2022-October 19 | Gifts of the Spirit: Part I
SMALL GROUP MATERIAL
Small Group Questions:
- Have you ever heard of Spiritual Gifts before? What was your understanding of them before tonight? Has anything changed?
- Spiritual Gifts are anything that the Spirit can influence and activate to build up the local church community. Do you have any idea what gifts God may have given you? (See gifts wheel)
- Take time as a group to go through the spiritual gift test or make sure your students have access to it for the coming week.
THE MAIN POINT
Spiritual Gifts are anything that the Spirit can influence and activate to build up the local church community.
Romans 12:6-8 | 1 Cor 12:4-11 | Ephesians 4:1-8
Spiritual Gifts are one way in which God equips the Church for the life and work he calls us to. These gifts range from the essentials for the Christian life to miraculous abilities, to roles and skills necessary for the ongoing ministry of the Church. Some gifts may look very different from other gifts, but they all share one distinctive quality, they come from the Holy Spirit. There has been debate in church history as to what exactly makes up a gift, and if there is necessarily a comprehensive list. What is important to note is that the Apostle Paul, mentions different gifts that are relevant to different audiences and the needs that he’s addressing. He seems to have this underlying idea that there are huge potentials within people that the Spirit can influence and activate to build up the local church community.
The phrase “spiritual gifts” actually doesn’t occur in the Bible. It occurs in our English translation, but it doesn’t occur in the original greek text that the apostles wrote. This phrase comes from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 12: “Now concerning spiritual gifts: brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be unaware.” However, the word gifts there is in italics (or has a letter next to it signifying there are more meanings), which is always the translator’s way of telling you: “Dear reader, this word doesn’t represent anything in the original language. We’re just saying it in English to help it make a sensible translation.” It’s a phrase that helps English readers understand the bigger subject matter. Literally, what Paul says is “spirituals or spiritual things”. In other words, what he’s saying is what is now concerning things that the Spirit does, concerning the activities and manifestations of the Spirit, I don’t want you to be ignorant. Then he goes on in verse 4 to talk about: Now there are varieties of gifts — he uses the word gifts, which is the Greek word charisma — but the same Spirit. So Paul views the gifts as being activated and empowered by the Spirit, but he actually doesn’t himself ever use this phrase, “spiritual gifts.”
And the reason why that’s important is that the moment you use the phrase, “spiritual gifts,” you get this conception that your spiritual gift is like your Christian superpower. And it’s like you have that one, and I have this one. And this is exactly the opposite of what Paul is saying. What he’s actually saying is, that there are things that the Spirit does, and there is a variety of ways that the Spirit can empower or influence people. He calls these gifts or graces:
So what are the common gifts identified in the Bible?
There are three general categories of spiritual gifts that we can identify, but remember a spiritual gift is “anything that the Spirit can influence and activate to build up the local church community.” The three categories identified in scripture are:
Dynamic Gifts: Special abilities given by the Holy Spirit for the specific purpose of delivering or validating a message from God
As you prepare the core of the message using personal story and questions keep in mind these points:
- Spiritual gifts are not rewards.
- Spiritual gifts are not natural talents.
- Spiritual gifts enable us to grow in the knowledge of Jesus as the Spirit empowers us.
- “Teaching a person only what their spiritual gift is without teaching them what a spiritual gift is would be like giving someone a new tool without giving them the operator’s manual. They would never understand it fully nor be able to use it to its maximum potential. The same is true with a spiritual gift.”
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- As Spiritual Fruit relates to attitude, Spiritual gifts relate to service. Do you want gifts or use your gifts to serve God or gain attention?
- How do we determine which gifts God has given us? We must test it.
- BEULAH YOUTH SPIRITUAL GIFT TEST (dynamic gifts are not included in the online test)
- Trusted mentor or youth leader that can affirm gifts
- Testing your gifts
- When we operate in our gifts it usually brings life and excites us to serve God. Are you excited to serve God?