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Friday, May 11, 2012

What Is Your Superpower?

The Church strongly adheres to spiritual gifts for a time. Then, the emphasis seems to fade and people do whatever they want. The idea just doesn't seem to stick even though it is biblical. The fallen nature of people reverts to the belief that everyone should be able to do everything. That isn't true even though there is already someone reading this saying, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Anyone who takes a serious look at Philippians 4:13 will realize that all things are refering to the things God has called them to.

Each believer has been given at least one spirtual gift. No believer has been given all the spiritual gifts. The believer should listen to the Lord and do what the Lord says to do. The Lord will not require anyone to do something that can't be done without Him. He works through the spiritual gifts to accomplish His will.

Sometimes people feel guilty when they refuse to accept a position of service at the church. Many will accept the position but never show up for the service. Others, feel as if they are not being good Christians by their refusal to work in a certain area. Still others accept the position, do the work reluctantly and look forward to the moment they no longer have to serve. It shouldn't be that way.

The spiritual gifts were given to the church so that the church would have unity. Let's face it, God could do everything He needs to do without us. He requires us to do His will so that we will grow spiritually and have fellowship with Him. There is a greater fellowship when His children have unity with each other. Thus, we depend upon each other and work together. The members of the church working together for the purpose of giving God glory produces unity.

But that means we must need each other. No member has all of the gifts so that the members need each other to do God's will. So, God has given specific gifts to different people to accomplish His will, bring them to unity and felllowship with them. So, every believer should be functioning in the area of  his/her giftedness and no believer should be trying to function outside of his/her giftedness.

God does not call people to do things outside of their giftedness. He calls His Church to do great things  and equips the Church to do whatever He is calling her to do. Each new member should be a confirmation or an indication of God's will. He is gathering those whom He has gifted to do what He has or will call the church to do.

This gift or gifts which have been given are to be used in conjunction with the leading of the Spirit. They are given and governed by the Spirit. Thus, the person who lords a gift over someone is not truly employing the spiritual gift. He or she is acting under the flesh. Some people are very good at imitating a spiritual gift with the flesh.

So, one gifted in teaching who is also a natural orator may teach heresy by the flesh and confuse others who know the person has the spiritual gift of teaching. The person listening should know what the scriptures say and realize that God does not contradict Himself. Those listening should always ask for spiritual discernment for any "new" teaching.

This is true for any of the spiritual gifts. The person who has the gift of serving others may act in the flesh in his/her service. Thus, the service is used to gain an advantage over others. Those who serve in the spirit will always be thankful for the service. Those who serve in the flesh do so to satisfy the flesh.

Knowing your own spiritual gift does not exempt anyone from service. In other words, the one who has the gift of prophecy is not exempt from mercy because he doesn't have the gift of mercy. The one with the gift of leadership is not exempt from giving because he lacks the gift of giving.

The gifts provide spiritual results for those who are operating under the Spirit with their spiritual gifts. The prophet speaks for the Lord with a special power. The teacher gives the reasons and details of the teaching as one who has walked with the Lord. The person with mercy sees the need to be merciful when others would rather wask their hands over the matter.

In short, we have been given special spiritual gifts to see our Lord personally and corporately. We see Him as He works in us and as He works in His body, the church.

Are you serving God with your spiritual gift? It is His power working in you. It is your superpower.

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (NIV) 1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.


high-expressions said...

Indeed the "all" in Phil 4: is NOT just everything.

In my most recent Divine Healing Meeting message, when I stressed that we cannot anyhow ascribe our own meaning or interpret anyhow, the verses in Scripture, like the word, "all" in some of the scriptures, like how some people interpret "all" in "At entry into salvation, we are forgiven of all our sins" to include one’s FUTURE sins too were forgiven at the moment of his born-again (which I believe is NOT the correct assigning of meaning to the word "all"), I was “told off”, in relation to Heb 6:4-6, which I touched on, in that meeting, and which (the Hebrew text) refers to the "impossibility" of return back to the Lord of non-infant believers who have fallen away.

“It is God's word, it said there, it is impossible; means, it is impossible”, said the person; implying I don't walk my talk".

Heb 6:4-6, said "It is impossible for one ...." and I said it is quite impossible, but there is still the possibility of grace coming from one of the heads grace (for example, grace from the sovereignty of God), coming true (The actual subject of my message being the heads of grace). I was told, "No, it said there it is impossible; so, it was to be interpreted as IMPOSSIBLE, nothing short of that!

Although I am NOT going to dwell on that Heb 6:4-6 text, and specifically on that word, "impossible" as used in that text, here, it goes to show that, it is very common that people read scripture and assign meaning to a verse, without regard to (a) context of the verse, (b) the overall counsel of the Word, (c) the writing style or linguistic tendencies of the authors of the various books of the Word.

