3rd animation] refers to things [such as gifts] that come from, originate from, or are associated with the [Holy] Spirit; • charismata [4th animation] refers to things [such as gifts] that result from, originate from, or are associated with [God’s] grace. Thus, Scripture teaches that every spiritual gift comes from the Spirit and is an expression of God’s grace .
(TITLE) [1st animation, on slide transition] (TIP) [2nd animation] The New Testament clusters its discussions of spiritual gifts in three main passages that correspond to three different kinds of spiritual gifts. It is very significant to a biblical theology of the gifts to recognize the distinct categories into which the New Testament clusters these gifts. If we blur that distinction (i.e, consider all spiritual gifts to be in one category) we will reduce the clarity of a biblical understanding of the unique categories of spiritual gifts. Therefore, I’ve chosen to use titles that will both highlight the unique distinctions of each separate category and remain consistent with a biblical theology. Here are the categories I use to describe the way spiritual gifts are clustered in the Bible and where to find them . [3rd animation] 9 “Supernatural Gifts” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (a.k.a.,Spiritual gifts, Charismata, Gifts of the Spirit) [4th animation] 7 “Motivational Gifts” Romans 12:6-8 [5th animation] 4 or 5 “Equipping Gifts” Ephesians 4:7, 11-18 (a.k.a., Five-fold/Four-fold Offices of the Church, Spiritual Leadership Gifts, Governmental Gifts, Ascension Gifts)
TITLE [1st animation, on slide transition] TIP [2nd animation] Before we contract the categories of gifts , let’s begin a comparison of what all spiritual gifts have in common . TEXT [3rd through 7th animations ] (See also PDF of article, “’On Men and Women I Will Pour Forth of My Spirit’: Theological Reflections on the Spiritual Gifts” Now let’s distinguish what makes gift categories unique and then describe each gift.
(TITLE & REFERENCE) [1st animation, on slide transition] We’ll start with the 9 Supernatural Gifts . These insights are found in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 (the whole chapter, and in fact the context of chapters 12-14 are helpful in understanding them). We’ll look at 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. The precise list of these 9 is found in verses 8-10. DEFINITION [2nd animation] Here’s what’s unique about the first category. These first 9 gifts are supernatural gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit to meet specific needs as the occasion arises and thus. 1 Corinthians 12 uses two terms to describe these gifts, one is pneumatica , which means things which come about supernaturally by the power of the Spirit , to pneuma . The 9 Spiritual Gifts are not acquired through study, experience, personal effort . They are not earned or merited through personal sanctity, but are undeserved gifts of grace . In fact, that is the meaning of the biblical term “charismatic gifts,” or in the original language of the NT, the Greek term is charismata . Thus, these supernatural abilities given by God to certain individuals are not to be a source of pride, not to wear as a badge of superiority. They are gracious enablements given to help others. The 9 Spiritual Gifts are not the same as one’s native temperament . They are not traits resident in the personality . They are instead, endowments given spontaneously by God to meet needs. The Bible uses the words “anointing or unction” for such specific impartations of grace. In fact, all Greek nouns ending in “ ma ,” or in the plural “ mata ,” are result nouns . The charismata are the supernatural things that happen to or through their recipients as a result of little dispensations of God’s grace given to meet specific needs. One NT scholar translates charismata as “gracelets.” SUMMARY: The nine “Supernatural Gifts” are spontaneous supernatural endowments given by God to meet needs.
(TITLE & REFERENCE) [1st animation, on slide transition] The emphasis of the passage introducing these gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, seems to be on valuing all these gifts as truly from God while acknowledging their wide variety. They are all to be valued, as they all share a supernatural source. The list is sandwiched between two similar statements making this point. Verse 4 explains: Though there are varieties of charismata /spiritual gifts it is that same Holy Spirit doing the gifting of individuals. Though there are varieties of ministries/service, our solitary model for service is always the Lord Jesus Christ. Though there are varieties of operations/functions/workings it is always the same God who enables them, or makes them possible. Verse 11 summarizes the same thought, again, that it is the same Holy Spirit that is operating through all these gifts, distributing them individually as the Spirit desires. Here’s how these gifts are identified in scripture and some of the nuances in their names. The original Greek text uses linguistic nuances, careful choices of words and grammar, to express in delicate shades of meaning the subtle differences in varieties of spiritual gifts. Sometimes subgroups of these charismata, are identified. “Revelation gifts,” involve getting God’s ideas supernaturally . “Utterance gifts” involve God’s supernatural influence in speaking or praying. “Power gifts” involve supernatural operations, accomplishments that can be credited to none other than God . (LIST) [animated, bullet by bullet, discuss each briefly)
(TITLE & REFERENCE) [1st animation, on slide transition] Next are the 7 Motivational Gifts . They are found in Romans chapter 12 (the first 8 verses are helpful in understanding them). This category of God-given gifts is distinct from the first category in that these gifts are NOT supernatural aptitudes, nor are they titles of official positions of church leadership. Instead these gifts are more like personality traits. They are NOT occasional dispensations of heightened abilities graciously given by the Spirit as the need arises. They are not gifts to equip others to do the work of the ministry. (DEFINITION) [2nd animation] They are the reason you have zeal for one ministry rather than another. They are the inner bent that influences why you think and act the way you do. They are the resident drives that effect how you relate to others. They are the very core of what motivates you. And that’s why they have been called the motivational gifts . They are the everyday, nuts and bolts of who you are inside. They are what makes you tick, or how you are wired. They are the basic description of your motivation, they way God created you from birth and awakens even more at salvation. These motivations are gifts, graciously given by God to YOU in order to serve Him with great joy. Let me read from Romans 12, beginning with verses 1-2 (See PDF article.) There is a special spiritual act of worship for each of us. We are to serve Christ in a way that demonstrates God’s unique will and destiny for our lives. Let me continue reading from verses 6-8. It is God grace that gives to us a unique mission about which we are passionate. These gracious motivation remove the drudgery and spark our greatest interest and attention.
