You don’t have to do any of this by yourself. The Holy Spirit WILL ASSIST YOU. The Holy Spirit will work through us so that others can benefit.
Preparation for evangelism is key and involves spending time in the presence of God. Prayer, worship, and meditation on the Word of God will prepare our hearts for daily divine encounters with the people who cross our paths. Jesus, who has commissioned us to “go” and “be,” will be faithful to lead people into your path.
Share: Look up these texts to identify some tips on making preparations to share the gospel. Think about your own experiences and consider what preparations you have made.
2 Timothy 2:15
Acts 4:31; 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Psalm 51:12-13; Mark 4:19
1 Peter 3:15
Matthew 28:19-20; Hebrews 10:25
What are Spiritual Gifts?
So if everyone is called to evangelism, to share the gospel to others, what are the spiritual gifts God has given to us? Do you know what your spiritual gift is?
In simplest terms, a spiritual gift is a special attribute given by the Holy Spirit to every believer, according to God’s grace, to help us in our own walk of faith and to bring others to Christ.
Share: The Bible gives us key information about spiritual gifts. Fill in the blanks:
Every Christian has at least _______ Spiritual Gift ( 1 Peter 4:10 )
No Christian has ___________ the gifts ( 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 )
We cannot ___________ our gifts; God does that job
( 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 )
There is ___________ gift that every Christian possesses (1 Corinthians 12:29-30 )
Believers must be good ________________of their gifts and will account to the Lord for how they use their gifts ( 1 Peter 4:10 )
Spiritual Gifts indicate God's call and purpose or __________ for a Christian's life ( Romans 12:2-8 )
Gifts used without __________ do not accomplish God's intended purposes ( 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 )
Spiritual Gifts are for the common good to build up the _________________ ( 1 Corinthians 12:27 )
The bottom line is that all we have is from God, so in that sense they are all gifts from God. Scripture, however, appears to set apart spiritual gifts as something different from talents and natural abilities. Perhaps we could say that talents are natural abilities that seem to be hereditary, to run in the genes. Unbelievers, as well as believers, have talents. Perhaps we could say that natural abilities are either talents or skills that have been learned through conditioning from the environment we lived in or training we have received. Again, both believers and unbelievers have natural abilities. Spiritual gifts, however, are an empowerment of divine origin, not a result of genetics, training, or conditioning. Only believers have spiritual gifts.
Ignorance Is Not Bliss!
There is a story about a certain sea captain and his chief engineer who were having an argument as to which one of them was the more important to the ship. Failing to agree, they resorted to the unique idea of swapping places. The chief engineer ascended to the bridge and the captain dived into the engine room.
After a couple of hours, the captain suddenly appeared on the deck covered with oil and soot.
“Chief!” he yelled, wildly waving aloft a monkey wrench.
“You’ll have to come down here; I can’t make her go!”
“Of course you can’t,” replied the chief. “She’s aground!”
Clearly the captain and the chief engineer wanted the best result. But by working in areas where they were not suited or gifted, the outcome was a lot of effort, a lot of sweat, but not necessarily the best result.
Maybe you have looked around in your own church. Some people are just spectators, unwilling to get involved in ministry. Others are actually involved but not necessarily where they are best suited. So the outcome is a lot of programs, a lot of activities, but not necessarily true evangelism – sharing the gospel so that people make a commitment to Christ. Perhaps you too are uncertain about how to get involved, or are involved but not sure it’s where you belong.
Because God has called you, not knowing how God wants to work through you is no excuse. One way to know how God wants to use you for the work He has called everyone to, evangelism, is a proper understanding of the special abilities He has given to you. Earlier in the lesson (Big Idea), we pointed out that God created you with these special abilities, called spiritual gifts, so that you can serve Him and the world to help others make personal commitments to Christ. There are several reasons why you should know what your spiritual gifts are:
God inspired many references to spiritual gifts in the Bible. If it was important enough to God, then it should be important to us. See 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14; Romans chapter 12; Ephesians chapter 4; and 1 Peter chapter 4.
When the book of I Corinthians was written, it was addressed to those who were obviously not very mature in the faith. Paul addressed these as elemental truths, fundamental to the Christian life.
We are asked to be good stewards of our gifts. (Read 1 Peter 4:10.) Now it is very hard to be a good steward of something we know nothing about, and of something which we do not even know we possess.
