Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Acts 13:1-3 called and GIFTED

Acts 13

1 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.
2 While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

The church in Antioch is praying and fasting anticipating God’s voice, anticipating God’s direction. I hope this sounds familiar. We spent 6 weeks before Easter (in the season of lent) asking God for direction. Praying and fasting. I want to draw your attention to one of the prayers we prayed.

3. God reveal to the people of Emmaus their calling and gifting to serve.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

In the 2nd week of this prayer I started listening to some new teaching on Spiritual gifts from a man named Arthur Burke. He challenge many of my assumptions, but the guy was so Biblically sound I could not help but keep listening. By the time we finished praying and Fasting I had a new understanding of how I was gifted

A prophet hear and sees God’s desire in situations, cultures and systems. Their responsibility is then to communicate this to the group in a way that brings correction and encouragement. They bring God’s truth and desire in love.

A teacher takes what is already available from history and the written record and uses their ability to teach and train others.

But not everyone in the church was supposed to be a prophet or a teacher. Paul Himself Lays out a understanding of Gifts that reinforces this. I want to share this understanding of Gifts with you this morning, but first I want you to know why I am sharing it. I believe these believers who are seeking God’s Call and direction on their life already know how they have been gifted and created for service to God.

I need to be blunt that I don’t think we have arrived at that place yet. I think many of us literally have the cart before the horse. We want to know what our ministry and calling should be, but we have no idea what Kind of Gifting (Horses) are going to drive that Cart. Where we are gifted is where God has made us Strong and were our greatest potential for bringing Glory to his Kingdom is.

What I am going to share now is hopefully just going to wet your appetite for gaining further understanding of how you are gifted.

A central important place in the Bible to look when talking about Spiritual Gifts is I Corinthians 12
I Corinthians 12
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

These gifts of the Spirit are what we call manifestation gifts. They are given by the Holy Spirit for the strengthening and building up of the church, and they can come and go based on the Holy Spirits Will.

Next we have Vocational Gifts that were created by Jesus for the Building of His Body the Church. These are some times called offices and when someone is given the authority of this office often they are gifted beyond their ability to fulfill the demands of the office.
Finally, this designation maybe new to some of us be we are calling these Gifts of God the Father Redemptive Gifts. For they are given to every person by God for the Redemption of the world.
Lets look specifically at each group.
Manifestation Gifts are listed in I Corinthians 12

I Corinthians 12
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
10 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.
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

Manifestation Gifts
• Wisdom
• Knowledge
• Faith
• Healing
• Wonders
• Prophecy
• Discernment
• Tongues
• Interpretation

These gifts are only available through a relationship with Jesus Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. These are gifts that must be intestinally sought after through seeking a stronger relationship with the Holy Spirit. These Gifts can come and go. Through the power of the Spirit any of us can be instruments in healing, but we may not all have a ministry of healing. These gifts like all the gifts require a process of Growth and maturity. The gift of discernment requires the disciple of listening intently to God and others. The best way to grow in the Manifestation gifts is to seek the Holy Spirit in prayer and find someone mature in moving in this gift.

Vocational Gifts are listed specifically in Ephesians 4
Ephesians 4
11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
The key to this set of gifts is found in verse 12
12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

These vocational gifts

Vocational Gifts
• Apostles
• Prophets
• Evangelists
• Pastors
• Teachers

Are to be in service to the rest of the body of Christ (not the other way around)? I will argue that no one is born an evangelist. Instead they are called, appointed and given authority by the Church Body to function as evangelists and to equip others to evangelize. I believe Christ empowers people to fulfill these roles he calls them to and places them in.

Redemptive Gifts are listed in Romans 12
4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Listed in Romans 12 are 7 gifts that I believe can be found as the foundation of our life with God. I believe each person majors in one of these gifts.
Redemptive Gifts
• Prophet
• Servant
• Teacher
• Exhorter
• Giver
• Ruler
• Mercy

These gifts describe the spiritual DNA and Personality we were given by God the Father at birth. Even if a person rejects Jesus and the Kingdom of God they will still have this redemptive Gifting active within them. This is their Birth right as a human being created in the Image of God.

However, redemptive gifts that are not submitted to the will and power of God become corrupted and distorted. For those of us who desire to know God and have his will done in our lives this Redemptive gift is our foundational Calling in the World. As we learn to grow and mature in our gift we will fulfill God’s desire for our lives and possess our birth rights as Children of God.

Like I mentioned before you should know be dieing to know more about these redemptive gifts. What yours is and how it can be developed and nurtured.

What about the 3 categories of Gifts (Manifestation, Vocational, Redemptive) really makes sense? Are their clarification questions you have on the 3 categories?

Next Face to Face discussion June 29th at the Ikebox (time change 8:00pm)


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