(TITLE & REFERENCE) [1st animation, on slide transition] As are all gifts, the motivational gifts are to be exercised in love. In a way, these gifts are much like one’s spiritual love langauges. (LIST) [animated by bullet] Verse 6 also explains that we should exercise our gifts in proportion to our faith. Just look at how each of these gifts provides a unique challenge to have in ministering to the body of Christ. Each has the FAITH that they (because of their gifting) can meet some kind of NEED. (LIST) [animated by bullet] Return to top of list and animate again? The person with a prophesying motivation has faith that he/she can accurately represent God’s will, and if his/her message is obeyed can bring God’s will to pass. … S has that that they can be a blessing, that they have the time and skills to help get the work done. … T has the faith that they can ferret out the facts and present them clearly enough to be applied so that the people will be equipped to accomplish God’s will … E has the faith that there is a solution to every problem and that they can spur you on to it … G that God will supply all the needs and their resources will be a glorious part of God’s means of supply … L that any project can be accomplished efficiently and effectively … M that their TLC can lesson the sorrow of other
(TITLE & REFERENCE) [1st animation, on slide transition] Finally, we’ll look at the gifts found in Ephesians chapter 4. The whole first half of the chapter (vv. 1-32) is helpful in understanding gifts in the body of Christ. I’ll read Ephesians 4:7-8, 11-16. The precise list of these gifts is found in verse 11. Here’s what’s unique about the second category. Though the first category--Spiritual Gifts--were supernatural endowments (e.g., faith, prophecy, workings of miracles, etc.), in this list the gifts are people identified by the position of ministry they hold. Since this passages lists not enablements but titles , this is why they can be called “Office Gifts.” They are often called “the five-fold ministry gifts.” But since all the God-given gifts are meant for the purpose of ministry, “ministry gifts” is a less descriptive title. Listen to vv. 7-8 and then 11, and take note of the fact that these gifts are people! [Orange tab] (DEFINITION) [2nd animation] The way God gives grace to the church to meets certain needs with these equipping gifts is through the people God sends to lead us! And what are the specific needs of the church that are met through the people gifts holding these offices? (look at vv. 12-13) preparation for service, edification of the body of Christ, unity in the faith, maturity SUMMARY: These gifts are people whose place in ministry helps the church, preparing the congregation for service, and edifying, unify, and maturing the body of Christ.
(TITLE & REFERENCE) [1st animation, on slide transition] When a congregation is mature what does it look like? (look at vv. 14-16) it doesn’t act like infants, it’s not moved by adversity, it’s not confused by false doctrine, it speaks the truth in love, and it is ever becoming more and more like Christ in all its ways (always growing and building itself up in love!) These “Equipping Gifts” have their work cut out for them—equipping the church. THAT IS THEIR PURPOSE! This is why they can also be called the “Equipping Gifts.” That is an accurate and descriptive title! And why did I say there are 4 OR 5 Office Gifts? (LIST) [animate by bullet] List and describe the 4-5. “ Pastors [and] teachers may be better translated “pastors/teachers.” Apostles found or fix works for God, they pioneer or perfect ministries for God. Prophets speak as mouthpieces for God (They may come to be may be recognized as holding the Office of Prophet by being a person spiritually gifted with and anointed with the Spiritual gift of prophecy with great regularity, thus coming to be known as a Prophet.) Evangelists are involved proclaiming the “good news ,” helping folks come to Jesus in salvation. Pastors care for the flock of God. Teachers train the flock of God. (Pastors are called on to do both activities.)
(TITLE) [1st animation, with slide transition] (“NO!” …) [2nd animation] THEOLOGY: The Great Commission is for all, signs are to follow those who believe (regardless of gender), Acts 2, at Pentecost Peter explained that the Spirit’s equipping is for all, Gal 3:28 declares “there’s no difference,” the priesthood of believers demonstrates women (since Christ) can serve in roles that excluded them in the Old Testament NT EXAMPLES (See PDF article) • What about Supernatural Gifts? [3rd animation] women prophets in Corinth (1 Cor 11), “the greatest of gifts:” the one that qualifies one to judged the gifts • What about Motivations Gifts? [4th animation] all motivations are seen in both genders • What about Equipping Gifts? [5th animation] Junia the woman apostle, Romans 16 God does give and thus wants women to exercise spiritual gifts in ministry and leadership.
