Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 061712
The New Testament analogy of the Fish Gate. Distinctions and function of each Spiritual Gift.
We have been noting some of the fantastic privileges which come from understanding the fifth ministry of God the Holy Spirit which takes place at the moment of salvation which is the distribution of spiritual gifts.
Point 1 dealt with The Source of Spiritual Gifts which involves All Three Members of the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Point 2 dealt with the Definition and Description.
Point 3. There Are Two Categories of Spiritual Gifts Found in the Bible. Temporary spiritual gifts and permanent spiritual gifts.
Point 4. The Spiritual Gifts Found in the New Testament.

Point 5. Distinctions and function of each Spiritual Gift.
A distinction and special function of each spiritual gift needs to be understood so that every believer can find or discover his place in the Church or the body of Christ concerning the operation of his spiritual gift.

1PE 4:10, As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
In other words “Be generous with the different things or gifts and talents God gave you passing them around so all can get in on it.”

1PE 4:11, Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
If words, let it be God’s words. If helps, let it be God’s help with God’s power. That way, God’s presence will be evident in everything through TLJC, and He’ll get all the credit as the One mighty and powerful in everything‑‑

1PE 4:12-13, Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.
In other words, some of you should never be shocked at the attacks that are made upon you because of your love, dedication and devotion to TLJC. Be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. It is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.

1PE 4:14-16, If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God.
Now, instead of listing them all as they appear in an epistemological list, let’s notice and study their purpose and meaning as they are portrayed in the word of God. First of all, in ROM 12:6, we have the gift of prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith.

ROM 12:6, And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
This was a temporary gift that in EPH 2:20 was used to help the apostles in their writings of scripture and preaching and teaching on eschatology which is the doctrine of the end of the world or of mankind. Eschatology deals with the ultimate or final things, such as death, the destiny of humanity, the Second Coming, or the Last Judgment. This was a contemporary gift, not a permanent one and therefore, not a gift in existence for us today.
In EPH 2:19-22, So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
This is the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit providing for the indwelling of TLJC, as the Shekinah Glory, a temple in us for Him to indwell.

EPH 3:1-11, For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles‑‑ if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Next in ROM 12:7, if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; The word for service Greek noundiakonia is translated ministry in the KJV; or service in better modern translations. Some confusion arises because diakoniaresembles diakonos, which though transliterated deacon, actually refers to the gift of administrative leadership. Diakonia is a spiritual gift of service given to both men and women. Diakonos is an office in the local church, held by a man serving on the deacon board. This gift, diakonia, functions in the administration of the local church. It means ministry or service; it does not refer to the office of deacon in the local church. This gift is given to men and women.

Those who have this spiritual gift serve on committees and in specific administrative functions in the local church, on mission boards, in Christian service organizations. The spiritual gift of service or ministry is one of the more common spiritual gifts among men; it also includes some ladies. It is from this gift that so many things are done in the local church. No woman has the gift of pastor‑teacher, the gift of evangelism, but they can have this gift according to GAL 3:26-28. So, diakonia means a ministry or a service. It can refer to rendering financial help to others as in ACT 11:29; 2CO 9:12-13, ROM 15:31. It can refer to personal help rendered to individuals in leadership positions, ACT 19:22; ROM 16:1-2. It is a special ability that God gives to certain members of the body of Christ to identify the unmentioned needs involved in the local assembly and to do something about it. Such people can be counted on in the most adverse circumstances and for the widest variety of service as a spiritual jack of all trades.

So, the one who has this gift has the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to identify the unmet needs involved in an assignment related to God’s work, and to make use of available resources to meet those needs and help accomplish the desired goals.
During war years when a soldier joins the army we say of him that he has gone into the service. By this we mean that he has gone to serve his country on the battlefields of the world. In the same fashion, when a young man is called to the ministry, people commonly say that he has gone into full ­time service. This is meant to indicate that his life vocation has now become the service of God. The same thought is contained in the gift of ministry, for the prevailing thought is that of service.
In ROM 12:7, if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;

First, we must be aware that the gifts differ from natural talents. When Peter wrote to the Christians who had been scattered abroad during the days of intense persecution, he addressed them as strangers (1PE 2:1-11). They were exiles from home! However, the gift God had bestowed upon each of them went with him wherever he was driven. Hence, Peter wrote the following words to encourage these Christians in service: 1PE 4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1PE 4:11, Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

