Today we want to talk about how you can take the love of God you have received and share it with other people—how you can be an effective minister to others. In 1 Peter 4:11 it says, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." The term "oracles of God" refers back to the Old Testament when they had the Holy of Holies and put God's Word in the Ark of the Covenant. That was called "the oracle," so when it says "speak as the oracles of God," it means speak as the mouthpiece of God. Speak as if you are speaking from God. The verse continues, "If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and for ever." What this says is that you need to minister to other people, not out of your own ability, but out of the ability that God gives.
One of the great things about the Christian life is that it isn't just me or you talking to someone and sharing things from our own ability, but God Himself comes and lives on the inside of us. He begins to speak through us and flow through us. We can literally be God-possessed and have the Spirit of God flowing through us. As we start sharing with other people, we need to remember that this is what is called the gifts of the Spirit and is what they're for. God takes every single person in the body of Christ and gives them specific gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12 it says every one of us has been given different gifts according to His will. In verses 4‑6 it says, "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences [diversities] of administrations [ministrations], but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations [workings], but it is the same God which worketh all in all" (brackets mine). This means that God works these things in all of us, as verse 7 says, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal," or to profit everyone.
These verses say that God has put supernatural ability within every single one of us. You may not feel it, you may not be aware of it, but this is a promise of God's Word. If you've come this far in the Discipleship Evangelism series, if you've already made Jesus your Lord, if you've learned how to receive from God and begin to apply it in your life, then I can promise that the power of the Holy Spirit is at work inside you. You have other people's miracles on the inside of you. God has put the seed form of a miracle inside you for somebody else. It's up to you to be able to release it and get it out into their lives. Scripture says this has been given to every one of us by the Spirit. Not a single person has been left out. Nine different gifts of the Spirit are listed in 1 Corinthians 12, such as a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, discerning of spirits, working of miracles, gifts of healing, etc. There are other gifts listed in Romans 12, which I haven't time to deal with. You need to study them on your own and be aware that every single one of you has had the Holy Spirit place within you special anointing—special ability— to be able to minister to other people. Not everyone will be able to minister the way I do, for instance. You may not have a teaching gift, but every person in the body of Christ can teach by sharing their faith with another person. There are people who are called specifically to teach, people who are called to preach and pastor churches. Another gift listed in Romans 12 says there are those whose gift is hospitality. Many of you may have an ability, or gift, without being aware of it. You just have a desire to be able to be a blessing to someone. You may be the kind of person who, when you walk into a room, picks out people who seem to be ill at ease. You empathize with them, you know what they're going through, and you have a desire to make them feel at ease and to minister to them. Did you know that's a supernatural gift of God?
Romans 12 says some people have been called to the gift of giving, the ability to make money and give to support the Gospel. That is their gift, their call in life, and some of you may be called to that very thing. Some of you have the gift of exhortation. Others have the gift of administrations, typically called by the church a gift of helps. There are all kinds of things that can be done, not only in the church setting, but on a day-to-day basis dealing with people. There are some of you who have the ability to encourage those who are discouraged, something I would never be able to do just through teaching the Word. You just have a supernatural ability to go up, put your arm around somebody, bless them, and enable them. The point I'm making is that you don't need to see this as just being natural, as, "Well, that's just my personality type." You may have classified yourself as this type of person, but you know what, it was a supernatural ability God placed inside you that gave you the gifts, the talents, and the perspective that makes you gravitate toward doing certain things.
When you are ministering to other people, Scripture says you need to be ministering the things God has placed on the inside of you. We all need to become ministers, whether as a full-time vocation, on our jobs, or wherever we are. If you do it with your neighbors or people at the store, you need to do it out of the ability God gives, not out of your own ability. So, I encourage you to seek God, discover the gifts He has placed inside you, and don't discount them if you aren't called to one of the ministry gifts that is a vocation. Recognize that every one of you has had the Holy Spirit place within you supernatural ability, and then minister to other people through the gifts that God has placed inside you.