(TITLE) [1st animation, with slide transition] What about [2nd animation] 1 Cor 14:34-35 [3rd animation] 1 Tim 2:11-14 [4th animation] “ These texts refer to …” [5th animation] As an in-depth resource into these two passages, see the book by Gill & Cavaness, God’s Women—Then and Now , Unit Four: “Specific Issues in Local Churches,” Chapter 9, “The Situation in Corinth,” pp. 123-140; Chapter 10, “The Situation in Ephesus,” pp. 141-158.
[slide blank on transition] (1 Corinthians 14:34-35) [1st animation] “ What is the timeless truth?” [2nd animation] “ No one, whether male or female …” [3rd animation]
[slide blank on transition] (1 Timothy 2:11-14) [1st animation] “ What is the timeless truth?” [2nd animation] “ People, whether male or female …” [3rd animation]
[slide blank on transition] (Conclusion?) [1st animation] “ Both men and women … !” [2nd animation]
Definition of Spiritual Gifts <ul><li>Spiritual gifts* are God’s gracious enablement to help the people of God, as individuals, in various, unique ways to do the work of God , both in the world and in the church, more effectively than they could on their own. </li></ul><ul><li>*pneumatika [gifts] that come from the Spirit </li></ul><ul><li>*charismata [gifts] that result from God’s grace </li></ul>TIP Every good and perfect gift comes from God. This session, however, focuses only on what the Bible calls spiritual gifts .
Categories of Spiritual Gifts in the Bible <ul><li>9 “ Supernatural Gifts ” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 </li></ul><ul><li>7 “ Motivational Gifts” Romans 12:6-8 </li></ul><ul><li>4 or 5 “ Equipping Gifts” Ephesians 4:11 (7-16) </li></ul>TIP There are 3 categories of gifts identified by these Greek terms as spiritual gifts (and several other miscellaneous uses).
Features Common to all Spiritual Gifts <ul><li>Each gift is a unique way God’s grace enables an individual. </li></ul><ul><li>No gift is for boasting. </li></ul><ul><li>None for the benefit of the recipient, but for the common good . </li></ul><ul><li>All are to be operated with love . </li></ul><ul><li>God’s Spirit equips both genders in every category of gifts. </li></ul>COMPARE Though each category is unique, all spiritual gifts share several things in common.
The 9 Supernatural Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) <ul><li>Spontaneous </li></ul><ul><li>supernatural endowments </li></ul><ul><li>given by God </li></ul><ul><li>to meet need as the occasion arises. </li></ul>
The 9 Supernatural Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) <ul><li>An Instance of Wisdom, v. 8 </li></ul><ul><li>An Instance of Knowledge, v. 8 </li></ul><ul><li>Faith, v. 9 </li></ul><ul><li>Gift s of Healing s [that Result], v. 9 </li></ul><ul><li>Working s of Miracle s [that Result], v. 10 </li></ul><ul><li>Prophecy, v. 10 </li></ul><ul><li>Discerning/Distinguishing of Spirits, v. 10 </li></ul><ul><li>Various Kinds of Tongues/Languages, v. 10 </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation of Tongues/Languages, v. 10 </li></ul>
The 7 Motivational Gifts (Romans 12:1, 6-8) Like personality traits, inherent at birth, heightened after new birth, these motivations are graciously given by God that we might serve Him with great joy .
The 4 or 5 Equipping Gifts (Ephesians 4:11-13) These gifts are people whose place in ministry helps the church, by preparing the congregation for service, and edifying, unifying, and maturing the body of Christ.
The 4 or 5 Equipping Gifts (Ephesians 4:11-13) <ul><li>Apostles </li></ul><ul><li>Prophets </li></ul><ul><li>Evangelists </li></ul><ul><li>Pastors </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers </li></ul>
Are spiritual gifts restricted by gender? <ul><li>Supernatural Gifts? </li></ul><ul><li>Motivational Gifts? </li></ul><ul><li>Equipping Gifts? </li></ul>NO! NT theology, NT examples, and those throughout history and today disprove it!
But doesn’t the Bible restrict women’s authority and leadership in ministry? <ul><li>What about </li></ul><ul><li>1 Corinthians 14:34-35 & </li></ul><ul><li>1 Timothy 2:11-14? </li></ul>These texts refer to specific, local problems. They do not prohibit women’s spiritual leadership or authority.
What is the timeless truth? <ul><li>No one, whether male or female, should disrupt the worship service. </li></ul>1 Corinthians 14:34-35
What is the timeless truth? <ul><li>People, whether male or female, should learn right doctrine before they’re allowed to teach. </li></ul>1 Timothy 2:11-14
Both men and women should use their gifts together to fulfill the Great Commission! CONCLUSION?