Sermon Summary

This week, Pastor Chris brought our series on the spiritual gifts to a close. Our gifts matter greatly to God because each of us will one day stand before Christ and give an account for how we stewarded the gifts He gave us. We will never live more empowered, at peace, and certain of the love of God than when we live in our gifting. When we abide through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will naturally bear the Spirit’s fruit. Chris shared the important truth that God’s heart behind every spiritual gift is love. It can be easy to operate in our gifting with the wrong heart. Holy Spirit, agape love bears underneath another in faith, even in difficulty. This love is self-giving, sacrificial, and more concerned with the benefit of the other. When we serve in love through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are serving others with the very heart of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Gifts: Supernatural abilities to glorify God through acts of service.

The Heart of Spiritual Gifts

1 Corinthians 13:1–8, 13 (ESV)

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Galatians 5:22–23 (ESV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Three Categories of Spiritual Gifts: 

  1. Sign Gifts (supernatural)
  2. Serving Gifts (deeds)
  3. Speaking Gifts (words)

1. Encouragement (also called the gift of exhortation)

  • Involves motivating, encouraging, and consoling others so they mature in their walk with Jesus. 
  • To encourage someone is to literally pour courage into them to strengthen and sustain them.

Hebrews 10:24–25 (ESV)

24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Acts 14:22 (ESV)

22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

The Power of a well-timed word

Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 12:25 (ESV)

25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Proverbs 15:4 (ESV)

4A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 16:24 (ESV)

24Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 25:11 (ESV)

11A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Do you have this gift?

  1. Do you speak a better word of faith into difficult situations? 
  2. Do you voice what God is doing in a situation? 
  3. Do people seek you out for advice and encouragement?

Warning: Pray for discernment

Ministry Areas: Kingdom Kids, Connect Team, and Coffee Shop. 

2. Leadership – People who have a clear, significant vision from God and can communicate it publicly or privately in such a way that they influence others to pursue that vision. 

Romans 12:8 (ESV)

the one who leads, with zeal…

Do you have this gift?

1.    Do others have confidence in your ability to lead?

2.    When a difficult situation arises, do others look to you for input and leadership?

3.    Do you tend to have a clear vision for a better future that others agree with?

4.    Can you build a diverse gifted team around your vision?

City Central Leadership Pathway:

  • Level 1: Volunteer: (doing) Working through tasks
  • Level 2: Volunteer Shepherd (developing) Working through discipleship
  • Level 3: Coordinator (delegating): Working through people
  • Level 4: Ministry Director (deciding): Working through leaders
  • Level 5: Pastor (designing): Working through organization
  • Level 6: Senior Leadership (discerning): Working through vision

Warning: Pride 

Ministry Areas: Audio Visual, Connect Team, Graphic Design, Kingdom Kids, Prayer Team, Safety Team.

3. Knowledge 

  • The ability to research, remember, and make effective use of a variety of information on a number of diverse subjects. 
  • These people love to study, love to learn and are not content with surface-level knowledge of topics. 

1 Corinthians 12:8 (ESV)

 …and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,

Do you have this gift?

1.    Do you have a good memory that retains and compiles lots of information?

2.    Have others frequently pointed out your ability to know and understand God’s Word?

3.    Are you a mentally curious person who finds new things to learn a fun challenge?

4.    Are you frustrated by bad teaching from someone who hasn’t done their homework?

5.    Does misinformation, lies, and untruth bother you?

Warning: “Knowledge that puffs up” (1 Corinthians 8:1).

Ministry Areas: Kingdom Kids, Connect Team, Graphic Design, Audio Visual. 

4. Wisdom 

  • Insight into people and situations that is not obvious to the average person, combined with an understanding of what to do and how to do it. 
  • It is the ability to not only see but also apply the principles of God’s Word to the practical matters of life by the “Spirit of wisdom” (Ephesians 1:17).

1 Corinthians 12:8 (ESV)

8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom

Do you have this gift?

1.    Do you have a pattern of making wise decisions for your life & family first?

2.    Do you seek wise counsel from people wiser than you?

3.    When studying the Bible do you find yourself moving toward practical actions?

4.    Do you get frustrated when people make foolish decisions that damage their life?

5.    When making important decisions, do people come to you for prayer & biblical counsel?

Warning: Critical instead of helping

Ministry Areas: Connect Team, Facilities/Maintenance, Graphic Design, Hospitality, Safety Team.

Romans 12:9–11 (NLT)

9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

1 Peter 4:10 (AMP)

10 Just as each one of you has received a special gift [a spiritual talent, an ability graciously given by God], employ it in serving one another as [is appropriate for] good stewards of God’s multi-faceted grace [faithfully using the diverse, varied gifts and abilities granted to Christians by God’s unmerited favor].

2 Timothy 1:6 (ESV)

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,

Final notes for your Spiritual Gifts

  • Use your gifts enthusiastically. 
  • Employ your gifts. 
  • Rekindle your gifts. 

Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever tried to serve in your spiritual gifting without love as the foundation? What was the result of your efforts?

2. What would be the result if we consistently tried to serve in our gifting without the power of the Holy Spirit?

3. Do you possess any of the speaking gifts discussed in this sermon (encouragement, leadership, knowledge, wisdom)? Give an example of how you’ve served in this gifting recently.

4. If you have any of the gifts discussed, did the warning Chris provided ring true for you? Give an example from your experience with this gifting. 

Application Questions

5. If you have the gift of encouragement, ask the Lord for Holy Spirit discernment to dwell within you as you seek to encourage somebody in a specific way this week.

6. If you have the gift of leadership, meditate on Philippians 2:3 this week, pursuing humility in your inner man.

7. If you have the gift of knowledge, meditate on 1 Corinthians 8:1 this week and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His purposes for the knowledge you seek.

8. If you haven’t already, determine what your spiritual gifts are and ask the Holy Spirit to root your heart in love as He activates your hands for the works of the ministry.