Romans 12:3-8 NKJV For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 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.
I Corinthians 12:1-12 NKJV Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 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. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-15 NKJV And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ--
Peter mentions them at;
I Peter 4:10-11 NKJV As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
It’s good to remind ourselves of the fact that;
1. Every Christian has one or more spiritual gifts.
2. Spiritual gifts are given at the salvation, but they may lie undiscovered and dormant for a long period of time. Multi-gifted Christians often discover their combination of gifts through a gradual process.
3. Spiritual gifts can be abused and neglected, but if they are received at salvation, it would appear that they cannot be lost.
4. Spiritual gifts are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit, but the fruit of the Spirit, especially love should be the context for their operation.
5. Spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents.
6. Gifts are God's spiritual equipment for effective service and edification of the church.
7 Spiritual Gifts without love do not accomplish God's intended purpose.
MINISTRY GIFTS: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, Teacher
The ministry gifts serve to reveal the plan of God. They are characteristic of a full-time office or calling, rather than a gift that can function in and through any believer.
We have talked about the Ministry Gifts the past three weeks.
Then there are the
Motivational Gifts: The motivational gifts serve to reveal the personality of God. These gifts are practical in nature. They describe the inner motivations of the Christian servant. Prophecy, Ministering/Serving/Helps, Teaching, Giving, Exhortation/Encouragement, Administration/Leadership, Mercy
Then there is the category that we are going to start today and that's the Manifestation Gifts. These are the gifts that serve to reveal the power of God. These gifts are supernatural or spiritual in nature. These gifts can be further subdivided into three groups: utterance, power, and revelation.
Utterance - These gifts say something: Prophecy, Speaking in Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues Power - These gifts do something: Faith, Healing, Miracles
Revelation - These gifts reveal something: Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Discerning of Spirits
We are going to start with the Utterance gifts, prophecy, speaking in tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.
We’ll start with the easy one prophecy. We’ve talked about this gift some when we went over the Ministry Gifts.
While Prophet is an office in the church other believers can have the gift of prophecy too. Which is, as we said a couple of weeks ago, is the divine enablement to proclaim God's truth with power and clarity in a timely and culturally sensitive fashion for correction, repentance, or edification. I want to emphasize that prophecy is forth telling not fortune telling. Prophecy is speaking the word of God that He gives to individuals for edification not fortune telling.
Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, when discussing spiritual gifts, calls prophecy a superior gift. Not that one gift is more important than any other but Paul wishes that everybody could prophesy.
1 Corinthians 14:1-4 (HCSB) 1 Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy. 2 For the person who speaks in ⌊another⌋ language is not speaking to men but to God, since no one understands him; however, he speaks mysteries in the Spirit. 3 But the person who prophesies speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation. 4 The person who speaks in ⌊another⌋ language builds himself up, but he who prophesies builds up the church.
Characteristics of someone with the gift of prophecy:
- A strong need to express himself verbally.
- A strong ability to discern the character and motives of other people.
- Wholehearted involvement in whatever he is doing.
- Very open to correction.
- Extremely loyal.
- Willingness to suffer for what is right.
- Persuasive in defining truth.
1. Those with the gift of prophecy have a strong need for verbal expression.
Believers with this gift are likely to be the very first to speak in any situation. They rise and state their feelings, particularly when they observe some act of injustice. Peter is an excellent example of someone with the gift of prophecy, because he was always the first disciple to speak out.
Those with this gift don’t necessarily speak publicly, but they often give counsel. They tell us exactly what we should do, then they check with us to see if we did it.
2. Those with the gift of prophecy have a strong ability to discern the character and motives of other people.
Christians with this gift may walk into a room and immediately sense any harmony or discord among those present. They are very sensitive to the hidden motives of people, because the Spirit of God has given them the power of discernment. So quite often people with the gift of prophecy also have the spiritual gift of discernment or discerning of spirits
They are also committed to God, and therefore prone to correcting behavior that isn’t true to His Word. Christians with the gift of prophecy are often misunderstood because of their quick judgments.
3. Those with the gift of prophecy become wholeheartedly involved.
Believers with this gift devote all their effort to every activity in which they become involved. Their nature is to pay whatever price is necessary to get a job done. Therefore, they have little patience with those who continue to spend valuable time laboring too much over a decision. They make their choice quickly, get to work, and expect others to do the same. Peter exemplified this tendency when he jumped into the water at Jesus’ invitation to step from his boat and walk on the sea. (Matthew 14:25-29) These believers work with all their heart and conviction.
4. Those with the gift of prophecy are open to correction.
Because they are committed to obeying God’s Word, these believers are willing to be shown their spiritual shortcomings. They enjoy seeing righteousness in the lives of others, but they want to see it in their own lives as well. Therefore, they are dedicated to doing the right thing.
