Sunday School Lesson 24Understanding Spiritual Gifts
MEMORY VERSE: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” – 1 Corinthians 12:1-7
BIBLE PASSAGE:1 Corinthians 12:1-7 KJV
INTRODUCTION: A spiritual gift is a special divine empowerment bestowed on a believer by the Holy Spirit to accomplish a given ministry. The gift is to be used in God’s way according to His grace and discernment within the context of the Body of Christ and to help the church execute her mission on earth. The bible makes it clear that every genuine Christian is given spiritual gifts according to the Lord’s choice. Spiritual gifts can be given to us at salvation or/and cultivated through our walk with God..
- Lists Of Spiritual Gifts
- Talents And Spiritual Gifts Compared
1. LISTS OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS
Romans 12:3-8 lists the spiritual gifts as follows: prophecy, service (as deacon/deaconess), teaching, exhorting, generosity, leadership, and showing mercy. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 lists the gifts as the word of wisdom (ability to communicate spiritual wisdom), the word of knowledge (ability to communicate practical truth), faith (unusual reliance upon God), the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues (ability to speaking a language that one has not studied), and interpretation of tongues. The third list is found in Ephesians 4:10-12, which speaks of the ministry gifts of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
You can seek a spiritual gift from God and be zealous after it by seeking to develop that area (1 Corinthians 12:31). However, if it is not God’s will, you will not receive a certain spiritual gift no matter how strongly you seek after it. It is also possible that the biblical lists are not exhaustive, that there are additional spiritual gifts beyond the ones the Bible mentions as witnessed in the body of Christ today
2. TALENTS AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS COMPARED
There are similarities and differences between talents and spiritual gifts. Both are gifts from God. Both grow in effectiveness with use. Both are Intended to be used on behalf of others, not for selfish purposes (1 Corinthians 12:7)
Natural talents are often the vehicle through which spiritual gifts can be used.
On the other hand, natural talents are physical abilities to do special things, while spiritual gifts are spiritual abilities to do certain things. A person is given a natural talent as a result of a combination of genes: some have natural ability in music, art, mathematics, carpentry or mechanical aptitude and surroundings (Exodus 31:1-6). However, Spiritual gifts are given to all believers by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:3, 5) at the time they place their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. A talent can be possessed by anyone (Christian or non-Christian), while spiritual gifts are only possessed by believers in Christ. The Holy Spirit gives to the believer the spiritual gifts He desires the believer to have (1 Corinthians 12:11). While one may develop his talents and later direct his profession or hobby along those lines for personal gains, spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit for the building up of Christ’s church generally (Ephesians 4:12). While both talents and spiritual gifts should be used for God’s glory and to minister to others (1 Peter 4:10), spiritual gifts are focused on these tasks, while talents can be used entirely for non-spiritual purposes.
CONCLUSION: God is infinitely wise, and He knows through which gifts you will be most productive for His kingdom.
- Mention the various types of spiritual gifts known to you.
- What are the similarities and differences between spiritual gifts and talents?
Monday: Romans 12:3-8 (KJV)
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 (KJV)
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Wednesday: Ephesians 4:10-12 (KJV)
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Thursday: Exodus 3:1-6 (KJV)
1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
Friday: 1 Corinthians 12:11 (KJV)
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
Saturday: 1 Corinthians 12:31 (KJV)
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Sunday: Ephesians 4:12 (KJV)
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: