THE IMPORTANCE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN A HEALTHY CHURCH
Last Sunday I preached a message on spiritual gifts. Below you will find an expanded sermon outline combining both the morning message and further thoughts delivered at The Quarries Church 5pm service. Also, I have included the link to watch the morning message.
Since the subject of spiritual gifts is so important to the healthy life of the church, and since a single message only provides an introduction to the subject, I am teaching on the subject of spiritual gifts beginning this Wednesday evening (August 12, 2015) at 6pm in Friendship Hall at Hyde Park Baptist Church.
THE SPIRIT EQUIPS THE CHURCH
Karl Vaters: “Spiritual gifts can’t be learned or earned. They’re given.”
2 Clarifying Questions:
1) WHAT ARE SPIRITUAL GIFTS?
(v.4) -“gifts” is the Greek word, “charisma” from root “charis” which is translated, “grace.”
Literal translation: “An unearned favor,” “a gift of grace”
(In this context the word means “Gifts of the Spirit”)
In modern Greek the word “charisma” means
The four New Testament passages where spiritual gifts are listed:
-1 Peter 4:10-11
2) DO SPIRITUAL GIFTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
(v.6) “and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.”
These two English words are the same word in Greek: “energeo” (From which we get the English word “energy”).
The literal translation of energeo is: “To work, to be effective, to use power, to be active, to be operational.”
Spiritual gifts make a difference because they are the tools the Holy Spirit gives us to live the Christian life while we serve and proclaim Christ in the world! SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE ACTIVE-THEY DO SOMETHING!
♦️THE SPIRIT EQUIPS THE CHURCH WITH A DIVERSITY OF GIFTS (vv.4-6)
John Piper: “Different Christians have different spiritual powers given to them by the Holy Spirit.”
The Greek word translated “varieties” only occurs 3 times in the New Testament- in vv. 4-6! Even believers with the same gift will express it differently and there may be nearly endless combinations of predominant and secondary gift mixes. While it is true every believer has at least one gift, it is probable that we all have a combination of gifts.
♦️THE SPIRIT EQUIPS THE CHURCH WITH A DEMONSTRATION OF GIFTS (v.7)
Charles Stanley: “When a believer exercises her gift, it is an exhibition of the Spirit’s power through her. It is not simply a matter of doing something she is good at. Spiritual gifts are a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.”
The Greek word translated, “manifestation” comes from a root word (“phos”) which means “light” (we get the words “photograph” and “phosphorus” from it). In this case it means our spiritual gifts make the invisible Holy Spirit “visible”- our gifts “manifest” the Holy Spirit!
The purpose of spiritual gifts is clear from the phrase “…for the common good” (v.7). When we use our spiritual gifts in ministry it is not only a deeply satisfying experience for us it is the way we best serve the rest of the Body of Christ.