Peter doubted Jesus when He told him to go out to sea and put down the fishing nets, but when the bounty of Jesus came through, Peter saw his mistake,
Luke 5:4-8 ESV And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."
5. Those with the gift of prophecy are extremely loyal.
In marriage, among their children or parents, or in any other setting, believers with the gift of prophecy always show loyalty. Because they are so dedicated to God’s word the gift will not allow them to be fickle, and they will stand beside even those friends or leaders who have done wrong, not to justify their sin but to help them.
Again Peter is an example;
John 6:52-58, 66-69 ESV The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever." After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
6. Those with the gift of prophecy are willing to suffer for what is right.
Believers with this spiritual gift are greatly opposed to wrong and injustice. They will take a stand for what is right, even if it requires sacrifice. Peter wrote, “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed” (1 Peter 3:14).
7. Those with the gift of prophecy are persuasive in defining truth.
You will never be in doubt about the beliefs of someone with the gift of prophecy. They speak their convictions with great clarity. They also validate their beliefs through the Word of God. Believers with this gift will always make certain that their words are understood, because they want their listeners to do the right thing. Therefore, they will take care to speak at the level of understanding that is appropriate for that audience.
8. What are some common misunderstandings about the gift of prophecy?
Those with the gift of prophecy are often seen as being intolerant because of their strong sense of right and wrong. They are thought to be poor listeners because they are eager to proclaim the truth. Their frankness may be viewed as harshness, and their interest in the whole group may be misinterpreted as lack of interest in a particular individual. Because they find new methods of accomplishment, they are accused of using gimmicks. These believers focus on their personal decision, and others accuse them of neglecting spiritual growth. Finally, their public boldness and strict standards can hinder them from experiencing intimate personal relationships.
9. What if someone with this gift fails to walk in the Spirit?
Those with the gift of prophecy are always truthful in the Spirit, but walking in the flesh will make them deceptive. Their sincerity in proclaiming the truth will quickly become hypocrisy when they are not allowing the Spirit to direct their lives, and their strong commitment to living morally will give way to impurity. Although this gift encourages boldness, when we live in the flesh we become fearful and ineffective. When walking in the flesh, this believer will be less forgiving and more prone to cruelly reject others.
The divine enablement to speak in unknown tongues, or languages for the edification of those who hear.
Acts chapter 2 describes the first occurrence of the gift of tongues. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles spoke in tongues.
Acts 2:5-13 ESV Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God." And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine."
Acts chapter 2 makes it clear that the apostles were speaking in a human language.
The word translated “tongues” in both Acts chapter 2 and 1
Corinthians chapter 14 is glossa which means “language.” It is the word from which we get our modern English word “glossary.” Speaking in tongues was the ability to speak in a language the speaker does not know, in order to communicate the gospel to someone who does speak that language. In the multicultural area of Corinth, it seems that the gift of tongues was especially valuable and prominent. The Corinthians believers were able to better communicate the gospel and God’s Word as a result of the gift of tongues.
Speaking in tongues is the utterance of prayer or of a message glorifying God, typically spoken to God , in a language that is unknown to the one speaking it.
1 Corinthians 14:2 ESV For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.
However, Paul made it abundantly clear that even in this usage of tongues, it was to be interpreted or “translated”.
1 Corinthians 14:13, 27 ESV Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret.
A Corinthian believer would speak in tongues, proclaiming God’s truth to someone who spoke that language, and then that believer, or another believer in the church, was to interpret what was spoken so that the entire assembly could understand what was said.
The divine enablement to make known to the Body the message of one who is speaking in tongues.
Characteristics: The person with this gift has the ability to interpret a message which is given in tongues to a local assembly. The point of the interpretation is to edify the body and bring glory to God. Often these people have the gift of tongues as well as interpretation.
These people can have a fear that what they are saying is not valid or authentic. They may be overly cautious to use their gift. They also need some sound biblical knowledge to know when, where, and how the Spirit may lead them to exercise this gift. It takes lots of unique experiences to develop this gift and often in the early stages of using it, pride and arrogance are the biggest pitfalls. Interpreters can wrongly assume they have some special relationship with God that is not shared by others.
The Greek word for interpretation is hermeneia and simply means to interpret, explain, or expound some message that is not able to be understood in a natural way. Thus, this spiritual gift is the supernatural ability to understand and explain messages uttered in an unknown language.
This is a revelatory gift, meaning that God “reveals” the meaning of the words or message being spoken and allows the interpreter to communicate its meaning to those who need to hear it. When this happens in the church two things happen: the church is edified and God is glorified.
The spiritual gift of interpretation is given by the Holy Spirit to certain individuals to reveal messages spoken in an unknown tongue to God for the building up of the church. Like the gift of prophecy, tongues that are interpreted have the effect of encouraging and blessing the church to love and serve God more deeply and effectively.
1 Corinthians 14:1-12 ESV Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.