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Unwrapping Your Gift Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
October 16, 2020 1:00 am

Unwrapping Your Gift Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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October 16, 2020 1:00 am

God has a place of service for every Christian, and a spiritual gift every Christian can use to benefit others in that place of service. Let’s learn how to identify those gifts, and, how to put them to work. 

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One reason is Flores looking to Jesus phoned her dog has a place of service for every Christian spiritual gift and every Christian can use to benefit others in place of service today will identify those gifts and put them to work from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is going to with Dr. Erwin Sir teaching helps us make it across the finish line.

Why do some students feel as if they have no meaningful place in their churches.

You know Dave, there may be multiple reasons for that course. Often times churches don't teach about spiritual gifts or they exalt some gifts and downplay others.

So Christians don't know where they fit so I would encourage all those who are listening today to analyze themselves. Ask themselves some questions as to where they fit into the body and then to begin to use their spiritual gift.

But before we go there. I want to emphasize that I have a new book entitled pandemics, plagues and natural disasters, and the subtitle is very important.

What is God saying to us. Five chapters in this book devoted to what God has to say to us in the midst of a nation that is confused is not just cultivated all kinds of other natural disasters. Earthquakes, tornadoes, and what have you a question is what is the biblical point of view and can we have a kind of hope that survives to the end for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours.

Here is what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let's open our Bibles and discuss the topic of spiritual gifts. Some of you have possibly heard the story of a man who was filling out an application form for some financial aid because of an accident that happened in the insurance company needed more info and he gave the insurance company more information.

Is it dear Sir, I'm writing in response to your request for more information concerning block 11 on the insurance form which asks for because of injuries, wherein I put trying to do the job alone. You said that you needed more information so I trust, the following will be sufficient. I am a bricklayer by trading on the date of the injuries I was working alone laying brick around the top of a four-story building.

When I realized I had about 500 pounds of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand. I decided to put them into a barrel and lower them by a pulley which was fastened to the top of the building. I secured the end of the rope at ground level and went to the top of the building loaded the bricks into the barrel and swung the barrel out with the bricks in it.

I then went down and untied the rope, holding it securely to ensure the slow descent of the barrel as you will note on Block six of the insurance form Highway 145 pounds due to my shock at being jerked off the ground so swiftly lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope between the second and the third floors I met the barrel coming down this accounts for the bruises and lacerations on my upper body. I continue to hold tightly to the rope and proceeded rapidly up the side of the building, not stopping until my right hand was jammed in the pulley. This accounts for the broken thumb, despite the pain I retained my presence of mind and held tightly to the rope at approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out the barrel, devoid of the weight of the bricks. The barrel now weighed 50 pounds. I again refer you to block six concerning my own weight as you would guess, I began a rapid descent in the vicinity of the second floor I met the barrel coming up. This explains the injuries to my legs and lower body slowed only slightly.

I continued my descent landing on the pile of bricks. This accounts for my spring back and internal injuries. Sorry to report, however, that at this point I lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. As you can imagine the empty barrel crashed down on me. This accounts for my head injuries.

I hope that this answers your concern and please know that I am finished trying to do the job alone. There's a lesson somewhere there. God has ordained that not one of us should do the job alone, and if any one of us is not doing his or her part, the job is not being done the way it could be done and God has given us gifts and the purpose of the gifts is so that nobody would ever have to do the job along but that we might work together as a body to do what God has asked us to do on planet Earth. And as far as Moody Church is concerned what God has asked us to do right here in the big and wonderful city of Chicago.

I survived a number of different Christmases, many different Christmases I don't ever remember a Christmas at the Luther family where there was a gift under the tree that was left on open backed our gifts especially on Christmas Eve and they opened very rapidly. All of them get but it is a tragedy that God has given to us gifts gifts that sometimes we have not opened gifts that we have not investigated. We have not looked into and we have not used the purpose of this message is very clear. It is first of all to help all of us find what our spiritual gift might be, and number two that we might begin to unwrap it and to use it and to find fulfillment, yes, but something even more important that we become a part of the larger vision of what God is doing among us as a church locally and in the church scattered throughout the world.

That's the agenda and the passage of Scripture is first Corinthians chapter 12 first Corinthians chapter 12 where the apostle Paul speaks about spiritual gifts and asks us to make sure that we are functioning in a way that would please him when he begins in first Corinthians 12. He says now concerning spiritual gifts, and it really means spiritual things.

