Are you ready to uncover your unique spiritual gifts and learn how to harness them for the greater good? Join us as we dive into an enlightening discussion on the mysterious world of spiritual gifts, bestowed upon believers by the Holy Spirit to help God's people and bring glory to his name. Discover how you can transform your life and the lives of others by embracing and utilizing these divine abilities.
In this captivating episode, we take a closer look at the wide array of spiritual gifts described by Paul, including wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, and the power to perform miracles. But the list doesn't stop there! We'll also explore the many other gifts waiting to be discovered, helping you understand the true potential within you. Like a puzzle piece that's just waiting to be found, learning more about these gifts can bring us closer together and fortify our faith.
Finally, we'll share actionable tips on how to put your spiritual gifts to work through various church activities and ministries. Whether you're called to serve in music, teaching, or supporting the community, using your gifts can create a ripple effect of radical generosity and positive change. So take this journey with us and let the Holy Spirit guide you towards a deeper, more connected faith.
Welcome to Madison Church, to our online audience. I'm Steven Feith, lead pastor here, and we're so glad you're here today. If you're watching on, listening online, we hope that you'll make a plan to join us in person soon. I want to start today's talk, today's study, with a question and some participation. Okay, so how many of you like To give gifts? you love giving gifts. I mean, that's like you love giving gifts. Look at you, raise your hands. You guys should be proud. Look at all my new best friends. This is what. This is what I'm doing. Melanie, will you come up here? I Said participation. Are you comfortable with this? I can, okay, as I scan the room, i know, i know, i know you guys pretty well. I think, yeah, i figured you'd be okay. You're good. Okay, this is really happening right now. Okay, so you love to give gifts? Awesome, who loves to receive gifts? I mean, who loves giving gifts? none of you. Who loves? CJ? come on up. That's why you didn't raise your hands. Okay, see, i'm only three seconds behind you guys. Yeah, cj, come stand up here. Okay, this is gonna be really cool because You see. So, melanie, you love giving gifts. Okay, cj loves getting gifts. We just had a moment. Thank you for your participation. You guys go. I said, isn't that awesome? Yeah, see, now you all wish you raised your hand now, didn't? it know? Won't always be like that. So you're probably on the right strategy for most of the time. Okay, receiving gifts is actually my top love language. I mean, nothing says I, nothing makes me feel loved and getting the perfect gift. But I've observed, as I've talked to other people who love Getting gifts, i've observed that there are two types of people who like getting gifts. Type a loves to get any gift, anything will do So. Someone is at the store, they grab a coffee. They come by your house, they give you the coffee. You feel loved, you throw the coffee away. You don't even like coffee, but you're like, hey, they thought of me, they got a coffee. This is great, i feel loved. And then there's a second type. It's much more difficult crowd. Can you imagine which crowd I belong to You? Megan will tell you if you're curious. My wife. Type B is what I call these people. We don't just want any gift, you know. You go to the store, you buy the coffee. Thank you, i feel loved, i appreciate the thought, but if you really love me. You know I don't like coffee. If you really love me, if you really knew me and that's scenario. So Megan will tell you for years She's like I'm the hardest person to buy gifts for. And I tell her it's not, you just don't know Me well enough. That's like we have a lot going back and forth. And so, megan, if you, megan's upstairs right now teaching the elementary age kids, megan, if you're watching, hypothetically speaking, for, like Father's Day, you know, if you're looking for an idea, i do have a favorite golf ball brand that make a favorite type of golf ball and on Father's Day I'd feel really seen if you got that bridge stone E9 speed. Okay, no, that's not science. I'm not an expert on this subject of love languages. I just know what makes me feel loved and it's what I've experienced and I point this out. Point this out. There's a reason I'm doing all of this this morning. I just to give CJ a gift, not just to embarrass Melanie, and none of those things. Okay, we're in a series on the Holy Spirit and today we're gonna talk about spiritual gifts. Okay, so we're in week three of a series on the Holy Spirit. Now, prior to the series, i want to point this out. I started the point it out last week and then I stopped because I was like I want to use this next week in my talk that's being recorded and and turned into a blog later. We do studies all the time that are very like practical and investigative. So the series before this, searching for answers Why does God allow pain and suffering? How do I deal with anxiety? Can I trust the historical