The Gifts of the Spirit, Pt. 2
March 30, 2014
There are many characteristics of Christianity that set it apart from all the religions of the world:
- Only Christianity recognizes the extent of man’s sinfulness and inability to do good to save himself from the judgment of God.
- Only the God of Christianity initiates the salvation of men.
- Only in Christianity does God pay the debt of man’s sin to prevent them from incurring His wrath.
- Only in Christianity does God become a man (while maintaining His deity).
This morning we are going to consider another attribute of Christianity that makes it unique: God gives every believer gifts, but those gifts aren’t ultimately for us; they are for us to use in serving others.
Paul says about this unique privilege of serving others, “I am already being poured out as a drink offering…” (2 Tim. 4:6). And there is no bitterness in those words; conversely there is joy. He is happy to be used up in serving others.
From the perspective of the world, getting gifts to give them away is crazy. We get in order to keep; we don’t get in order to give. And yet that is exactly what our faith in Christ does for us. The Spirit living within us re-orients us to thinking in new and redeemed ways about our lives.
In fact, if we are going to be completely accurate, we aren’t just given these spiritual gifts to give to others, but we are given these spiritual gifts to serve others so that we can demonstrate our love to God and serve Him. We give to and serve others with our gifts so that we can give to and serve the Lord.
That being said, we need to determine what the gifts are that the Lord has given us. There are four passages in the New Testament with six lists (1 Cor. 12 has three lists). For the sake of simplicity, I want to focus this morning on the list in Romans 12 and then next week look at a list in 1 Cor. 12.
As we begin, here again 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. The Foundational Gifts: Prophecy (v. 6b)
2. The Serving Gifts (vv. 7-8)
3. The Teaching Gifts (vv. 7-8)
4. How to Discover Your Spiritual Gift(s)