Lifenet Ladies Bible Study
"The Charismatic Gifts of the Spirit"
This is the third lesson in our series on The Gifts of the Spirit. In the past lessons we have discussed the nine gifts of the spirit as listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.
1 Corinthians 12:7-11: But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8. for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9. to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10. to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
These gifts are a manifestation of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit in an individual believerís life as opposed to the ministry gifts as described later in the chapter and again in Ephesians 4:7, 11-13.
We learned that the giving of these gifts are a manifestation of Godís Grace in our lives and we spent one lesson learning more about Godís Grace. We also discussed the characteristics of Godís grace. We cannot understand Godís love in action if we do not understand some of the characteristics.
We said Godís grace was a key attribute of God, it is free, it is Godís Sovereign choice,
it comes only through Jesus Christ, it is only given to the humble, it comes only by faith and is administered by the Holy Spirit, it is revealed in Jesus and applied in our lives by the Holy Spirit.
We discussed several examples of grace gifts, salvation, healing, the giving of the law, Godís longsuffering and forbearance being only a few. As we continue with this study I want you to remember to concentrate on three things, the riches of Godís grace, the abundance of Godís grace and the variety of Godís grace.
We then differentiated between the ministry Gifts as listed in the latter part of 1 Corinthians 12 and also in Ephesians 4 from the gifts of our text. I refer you to lesson 2 for further information.
Letís list the gifts again.
Gifts of the Spirit: Ministry Gifts:
Word of Wisdom Apostles
Word of Knowledge Prophets
The Gift of Faith Evangelist
Gifts of Healings Pastors
Gifts of Miracles Teachers
Gifts of Prophecy Gifts of miracles
Discerning of Spirits Gifts of healings
Interpretation of Tongues Adminstrations
So we see that God in his infinite wisdom and grace has given us gifts, both individually and as a church for the benefit of all. They are for the edifying of the body of Christ, until we all come into the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man to the measure of the fullness of Christ.
In this lesson we are going to study the Revelation Gifts, that of the Word of wisdom, Word of God knowledge and in the next lesson discerning of Spirits.
1 Corinthians 12:7-8: 1 Corinthians 12:7-11: But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8. for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,..
Let me stress that these gifts are given as a manifestation of the Spirit as the Spirit wills for the profit of all. They are given to edify the body and for no other reason, they are not given to single out an individual as special in Godís eyes or to hold one believer higher than another. They are to inform and edify.
We will find as we discuss the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge that they are separate but intertwined gifts. They can be given apart from one another or in conjunction with one another. In fact all the gifts are this way, separate and distinct but also intertwined.
I want to begin this discussion by stressing to you the difference between Godís everyday general wisdom and the special gift of word of wisdom and Godly knowledge and everyday knowledge.
Websterís II New Riverside Dictionary defines wisdom as insightful understanding of what is true, right or enduring, native good judgement, the amassed learning of philosophers, scientist and scholars.
Nelsonís New Illustrated Dictionary defines wisdom as the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.
These are both good definitions of worldly wisdom.
Godly Wisdom or the biblical concept of wisdom is much different. Godís wisdom is simple and direct as opposed to the worldís wisdom which is cloudy, indistinct and full of contradictions.
James 1:5: 5. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 2:6-7: For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
Ecclesiastes 10:10: If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.
The King James Version says:If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.
These verses are talking about godly everyday wisdom. Godís Wisdom is practical and to the point, it is not remote or indistinct. It is simple and easy to understand. We have the right as believers to walk daily in godly wisdom, to be successful in what we do, to be directed by God in all our activities. Amen!
This does not define a word of wisdom. If you consider just the word - word itself, you realize that a word is only a part of the sentence. The same is true of a word of wisdom.
The Holy Spirit reveals only part of Godís wisdom to us at that particular moment. It is a small part of Godís overall wisdom, not the sum total of all His Wisdom. We wouldnít be able to comprehend the sum total of all Godís Wisdom, it would boggle our minds.
It is the same with knowledge.
Websterís defines knowledge as the fact or state of knowing. Understanding acquired through experience. The total or range of what has been perceived or learned.
Nelsonís defines knowledge as the truth or facts of life that a person acquires either through experience or thought. The greatest of these being the truth about God.
Knowledge gives us the facts and wisdom enables us to utilize those facts to produce good results in our lives. This basic definition is applicable to the word of wisdom and of the word of knowledge. The Word of knowledge gives us the facts about a situation and the
word of wisdom enables us to act on those facts. Word of knowledge is always past or present tense while the Word of wisdom is always future. There are many examples of these gifts in both the Old and New Testaments.
For example Joseph was given a word of wisdom about the future in his dreams. Moses was given the revelation of the Law during His encounter with God on Mount Sinai.
I really want to look at examples in the New Testament as we are now under the New Covenant. Only priests and Kings weíre given the spirit in measure under the old Covenant, we are under a new and better Covenant and the manifestation of the spirit in our live is available for every believer. Amen!
Jesus is the perfect example of both these gifts in manifestation in his life.
