Another Good Friday, how are you all doing?
I am excited and cold. Covered from head to feet (not totally though, wish I could share a picture).
It is good to have us here again, today we would be talking about something that we must have heard before. However, since I promised to make these teachings a discipleship series, meaning that if you follow from beginning to whenever it ends, you would not only know Christ as a new born, you would also grow to maturity and be well equipped to train others who would be young in the Faith.
This been said, we would be looking at Spiritual gifts today.
I would divide them into 3 different sections and take them in a space of 3weeks, so it would be easy to digest, and also we would have time to put to practise and recognize when a gift is in operation through someone else.
Are we ready? I believe we are, let us get straight into the study.
A prayer, as you go through this study, it would become clear to your eyes, understanding would flood your eyes and your gifts that might not have been used to the best of its potential would find expression, in Jesus name, amen.
Our text today would be 1 Corinthians 12:8-10
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 prophesy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.
I would be making some statements in the course of this study that I would want us to pause and think on before we make conclusions on them. Conclusions being to accept them or not.
We have a total of 9 gifts here let me divide them into three groups:
*those that REVEAL something
Word of wisdom,
Word of knowledge and
Discerning of spirits
*those that DO something
Gifts of healing and
Working of miracles
*those that SAY something
Divers kinds of tongues and
Interpretation of tongues.
For this study, we would treat just the first group, the REVELATIONAL GIFTS.
Now I want us to do a quick run through from verse one of this 1 Corinthians chapter 12 because I want to explain some things that would help us grasp the teachings on the gifts mentioned from verse 8 to 10. Let’s do it quickly
1 Corinthians 12:1 now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
Look at a King James Version, you would notice that the word gifts was italicized, this simply means that it was added to make grammatical sense.
So reading the sentence without it would give a slightly different meaning, it means that in those days, it was necessary for believers to know about spiritual things. If it was important in those days, it is still important now.
Now Paul goes ahead to explain their former state
- ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
Now that was just speaking of their former nature, who they used to be, they were led by dumb idols
Now their new nature is what Paul would talk about in the next verse, they are now Spirit led.
This is what Romans 8:1 spoke about
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
It doesn’t mean that there are some in Christ who walk after the Spirit and those ones are the people that have no condemnation, NO
It is saying that the people found in Christ have a new nature, they are the same people who are Spirit led, and they are the same people with no condemnation.
How do you now know those who are not condemned? THEY ARE THOSE WHO HAVE BELIEVED IN JESUS. (John 3:16-18)
So when Paul says this in the next verse
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost
He spoke of their new nature; before explaining Spiritual things to them, he is giving them the assurance that what they would be doing is because they now have the Sweet Holy Spirit.
So when I hear people say that someone has a diabolic power, they accept Christ and then they get filled with the Sweet Holy Spirit, and then they still use the powers of their fathers, I just assume that they don’t understand this portion of the scriptures.
Paul was telling them that they don’t call Jesus accursed because they have the Holy Spirit, and He is the one present in them to enable them call Jesus Lord. Then he went ahead to explain how this new nature operates.
From verse 4 to 7 he is just telling them that no matter how the Spirit works through you, or how the manifestation happens, do not be scared, it is the same Spirit that is doing the works. It is not another strange spirit.
Let us jump to verse 11
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Let me quickly answer some questions and give reasons briefly
# Which gift is the most important?
It is the gift needed at the very moment
#Can one believer operate in all the 9 gifts?
YES. Because a believer have the same Spirit that the other believer has.
The reason given by people to say that a believer is cannot operate in all 9 gifts is the statements made in verse 8 to 10 “to one is given……..” but they refuse to reason that they themselves or others have and operate in more than ONE of these gifts. This means when that place says “to one is given,…” it is not a restriction but a differentiation of one gift from the other.
A believer however has gifts in constant operation in their lives, but the Spirit would use us based on our availability to work any of the gifts. It is hardly about us, it is about ministering to people.
So when you meet someone who is sick, don’t go saying, I don’t have the gifts of healing, lay your hand and pray in Faith or when a word of knowledge comes to you, you say well, my gift is healings.
One last thing before we get into these gifts for today, please your ability to sing well or dance well is not a spiritual gift spoken here. Focus on the subject and you would find out that the spiritual gifts are spiritual and as we trust the Sweet Spirit, we would give expressions to these gifts already resident in the Spirit we carry whenever they need to be used to help someone and in the preaching of the gospel.
