Notes on Session 15, Sunday, February 14th:
- First Session on Lesson 10
- Welcome to new members of the class
- Personal highlights from MacArthur’s message?
- Challenges in filling in Answers in Lesson 10?
- Questions to be addressed?
- Objectives for Lesson 10:
- To understand the nature and purpose of spiritual giftedness.
- To see the difference between the permanent gifts and the sign gifts.
- To exhort us to step out and minister our giftedness to the body of Christ.
Common Questions for Lesson 10:
- How are spiritual gifts different than natural abilities or talents?
- Are the gifts of healings and tongues active today?
- How do I know my spiritual gift?
Class Plan for Lesson 10:
- Clarify what we mean by spiritual gifts.
- Survey the source, purpose, and scope of spiritual gifts.
- Exhort us to exercise our giftedness.
Read the introductory paragraph of Lesson 10.
1. The Nature of Spiritual Gifts (Section 1 of Lesson 10)
The giving of spiritual gifts
- Given to each Christian by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation
- All Christians have been given a special gift, 1 Pet. 4:10-11, As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
- Our “giftedness” is a mixture of several of the gifts
- Each member of the church is uniquely gifted for different ministries within the church, 1 Cor. 12:14, 17-19, For the body does not consist of one member but of many. … If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?
The purpose of spiritual giftedness
- For the common good of the church, 1 Cor. 12:7, To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
- For the edification of the church, 1 Cor. 14:12, So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.
- Used to serve one another, 1 Pet. 4:10, So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.
- God gives His gifts to us for others.
2. The Provision of Spiritual Gifts (Section II)
The number of spiritual gifts
Refer to Section II, A
- Rom. 12:6-8 (7), Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
- 1 Cor. 12:8-10 (9), For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
- 1 Cor. 12:28b (5), And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
The permanent gifts
Review the 12 gifts listed in Section II, C
- Gifts given by the Holy Spirit for the building up of the church
- Prophecy generally means to foretell the future (temporary)
- Prophecy also includes “to preach” and “tell forth” or declare the Scripture (permanent)
- Prophecy, teaching, faith, wisdom, knowledge, discernment, mercy, exhortation, giving, administration/leadership, helps, service
The temporary gifts
Review the 3 gifts listed in Section II, B
- Gifts given by the Holy Spirit to confirm the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets
- Miracles, healing, tongues and interpretation of tongues
- Gifts manifested at the time of the early church
- The original purpose for the these gifts no longer exists today
Healing and Miracles
The purpose of healing and miracles:
- To confirm the gospel message, Heb. 2:3-4, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
- To confirm the apostles, Acts 5:12, Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico.; 2 Cor. 12:12, The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.
- To confirm Paul, Rom. 15:18-19, For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;
- To confirm the message and the messenger, Acts 4:29-30, And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
The purpose of healing and miracles no longer required today:
- Scriptures completed
- Office of Apostle has passed
The use of the gift of healing in the early church:
- Instantaneous, Mark 1:42, And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
- Complete and permanent, Matt. 14:36, and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.
- Healed blindness, paralysis, etc. Acts 3:7, And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.
- Unconditional, John 9:25, He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
Today’s “faith healers”:
- Do not heal instantaneously, completely, permanently, unconditionally
- Do not heal blindness, paralysis, etc.
God still heals today through answered prayer
Tongues and the interpretation of tongues
- A sign to unbelieving Jews, 1 Cor. 14:21-22, In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.
- Attested to the salvation of Gentiles, Acts 10:47, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
- To give a word from God to edify the church, 1 Cor. 14:26-28, What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.
The purpose is no longer required:
- Scripture is complete and sufficient, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
The manifestation today:
- Does not match that of the early church, 1 Cor. 14:26-28, 40, What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. … But all things should be done decently and in order.
- What is seen today as tongues is uncontrolled, unintelligible, done by many, all at the same time.
3. The Exercise of Spiritual Gifts (Section III)
- Exhortation to be involved in ministry
- See III, A- exercise our giftedness
- See III, D – growth of church depends on ministering together
- Finding your giftedness
- Step into ministry and ask God for guidance
- Ministering your gift in love
- See III, B and C – 1 Cor. 13 (love) wedged between 1 Cor. 12 & 14 (spiritual gifts)
- Seek the benefit of others
- Work towards unity
- Seek to care for others
4. Application (Section IV)
- Every Christian has been uniquely gifted by God for ministry
- We received our giftedness at the time of salvation
- Our giftedness is a blend of the various spiritual gifts
- We are to employ our gift in serving others, for the purpose of building up the body of Christ
- Our gifts are useless if not exercised in love
- If we do not exercise our giftedness, the growth of the church will be hindered
- All Christians are to function in at least these six basic gifts (faith, wisdom, knowledge, exhortation, giving, helps)
- Remember 1 Pet. 4:10, As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace
- MacArthur, Holy Spirit, Discernment, and Charismatic Pressure.
- John MacArthur, Cessation of Spiritual Gifts
- R. C. Sproul, Cessationist Convictions of the Reformers
- John MacArthur/R.C. Sproul, Miracles Have Ceased!
- NCC Collection and Downloadable App
- Introduction to the NCC
- NCC (Keller and TGC)
- YouTube Collection of 52 videos on NCC Q&A
- NCC Project by Knox Seminary