reliability of the Bible? We do all of these kinds of series where we're like Investigating. A long time ago We did a series called who needs God and we talked about atheism. We talked about people who are agnostic and we talked about people who don't relate to any sort of faith And we talked about how did they get there. We shared stories and we also talked about Christianity And we had that kind of a conversation and that was. I loved that that was a long time ago. Last year We did a six weeks. We did six parts of a series called how not to read the Bible, which is based on a book by Dan Kimball, and In this series we talked about all the ways people commonly misunderstand, commonly misread the Bible, and with our goal of being like don't you read it this way. Here's how you can read the Bible the right way. And I love, love, love those series. And on the one hand, when we do series like that And some of you love those too, like you love those series too And on the other hand, it might make some of you uncomfortable because you might have grown up and you're like We're not allowed to question the Bible, we're not allowed to question why God allows pain and suffering like those are off limits. You're supposed to have faith, you're supposed to have trust and if I ask these questions, i have somehow like a lack of faith and trust. That's what you've been told. That might have been what you were told, but that's not biblical. It's not biblical at all. Because every time Jesus tells a story, the disciples say, hmm, well, what was that? People are always asking Jesus for clarification. God says taste and see that the Lord is good is right in the Psalms taste and see that the Lord is good. It's okay to have an experience with God, to have questions, have doubts. We see David have doubts, we see people go through things. It's okay to ask questions, but there's a problem doing series like those. There's a problem and I'm someone who loves them. And the problem is that we can walk away feeling thinking I now know how to read the Bible. Who needs God? I do. Everybody searching for answers Check God them can rewatch them if I have those questions again. We made sense of God And we can walk away thinking that we've got God all figured out. We did it check. Now I can move on to something else that I haven't gotten figured out. God is understandable to a point. God is relatable, god is relational, but God is still God and you are still not, and neither am I. So there are always going to be aspects of our relatable and relational God that we can get along with and engage with right. But there are still going to be parts that we don't understand. There are just going to be parts that our minds aren't big enough, aren't spiritual enough to understand, and so then we turn around and we do series like this. It can feel a little bit whiplashy in topics. Why does God allow pain and suffering? Can I have faith and doubt? Okay, now we're going to talk about spiritual gifts and the Holy Spirit. Wait, that seems like a complete change of topics, and it is. We do these series to better understand the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives. But I want to acknowledge you're not going to walk away from this series feeling like check I got God figured out. As a matter of fact, i think that if Sarah, who was our guest speaker last week, and me I think if us two do this series the right way, i think you're going to leave with more questions about God after the four weeks than you had on week one. I think if we did it right, that's what's going to happen. There's going to be aspects of God you'd never considered. You're going to go deeper in your relationship with God and studying the biblical texts on the Holy Spirit. There are going to be things you don't understand And I hope that you'll seek those answers out. Even as we move on to a different topic in a few weeks, i hope you'll continue to seek answers out about God in your pursuit of the Holy Spirit. And, as I already mentioned, today's big idea is going to be about how the Holy Spirit gives each and every single follower of Jesus spiritual gifts, and I'm going to answer specifically two questions in one statement, in one statement that makes it easy for you to remember. So the two questions I'm going to seek to answer today are what are spiritual gifts? what are spiritual gifts and what am I supposed to do with them? Have you ever received a gift? You opened it up. You know you're supposed to be grateful. Cj is going through this right now. You're supposed to be grateful, but your first reaction is what am I supposed to do with this? Right, i'm just kidding CJ. What am I supposed to do with this? I have, you have, we all have, we all got that gift. Your teacher in the room or watching or listening online at school is wrapped up. And especially if you're like a teacher of elementary kids, little kids, a child care provider at a day care, you probably got a bunch of gifts in the last two weeks. You're like, oh, thank you. You're like, why do I need this Vaseline or whatever. Like you know something that they clearly took from home without permission of their parents and gave to you. You know you get some mascara. You're