In spite of all that was against them, they were empowered to be God’s representatives in speech and ministry. What is it that enables ordinary people to excel in service for Christ? It is not splendid talent, it is not deep culture, that constitute efficiency in the body of Christ, it is simply and absolutely the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a divine ministry and must have a divine equipment. Gifts of the Spirit alone can enable a man to speak as the oracles of God. Only as God endows the ability can a person minister properly.
Distinguishing between “natural” and “spiritual” gifts is important for a clear understanding of the gifts of the Spirit. Some men seem to be born with natural endowments which fit them for a special service. On the other hand, some men who have little natural ability have been endowed spiritually with abilities so far beyond their natural inclinations that they become spiritual giants. There is a difference between natural gifts and spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are related to a man’s spiritual nature. Since this nature is dead before salvation, spiritual gifts are bestowed upon men only after they are saved. They do not need to be naturally gifted to receive spiritual gifts, but they must be saved. These gifts may be referred to as grace gifts (charisma) which are in no way deserved. They are given in grace according to the sovereign will and purpose of God. Hence, the apparently most qualified people do not necessarily receive the best gifts. It is not always the most brilliant orator who is the great preacher. Only as a man has received the gift can he minister the same with power. This is the distinction Paul is making in 1TH 1:5.
1TH 1:5, for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
It is the power and not the speech that brings the blessing. Some seem to feel that natural talents and spiritual gifts are one and the same. John Stott seems to border on this when he philosophizes: The gifts are not natural abilities, but the supernatural capabilities given by God, the Holy Spirit. You see the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1CO 1:25)
So, let’s skip around a little to make this more interesting. Next we have the gift of exhortation which is the unique ability to encourage others, ROM 12:8, or he who exhorts, in his exhortation.
The word exhort, parakaleo means to call to ones side for the purpose of comfort or encouragement. It is used as a means of counseling or basically helping new believers. This is a gift where people have the patience and time to encourage and comfort those that need it. We would call this, a one on one gift. This is not the responsibility of the pastor-teacher. This gift helps to rearrange the perspective that those who have problems have or to give divine viewpoint in place of human viewpoint. In ACT 4:36, Barnabas was so good at this particular gift that he was called the Son of Encouragement.
ACT 4:36, And Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means, Son of Encouragement),
This gift protects the congregation from conspiracies, gossip, and it protects the reputations of others.
For instance, in ACT 15:36-41, Barnabas took John-Mark and departed from Paul and later reconciled the two.
ACT 15:36-40, And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, {and see} how they are.” And Barnabas was desirous of taking John, called Mark, along with them also. But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and departed, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord.
Later on Paul would say in 2TI 4:11, Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.
This gift has the ability to comfort people at the most difficult time. Now, Paul’s gift was a doctrinally oriented teaching gift.

However, Barnabas was a one on one speaking gift that was people oriented. You see, many have a gift to be people oriented, they’re a people’s person. It’s a gift and they love being around people and talking to people. Then someone else has all these resources. They love to study 24 hours a day, they love to figure out things, they love facts, however, they’re not a people’s person.

Now, the gifts are given to build up the body so we don’t judge either one. Whether people oriented or fact oriented, it is for the same purpose. Now, there may be some other gifts which are given but I couldn’t find anymore in the scriptures. However, 1PE 4:10-11 says, As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
ROM 12:1 is the first of several passages dealing with spiritual gifts we will look at: I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

This has to do with our spiritual function and spiritual responsibility. Presenting your bodies a living sacrifice is not a rededication service or a one shot dedication but a day by day commitment. This is said to be acceptable to God and well pleasing to Him and your spiritual service. Spiritual service means your rational and spiritual worship. All worship is to be rational and reasonable not emotional.

ROM 12:2-3, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Notice this is being said in a chapter dealing with spiritual gifts and we are to think soberly or in terms of sanity.
ROM 12:4, For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,
Note that the analogy is to the human body. Just as the human body has many parts so does the Church. As members of the body, we are all different and we all have different functions. We have different responsibilities and different activities. Now, just as the body has many parts there are many spiritual gifts that must function for the proper coordination of the body of Christ. The word function in the verse above is praxis which means to function on the same team. We are members of one another because we are all in Christ. And your spiritual gift determines what position you play on the team. No matter how in significant you may think your gift may be, you are on the team and your gift is just as necessary as any other gift. Don’t ever be discouraged about your spiritual gift because if you do you are resenting the omniscience of God the Holy Spirit.
So literally ROM 12:4 says, For just as we have many parts [many spiritual gifts] in one body [royal family of God], and all parts do not have the same function. All believers do not have the same spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit distributes different spiritual gifts to each of us at salvation, just as a coach might assign players to different positions on a team.
ROM 12:5, so we, who are many are one body in Christ, and each part [every spiritual gift in the body] belongs to all the others.
While we all have equal privilege and equal opportunity as members of the royal family, the Holy Spirit assigns different spiritual gifts to us. The one with the gift of pastor‑teacher belongs to all of you. You all have many different gifts which belong to him. We all belong to each other. We cannot separate from each other and be effective. We are all members of the same team!
Spiritual gifts are the basis for the team concept in the royal family. Your spiritual gift determines what position you play on the team. No matter how inconspicuous or insignificant your gift may seem to be, you are on the team and your gift is just as necessary as any other gift.
Your insignificant gift is needed just as much as a spectacular gift. Don’t ever have a bad mental attitude about your less spectacular spiritual gift, because you are resenting the wisdom of God the Holy Spirit. All gifts function under the enabling power of the Spirit inside the PPOG. Effectiveness of function is determined by your spiritual growth.
So how should your spiritual gift function, once you’ve gained some momentum, and once it begins to function with or without your consent?
ROM 12:6, And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
Not only do we have differences in the gifts but differences even in the same gifts. These gifts notice are given according to the standard of grace. Whatever gift we have and to what degree it functions, it is all the grace of God. Note that we have gifts that differ according to the grace that is given to us. The word exercise is a key word in all of the gifts. The word exercise in the Greek is analogia which means the right relationship or proportion or in agreement with something. An inferiority complex about your gift is the devil’s tool to destroy your effectiveness for God. Indeed such thinking dishonors the Giver!
You and I are by faith to think of ourselves at the level at which we ought to think. We are what we are by the grace of God, and we are to rejoice in and gratefully use the equipment with which God has endowed us for service.
ROM 12:7, if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;
If his gift is the gift of ministry [or service], let him function in the sphere of his service. If his gift is the gift of teaching [pastor‑teacher], let him teach. In other words, don’t try to be something you’re not. You’re great in functioning within your own spiritual gift. If you try to do something else, you fall flat on your face. Scripture doesn’t say the pastor‑teacher is to run absolutely everything; that’s ridiculous. He is to oversee that the policies line up with the Scripture; he should know that much.
ROM 12:8, or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
In other words, stick with you gift! Don’t get ambitious and try to be something you’re not.
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