I have said many things in one place that I didn’t plan for… let us get into the 3 gifts we are treating today. I would define them, try to say what they are not and give scriptural examples, we would also see that these gifts intertwine or work together at times too.
#Word of Wisdom
This gift has nothing to do with the wisdom that comes from the knowledge of the scriptures through study. It doesn’t mean the kind of wisdom that Daniel and his friends (the Hebrew boys) had.
It is a supernatural knowing of God’s plan and purpose as revealed to a man. It might be in form of a vision or a quick flash, but it doesn’t always also come like that. It might just be an inside witness.
Just bear in mind that it foretells something in God’s mind. It deals with the future events that would happen, and God reveals this to His children in parts, when necessary.
For example in Acts 9:15-16 after Saul’s conversion the Lord speaking to Ananias said this
15 but the Lord said unto him, go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and the kings and the children of Israel
16 for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
Ananias already knew that Paul would suffer for the gospel and that he would have a ministry to the Gentiles, this ministry was set up in Acts 13:2, but Ananias had a word of wisdom about it long before Paul received the Holy Spirit.
This is all the example I would give here. Also note that these gifts are not special to a certain people, because Ananias was just a certain disciple, and he operated in the gift of the word of wisdom. Take time to go through the scriptures and discover the places that these gifts were in operation. Even in the Old Testament.
#Word of Knowledge
This gift is similar to the word of wisdom in that it is also a word from the Spirit and it can come in visions or in sounds. I like to call it the sights and sounds of the Spirit.
However, this word is a knowledge on things in the past or in the present.
I would give the same example to explain and to also show how these gifts work together. In the same Acts 9 verse 11-12
11 and the Lord said unto him, arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
So Ananias knew for certain where Saul was, and what he was doing, he even also knew that Saul was having a word of knowledge that Ananias would come and how the event would play out.
Imagine how many people would be helped as we allow these gifts to be in operation through us, if we allow for their expression, we would learn as we go. More often than not, Spiritual things require Faith and boldness, Kenneth Erwin Hagin in a book wrote of how his wife got someone in her family filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues, she just knew it would happen and she acted on what she knew inside in her spirit.
If you know the situation in place, you would understand why Faith and boldness was needed, the person she was to lay hands on didn’t believe in praying in tongues, and she was still a young lady.
She could have imagined, what if it didn’t work?, what if, what if, what if…. Always in the negative, if we can learn to bring our ‘what ifs’ to be positive, we would achieve a lot as we are led by the Spirit.
We would see people get healed, get delivered, get saved, and you would speak things no one ever told you, by obeying promptings in your spirit, and as you walk with Him, accuracy would increase, as we exercise in the Spirit, we grow in it.
In the Old Testament also, this gift was operational, the story of Elisha and Gehazi his servant in 2 Kings 5:26 shows this: Elisha the prophet narrated an event that he clearly wasn’t present when it took place. He had a word of knowledge as it went on.
#DISCERNING OF SPIRITS
Notice that this gift is a discerning of SPIRITS, it is not the discerning of evil spirits.
It is a supernatural ability to be able to see into the spirit realm.
You can see both good and bad spirits.
I was in a meeting when these gifts were discussed and a well-meaning older woman got up and explained discerning of spirits to be having direction on how to go and what to do in our daily dealings. But she was in error
It is not a gift of discerning from the Spirit, or discernment from the Spirit, where trusting the Spirit can help in decision makings, that is not discerning of spirits.
There are no spirits to discern in deciding what course I should study or in finding the right route to a place.
I have found a group of friends who left me by praying in tongues and following promptings in my spirit, it was not a loud or even still small voice, I just prayed in tongues under my breathe and looked for them, I never took a single wrong turn till I found them, no spirit was discerned. It is not discerning of spirits
In discerning of spirits, you do not just know that a different spirit is in operation that is just word of knowledge at operation, you do have to see into the spirit realm.
I hope that was clear.
It is also for good and bad spirits. At times the physical senses would be suspended, at other times, it would not be.
This is where I would end the teaching for today, I look forward to seeing us next week as we look at the 3 gifts that DO something.
I would close with these words, all the gifts of the Spirit was in operation throughout the old testament except two that is specific for this dispensation.
Remember that these things are things that come with your new nature, in the Corinthian church, they had too much expression of these gifts that they had to get order to make them all be blessed. I look forward to a church with many expressions also in this our time and days because we need it now as much as they did back then.
Till next time,
YOU ARE A SPIRIT BEING,
YOU ARE SPIRIT LED,
YOU ARE SAVED
YOUR SALVATION IS SURE.