like it's half gone, like what do we do with this? Okay, what am I supposed to do with this? And sometimes, what we find with these gifts and I don't know if you've ever had a gift like this, but you get a gift. What am I supposed to do with this, and later on it comes in handy. For example, father's Day is next week. I'll take any golf balls because I'm just not that good. So I'm going to lose the good ones, megan, and you should give me the other one. Okay, never mind, all right, a great place for us to start when talking about spiritual gifts is to simply ask what is it? What are spiritual gifts? And so we're going to study out of 1 Corinthians today. If you want to follow along, we have house bibles. You might have your own Bible. You can use the Bible on your phone. You can use your tech friendly, although the wifi here isn't terribly reliable. We're going to 1 Corinthians, chapter 12. The context of 1 Corinthians and the church in which Paul is writing to is a messed up church. They weren't doing anything right, they got nothing right And it's just chaos and it's disorder, and so Paul is writing to them to try to course correct. So if you read through 1 Corinthians, it's like chapter after chapter of a different problem he's trying to solve. Instead of doing 1 chapter and breaking it off into a 4 week series. Paul's like I don't have time. That's how chaotic it is. You're getting 12 messages in one letter here 14 messages in one letter. We're going to try to fix it all right now, and in doing so, and one of the things that Paul talks about in writing to this church in Corinth is about spiritual gifts. He writes to them about spiritual gifts. Their understanding of spiritual gifts wasn't correct. They should have been asking what are spiritual gifts, but they weren't. So Paul tells them. And so, reading in 1 Corinthians 12, verse 4, we're told that there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same spirit which is the source of them all. Okay, so what are spiritual gifts? There are different spiritual gifts, but they're given to us by one spirit, by God. And so the first part of a statement I'm going to give you that's going to answer both of these questions What are spiritual gifts? First off, it's a spirit prompted ability. It's an ability that you yourself might have been born with some natural talents in this area, but the Holy Spirit magnifies it, glows it. It actually could also be something that you weren't born with. You shouldn't be good at it on paper, you're not good with it. Your family is like I don't know where they got that from, but you're great at it And it comes from the spirit of God. Paul goes on to list spiritual gifts. He says a spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person, the spirit gives the ability to give wise advice. To another, the same spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same spirit gives great faith to another And to someone else, the one spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the spirit of God or from another spirit. Still, another person is given the ability to speak an unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should get. So you can kind of guess from this reading one of the things that the Corinthians are messing up on. In a very pluralistic society that they lived in, lots of gods, everyone was basically a God. What was going on is that they're going to all of these other gods. Well, i want the gift of healing, okay. Well, you got to go talk to this God. Okay, talk to that God. So I must have the gift of healing. Okay, well, i want to do this. And Paul is saying no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. There's one God, one God Jesus. He covers that, okay, he covers that all their places. He says by that one spirit you get all of these gifts. You don't have to go down the main street of Corinth, like the Vegas strip, and say what are what's on our shopping list today? Oh, the gift of miracles. Let's stop here and go get that. Paul saying the God you already serve can give you these different spiritual gifts wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, the power to perform miracles, amongst many others. And the list we find here in 1 Corinthians is not a complete list. So I don't think like okay, this is it. Because in other letters Paul writes He writes other lists of spiritual gifts and some of them are included from this list, but then he whips out some other ones. So there are lots of spiritual gifts. We got to look at the whole New Testament if you're looking to compile a list. But here's a big bulk of different spiritual gifts. And if you're taking notes or highlighting in your Bible, go to that chapter 12. You're already there, but verse 7, those first few words given to each of us, given to each of us. There are these spiritual gifts and they're given to each of us. You all have spiritual gifts. If you are a follower of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and dwells in you, you have spiritual gifts. No matter what's been said about you, no matter what you think about yourself, even if you think I'm totally ungifted, you have Spiritual gifts. God has given it to you. We don't have time to go through