Do mature Christians operate in spiritual gifts? Did Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, John, etc? Do you? How many of you are blessed when your children not only OPEN but USE the gifts you give them. That is how it is with spiritual gifts. God gives every one of his children spiritual gifts and it blesses him when we use them. But, sadly, many (most) have never unwrapped their gifts. Others, seldom, if ever, use them. How about you?
by Pastor Delbert Young
Growing Up in Spiritual Gifts
Growing Up in Spiritual Gifts
Scriptures: Hebrews 5:12-6:1, Matthew 25:18, Matthew 25:19, Matthew 25:23, Matthew 25:25, Matthew 25:26, Matthew 25:28-30, 1 Corinthians 12:1, Hosea 4:6, 1 Corinthians 7:7, 1 Corinthians 12:11, 1 Peter 4:10, 1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 1 Corinthians 12:20-24, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Romans 1:11, 2 Timothy 1:6, 2 Timothy 1:6
We have been looking at the subject of spiritual maturity.
Hebrews 5:12-6:1 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the ELEMENTARY truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an INFANT, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…
Too many Christ followers find themselves held in ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT SYNDROME. The Hebrew believers written to above found themselves arrested at the elementary and infant levels. What about you? At what level of development are you?
Today I want to talk about GROWING UP IN SPIRITUAL GIFTS. Do mature Christians operate in “spiritual gifts?” Did Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, John, etc. Do you? Let’s talk about GROWING UP IN SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
How many of you are blessed when your children not only OPEN but USE the gifts you give them. That is how it is with spiritual gifts. God gives every one of his children spiritual gifts and it blesses him when we use them. But, sadly, many (most) have never unwrapped their gifts. Others, seldom, if ever, use them. How about you?
Jesus told a parable about this in Matthew 25:14-30. It is referred to as The Parable of the Talents. It is about a man who was going on a journey (Jesus) who entrusted his property to his people. To one person he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability (v15). Though each had different abilities, Jesus gave each talents.
The person given five talents took his and used them and increased them five more. The person given two talents increased his to two more. BUT…
Matthew 25:18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
The person did not use the gift. It remained wrapped up in a hole, hidden.
Matthew 25:19 After a long time the master of those servants returned and SETTLED ACCOUNTS WITH THEM.
Do we believe that one day there will be a day like that? Isn’t it interesting that “settlement day” will be directed by what we did with the gifts and talents given us? Please do not miss that.
Jesus greatly rewarded the people who took their talents and used them.
Matthew 25:23 His master replied, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s HAPPINESS!
Not only does the Lord reward us, but we experience tremendous HAPPINESS when we use and develop our gifts. Using our gifts will make us HAPPY.
Next, it was time to settle with the person who did not use the gift given him. His excuse was that he was afraid.
Matthew 25:25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.
Have you ever heard someone say something like that? “Well, I was going to step out and use my gift, but I WAS AFRAID.”? That is not a good excuse.
Matthew 25:26 His master replied, YOU WICKED, LAZY SERVANT! SO YOU KNEW that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?
We KNOW that we are to use the gifts given us. We use the excuse that we are afraid, but actually, we are lazy. We know that God expects us to use our gifts. The correct fear should not stop us from using it. The correct fear should cause us to use it.
Matthew 25:28-30 Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Our life becomes more abundant when we use the gifts that the Lord gives us. Have you ever wondered why it seems that some people constantly come out on top? It is because they use the gifts the Lord gave them. By so doing, the Lord gives them gifts that others are not using. It’s the rich get richer thing. Others constantly grope in darkness, go through crisis after crisis, gnash their teeth complaining, and unhappy. It is a serious issue not to use the gifts given you.
THERE IS SO MUCH MISUNDERSTANDING about spiritual gifts. We have a negative pendulum affect. One swing is the Charismatic believers and Pentecostals who, in their zeal to be “spiritual,” make spiritual gifts weird. The other swing, is well-meaning teachers of God’s word, who do not understand spiritual gifts themselves, teaching the gifts as unnecessary, outdated, and even demonic. Are spiritual gifts weird, outdated, or demonic?
KJV 1 Corinthians 12:1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.
Is there ignorance today concerning spiritual gifts? To me, the majority of God’s people are amazingly ignorant about spiritual gifts. Ignorance is a decision. A person is ignorant when he or she rejects the available information. By doing that, they stay (arrested) at infant and elementary levels and never GROW UP.
Hosea 4:6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law [ways] of your God, I also will ignore your children.
