I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
GOD LOVES TO GIVE
- Gave his Son
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son what whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
- Gives us faith to be saved
Ephesians 2:8 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
- Gives us the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:38 – “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
- Gives us “all things”
Romans 8:32 – “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
- The Greek word used in the above scriptures for “gift” is dorea which means a “present or a free gift stressing its voluntary character.” It is always used in the New Testament of a spiritual or supernatural gift. With no strings attached, God gives us these gifts.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF GIFTS OF GOD
- Ministry Gifts
- Leaders – “Equippers” – Ephesians 4:11 – “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.”
- Apostle – “A person with the special ability to provide leadership for a cluster of churches. This often involves the founding of the churches, but may also include giving new direction to the church.”
- Prophet – “A person with the supernatural ability to interpret the Scriptures in the light of the present situation in the Church giving encouragement, correction, warning and edification.”
- Evangelist – “A person who is gifted to present the gospel in such a way that people will respond to the claims of Christ through repentance, conversion and discipleship. He also has the ability to equip the church to evangelize.”
- Pastor – Teacher – “A person with the special ability to take responsibility for the nourishment, health protection, and development of a congregation on a
relatively long-term basis.”
- These “gifts of God” are actually people God has given the church to perfect, prepare and equip the members of the church for their individual ministries.
- The Greek word used here for “gift” is domatawhich stresses the concrete character of the gift. This is the only place in the New Testament where this word is found and it refers to those leadership ministry gifts found in Ephesians 4:11.
- Body Ministry Gifts – Romans 12:6-8 – “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
- Prophecy – “A person who can spontaneously utter words from the Lord given to the Body for encouragement, edification or exhortation.
- Serving – “A person who serves the body of Christ in a supporting role, thus releasing those in leadership roles to carry on their ministries.” Biblical example: deacons in Acts 6:1-6.
- Teaching – “A person who can communicate information relevant to the health and ministry of the Body in such a way others will learn.” Biblical example: Priscilla and Aquila in Acts 18:26.
- Encouraging – “A person who can minister encouragement and hope to other members of the Body. Biblical example: Barnabas in Acts 4:36.
- Giving – “A person who can provide material resources to the Body with liberality and cheerfulness. Biblical example: Barnabas in Acts 4:36.
- Leadership – “A person who is able to organize and direct toward a specific goal in projects that promote the work of God and the growth of those involved.” Biblical example: James in Acts 15:3-21.
- Mercy – “A person who can feel genuine empathy and compassion for those who are suffering and can translate that compassion into deeds that reflect Christ’s
love and alleviate suffering.” Biblical example: Epaphroditus in Phil. 2:25-30.
- Romans 12:5-6 tells us that each member of Christ receives a gift of this nature.
- 1 Peter 4:10 tells us each one has a gift and we are to use these gifts to serve others.
- The Greek word used here for “gift” is charismata and means a gift of grace, a special endowment.
- Manifestation Gifts – 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 – “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 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.
- Wisdom – “God-given supernatural utterance of a specific word, given at a specific time, giving God’s wisdom for a specific situation.” Biblical example: Acts 15:28
- Knowledge – “God-given information which only God may know given to help the Church or members of the Body in a time of need.” Biblical example: Acts 5:3-5
- Faith – “God-given ability to believe in God for a specific need when it seems impossible.” Biblical example: Throughout the Gospels and Acts
- Healing – “God-given healing of physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual needs of persons at a specific time.” Biblical example: Throughout the Gospels and Acts
- Miracles – “God-given ability to perform the impossible.” Biblical example: Acts 28:3-5
- Prophecy – “God-given spontaneously-uttered word from the Lord giving directions, instruction, encouragement to the Body. Bible example: Acts 11:28
- Discernment – “God-given ability to know what spirit is motivating a person or a situation.” Biblical example: Acts 16:16-18
- Tongues – “God-given ability to speak to the Church in a language which a person does not understand.” Biblical example: Acts 2
- Interpretation of tongues – “God-given ability to give the meaning of what has been uttered in tongues.” Instructions for this given in 1 Corinthians.
- The Greek word used here for “manifestations” is phanerosis and means “to lay bare, to unveil.” It means “to shine forth, to reveal.”
- Spiritual manifestations are the supernatural “surprises of the Spirit,” a bursting forth of the energy and power of God whenever there is a need.
DIFFERENCE IN MINISTRY AND MANIFESTATION GIFTS
- Ministry Gifts
- They are permanent – Romans 11:29 – “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
- They are related to natural gifts and will be in harmony with natural ability and gifts.
- They determine the position of an individual in the body of Christ.
- Ministry gifts are “gifted persons” given to the church. To receive the gift, we must receive the person – Romans 15:7 – “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.”
- Each believer is to identify and develop their ministry gift.
- Manifestation Gifts
- They are temporary.
- They have no relation to natural ability.
- There is little relationship to the position in the body of Christ and the manifestation.
- The body of Christ is to receive and rejoice in these “surprises” of the Spirit.
PURPOSE OF LEADERSHIP MINISTRY GIFTS
- Unity in the Body
- Body to grow in their knowledge of Christ
- Body to become complete – “grow up”
- Each person in the body “each joint” to find their proper place in the body and to work to build up the Church.