Grace Gifts of the Holy Spirit
|February 8, 2016||Posted by Pastor Viju Mathai under Bible Study, Holy Spirit||
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Romans 12:6-8:- We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Paul lists what can be called the grace gifts. They are inward desires or dispositions as well as enablements or abilities given by the Holy Spirit to individuals in the congregation to build up God’s people and express God’s love to others. Every believer has at least one such gift. However, one’s primary gift does not exclude the exercise of any other of the gifts as need may arise. Paul’s list of seven grace gifts should be taken as representative rather than exhaustive. A sober use of the gifts that God has given us. As we must not on the one hand be proud of our talents, so on the other hand we must not bury them. We must not say, “I am nothing, therefore I will sit still, and do nothing”; but, “I am nothing in myself, .and therefore I will extent myself to the utmost in the strength of the grace of Christ.” We have gifts, let us use them. We have different gifts. The immediate purpose is different, though the ultimate tendency of all is the same. According to the grace. It is grace that appoints the office, qualifies and inclines the person. Seven particular gifts he specifies (v. 6-8), which seem to be meant of so many distinct offices. There are two general ones here expressed by prophesying and ministering, the former the work of the elders, the latter the work of the deacons. The five latter will therefore be reduced to the two former.
- Prophecy If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his It is not meant of the extraordinary gifts of foretelling things to come, but the ordinary office of preaching the word. The work of the Old Testament prophets was not only to foretell future things, but to warn the people concerning sin and duty. And thus gospel preachers are prophets. Those who preach the word must do it in proportion to their faith,  As to the manner of our prophesying, it must be according to the proportion of the grace of faith. Let him who preaches set all the faith he has at work, to impress the truths he preaches on his own heart in the first place. As people cannot hear well, so ministers cannot preach well, without faith. And we must remember the proportion of faith—that, though not all men have faith, yet a great many have besides ourselves. “Do you have faith? Have it to yourself; and do not make it a rule by which to judge others, remembering that you have but your proportion.”  As to the matter of our prophesying, it must be according to the proportion of the doctrine of faith. There are some staple-truths, as we may call them, plainly and uniformly taught in the Scripture, which are the touch-stone of preaching, by which we must test everything, and then hold on to the good, I Thess.5.20,21. Truths that are darker, must be examined by those that are more clear, for it is certain one truth can never contradict another. See here what ought to be the great care of preachers—to preach sound doctrine. It is necessary that it be according to the proportion of faith: for it is the word of faith that we preach. Now there are two particular works, which he who prophesies has to mind—teaching and encouraging. First, If a man’s gift is teaching, let him teach. Teaching is the bare explaining and proving of gospel truths, without practical application. Now he who has a faculty of teaching, and has undertaken that province, let him stick to it. It is a good gift, let him use it, and give his mind to it. Secondly, If it is encouraging, let him encourage. Let him give himself to that. This is the work of the pastor, to apply gospel truths and rules more closely to the people, and to impress on them, that which is more practical. Many who are very accurate in teaching may yet be very cold and unskillful in encouraging; and vice versa. The one requires a clearer head, the other a warmer heart. We should bestow the best of our time and thoughts on our work, and seek not only to do it, but also, to do it well.
- Serving If a man has the office of a deacon let him use that office well. It includes all those offices, which concern the outward business of the house of God. Serving Acts 6. 2. Now let him on whom this care of ministering is devolved attend to it with faithfulness and diligence.  If it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously. Those church-officers who were the stewards of the church’s alms. Let them do it liberally and faithfully, with all sincerity and integrity, having no other intention in it than to glorify God and do good. He who has the means, let him give, and give plentifully and liberally. God loves a cheerful bountiful giver.  If it is leadership, let him govern diligently. It should seem, he means those who were assistants to the pastors in exercising church discipline. Now such must do it with diligence. The word denotes both care and industry to discover what is amiss to keep the church pure.  If it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Some think it is meant in general of all who in anything show mercy; Let them be willing to do it, and take a pleasure in it. But it seems to be meant of some particular church officers, whose work it was to take care of the sick and strangers. Now this must be done with cheerfulness. A pleasing countenance in acts of mercy is a great relief and comfort to the miserable; when they see it is not done grudgingly and unwillingly, but with pleasant looks and gentle words. Those who have to do with such as are sick and sore, and commonly cross and peevish, have need to put on not only patience, but cheerfulness.