Q2 SS-2012 Lesson 3: Spiritual Gifts for Evangelism and Witnessing (read Lesson 3)
…. the one that is given to you by the Holy Spirit. That amazed me. Let’s explore it from the text.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12, NKJV).
Two things that stood out in my study were firstly, gifts are given and secondly, they are given by a specific being: the Holy Spirit. Apparently, gifts are not something that we are born with - they are not talents, right? Interesting! So we can actually have talented church leaders who may not have received the gift for that ministry. I always wondered how a once presumptuous sinner like myself (emphasis on “presumptuous”) could have still led out in church appointed positions. Reminds me about that sermon Pastor Johns preached on Bar-Jesus - "Behind Enemy Lines".
Thank God that even though we are or aren’t as talented as the next person, the Holy Spirit is ready and waiting to gift us for ministry. All we really need to do is allow the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. And it seems that it is critical that we get our gifts from the Holy Spirit, so that we are using them, and not just our talents, for God’s glory and souls’ salvation.
Additionally, and very importantly, the Spirit gives individuals ‘some’, not ‘all’ of these gifts so that, in one (and only one) accord, we can repeat what the disciples did when they baptized many.
But now to the meat of the matter - how does one actually receive his/her gifts? We find the answer in 1 Peter 4:7-11, and it perfectly corroborates the mission outlined this year by our pastors.
- Pray - (verse 7) Butthe end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
- Love - (verses 8-9) And above all things have fervent love for one another, for“love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one anotherwithout grumbling.
- Serve - (verse 10)As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another,as good stewards ofthe manifold grace of God.
- And I will state the obvious: Glorify His name - (verse 11)If anyone speaks, let him speak as theoracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, thatin all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Key Thought for Lesson 3: Spiritual gifts are special attributes given to each member to be used for God’s glory and for the saving of souls.
As a church we have rightly emphasized the spiritual gift of prophecy, but we have not always stressed the importance of other spiritual gifts for ministry. Yet, it’s important that we do so. It’s a clear biblical doctrine; thus, as a church, we need to take these gifts seriously in order that members can become comfortable with receiving and exercising those gifts.
It is unfortunate that many church members do not take advantage of the gifts they have been given. There are many reasons for this lack. Sometimes the fault lies with the members themselves. Sometimes, perhaps, more could be done to encourage members to discover their gifts and then use them in ministry and outreach under the direction of the Holy Spirit. What a waste to have a gift and never use it for that which it was intended.
*Study this week's lesson to prepare for Sabbath, April 21.
Key Questions - Sabbath, April 21:
- What do you think your own gifts are, and why? (Take a quick ‘spiritual gifts inventory’ - if you aren’t sure what your gifts are. Note: this is by no means an ‘absolute’ evaluation of your gifts)
- Think of your own part, your own role, your own ministry in our church. Where does it fit in with the mission of our church as a whole? (In case you forgot, our vision + mission is: Metro Connects to Christ, church, and community through prayer, love and service)
- All men do not receive the same gifts, but to every servant of the Master some gift of the Spirit is promised.”—Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons,p. 327. How can we help encourage all church members to discover, develop, and use their spiritual gifts? Why is it important that we do so?
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