It will take time and practice. You won't be perfect the first time, so don't be afraid to practice. If you make a mistake, God won't fall off His throne, and other people will see the sincerity of your heart. Your love will minister to them even if you don't do something perfectly. Start ministering to others. Recognize that you are gifted of God, and start sharing the supernatural ability He has given you with other people.
- Read 1 Peter 4:11."If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." - 1 Peter 4:11Whose ability are we supposed to minister from?Answer
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:4."Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." - 1 Corinthians 12:4There are varieties and different kinds of spiritual gifts, but who is the source of them all?Answer
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:6."And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all." - 1 Corinthians 12:6Choose the correct statement.
- God works in only one way.
- There are different ways that God works through people.
- God only works through the preacher.
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:7."But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." - 1 Corinthians 12:7The Holy Spirit's presence and spiritual gifts are given to each of us for the good of all.True or FalseAnswer
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:8‑10."8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To 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." - 1 Corinthians 12:8‑10List and define some of the spiritual gifts that God gives people.The word of wisdomA supernatural revelation from God of His mind and purpose.
See Acts 27:21‑25."21But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 22And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. 23For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me." - Acts 27:21‑25The word of knowledgeA supernatural revelation from God of any fact or event.
See Acts 9:11‑12."11And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight." - Acts 9:11‑12The gift of faithThe supernatural ability to believe God without doubt or reasoning.
See 1 Corinthians 13:2."And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." - 1 Corinthians 13:2Gifts of healingSupernatural ability to heal sickness without human aid or medication.
See Mark 16:18."They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." - Mark 16:18Working of miraclesSupernatural intervention that produces miracles contrary to natural laws.
See Hebrews 2:3‑4."3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?" - Hebrews 2:3‑4ProphecyA supernatural utterance, inspired by God, spoken in a known language by the speaker.
See Acts 11:27‑28."27And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 28And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar." - Acts 11:27‑28Also see 1 Corinthians 14:3."But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort." - 1 Corinthians 14:3Discerning of spiritsA supernatural revelation from God of the presence or activities of spirits.
See Acts 16:16‑18."16And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. 18And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour." - Acts 16:16‑18Different kinds of tonguesA supernatural utterance, inspired by God, in an unknown language (i.e., unknown to the person speaking).
See Acts 2:4‑11."4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God." - Acts 2:4‑11The interpretation of tonguesA supernatural utterance, inspired by God, interpreting an unknown tongue.
See 1 Corinthians 14:13‑14."13Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. 14For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." - 1 Corinthians 14:13‑14Show first spiritual gift
- Read Romans 12:6‑8."6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness." - Romans 12:6‑8Define the spiritual gifts listed here that God gives people.ProphecyA supernatural utterance, inspired by God, spoken in a known language by the speaker.
See Acts 11:27‑28."27And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 28And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar." - Acts 11:27‑28Also see 1 Corinthians 14:3."But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort." - 1 Corinthians 14:3MinistryServing others, practical service.
See 2 Timothy 4:11."Only Luke is with me. Take Mark , and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." - 2 Timothy 4:11TeachingTo explain, expound, to impart instruction.
See Acts 13:1."Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul." - Acts 13:1ExhortationTo urge, advise, encourage, beseech, admonish, comfort, or warn.
See Acts 13:15."And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on." - Acts 13:15GivingSharing generously gifts offered to God and others.
See Proverbs 22:9."He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor." - Proverbs 22:9RulingLeading or leadership.
See Acts 20:28."Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." - Acts 20:28MercyCompassion shown to an offender or victim.
See Matthew 5:7."Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." - Matthew 5:7Show first spiritual gift
- Have you noticed any of these gifts working through you? If so, what gifts?
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:7."But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." - 1 Corinthians 12:7Who is supposed to profit from these gifts?Answer