I cannot stress enough that all of the 3 above must be borne in mind when we interpret Scriptures. You cannot even ignore the 3rd item above. A clear example of it can be expounded from 1 John 3:9 which reads as below:

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (KJV)

Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (NKJV)

“He cannot sin”, what does it mean? It is NOT as what many overly grace believers would like it to mean, that it is impossible for a believer to sin. It does NOT mean that! It does NOT mean believers are incapable of sinning! The correct understanding to be ascribed to it, is NOT impossible or unable but SHOULD NOT – he SHOULD NOT sin. It is the writing style or linguistic tendencies of the Apostle John, to write in such manner when he wanted to stress the superlative. I hope you don’t mind, Ps Prentis, I leave the link here, of my blog site exposition of this verse 1 John 3:9 - Those who want a detailed look at what I mean, can go read the article given.

Ps Prentis said it, in one line, the “all” in Phil 4:13, is NOT literally anything. He said, it is referring to things God called him (Paul) to do. Ps Prentis is right. If you want a detailed exposition of this, again I leave here, the link to my exposition explaining what Ps Prentis said in one line -


high-expressions said...

Cont. from above

If you do care to read and ponder about the 2 expositions, the links I have given here, you will find that, truly, one cannot just lift singular verse from Scripture, without paying attention to the 3 guides to interpretations I talked about above (there are more guides, though). Teachers of the Word might appear to you as having an easy job, of just lifting singular verses off the Word to speak about a issue or a point, but true teachers of the Word would have subscribed to the 3 guides above.

Ps Prentis went on to talk about serving and the gifts of the Spirit. I am trying to think of the link Ps Prentis was hinting; perhaps, he was wanting to caution that one should NOT be overzealous with “I can do everything, that I am with the Holy Spirit”; and in that, he borrowed the Phil 4:13 to give understanding, that it is NEVER everything as in ANYTHING GOES.

The perspective given by PS Prentis is very good, and there are nuggets of understandings that we should all be subscribing to. I shan’t repeat aspects that were already nicely given there.

I will just stress 3 points:

1. Don’t thumb down (Ps Prentis did NOT do that) the manifestation of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:7). Or in other words, don’t quench the Holy Spirit’s move. It said there, in v7, the manifestation is for a purpose.

2. Indeed, the gifts of the Spirit are for common good. Ps Prentis asked the question, “What is your superpower?” If I may add, is anyone of you asking, “How come I don’t seem to have a superpower or that superpower?” The gift, the power and the manifestation thereof, is for a purpose; it is for common good. You cannot want the gift, and at the same time NOT prepared to use it as intended! If you read the Corinthians’ text given by Ps Prentis, service and serving are written across it. If you do NOT want to serve, if I were the Spirit of God, why would I give the gift(s) to you? No, I am NOT saying if you serve, God MUST give you the gift; but if you will NOT serve, it would be rare for God give you the relevant gift (or activate the gift)!

3. I cannot agree with Ps Prentis more, there is always temptation for us to abuse the gift of the Spirit (especially, when “we get more powerful”). We are to watch it, that our flesh does NOT manipulate through the purported exercise of spiritual gifts.

By the way, talking about absolute in Scripture, are the gifts and calling of God really irrevocable? There is such a verse in Scripture! Is the translation rendering really correct? Is it as it is commonly stated or is it more correct to render that verse as “The gifts and calling of God are without regret.”?

Get your heart right with God. Serve with a right heart. Ask him for the gift, the power and the manifestation thereof, for the common good. May God today empower you with a supernatural gift which you will cherish and wield according to His desires, bringing glory unto His Name. Amen.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

Em said...

I'm sorry, but your terminology confused me at first. You used the term "spiritual gifts," but what you were actually talking about was the Five Fold Ministry offices (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, Teacher), and other offices in the church (Deacons, Elders, Helpers, Governors). I think you were talking about people accepting and operating in their calling, functioning in their God-given TALENTS in the corporate setting. The Gifts of the Spirit are those nine mentioned in the verses you quoted. The two are very different. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not attempting to be in any way hostile or contentious. I simply had a difficult time understanding what you were referring to with the term "spiritual gifts." You also mentioned the gifts of mercy and giving. Could you please elaborate on that? Is it in the Bible somewhere? I'm not familiar with it.

Prentis McGoldrick said...

There are actually three "sets" of spiritual gifts. There are other gifts mentioned in other places in the Bible as well. Most people accept Romans 12: 6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11 as "sets" of gifts. Ephesians 4:11 is a set gifted positions given to the Church. There are other places which reveal other gifts. For example gifts of music, singleness and other talents are said to be gifted. People differ on whether these are spiritual gifts or talents. Good questions!