Text: Eph. 4:11-12 - "It was he who gave some so the body of Christ may be built up".
(3) Ministry Gifts
Discovery - This is the act of detecting something new, or something "old" that had been unrecognised as meaningful.
* To learn about or encounter for the first time, realise, * To find after study or search: I discovered a leak in the tank.
Maximise - To maximise something is to use it to its fullest or to get the most out of it.
Ministry Gifts - "Ministry" qualifies the gifts we are refering to here - hence our text - Eph. 4:11. compare verse 8 "And gave gifts to men" O.T. (Exo 36:1 Bezalel, Oholiah and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how. There are controversies as to the actual number of gifts in the Bible. For sake of broadness and balance we shall look into the three major passages regarding spiritual gifts in the Scripture. Romans 12:6-8; Eph. 4:11-13 & I Cor. 12:1-10.
A. Ministry: These are ministry gifts to be leaders in the body of Christ. None is above the other, they are to help and complement each other
1. Apstles: A pioneer - Eph. 4:11;
(2) Prophet: Fore-teller and forth teller of God s word - Eph. 4:11;
(3) Evangelist: Harvesting Ministry - Eph. 4:11;
(4) Pastor: A herdsman of God s people - Eph. 4:11;
(5) Teacher an instructor of God s Word - 1 Cor. 12:28.
These are the major leadership and ministry offices that were apparent in New Testament Church. They are all related to each other.
The Prophet sees Macedonia where the Church is to be established.
* The Apostle is informed. He organises the Church workers and the evangelist to go and preach there.
* The converts won are given to the Pastor. The teacher is to assist the Pastor in nurturing the converts.
B. Other minor but important Ministry gifts are:
(6) Ruling: Take the lead by example - deacon - Rm. 12:8;
(7) Giving: To give out liberally and sacrificially - Rm. 12:8; (8) Helps: Console, encourage and strengthen others - 1 Cor. 2:28;
(9) Intercession: Praying and interceeding for others with insight - Rm. 11:2;
(10) Singer - Inspires others through a song of music - 1 Cor. 15:16;
(11) Door Keeper: One who waits at the threshold of the door - Ps. 84:10.
C. GIFTS: The list of Charismata is in 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28-30.
The nine (9) manifestation of the Spirit to be discussed now are divided into three (3) division as follows:
(i) Gift of Revelation (Mind Gifts)
(1) The word of wisdom - 1 Cor. 12:8;
(2) The word of knowledge - 1 Cor. 12:8; (3) The discerning of Spirit - 1 Cor. 12:10.
(ii) Gift of Inspiration (Vocal Gifts)
(4) Prophecy - 1 Cor. 12:9; (5) Divers kinds of tongues - 1 Cor. 12:10;
(6) Interpretation of tongues - 1 Cor. 12:10
(iii) Gift of Power
(7) Faith - 1 Cor. 12:10;
(8) Gifts of healing - 1 Cor. 12:10;
(9) Working of Miracle - 1 Cor. 12:10, 28
Spiritual gifts are extraordinary grace - gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed on sincere Christians for special services. Through these supernatural abilities, the believers is able to accomplish the will of God for his life or in the life of others. These gifts are our privileges that has been bound by sin but which was loosed by the ascension of our Lord - Rev. 5:1-10. The gifts had been poured out on men - Eph. 4:8-10.
The Greek word for gift is Charismata - meaning gifts of grace not worked for. Everyone has at least, a gift. No self-choosing but sovereignly distributed by the Holy Spirit - 1 Cor. 12:4-7,11.
The purpose of these Charismatic gifts are:
(a) To build up the body of Christ - Eph. 4:11-13;
(b) To edify the Saints - 1 Cor. 12:4-7
(c) To convict and convert sinners - 1 Cor. 14:12-25, Acts 2:12;
(d) To profit withal - Matt. 25:14-30
BENEFITS OF THESE GIFTS TO THE CHURCH
* They demonstrate the supernatural power of God;
* They reveal the presence of God in the Church;
* They instill the fear of sin in the Church;
* The plan of the enemy will be uncovered;
* The Church will be edified and Christ glorified;
* MIracle will be a daily occurence;
* The work of God becomes easy and interesting; * The kingdom of God will be expanded.
Don t confuse Spiritual gifts with the following:
Natural Talents: God sometimes transforms natural talents at Salvation to spiritual gift.
Fruit of the Spirit: It is the indispensable foundation on which all gifts are excercised.
Christian Roles: We are all to pray, witness, give and have faith, yet they are gifts also.
Counterfeit Gifts: Satan can and does counterfeits gifts.
How the Gifts are Received and Kept
1. Submission of one s life to the will of God - 2 Tim. 2:19-21;
(2) Receive the Holy spirit infilling - Acts 1:8; Acts 19:1-6;
(3) Desire the supernatural, purity is the price for power - 1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1;
(4) Have the right motives; (5) Prayer and fasting - Acts 13:1-4; (6) Move with anointed people - Prov. 27:17;
(7) Accept God s wisdom - 1 Cor. 12:7-11; (8) Launch out in Faith - 1 Kings 8:44.
4. How Do You Discover Your Gifts?
2. Develop and
* Read and Study about spiritual gifts - Learn from others, ask questions from those who know better, you are to be a Coach;
* Pray and ask God for confirmation;
* Explore all possibilities;
* Examine Yourself;
* Evaluate your effectiveness;
* Confirmation from the body.
5. Gifts Bluntness
* Praise loving;
* Position Seeking - 3 Jn. 9:10;
* Talkativeness; * Too much eating - Gen. 25:29-30;
* Grieving the spirit - Isaiah 63:10;
* Lack of self control;
THE RT. REV. ABEL AJIBODU The Bishop, Diocese of Ile-Oluji
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