Luke 4:5-11: 4. Now when He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.'' 5. But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.'' 6. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
8. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!'' 9. For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10. and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.'' 11. So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Jesus was trained as a carpenter, not a fisherman. Yet he was able to tell Simon Peter an experienced fisherman exactly where to put down his net to catch a "boat sinking load."
Peter simply obeyed and was blessed beyond measure.
This example shows us several things. A word of wisdom is directive. It tells us what to do. If obeyed, it blesses us beyond measure, but it also does other things.
Luke 4:8: When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!''
It brought a sense of conviction on Peter. He knew he was in the presence of holiness.
It also brought on a change in the direction of Peterís and the otherís lives.
Look at verse 11: So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
This simple word from the Lord brought blessing in abundance, conviction and a change in life.
Mark 8:27-29: 27. Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, "Who do men say that I am?'' 28. And they answered, "John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.'' 29. He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?'' And Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ.''
Peter was given this revelation, by a word of wisdom, He had not meditated on the things he had seen and heard and reasoned it out and decided that Jesus was the Christ. No, during this discussion, God revealed it to Peter and He spoke out, "You are the Christ.''
Mark 10:32-34: Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: 33. "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and to the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34. "and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.''
Jesus began to reveal his death and resurrection to the disciples as revealed to him. This is the word of wisdom in action. A Word of wisdom is a future revelation, it is generally directive in nature.
Acts 8:26-31, : 26. Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.'' This is desert.
27. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28. was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29. Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot.'' 30. So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?'' 31. And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?'' And he asked Philip to come up and sit with himÖ35. Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?'' 37. Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may.'' And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.''
Philip, later know as Philip the evangelist, was given specific instruction, to go to a certain place and when he arrived there, he was instructed to do a specific thing. Just as Peter was instructed to launch out into the deep and throw out his net at a certain place. Philipís obedience resulted in the salvation and baptism of the Ethiopian.
Letís look at one final example. In Acts Chapter 10.
Acts 10:1-6: There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2. a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.
3. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!'' 4. And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, lord?'' So he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5. "Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6. "He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.''
The Centurion received specific instructions to send men to a certain place and they would find Peter, who under divine instruction, his own word of wisdom, would break the barrier between Jews and Gentiles, thus opening the way for the Gospel to be share with the whole world. This word was directive and resulted in universal blessing.
Act 20:17,22-24: 22. "And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, .. 23. "except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24. "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 21:10-14: 10. And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11. When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, `So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.' ''
12. And when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13. Then Paul answered, "What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.'' 14. So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, "The will of the Lord be done.''
As Paul traveled toward Jerusalem, in every city He received a word of wisdom testifying to his upcoming imprisonment. This word foretold of future events.
Now letís look at a few examples of the word of knowledge.
John 4:15-19: 15. The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.'' 16. Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here.''
17. The woman answered and said, "I have no husband.'' Jesus said to her, "You have well said, `I have no husband,' 18. "for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.'' 19. The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
This is the famous story of the woman at the well. The facts of her life were revealed to Jesus by the spirit. A word of knowledge is based on facts. It will reveal specific things about a situation or a person. We see this many times in conjunction with healing services. A minister may call out specific diseases or describe a specific circumstance only revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. A word of knowledge reveals facts, to open up the heart to receive from the Lord. In the woman at the well, it open up her heart to hear the plan of salvation, in the other examples, it is used by the Holy Spirit to enable healings to take place.
Acts 5:1-6: 1. But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4. "While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.'' 5. Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
Specific facts weíre revealed, not the fact that the money was held back, but that Ananias had lied to God. It revealed a very costly mistake.
A word of knowledge will convict us and prepare our hearts to receive from the Lord.
Letís look at a situation where both the word of wisdom and word of knowledge are manifested.
Acts 9:10-16: 10. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, "Ananias.'' And he said, "Here I am, Lord.'' 11. So the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12. "And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.'' 13. Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14. "And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.''
15. But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16. "For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake.''
Ananias was a simple disciple, that the Holy Spirit chose to use in a dynamic way.
It was a pivotal point in Saulís life. Both Saul and Ananias had received the same dream, that of Ananias coming and laying hands on Saul and Saul receiving his sight.
It is a word of knowledge in that Ananias was given specific information, the exact street, the name of the individual Saul was staying with and what Saul was doing at the time, praying. When Ananias questioned, he was given the word of wisdom about Saulís mission for God.
We see here the Word of wisdom and the word of knowledge in action. It gave specific instruction and revealed a future event.
To summarize, a word of wisdom is a future revelation, it is generally directive in nature. It will bring blessing in abundance, conviction and a change in life. For these to take place you must act in faith and be obedient to what the spirit is revealing.
A word of knowledge is based on facts. It will reveal specific things about a situation or a person. It prepares hearts to receive from the Lord. It is will be facts from the past or present, not future. A word of knowledge will also convict us and prepare our hearts to receive from the Lord.
Both of these gifts are available to every believe through the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
I urge you to open your heart to the deeper things of God and grow deeper in the Lord.
Next month we will complete the study of the revelation gifts by discussing discerning of spirits.