The Gifts of the Spirit, Pt. 1
March 23, 2014
Gifts are funny things — sometimes what we think would be a nice gift for someone is hardly noticed or received well; other times something we think is insignificant or even inappropriate is the favorite gift of all. Many years ago — back when I made my living in seminary as a pool cleaner — I had a customer who told me one day of her grandfather and the unique relationship she had with him. When she went to get married and her friends hosted a bridal shower for her, that grandfather sent gifts for her — and they were all power tools. So here was this petite, southern belle surrounded by power tools and all her in-laws to be were wondering what kind of crazy grandfather she had, and she was overjoyed.
That same woman would annually go with her husband on a trip to Las Vegas to watch some boxing matches. One time after she returned from viewing a title bout with Sugar Ray Leonard I commented that it was very nice of her to go along with her husband on his trip and she quickly corrected me: “Oh, I don’t go for him; he doesn’t like the fights. He goes because he knows I want to go!” Who would have thought that?!
This morning we want to begin talking about gifts God has given to believers. Now there are obviously many things that God has given us, but I want to think with you about the particular gifts that God gives us through the Holy Spirit indwelling us.
We’ve been talking in recent weeks about the work of the Holy Spirit and this morning I want to initiate a discussion about the most well-known work of the Holy Spirit. Most believers understand that the Spirit gives us gifts, but the purpose and intention of the use of those gifts is often misunderstood and misused, so I want to spend 2-3 Sundays thinking with you about these gifts.
As we begin, here is a simple definition of the gifts of the Spirit:
Spiritual gifts are God’s enablement for every believer for spiritual service in the church.
1. Essential Aspects of Spiritual Gifts
- What spiritual gifts are not
- What spiritual gifts are
- What the origin of spiritual gifts is
- What we should do if we do not have a particular spiritual gift
2. Essential Attitudes Towards Spiritual Gifts (vv. 3-6a)
- What we do in serving others is an overflow of our transformed lives
- Don’t think too much about your gifts and giftedness (v. 3a)
- Don’t think too little about your gifts and giftedness (v. 3b)
- Gifts are given diversely for mutuality and unity, not superiority (vv. 4-5)
- Spiritual gifts are God’s divine and gracious enabling to meet the needs of others (v. 6a)
3. Three Categories of Spiritual Gifts (vv. 6b-8)
- Foundational Gifts: Prophecy (v. 6b)
- Serving Gifts (vv. 7-8)
- Teaching Gifts (vv. 7-8)
4. How to Discover Your Spiritual Gift(s)