Since your spiritual gifts equip you uniquely to serve Him and others, knowing your gifts helps you to plug in to the ministry of your local church where God wants to use you.
Paul states that you should make the use of your spiritual gifts a priority in your life. So simply, when you have too many things to do, you must choose to function in the area of your spiritual gifts. You must know your spiritual gifts to set these priorities.
Knowing your spiritual gift(s) can be of great help in discerning the will of God. Choices in all aspects of your life can be taken into account whether it will help or hinder the exercise and development of your spiritual gift. For example, if you are not gifted to teach, you have a valuable insight into God’s will when you are considering which major to select for college.
Going back to the story about the sea captain and his engineer—because they were working outside of their gifts, their efforts to make the ship go, no matter how hard they worked, were futile. Not knowing your spiritual gifts can cause discouragement, insecurity, frustration, disinterest, stagnation, etc. You could end up spinning your wheels in activities, roles, and positions that aren’t suited for how God wants to work through you. You could also end up being involved in so many things, but all the wrong things.
As the story illustrates, not realizing and utilizing your gifts isn’t exactly an enjoyable way to live.
Share: Can you think about a time when you have been involved in the church and have been frustrated, but didn’t know why? Are you currently uninvolved but want to know where you can best be used? Do you know what the spiritual gifts are? Share your thoughts with the group.
What are these Spiritual Gifts?
The Bible lists various gifts of the Spirit, which are mentioned in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. It should be noted that there is much discussion among Christians as to exactly how many spiritual gifts there are. As you read the Bible chapters, you will realize that along with the gifts listed, there are gifts mentioned in one chapter that are also mentioned in another chapter. None of these lists are intended to be complete lists in and of themselves of all the gifts God gives.
Romans 12 mentions the following spiritual gifts as the special abilities that God gives to certain members of His church to…
… help others reach their full potential by means of encouraging, challenging, comforting, and guiding. To present truth so as to strengthen or urge to action those who are discouraged or wavering in their faith.
Romans 12:6-8; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; 2 Corinthians 8:2-5; Mark 12:41-44; Matthew 6:3-4
… recognize God's blessings and to respond to those blessings by generously, sacrificially, and cheerfully giving of one's resources (time, talent, and treasure) without thought of return.
Romans 12:6-8; Hebrews 13:7; Hebrews 13:17
… cast vision, motivate, and direct people to harmoniously accomplish the purposes of God.
Romans 12:6-8; Luke 7:12-15; Luke 10:30-37; Matthew 20:29-34; Matthew 25:34-40; Mark 9:41; Matthew 5:7
… feel exceptional empathy and compassion for those who are suffering (physically, mentally, or emotionally) so as to feel genuine sympathy for their misery, speaking words of compassion, but more so caring for them with acts of love that help alleviate their distress.
…explain the truths of the Word of God clearly and to apply them effectively so that those taught understand and learn. To instruct others in the Bible in a logical and systematic way so as to communicate pertinent information for true understanding and growth.
1 Corinthians 12 adds these spiritual gifts as the special abilities that God gives to certain members of His church to…
1 Corinthians 12:28-31; Luke 14:28-30
…understand the immediate and long-range God-given goals and to devise and steer the others toward the accomplishment of these goals and directives by planning, organizing, and supervising others.
… know with assurance whether certain behavior or teaching purported is from God, Satan, human error, or human power. Enablement to distinguish between truth and error, to discern the spirits, differentiating between good and evil, right and wrong.
… understand in an exceptional way the great truths of God's Word and to make them relevant to specific situations in the church. Also, the desire to seek out and learn as much about the Bible as possible through gathering much information and the analysis of that data.
…speak prayer or praise in a language you have never learned or to communicate a message from God to His people. To speak in a language not previously learned so unbelievers can hear God's message in their own language.
Interpretation of Tongues
1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 12:28-31, 14:1-40
… translate the message of one who speaks in another language the interpreter had not previously learned.
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 ; James 3:13-18; 2 Chronicles 1:7-11; Acts 6:3-10; 1 Corinthians 2:6-13; James 1:5-8; 1 Kings 3:16-28
… know the mind of the Holy Spirit in such a way as to receive insight into how knowledge may best be applied to specific needs arising for others. To apply knowledge to life in such a way as to make spiritual truths quite relevant and practical in proper decision making and daily life situations.
