Romans 12:6-8 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. NKJV
Paul now moves into the practical as he urges, exhorts, and encourages every one of us to get busy in the use of our spiritual gifts. Paul has already made the comparison of Christ Mystical Body made up of different people of different kindreds, tongues, and nations to our physical body with different internal organs and external limbs doing their individual parts so that the body can operate or function adequately, properly, and safely. Paul made this very point clear when he wrote to the Corinthian believers with these words, 1 Corinthians 12:14-21 For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” NKJV
A person’s physical body and Christ Mystical Body can also be compared to an automobile manufacturing plant as the individual men and women that work to assemble the cars that are sold by Ford and GM operate a specific task on the assembly line that must be done timely and correctly in order for the whole car to come together and be ready for sale on the dealers showroom floors. So it is with these varying gifts given to individual born ones as we are birthed into our Heavenly Father’s Family we receive that seed (1 John 3:9) of salvation and grace and faith that not only changes us forever, but equips us to serve one another and build one another up with the charisma or grace gift we receive. The first of the differing gifts Paul list for us here is the English word prophesy and this word is translated from the Greek word propheteia which means literally to prophecy a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden or simply speaking or writing the proclamation of the gospel of Christ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead. Those with the gift of prophesy are they who the Holy Spirit has gifted to build up the body of believers by their exposition of the revealed Scripture we have in our possession today as Paul declared it again to the Corinthian believers in this manner, 1 Corinthians 14:1-4 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. NKJV
The next gift Paul list for us here is the English word ministry or service and this word is translated from the Greek word diakonia which literally means to attend to or help or aid; the ministration of those who render to others the offices of Christian affection especially those who help meet need by either collecting or distributing of charities, the office of the deacon in the church, the service of those who prepare and present food. Often these charisma or grace gifts far too often go unnoticed as we are so inclined in our 21st century culture to give special reward and adoration to the man or woman who speaks for God, but this is what Paul meant to squash by his words in the above passage from 1 Corinthians 12:14-21. There are so many devout and devoted children of God that will never be seen on any Christian television station or program or heard around the world on Christian radio who love our Lord Jesus Christ fervently and serve Him with all their hearts by helping other sisters and brothers in Christ with all sorts of needs that only our Father in Heaven sees or recognizes, as our Lord Jesus did with this woman, Matthew 26:6-13 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” NKJV
The next gift in this list of Paul’s is the English word teach and it is translated by the Greek word didasko which means to teach, to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them; to impart instruction, instill doctrine into one; to explain or expound a thing. This is the person who longs to know and understand the deep truths of God’s Word and to impart those truths to other brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus’ Mystical Body so that His Body can not only be knit in love, but knit together in love based on Biblical truth and sound doctrine, as the Apostle John says it here, 3 John 1:1-4 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. NKJV This is the passionate desire of the one freely given the gift of teaching is to be a faithful disciple, student, pupil, and learner of our Lord Jesus Christ himself receiving the truth as the Holy Spirit teaches it to him (John 16:13) and then impart that truth to others who love our Lord Jesus so that they will be well equipped to walk and live in the truth and as John says “love in the truth.”
Paul next list the English word exhortation which is translated from the Greek word parakaleo which means to call to one’s side, call for, summon to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc. to admonish, exhort to beg, entreat, beseech to strive to appease by entreaty to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation. This is the function the Holy Spirit has in the life of every true believer, but He also endows men and women with this grace gift to help other sisters and brothers who need encouragement and comfort as the need arises, as Paul said of himself here, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12 For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. NKJV
Paul next list the grace gift by the English word giving which is translated from the Greek word metadidomi which means to impart or give over or to share. Paul declares that giving should be done (not as the prosperity pimps declare today) without self-seeking or hypocrisy or other motives seeking to use God the Father somehow as a Holy ATM machine that they call up or punch in to get earthly and material gain from their giving to Him. In contrast the one endowed by God the Holy Spirit will give according to or in the manner the Apostle Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 9. Paul next list the grace gift by the English word rule which is translated from the Greek word proistemi which means to preside over others in rank somewhat like the military has Generals over Colonels and Colonels over Lieutenants, and Lieutenants over Captains, and on down the line. Paul declares that the one endowed with this grace gift must do it eagerly and earnestly, but always recognizing that he rules only because our Lord Jesus has placed him in that position and he should always be quick to consider and be obedient to these words from the Apostle Paul, Ephesians 6:9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. NKJV
Paul lastly list the grace gift by the English word mercy which is translated from the Greek word eleeo which means to be compassionate (by word or deed, by the Divine Grace given) and to have pity on one and Paul declares that the one graced by the Holy Spirit in this manner should do it in a lively and eager disposition to the brother or sister in Christ in need of God’s Mercy. The Apostle Peter declares here the way this grace gift should be shown to other brothers and sisters in Christ, 1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. KJV When tragic events happen in the lives of other believers, the sister or brother in Christ with the gift of mercy are always eager to go and lend a hand or a word of kindness, compassion, and comfort to the part of their body in Christ hurting at the time, for this is what breeds true unity, not desiring the gratification of the flesh or filthy lucre, but genuine love, concern, and care for other hurting believers.
“The free grace of God is the spring and original of all the gifts that are given to men. It is grace that appoints the office, qualifies and inclines the person, works both to will and to do.” Matthew Henry
“Our salvation was a gift from God to us (Ephesians 2:8-9), so is our spiritual gift given to us by the Father through the Son and administered by the Spirit for us to use for God’s Glory and the building up of our brothers and sisters into a full grown spiritual house in Christ Jesus our Lord (1 Peter 2:5).” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…