Lifenet Ladies Bible Study
"The Charismatic Gifts of the Spirit"
This is the second lesson in our new series.
Letís look at our scriptural text for this series.
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.
Letís briefly review what we learned last month.
The 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.
In verse one of our text gifts in the Greek is Charisma (kharí-is-mah) meaning:
a (divine) gratuity. It comes from the root word charis (khar'-ece) meaning 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 have grace defined as the unmerited favor of God. For our purposes we have defined grace as 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.
We are all sinners saved by grace. Salvation is a grace gift. Healing is a grace gift.
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.
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.
This month we are going to look at different gifts God has bestowed on us as individuals and on the church as a whole and examine the differences in them. Next month we will begin our discussion of each of the spiritual gifts separately.
Letís look at our scriptural reference again. I am going to begin with verse 4.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11: 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.
There are diversities of gifts but the same spirit and differences of ministries but the same Lord, diversities of activities but the same God who works all in all.
I like the way the Living Bible puts it.
1. Corinthians 12:4-7: 4. Now God gives us many kinds of special abilities, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. 5. There are different kinds of service to God, but it is the same Lord we are serving. 6. There are many ways in which God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work in and through all of us who are his.
7. The Holy Spirit displays God's power through each of us as a means of helping the entire church.
I submit to you there are two types of gifts that God gives the church. The spiritual gifts we are studying and the ministry gifts as listed in Ephesians.
Letís look at the ministry gifts as listed in Ephesians and then we will discuss both, as a whole, not as individual gifts.
Ephesians 4:1-14: 1. I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2. with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3. endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5. one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6. one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8. Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.'' 9. (Now this, "He ascended'' what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10. He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 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; 14. that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, .
1 Corinthians 12:27-28: 27. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
28. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
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.
As many of you know, I was raised Southern Baptist. I was taught the these gifts had passed away. I have heard several reasons given not just in the Baptist Church.
Letís look a verse often used to teach these have passed away.
1 Corinthians 13:8-10: 8. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
I often here this quoted, " these will all pass away when that which is perfect has come."
I have heard it explained that the perfect came in Jesus Christ. My answer to that is yes, Jesus was perfect and he has come, died for us and is now on the right hand of God the Father interceding for us. But I would also point out that the gifts of the spirit were not manifested until the day of Pentecost, especially tongues. Yes there were healing etc, but tongues were not manifested until the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
I have also heard that the Holy Spirit is the perfect. Yes, that is true however in all of our text Paul tells us that God sent the gifts for a specific purpose, to edify and build up the Church, until we are all in unity. Are we all in unity now? Are we all walking in love toward each other? Have all become a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ? Have we all stayed in the Word of God or are we carried about by every wind of deceiving doctrine?
My answer to this is no, we are not in unity, we do not walk in love, none of us are perfect and none of us have reached the measure of the stature of Christ. And yes, many of us get carried away by the "flavor of the month" teaching and get caught up in things we should not even be considering. So, have the gifts passed away? NO! They are needed now more than ever as we near the end of time. We as the Body of Christ need to be strengthened, we need to see God manifest Himself in a powerful way, the World needs to see what a difference God makes in your life and how through the gifts of the spirit you as an individual can impact another believer or bring an unbeliever into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Amen!!
So letís look at these two categories and their similarities and differences.
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 Spritis Gifts of healings
Interpretation of Tongues Adminstrations
Variety of Tongues
The first thing I want you to notice is that three of the spiritual gifts cross over into the ministry gifts. These are gifts of miracles, healings and tongues. So what are the differences? There are three key differences.
Gifts of the Spirit: Ministry Gifts: 1
person to minister to others gift in the role of Apostle etc.
the person has the gift.
2. The gift is brief, dramatic 2. It is a life Work, requiring
and is finished. Generally for training, discipline and
a short time. dedication
3.Excellence of character is 3. Excellence of character is
not a prerequisite. essential. But the same verse
Romans 11:29: For the gifts and applies, if the man holding the office
the calling of God are irrevocable fails, there is an element of repentance
and requirements for reinstatement.
This goes back to training, discipline a
It is important for us to remember that the gifts of the spirit are just that, gifts. It is something God gives an individual for a specific time and place. As we discussed last month the perfect gift is the gift needed at that time and place. The gifts are Godís equipment to us for living a normal Christian life. They take you into a deeper place with God if you will be open,obedient and humble. The exercise of the gift does not automatically insure you the office that gift represents. For example, one service you have a word of prophecy, that does not make you a prophet. Also the exercise of the gift does not make you more holy or righteous. The perfect example of that is found in Numbers.
Numbers 22:28-31: 28. Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?''
29. And Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!'' 30. So the donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?'' And he said, "No.'' 31. Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face.
The moral of this story is "once a donkey always a donkey." I donít mean to be offensive, but if you were not of sound character when you gave the message in tongues, it will not really change you after you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and you give the message. It just means you were sensitive to the spirit at that particular time.
Does this negate your responsibilities? NO! If God should bless you with the manifestation of a gift, be thankful for it, be humbled by it and strive to be worthy of it! Amen! Donít be full of pride because you can interpret tongues. Be thankful.
Why does God give us these gifts, to enable us individuals and a church to show the power and might of Almighty God. The ultimate reason for the gifts is what they do for the body of Christ, not the individual. We were created for God by God, we were created to bring Him glory and everything we do should honor Him and Him alone!
Next month we will look at the gifts individually.