Monday, November 07, 2005

Whether Therefore Ye Eat or Drink... Part 2 of 4

Whether Therefore Ye Eat or Drink… - Part two of four

As we began the study of Spiritual Gifts, I began to wonder why Paul gave the list of gifts in 3 different letters. And since everything in the Bible is there for a reason - nothing is there “just because”; I wanted to know why…

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul speaks of “a variety of gifts, but the same Spirit; a variety of ministries, but the same Lord; and a variety of effects, but the same God.” Then he says, “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

These nine gifts listed in v. 7-12 of 1 Corinthians 12, are known as Spiritual or “manifestation” gifts. Paul defined these as supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit at work through the believer. These are wisdom, knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues and interpretation of tongues.

Then in Ephesians 4, when Paul uses the word “gift” in verse 8, it means more of a “present” than something “bestowed upon” like a talent or an endowment would be.(When you give someone a present, it’s a “gift.” When someone does something exceptionally well, it’s also known as having a “gift.”) These gifts are known as “ministry” gifts - they’re “jobs” they are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. These are also known as “equipping” gifts, as we are “equipped” to do the work of the Lord.

And in Romans 12:6-8 the gifts are called the “motivational” gifts as they provide the motivating force for our lives. These are the gifts that we “possess” that are sometimes called “talents.” These are the gifts that are given to us through grace, that I believe, God “hardwired” into each of us as we were being formed in our mothers’ wombs. They are built into us to be used for the benefit of others and for God’s Glory. They are the gifts that define our personalities. But, because we have free will, we can choose to use our motivational gifts, we can choose to neglect them, or we can even choose to deny that we even have them.

But the good news is: Everybody has one, or more than one! Nobody has been left out. In fact, I personally believe that we all, have them all, but only in varying degrees - Paul calls it “in proportion” in his letter to the Romans... 1 Peter 4:10 tells us that “as each one has received a special gift, use it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:14 “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you…” And then again in 2 Timothy 1:6 “I remind you again to rekindle the gift of God which is within you…” We are commanded to use our gifts.

But now comes the real crux of the issue - how do we do that? And that’s where one of these “nuggets” comes into play.

To be continued tomorrow...


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