It is interesting that the way our parents think about things, even spiritual gifts, greatly affects us and can cause God to ignore us. It is not that information is not available about spiritual gifts. It is that many of God’s people reject the available information. By doing that, we teach our children to reject the information. God’s people suffer the destruction that our using the gifts could have prevented. For example, one of the spiritual gifts is the gift of healing. Let’s say the Spirit gave you that gift, but you hid it in a hole and never used it. Another person has terminal cancer. With your gift, which will allow the Holy Spirit to work through you, you could heal that person, but you never used it and have no knowledge as to how it works. What might happen to the person with cancer? Let’s say the Spirit gave you the gift of the word of knowledge. The Spirit wants to warn someone so that he or she will avoid a deadly car crash, but you have never used your gift. To make this just a little more intense, what if the person with the cancer is you and the person holding your healing refuses to use their gift? What if the person needing the warning about the car crash is your child? “MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED…” Jesus said, “YOU WICKED, LAZY SERVANT! …Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.” Give it to someone who will use it and minister (be a priest) to my precious people.
EVERYONE IS GIVEN A GIFT(S). The Bible makes it extremely clear by repetition that we all have gifts.
1 Corinthians 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But EVERY MAN [person] HATH HIS PROPER GIFT of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
The Greek word translated proper is idios (Strong’s #2398) and means pertaining to self, i.e. one’s own; private or separate. God gave the perfect gift to you. It is your gift. It pertains to you. It is your own private gift. It fits you. It fits your lifestyle. It fits your personality. It fits what you do. It is something that you can do and do well. IT IS YOUR PROPER GIFT. It is not weird, outdated, or demonic. It is how God designed you.
1 Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing TO EVERY MAN [PERSON] severally as he will.
1 Peter 4:10 God has given gifts TO EACH OF YOU FROM HIS GREAT VARIETY OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.
1 Corinthians 12:7 Now TO EACH ONE the MANIFESTATION of the Spirit is given for the common good.
The Greek word translated manifestation is phanerosis (Strong’s #5321) and means exhibition, i.e. expression, a bestowment. Apostle Paul said that the Holy Spirit exhibits and expresses himself through the gifts he bestowed to us. Peter said that God flows through us. Did you get that? The Spirit of God is visible (manifest) when we use our gifts. How important are gifts? A reason for the gifts to be exhibited and expressed is to show God to people.
John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
Jesus showed people God through gifts given him. People see God through our spiritual gifts.
WHAT ARE SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SPIRITUAL GIFT(S) I HAVE BEEN GIVEN? Paul gave a list of spiritual gifts.
1 Corinthians 12:8-10 To one there is given through the Spirit the MESSAGE OF WISDOM, to another the MESSAGE OF KNOWLEDGE by means of the same Spirit, to another FAITH by the same Spirit, to another GIFTS [plural] OF HEALING by that one Spirit, to another MIRACULOUS POWERS [plural], to another PROPHECY, to another DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN SPIRITS [plural], to another SPEAKING IN DIFFERENT KINDS OF TONGUES [plural], and to still another theINTERPRETATION OF TONGUES [plural].
Paul lists nine of the spiritual gifts – plural. God wants us to know that there are many gifts. What gift(s) draws you? That is your gift(s) made specifically for you.
Interestingly, Paul, in his giving the Corinthian Christians knowledge concerning spiritual gifts, did not go into a lengthy definition and description of each gift. Instead, he talked about the operation of them. The point is that we only actually learn about spiritual gifts by doing (manifesting) them, not by talking about them. For example, one person might believe that tongues are not for today, but you will never convince a person who speaks in tongues that tongues are not for today. Both could have the same teaching, but one operated (manifested) the gift.
Paul compared spiritual gifts operating in the church to a physical body.
1 Corinthians 12:20-24 As it is, there are many parts, but ONE BODY. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are INDISPENSABLE…
Paul’s point is that if the spiritual body of Christ is to mature, the spiritual gifts are INDISPENSABLE just as our physical body parts are indispensable. What body part would you want to cut off – your hand or foot? Spiritual gifts make a healthy mature church body.
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in PARTICULAR.
The apostle’s point is EVERY PERSON HAS A SPIRITUAL GIFT AND IT IS ONLY WHEN EVERY PERSON USES THEIR SPIRITUAL GIFT THAT THE CHURCH BODY MATURES AND OPERATES TO ITS POTENTIAL.
Please do not hide your gift IN A HOLE. Your SETTLING ACCOUNTS DAY will have a great deal to do with how you used your gifts. Don’t say you are AFRAID to use them. Don’t be IGNORANT of spiritual gifts. Realize that God has given you your very own PROPER gift. It is one way that you are to EXPRESS GOD. It’s INDISPENSABLE and necessary if you want to GO ON TO MATURITY.
Romans 1:11 I long to see you so that I may IMPART TO YOU SOME SPIRITUAL GIFT to make you strong
Paul is talking to a church in Rome. Spiritual gifts make a church strong and make you strong.
2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to FAN INTO FLAME the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
(KJV) 2 Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
The Bible is clear on its stand concerning spiritual gifts. Are you?
I want to end today by praying for you. I want to FAN INTO FLAME THE GIFT OF GOD in you. I want to STIR UP THE GIFT OF GOD in you. But, I do not want it to stop there. I want you to stir up your spouse and your children and any and all that you have opportunity. Let’s GROW UP IN SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
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