Ephesians 4 adds the following spiritual gifts as the special abilities that God gives to certain members of His church to…
… proclaim the gospel of salvation effectively so that people respond to the promises of Christ through conversion to Christianity and move towards discipleship.
Pastor (caring for God’s people)
John 10:1-16; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11-15; 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-2; 1 Peter 5:1-4
… assume a long-term personal responsibility for leadership and the spiritual care, protection, guidance, and feeding (teaching) of a group of believers. To nurture, care for, and guide people toward on-going spiritual maturity and becoming like Christ.
Additionally, the New Testament lists some other spiritual gifts as the special abilities that God gives to certain members of His church to…
1 Corinthians 7:1-9; 1 Corinthians 7:32-35; Matthew 19:10-12
…voluntarily remain single without regret and with the ability to maintain control over sexual impulses so as to serve the Lord without distraction. Persons remain single because they feel they can serve the Lord better that way.
1 Peter 4:9-10; Romans 12:9-13; Acts 16:14-15; Luke 10:38; Hebrews 13:1-2
…provide an open home and warm welcome to those in need of food, lodging, and fellowship. It involves a readiness to invite strangers to your home (or church) for the sake of the gospel.
…renounce material comforts and luxuries and adopt a personal lifestyle equivalent to those living at the poverty level in order to serve God more effectively.
Some scholars also add these spiritual gifts as the special abilities that God gives to certain members of His church to…
Craftsmanship / Artist
Exodus 28:3-4; Exodus 31:1-11; Exodus 35:30-35
… create artistic expressions that produce a spiritual response of strength and inspiration, and/or to create, build, maintain, or repair items used within the church to be used for ministry or the divine enablement to communicate God's truth through a variety of art forms.
Deliverance or Exorcism
Matthew 5:28; Luke 10:16-24; Acts 8:7; Acts 16:18; Luke 11:14-28
… confront demonic forces within the lives of spiritually oppressed people, and to help such people find spiritual freedom in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 6:18; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; 1 Kings 13:6; Luke 11:1-10; Matthew 6:6-15; Mark 11:22-25; James 5:14-16; Colossians 4:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 3:10
…pray for extended periods of time on a regular basis and see frequent and specific answers to your prayers to a degree much greater than that which is expected.
...present personal witness and inspiration to others through instrumental music, singing, or dancing; to praise God through music in such a way as to enhance the worship experience of others. Those listening or watching become inspired to feel the presence and majesty of God when music, song, or dance uplifts their soul in a manner that brings them closer to their Lord.
Luke 1:1-3; 1 John 2:1, 2:12-14; 1 Timothy 3:14-15; Jude 1
…express truth in a written form; a form that can edify, instruct and strengthen the community of believers. To formulate thoughts and ideas into meaningful written forms (stories, sermons, devotions, histories, prayers, songs, or poetry, etc.) so that the reader will find courage, guidance, knowledge, or edification through the words shared with them.
Jesus Used Spiritual Gifts in His Ministry
God gives many gifts to help you in your walk of faith and to bring others to Christ. Jesus was our example and used spiritual gifts in His ministry to help others.
Share: Think about the following stories of Jesus’ ministry in the Bible. For each of these stories, looking at the lists of spiritual gifts above, what spiritual gift/s would you say Jesus used?
Woman at the well
Encounter with Nathaniel
Man at the Pool of Bethesda
Unwrapping Your Gifts – DISCOVER!
When you were little and your parents gave you a gift, what would have happened had you left the gift aside without opening it? How would they have felt? Well, you have been given spiritual gifts that Jesus wants you to discover! Not everybody has spiritual gifts. Unbelievers do not. Spiritual gifts are only given to those who have committed to Jesus. Jesus said that one day Christians would do even greater ministry than He did. While this does not mean that any of us are greater than Jesus, it does mean that Christians who are also gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit can minister to more people than Jesus did because there are billions of Christians today spread across the earth. So your personal ministry, using your spiritual gifts, is the continuation of Jesus' ministry.
You have at least one gift, and quite possibly more. Before these gifts can be developed and used, you must first discover what they are. Jesus wants you to know what your spiritual gifts are so that you can know His will for you. Remember, these spiritual gifts are received from the Holy Spirit and are not achieved based on our work. They are a gift to you!