November 19, 2020

Spiritual gifts: Serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, mercy

Spiritual gifts: Serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, mercy

Spiritual Gifts Training 2020

Serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, mercy

  • Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7  If it is  serving , let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;  8  if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
  • Prophecy is the only gift listed here that is also listed in 1 Cor 12.
  • One difference: teaching is listed here as a gift but in 1 Cor 12 it is listed as an office.
  • Here Paul says that we are given these gifts according to the grace given us.
  • Peter picks up on this theme of grace as well.
    • 1 Peter4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
    • In the use of our gifts we administer God’s grace.
  • Then Paul also says that we are to use our gifts according to our faith.
    • Think about learning to ride a bike. When you start you have little faith in your own ability to ride a bike.
      • Your faith is in the person running alongside the bike teaching you.
    • But the more you ride the bike the more faith you develop in your own ability to ride.
  • Same with Spiritual gifts.
  • Serving
    • The word means: serving, ministering, those who execute the command of others
    • This gift is often associated with those who as serve as deacons in the church.
      • Barnabas would probably be a good example of someone with this gift.
    • This is often the number two guy in an organization.
    • From the Journey Shape Guide Book. “The ability to identify unmet needs involved in a task, and to make use of available resources to meet those needs and help accomplish the desired results. Those with this gift usually find joy in being behind the scenes, helping in small ways.”
    • Acts 9:36
  • Teaching
    • From the Journey Shape Guide Book. “The ability to instruct, explain, expose, and/or communicate biblical truth in such a way as to cause believers to understand truth. The ability to apply God’s word causing greater Christ-likeness in the lives of listeners.”
    • Acts 18:24-26
    • Acts 17:1-4
  • Encouraging
    • The word used here has three ranges of meanings, at least two are in view.
      • Encourage
      • Console, cheer up, comfort
      • Invite, summon
    • From the Journey Shape Guide Book: “The ability to urge people to action in terms of applying truth. The divine enablement to present truth so as to strengthen, comfort, or urge to action those who are discouraged or wavering in their faith.”
    • The church today really needs people with the gift
    • Eph 6:21-22
    • Col 4 :7-8
    • We are really all called to this as well.
    • 1 Peter 4: 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.
    • Eph 4: 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
    • Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
  • Giving
    • Romans 12:8…if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously
    • In Greek it’s two words, impart and generosity.
      • With a dative in-between.
      • Impart to generosity
      • When we are giving, we are imparting something
    • From the Journey Shape Guide Book: The ability to contribute their material resources (all of them) to the work of God with liberality and cheerfulness. They are usually not of the mindset, “How much money do I need to give to God?” but “How much money do I need to live on?” They often manage their finances and limit their lifestyle in order to give as much as possible; trust God for provision; may have a special ability to make money so that may use it to further God’s work.
    • 2 Cor 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
      • This describes the natural attitude of someone with this gift.
    • These people are not necessarily rich. Think of the widows might in Mark 12:41-44
      • The opposite of this gift might be the spirit of poverty, which is so prevalent in our day.
    • Someone with this gift never looks at an amount of money and sees it as not enough.
      • They look at any amount of money, regardless of need, and see it as seed.
    • These are also usually some of the most joyful people I know.
      • Whereas people stuck in a poverty mindset are some of the most unhappy people I know.
    • People with this gift also see every need as opportunity rather than lack.
  • Leadership
    • Romans 12:8 if it is leadership, let him govern diligently
    • With the last two gifts Paul adds an exhortation to do them well.
      • Perhaps because with money and leadership things can quickly go astray.
    • Again, this is two words.
    • “To be set over” (as in leadership)
    • And then “diligently” or “earnestness”
    • From the Journey Shape Guide Book: The ability to cast vision, motivate and direct people to harmoniously accomplish the purposes of God. They provide direction for God’s people or ministry; motivate others to perform their best; present the “big picture” for others to see; model ministry values; and take responsibility and establish goals.
    • I would add they have the ability to overcome fear and lead people through uncertain times.
      • In the OT think of Joseph, Moses, Joshua
      • In the NT think of Paul and Peter
    • Because of the nature of this gift it often comes with a fair amount of Spiritual warfare.
      • If the enemy can take out the leader, he can take out whole groups of people.
      • Therefore, this gift is often corrupted.
      • Often it is hard for people with gift to be held accountable.
        • Few people around who are their equal
      • People with this gift can also struggle secretly with the role and their identity.
        • Think Moses, he also lacked the accountability.
      • Now you may remember that we ended in 1 Cor 12:28 with a gift of leadership.
      • In many English translations it says administration. But the Greek word is really leadership or governing.
      • There is also in the word in 1 Cor 12:28 the idea of judging. So in 1 Cor 12:28 it seems to be more about governmental leadership and possibly even a judge.
      • Whereas here in Romans 12:8 the word in Greek is more about leadership with protection or guardianship. This is probably referring more to leadership in the church with that sense of guardianship and protection.
      • In Romans 12:8 The Niv has let him govern diligently the word in the Greek means Earnestness.
      • Let him lead with earnestness.
    • Mercy
      • Romans 12:8 if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
      • It’s the verb to be merciful
      • Followed by the command to do it cheerfully
        • Mercy without joy or cheerfulness really isn’t mercy, but obligation.
      • From the Journey Shape Guide Book: The ability to willingly and practically help those who are suffering or are in need – compassion moved to action; especially those suffering physical, mental or emotional problems, or the lonely and outcast.
      • Think Mother Theresa
      • Think of the Samaritan in the parable of the Good Samaritan
      • If you are in the hospital, you want your nurse to have this gift.

