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Concerning Spiritual Gifts

Unwrapping The Gifts

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe | April 29, 1975

Selected highlights from this sermon

In 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, Paul identifies numerous spiritual gifts. We cannot function in the body of Christ if we don’t know how to use our spiritual gifts, and we can’t learn how to use them until we’re able to identify them. Ask God to bless the gifts He’s given you to be used for His glory.

Transcripts for Dr. Wiersbe's sermons are forthcoming. Below is an outline of his message.

In both Corinthians and Romans Paul moves from spiritual gifts to a discussion on love.

Our responsibility is to identify and classify the gifts in order to understand and open them.

Identification of the spiritual gifts:

-       Apostles (1 Corinthians 12:28)

  • An apostle is one who is sent with authority.
  • Jesus chose 12 apostles and gave them authority.
  • Two qualifications for being an apostle: has seen the risen Christ and performed miracles that accredited His message.
  • There are no apostles today in the New Testament definition.
  • Apostle can also mean one who is sent with a commission, a missionary.

-       Prophet (1 Corinthians 12:28)

  • A prophet is one who speaks forth the message of God.
  • The person who prophesies is primarily preaching to believers.
  • We don’t need prophets today because we have the Word of God.
  • There will be two prophets again during the tribulation.

-       Teachers & pastors (1 Corinthians 12:28)

  • Pastors shepherd people by teaching the Word of God.
  • Pastors feed, discipline, cleanse, and love though the Word.
  • Every pastor is supposed to be a teacher.
  • Not every teacher is supposed to be a pastor.
  • A teacher explains and applies the Word of God.

-       Evangelists (1 Corinthians 12:28)

  • Evangelists have a special gift for winning souls.
  • Everyone is supposed to do the work of an evangelist, spreading the Good News.

-       Miracles (1 Corinthians 12:28)

  • The apostles had the gift of miracles.
  • Oftentimes people misinterpret miracles. Many people saw Jesus’ miracles and still rejected the Gospelmessage.
  • The Word of God, not miracles, changes the heart.
  • God can still give miracles where people need them, but He has also given us a miracle book: the Bible.

-       Healings (1 Corinthians 12:28)

  • Those with the gifts of healing in the New Testament did not advertise their gift with healing meetings.
  • There is divine healing, not divine healers.
  • If there is a person with gifts of healing it should be practiced as it was in the New Testament.

-       Helping (1 Corinthians 12:28)

  • People with the gift of helping work behind the scenes.

-       Governments (1 Corinthians 12:28)

  • People with the gift of governments are the organizers, planners, and guides who lead with God’s wisdom.
  • There is a difference between natural ability and spiritual gift.

-       Diversity of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:28)

  • Will explain in a later message.

-       Wisdom and knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8)

  • Spiritual wisdom is given to a person by the Holy Spirit.
  • There is a difference between Bible knowledge and spiritual wisdom.
  • The gift of wisdom means using spiritual knowledge in the right way.

-       Faith (1 Corinthians 12:9)

  • All believers have saving faith.
  • The gift of faith is over and above the faith of others.
  • Everyone’s faith should grow, but don’t compare your faith to others.

-       Discerning of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10)

  • Satan would love to get into a Christian meeting and start spreading lies.
  • The Holy Spirit gives people guidance and wisdom in knowing the true spirit of God.

-       Ministry (Romans 12:7)

  • The gift of ministry is also the word for service.

-       Exhorters (Romans 12:8)

  • Exhorters can stir people’s hearts with their words.

-       Giving (Romans 12:8)

  • Most people with the gift of giving don’t have an abundant income.

-       Merciful (Romans 12:8)

  • Those who have the gift of mercy show compassion on those around them.

Paul does not necessarily give us a list of all the spiritual gifts, but they all fit in the general categories given. 

We cannot function in the body of Christ if we don’t classify the spiritual gifts so we know how to use them.

Any gifts that helps build up the church are the best gifts (e.g. sharing the Word of God, winning the lost).

Classification of the gifts:

-       First, speaking gifts: prophecy, teaching, exhorting, wisdom.

-       Second, serving gifts: helping, governing, giving, and mercy.

-       Third, sign gifts: faith, healing, tongues, miracles, and interpretation.

We should seek the gifts that Paul classifies as the best gifts.

Ask God to bless the gifts He has given you to be used for His glory.

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