At this point I do not want you to be unaware, those of us who did a lot of Scripture memory in the King James version know that it is that you might not be ignorant. The Greek word is no skill that you might not be an agnostic regarding these things that are many people who are agnostics regarding spiritual gifts. They don't know they don't know what there is is they don't know how they function, and that they are basically ignorant yeah that's a good word. They are basically ignorant regarding these things and this passage was written to rid us of all excuses and of all ignorance regarding spiritual gifts. Paul reminds the people of their pagan past. In verse two.

You know that when you were pagans you are led astray by the dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore, I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says Jesus is accursed and no one can say Jesus is Lord accept by the Holy Spirit.

The apostle Paul says he refers to their pagan past because they knew something of giftedness in their past that was attacked. He calls the Oracle at Delphi, though there may have been other oracles that those dumb idols down because the idols themselves do not speak and yet behind those idols that were demonic spirits who gave these unintelligible princes, and so Paul wants them to know up front that there are some supernatural things that happen in pagan people's lives that are not of God and Satan is a great counterfeiter even up spiritual gifts. So Paul says no one who is speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit whatever curse Christ as possibly those pagan oracles did and no one would ever say that Jesus is Lord accept by the holy spirit, a demonic spirit would admit Christ was Lord of the had to, but he would never do it voluntarily on his own but now the apostle Paul begins to talk about spiritual gifts verse four now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. What does he mean by gifts well, it's the Greek word charismatic or charismatic, which comes from the word Caras, which is grace. It is a gracious gift that God gives to us that we mind to be able to function well and productively within the body of Jesus Christ. It may be related to a natural talent, but it may be something quite separate from a natural talent.

It may be some way in which we are wired by God to function in such a way that we will meet a need in a way that no one else will. That is a spiritual gift I might say that Paul uses that were gift in other ways to for example he talks about the gift of marriage and the gift of celibacy. Now this is proof that one cannot have all spiritual gifts would be very difficult to see how one can have both the gift of celibacy as well as be gifted by the blessing of marriage.

But the apostle Paul here is using it in a more specific sense those gifts and abilities that God gives us to just serve. These are gifts that help us work within the body of Jesus Christ. So all Christians.

All Christians should be charismatics.

They should all be interested in the gifts. Let's notice some characteristics here all the way in which the apostle Paul lays this out now in the verses before us.

First of all, he says that all gifts have the same source. They originate in the purpose and plans of a sovereign God verse four now there are varieties of gifts, but the same spirit word to underline might be that word same. There are varieties of ministries, but the same Lord. There are varieties of the facts, but the same God who works all things in all persons. Do you notice that the entire Trinity is involved in gifting the spirit is involved. The Lord is involved. That is, Christ is involved and God is involved. God's not as intensely interested in the gifting of his people to do his work on earth, but I want you to notice that they all have the same source, and that is God.

God that's comforting that not only means the same source for old Christians but when you think of a local congregation like Moody church, the source of the giftedness of the people whom God brings to us the source is God. That means that if we don't have enough Sunday school teachers. It means that we are doing a poor job of developing spiritual gifts because God is committed to providing leadership for his people, and if there are not enough small group leaders and if there are not enough elders and if there are not enough deacons is that it is that we lacked in the training of people because God gifts his church and God knows what our need is that what this also means is that whatever God gives us if it functions properly. There's going to be a basic unit.

Oh, not a sameness not a monotonous sameness by no chance in the world. Will that happen because God loves variety. When he make snowflakes. He makes every single one of them different when he makes finger prints. They are all different, because God is about a variety and Eddie's painting a picture and the mountain doesn't criticize the stream because it is different than the stream doesn't criticize the trees and the trees don't criticize the lakes because because they're all part of the picture.

The church is not a melting pot as much as it is a tossed salad where everybody has something to contribute and we are all different and we maintain our individuality and our differences and yet there is the unity of the spirit that is brought about by God. Notice in verse seven, Paul says all gifts have the same purpose.

He says to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

Say we are not just gifted that we might edify ourselves and that we might feel good, though, that happens to theirs is nothing more fulfilling than serving God in the area of your giftedness is not even the primary purpose the primary purpose is that we might serve the larger body of Jesus Christ.

That expression common good in Greek is Symphony that there might be a symphony at a Symphony is all these diverse gifts you have violinists and you have those who played the flute and you have these different instruments that come together in one harmonious crescendo of praise to God all different, all unified all led by the same conductor.

Now Paul is saying that that's the purpose of the giftedness of the church is for the common good and we play this symphony of first of all, for God. That's why we come to church. It is for God. It is not for us. If you leave here sometime and you say you know we didn't get a blessing today.

Remember events happening is to say that I've never been in a meeting at Ray didn't get a blessing that had some mighty close calls.

