Lifenet Ladies Bible Study
"The Charismatic Gifts of the Spirit"
"Understanding the Grace of God"
This is the beginning of a new study for our group. I spent a lot of time in prayer and meditation seeking The Holy Spiritís guidance on our next topic. I had initially thought it might be a series on "The Gospel of Mark", but that did not turn into anything but a personal study. Then as I opened myself up to the leading of the Holy Spirit, I realized what a diverse group of women we were. Many different denominational backgrounds make up our congregation here at Hope and Life. Many of us come from more traditional settings, not understanding the full benefits of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the Workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I begin to realize how important a study in the gifts of the spirit would be to us, how understanding them would help us to learn to flow in them and minister to the needs of others. Thus, this new study, "The Charismatic Gifts of the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11: Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2. You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
4. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7. 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.
This will be our basic Scripture throughout this study. References used include
"The Gifts of the Spirit, Understanding and Receiving Godís Supernatural Power in your Life" by Derek Prince, Whitaker House 2007. Also several Bible Dictionaries including Nelsonís New Illustrated Bible Dictionary and Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament. In addition "Concerning Spiritual Gifts" 26 Lessons on the Holy Spirit and His Gifts by Kenneth E. Hagin 1976.
It is very important for us to understand that the above mentioned gifts are just that, gifts bestowed upon us by God through the Holy Spirit. They are grace gifts, bestowed on us because of the favor of God. They are for the benefit of the individual to minister to other individuals.
1 Corinthians 12:1: 1. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
This word gifts is a form of the Greek word Charisma (kharí-is-mah) meaning:
a (divine) gratuity, i.e. deliverance (from danger or passion); (specifically) a (spiritual) endowment, i.e. (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty: --(free) gift.
So these spiritual gifts or charisma are a divine spiritual endowment, a free divine spiritual endowment. It is not something we work for or earn it is a free gift. Charisma comes from the Greek root word charis (khar'-ece):
graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): --acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(- ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy).
So the charisma or gift is a grace gift given by the favor of God. We often hear people talk about grace and favor. What does that really mean?
One definition of grace is "the unmerited favor of God toward the undeserving
and the ill-deserving."
God has no reason to bestow grace on us, we donít deserve it. In fact, the only thing we deserve is death as we see in Romans.
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Grace as defined in Nelsonís New Illustrated Bible Dictionary is: favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who received it and in spite of what the person deserves.
Letís look at the nature of Godís Grace:
Exodus 34:6-7: And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7. "keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.''
It is associated with mercy, compassion and patience, which is revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ. It is given through many forms.
Grace cannot be earned. The Gospel is a manifestation of Godís grace, it is His favor toward us who really deserve judgement for sin and rebellion as I stated above. It is not something we earn, it is freely given and we please God by accepting it.
Romans 9:15: For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.''
John 1:17: 17. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ
John 1:14: 14. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Proverbs 3:34: Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.
James 4:6: But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.''
1 Peter 5:5: Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.''
Ephesians 2:8-9: 8. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9. not of works, lest anyone should boast.
What is the gift? It is the grace gift of salvation received through the grace gift of faith.
It is given to us by Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, we receive it by studying and hearing Godís Word.
Hebrews 11:1: 1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Faith is a real substantial force, it is given to us by Jesus and our belief in Jesus. It is created when we hear the Word of God and becomes real in our lives when we receive it.
Romans 10:17: 17. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
John 14:16-17: 16. "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, 17. "even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10: 9. But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.''
10. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 6:11: 11. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of Grace and the spirit of truth.
Hebrews 10:29: 29. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
8. It is revealed in Jesus and applied in our lives by the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 2:7: 7. that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 1:1-2: 1. God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets. 2. has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
Hebrews 2:2-3: 3. how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
4. God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
Letís look at some examples throughout the Bible of Godís Grace.
Deuteronomy 4:8: "And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?
Deuteronomy 4:44-45: 4. And this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel. 45. These are the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which Moses spoke to the children of Israel after they came out of Egypt,
Romans 2:4: 4. Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Romans 8:10-11: 10. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Isaiah 53:4-5: 4. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
1 Peter 2:24: 24. who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed.
Romans 3:21-24: But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22. even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24. being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 4:7, 11-13: But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's giftÖ 11. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12. for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13. till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
As described in our opening text 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.
Godís grace is his love in action, it is the way God demonstrates His love for us. It is manifested in many ways, the gifts of the spirit being only a small part of his love.
In the next few months we will look at each of these gifts, study them individually, imprint their function and need on our hearts and learn more and more about Godís grace.
The Word of God tells us to desire the best gifts.
1 Corinthians 12:31: 31. But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
What is the best gifts? It is the grace gift given by God to meet that particular need at that particular time. It is what you need when you need it. That is the best gift and we are to pray for it and receive it, so that we can be a benefit to each other and walk in love toward each other. And always glorify God!
I want you to keep in mind that the list of examples above are only the tip of the iceberg. God gives each of us grace for the moment in the form of the "best gift".
1 Peter 4:10: 10. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God .
We are given the gift and we are expected to be good stewards of it while it is in our possession. Remember some gifts are temporary, like a box of chocolate. You receive it, it is something you really wanted and you enjoyed it while you had it. Sometimes this is what will happen with the gifts of the spirit. There are times that I move in the spirit with words of wisdom, in prayer or just in conversation. It is not something I do all the time, just when the Holy Spirit deems it necessary. You will get it when you need it and move in it, but you may not keep it all the time. It is up to us to be open to it, receive it and move in it when we sense it and thank God for it at all time. We will discuss this more in the next lessons.
As I close today, I want you to remember to concentrate on three things throughout this study, the riches of Godís grace, the abundance of Godís grace and the variety of Godís grace. Donít put God in a box, be open to the moving of the Holy Spirit. God has enough grace gifts for each of us whenever we need it! So be open, be willing and be obedient and see what God will do in your life! Amen!