Did you open your gift(s)?

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Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative | Inclination: dispensational | Seminary: none

1. Define and contrast spiritual gifts and natural talents.

Spiritual gift (neumatika = breath or spirit and charismata = grace) is God’s specific endowment of spiritual ability for service to the church. Spiritual gifts represent supernatural levels of more common service, and it is a capacity for spiritual service that must be developed through an active spiritual life. Natural talents are inherited abilities and interest received at birth; spiritual life is not necessary for development. Everyone is born with a natural talent; only Christians receive spiritual gifts.

2. Examine Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 28-30 and Ephesians 4:7-16. List the spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit bestows. How many gifts are pastors suppose to have? Which gift is the best gift to have? How would you organize this list to better understand and differentiate the various gifts?

Romans 12:6-8: prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and mercy

1 Corinthians 12:4-11: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues

1 Corinthians 12:28-30: apostles, prophets, teachers, miracle worker, healing, helping others, administration, tongues

Ephesians 4:11-13: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers

An example of differentiating the various gifts is to contrast the ones that closely resemble each other:

Administration vs. Leadership Apostleship vs. Evangelism
Exhortation vs. Prophecy Tongues vs. Interpretation of Tongues
Knowledge vs. Wisdom Pastoring vs. Teaching
Faith vs. Giving Ministering (helps) vs. Discernment (distinguishing spirits)
Mercy vs. Hospitality Miracles vs. Healing

While some may feel that pastors are suppose to have all of the spiritual gifts, God has deemed that man shall have at least one (1 Cor 12:7, 11 and Rom 12:6). No gift is the sign of superior spirituality or higher level of walk with God. The objective is not seeking new gifts but recognizing, developing, and using the one(s) God has given you (1 Cor 12:31).

3. What is the purpose of spiritual gifts?

A) We know that God has determined a place for us in the church. Spiritual gifts help us understand what member we are to be in relation to the church body (Rom 12:3-8).

B) Each member of the church depends on the spiritual gifts of others for their growth toward spiritual maturity (Eph 4:11-13).

4. How do you know what your spiritual gift is? Questions that may help:

a) What do you enjoy doing?

b) What service has God been blessing?

c) How have others encouraged you?

d) What has the Holy Spirit told you?

"Each Christian should select his church because he is convinced that within its particular structure he will find the greatest opportunities for spiritual growth, the greatest satisfactions for his human needs, and the greatest chance to be of helpful service to those around him."

Billy Graham

To learn more about Spiritual Gifts and how you can discover yours, read Kenneth Gangel's book: Unwrap your Spiritual Gifts.

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