Maybe today Josť and I had a close call want you to know today that that even is not as important as the question of whether or not is the last God should be blessed.

Now we do it for God. We do it for this strengthening of the body, but we do it. Also because of our witness to the world. The reason that we teach is that we might reach. The reason that we come on Sunday is that we might go on Monday. The reason that we are edified is that we might evangelize our our picture must always be beyond our walls and that's where many of the gift are exercise not just within here but out there. There are gifts that are exercise happen to walk through the nursery this morning see how things were going on there and it was under very much control.

I was not needed.

I can assure you in the nursery, but in meeting one of the lady. She was talking about someone across the street homeless. One to whom she had given some material some books and tapes. Some financial help.

You see there's an exercise of gifts well beyond these walls and backed illustration as well as many many others. Now back to the text pulses that these gifts have the same source. They originate in the tri-Yoon God. They have the same purpose to each one is given the manifestation of the spirit and by the way, those acts of kindness are manifestations of the spirit. For the common good. For the sake of the Symphony. I want you to notice what those gifts actually are. How different they are in function same source same purpose, but different function pick it up in verse eight, and here were going to list some of the gifts and I will make only brief comments about them. To some, he says, are given the gift of wisdom. Wisdom.

Now, that's the ability to take knowledge and to apply it.

A wise person is someone who can give advice, even if there is no special verse of Scripture for it. They understand the principles they can apply those principles if you want to have a counselor and you need is somebody to give you some advice. They hopefully he or she would have big gift all wisdom and how we need that in the church.

He says the gift of knowledge. These are the people who know everything and they may be the people who win every time the Trivial Pursuit because they remember the name of Freud's dog and and other very very interesting things, but that they sometimes become our professors in our universities and in our colleges because they they have a lot of knowledge.

I don't think that this means necessarily that they have the ability to prognosticate to predict the future, or to be able to look into someone's eyes and say your diseases this or that but they do have a penchant. They do have a bent toward the accumulation of knowledge and they are needed within the church and then he says faith.

This is not saving faith which every Christian as this is a special kind of faith. The trust God in difficult circumstances and trust God for special answers and miracles, but some of us may not have the ability to trust God for the gift of faith. Gifts of healing.

Notice that he puts it in the plural. Perhaps the reason is because that not everyone was getting healed by one person. Maybe there were those who had a gift of healing for a particular kind of ailment, but not for another. Maybe there were those who could heal at a certain time and be used of God and that and I nodded. Another time this this is a variety of gifts effecting of miracles. There is a lot of overlap here in the gifts just like wisdom and knowledge have overlaps all gifts of healing and the effecting of miracles, prophecy in the early church there were those who would foretell the future. Prophecy is also preaching and sharing the word of God.

I don't mean standing behind a pulpit and preaching. It may be that being able to give that word of exhortation profits are always very hard on sin.

They may have a great hatred for hype hypocrisy and and therefore profits are often not well liked distinguishing of spirits. Jesus said that someday, there may be those who would come before him and say Lord, have we not prophesied in your name and in your name.

We've done many wonderful works. Jesus will say to them. I never knew you. You are workers of iniquity. The distinguishing of spirits.

How desperately that is needed today because within the church today you have those who think that everything that is supernatural is of God as long as it is done in the name of Jesus. Not so the miracles in the seventh chapter of Matthew Don in the name of Christ. Christ will say I never knew you. So that is a gift and then tongs and the interpretation of tongues.

There also two other gifts that are listed a little later in the chapter and we can pick those up in verse 28 near the end of the verse that says helps an administration to other gifts will my friend, this is Pastor Luther and I certainly hope that you tune into running to win next time. As we continue this discussion of spiritual gifts, let me ask you another question. Have you ever been put off at the silence of God. When we look around and we see the devastation of natural disasters we have to ask ourselves the question, does God actually care about us or does he just say that he cares about us. All these kinds of questions are discussed in my new book entitled pandemics, plagues and natural disasters. What is God saying to us.

I emphasize that the church of Jesus Christ has been here before. During the early centuries there were plagues that sometimes wiped out 25% of villages and cities. How did Christians understand that how did they react and what do these kinds of events teach us the book is entitled pandemics, plagues and natural disasters, and for a gift of any amount. It can be yours.

I want to thank you in advance for your support of this continuing radio ministry because of you running to win is now heard in more than 20 different countries of the world, so connect with us.

Go to RTW RTW or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 if people aren't serving where God wants them to serve in the local church. The whole ministry is shortchanged. It's like an old alarm clock missing gear next time I'm running to win the learn what spiritual gifts are and why it's so vital if we find out which gift or gifts you have running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody church

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