Posts Tagged ‘gift of god’


Under Gods Command

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

All Christians have faith. Some, however, have the spiritual gift of faith, which is an unusual measure of trust in the Holy Spirit’s power.

“Prophecy” does not just refer to predicting the future; it can also mean giving a message received from God to the community of believers: “The one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort” (14:3). The prophet Joel had written the words of the Lord, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy” (Joel 2:28). As with the gift of faith, the ability to share one’s faith with power is available to everyone (see 14:1–5), but to some the Spirit gives a special measure of this gift. Paul wrote in Romans, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith” (Romans 12:6). Some have interpreted “prophecy” to be fulfilled in various sermons throughout church history. Others, however, say that prophecy is not a sermon, but a spontaneous, Spirit-inspired message that is orally delivered in the congregation for the edification and encouragement of the body of Christ.

Opinions differ over exactly what Paul meant by “tongues.” Some believe that this refers to speaking in earthly languages that a person did not say that this refers to an “ecstatic” language, a “heavenly” language. Most likely the second view is correct. Probably the only time that the word “tongues” refers to other earthly languages is when describing Pentecost. The rest of the time in the New Testament, the word refers to ecstatic languages unknown to anyone—languages of angels (13:1). Speaking in tongues is a legitimate gift of the Spirit. The exercise of the gift demands some guidelines (as noted in chapter 14) so that the purpose of the gift—to help the body of Christ—is not lost. Those who speak in tongues should follow the guidelines; those who do not speak in tongues ought not seek the gift as a sign of salvation or of special closeness with God, for it is neither. It is a gift of God, given only to whomever God chooses. If a person has not experienced the gift of tongues, he or she ought not seek it but seek what gifts God has given. For more, see the notes in chapter 14.

Lets Bring it Home: No matter what gift(s) a person has, all spiritual gifts are distributed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit decides which gifts each believer should have. We are responsible to use and sharpen our gifts, but we can take no credit for what God has freely given us. Note that discussions about spiritual gifts usually create difficulties when two central points are overlooked: (1) Properly used, spiritual gifts are not self-serving but serve the whole body of Christ (12:7); (2) each gift becomes practically useless when used without love (chapter 13). As you seek to identify and utilize the gifts God has given you, make loving God and loving fellow Christians your highest motives.


Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 1:5-7 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.  For this reason I remind you fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 

At the time of his ordination, Timothy had received special gifts of the Spirit to enable him to serve the church (see 1 Timothy 4:14). In telling Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God,” Paul was encouraging him to persevere. Timothy did not need new revelations or new gifts; he needed the courage and self-discipline to hang on to the truth and to use the gifts he had already received (see 1:13, 14). If Timothy would step out boldly in faith and proclaim the gospel once again, the Holy Spirit would go with him and give him power.

1:6 Clearly Timothy’s spiritual gift had been given to him when Paul and the elders had laid their hands on him and set him apart for ministry (see 1 Timothy 4:14). God gives all Christians gifts to use to build up the body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12:4–31), and he gives special gifts to some through church leaders, who serve as God’s instruments. 1:6, 7 Timothy was experiencing great opposition to his message and to himself as a leader. His youth, his association with Paul, and his leadership had come under fire from believers and nonbelievers alike. Paul urged him to be bold.

Paul mentions three characteristics of the effective Christian leader: power, love, and self-discipline. These are available to us because the Holy
already received (see 1:13, 14). If Timothy would step out boldly in faith and proclaim the gospel once again, the Holy Spirit would go with him and give him power.

Lets Bring it Home:  When you use the gifts God has given you, you will find that God will give you the power you need to accomplish whatever task he gives you.  When we allow people to intimidate us, we neutralize our effectiveness for God. The power of the Holy Spirit can help us overcome our fear of what some might say or do to us, so that we can continue to do God’s work. 1:7


Under Gods Command

Romans 5:15-19 (15) But the gift is not like the trespass.  For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!  (16) Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin:  The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.  (17) For it, by the trespass of the one an, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.  (18) Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.  (19) For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 

 We were all born into Adam’s physical family-the family line that leads to certain death.  All of us have reaped the results of Adam’s sin.  We have inherited his guilt, a sinful nature (the tendency to sin), and God’s punishment.  Because of Jesus, however, we can trade judgment for forgiveness.  We can trade our sin for Jesus’ righteousness.  Christ offers us the opportunity to be born into his spiritual family-the family line that begins with forgiveness and leads to eternal life, if we do nothing we have death through Adam; but if we come to God by faith, we have the life through Christ.

Lets Bring it Home: Which family line do you belong to?


Under Gods Command

Romans 3:27-31 Where, then, is boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle? On that of observing the law?  No, but on that of faith.  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.  Is God the God of Jews only?  Is he not the God of Gentiles too?  Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.  Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. 

Most religions prescribe specific duties that must be performed to make a person acceptable to a god.  Christianity is unique in teaching that the good deeds we do will not make us right with God.  No amount of human achievement or progress in personal development will close the gap between God’s moral perfection and our imperfect daily performance.  Good deeds are important, but they will not earn us eternal life.  We are saved only by trusting in what God has done for us.

(Ephesians 2:8-10).  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 Lets Bring It Home: Why does God save us by faith alone? (1) Faith eliminates the pride of human effort, because faith is not a deed that we do.  (2) Faith exalts what God has done, not what people do. (3) Faith admits that we can’t keep the law or measure up to God’s standards-we need help.  (4) Faith is based on our relationship with God, not our performance for God.