THE MAIN POINT
Spiritual gifts should be discovered in the context of the Christian community, therefore Understanding our spiritual gifts can help encourage and excite us in serving God, and building up those around us.
1 Cor 13:2 – If I don’t have love I have nothing | 1 Peter 4:10 | Exodus 31:1-6
Do you know the name of the first person ever recorded in the world who was filled with the Holy Spirit and given a specific spiritual gift? His name was Bezalel (Exodus 31). He was given the functional gifts of wisdom and knowledge, for the purpose of artistry and culture creation. He was literally filled with the Spirit so that he could create beautiful things which built up and encouraged the people of God. Bezalel was able to understand and discern his gifts as God spoke to Moses and explained everything that was going to happen. In the context of community, Bezalel was encouraged and excited to use his gifts to serve God and build up those around him.
Attaining spiritual gifts is not the goal—they are the gateway. They are not a hobby to play with—they are tools to build with. They are not for our own glory, but for God’s. It can be very easy to desire the gifts over the giver of gifts, but gifts have always been designed and purposed for glorifying God and serving others.
Peter in the New Testament reminds believers, “Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others.” Just like Bezalel, discover the gifts you have received and serve others. Paul reaffirms this in 1 Cor 13, where he says that if we don’t live out the Fruit of the Spirit, especially love, then all our gifts are worth nothing. Fruit precedes gifts.
As you prepare the core of the message using personal story and questions keep in mind these points:
- Gifts of the Spirit deal with action in service.
- Attaining spiritual gifts is not the goal – Jesus is the goal.
- Each Spiritual Gift has a special place in the body of Christ. We need every gift.
- Gifts should build the church.
efinition of each gift identified in the Bible:
- FAITH: Everyone who follows Jesus has some measure of faith. People with this gift have such great confidence in the power and promises of God that they can stand strong in their belief, no matter what may try to shake them. They can also stand up for the church and for their faith in such a way as to defend and move it forward.
- HOPE: The Holy Spirit pours hope into our hearts as we put our faith in Jesus. Hope is one of the first fruits of the Spirit which helps us eagerly desire God and the redemption of all things.
- LOVE: God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Love is the unconditional commitment of self-giving for the highest good of others.
- PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Through the power of the Holy Spirit, believers are saved, filled, sealed, and sanctified. The Holy Spirit reveals God’s thoughts, teaches, and guides believers into all truth. The Holy Spirit also helps believers in their weaknesses and intercedes for them.
FUNCTIONAL GIFTS (roles)
- APOSTLE: They awaken people to their God-designed potential. They are instrumental in people discovering who they really are and walking alongside them to get there. They forge new paths in the Kingdom and are a catalyst for change wherever they go.
- EVANGELIST/EVANGELISM: The ability to successfully communicate the message of the gospel, especially to nonbelievers. They stir curiosity and desire to know Jesus. Their life is a living invitation to all to join the Family of God.
- HELPER/HELPS: Someone with this gift is able to support or assist members of the body of Christ so that they may be free to minister to others.
- LEADERSHIP/RULER: This aptitude marks a person who is able to stand before a church, direct the body with care and attention, and motivate them toward achieving the church’s goals.
- PASTOR/SHEPERDING: They are instrumental in guiding people through brokenness back to wholeness and healing their souls from wounds that keep them where they are. They create a safe atmosphere of family and belonging. They bring fun and enjoyment to God’s ministry and allow people to feel like they are part of a greater family.
- PROPHET: They are effective in revealing God’s heart for His people where ever they go. They can accurately discern God’s heart for a situation. They help people experience God’s voice for the very first time and help them develop hearing the voice of God in their own life.
- TEACHER: They make the truth and knowledge about God accessible to all. They have the ability for breaking confusion and misinformation. They are strategic in helping people know the truth of God and also how it applies to their own life.
FUNCTIONAL GIFTS (abilities)
- ADMINISTRATION: The ability to help steer the church, or a ministry, toward the successful completion of God-given goals, with skills in planning, organization, and supervision.
- EXHORTATION/ENCOURAGEMENT: Competence in offering encouragement, comfort, and support to help someone be all that God wants them to be.
- GENEROSITY: Those who have this gift are particularly willing and able to share what resources they have with pleasure, and without the need to see them returned.
- HOSPITALITY: A natural ability to make people—even strangers—feel welcome in one’s own home or church as a means to disciple or serve them.
- KNOWLEDGE: This is the gift of someone who actively pursues knowledge of the Bible. This person may also enjoy analyzing biblical data.
- MERCY: This is the defining trait of a person with great sensitivity for those who are suffering. It manifests itself in offering compassion and encouragement, and in love for giving practical help to someone in need.
- SERVICE: A talent for identifying tasks needed for the body of Christ and using available resources to get the job done.
- WISDOM: The gift of being able to sort through facts and data to discover what needs to be done for the church.
- DISCERNMENT: The wisdom to recognize truth from untruth by correctly evaluating whether behavior or teaching is from God or another, ungodly source.
- HEALING: A capability used by God to restore others, be that physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
- MIRACLES: The spiritual gift of miracles is specifically the power to do supernatural works with the goal of furthering the kingdom of God.
- PROPHECY: The ability to speak the message of God to others. This sometimes involves foresight or visions of what is to come. This skill should be used only to offer encouragement or warning.
- TONGUES: The supernatural ability to speak in another language (one that has not been learned).
- INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES: The supernatural ability to understand the tongue language and translate it.
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- Have you discovered your gifts yet? Encourage those who haven’t done the spiritual gifts test.
- Are you using your gifts?
- Do you notice that people are built up and encouraged as you use your gifts?
- Are you chasing the gifts or the gift giver?