One more note:

  • All the verbs in this Romans 12 section have been present active participles.
    • Which means we are the ones to take the action of doing each of these.
    • And it is to be ongoing, not one-time acts.
    • Since this is a spiritual gift, it’s a way of life, it’s what we do.
      • Enabled by the Holy Spirit.
      • So, the real ongoing action is for us to wait on the Holy Spirit for constant filling.

Other Gifts?

  • If you read carefully through the Journey Shape Guide book you may have noticed a few more in his list.
  • These “gifts” are not listed anywhere in Scripture as a gift, but we see people operate in these capacities throughout scripture. Some of these, like intercession and exorcism, certainly seem like they would have to be a Spiritual Gift.
  • Others like craftsmanship and hospitality, could be a natural talent.
  • But through the examples we see of these in scripture we see how important they are to the body of Christ.

Craftsmanship: The ability to creatively design and/or construct items to be used for ministry. They work with various raw materials, using tools and their hands, and enjoy doing so, often to increase effectiveness of another ministry or bring glory to God. Exodus 35:10-19, 30-35

Hospitality: The ability to enable and care for others by providing fellowship, food and shelter. They provide an environment where people feel valued and cared for; meet new people and help them feel welcomed; create a safe and comfortable setting where relationships can develop; seek ways to connect people together into meaningful relationships; set people at ease in unfamiliar surroundings. 1Pet 4:9; Heb 13:2; Rom 12:9-13; Rom 16:23; Acts 16:34

Creative Communication: The ability to communicate God’s truth through a variety of art forms; using the arts to communicate truth, including dance, drama, writing, classical art, music. 2Sam 6:12-15; Exodus 15:1-18

Intercession: The ability to consistently pray on behalf of and for others, seeing frequent and specific results. They feel compelled to earnestly pray on behalf of someone or some cause; have constant awareness of spiritual battles being waged and pray; pray in response to the leading of the Holy Spirit, whether they understand it or not. Eph 6:18-19; Acts 12:12

Exorcism: The ability to cast out demons and evil spirits. Acts 16:16-18; Luke 10:1,17-20

Celibacy: The ability to remain single and enjoy it; to be unmarried and not suffer undue sexual temptation. 1Cor 7:7-9.