all of the spiritual gifts in the New Testament. I want to highlight a few and and practical application for us today. People you know Jason Webb, sarah Hansen regular guest speakers here at Madison Church. I believe that they have the gift of teaching and creative communication. Those are two different gifts We see in the New Testament. They're already naturally Charismatic, but what makes them teach differently is the way that the Spirit leads them and gifts them to communicate creativity creatively through demonstrations and stories and Jason really likes props and so I'm gonna just give that to the Holy Spirit on that, because I don't understand. Many in our church community have the gift of teaching. This is what they do Monday through Friday already, but then the Holy Spirit gives them a special ability to understand biblical texts, to communicate to others What they've observed, what they experience, so that their students can better connect with God and God's world around them. And There are many people here you and you guys and watching, listening online. There's many of you, and if you're a follower of Jesus, you also have a spiritual gift. Even if I haven't mentioned your specific one, later on this week I'll post a complete list of spiritual gifts on our website, the blog. Let's go back to the question What is a spiritual gift? We're unpacking a statement, a spirit prompted ability given to every follower of Jesus. So that's what a spiritual gift is a spirit prompted ability given to every follower of Jesus. Now on to the second question What are you supposed to do with it? You have a spiritual gift. You have spiritual gifts. What am I supposed to do with it? later, in Paul's explanation of spiritual gifts to the church in Corinth, he compares the church and God's kingdom to a physical body. He points out that each part of the body is necessary for the whole body to function. I love the way that Eugene Peterson captures the essence of Paul's words in his paraphrase the message. This is our verse. These are verses 25 through 26. The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church. Every part dependent on every other part. The parts we mention and the parts We don't. The parts we see and the parts we don't. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into exuberance. And then Paul says all of you together, our Christ body, and Each of you is a part of it. This is a great analogy, because it's so easy to imagine Your body without an arm and like how much that would disrupt your day. Or if you've broken an arm, you've broken a leg. You're never gonna give part of your body a day off. It's not like you're gonna say you know what my heart hasn't had in a long time. A day off, go ahead, heart, next 24 hours, whatever you want to do, you couldn't do that, we couldn't, you couldn't live. The rest of your body would fail, as goes the heart, then goes the rest of your body. Your husband may let most of his brain take the day off, but it's never completely off right. One person agreed. Thank you, i appreciate. This became obvious to me this week. I got a cold earlier this week, but it wasn't a normal cold. I canceled meetings with some people. You're gonna be really grateful I did when I tell you what I got. I started to get a little bit of a cold this week. It didn't feel like a normal cold, though Tuesday night I was like I didn't sleep well. Wednesday It's like I don't feel got tenderness in my neck. I don't feel what's not stressed, though I've had strep before and Wednesday night didn't sleep very good. Thursday I'm starting to feel a little better. Friday morning I wake up I've got like all of these blistery looking things On my hands and I'm like, well, that's not good. And so I go to the doctor not my normal doctor, different doctor normally works with older patients and Comes in and he's. He makes a joke about it's either my heart failing or hand, foot and mouth disease. And then he looks at my chart. He was oh, you have anxiety. I probably shouldn't have made that joke. I said I appreciate it, but yeah, if I didn't have a heart problem before, i do now. And And he says I'm the first adult he's he personally is diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease. My daughter Quinn, who's a year and a half old. She was diagnosed at the same time different urgent care, and so I'm like reading these text messages to like Quinnie, and so it's really gross how you get it. I'll spare you the details, you can ask online later, but it totally makes sense when you think I live with an 18 month old Okay, that's, and you're all fine, like that I this is just. It's dormant, i think, is the word, is what he said. This is just gonna hurt and really disrupt my life for the next week. And so I began to realize, as a prep ring for this talk, and thinking what could I share with you guys? I've had to ask Megan to open bottles of water actually just open one right there, and like almost died in the front row. I mean, none of you guys could see me because I was facing forward, but like as I twisted, it felt like my. I just ripped my fingers off. My feet really hurt, and so I'm doing good right now because I'm on steroids and they kicked in about 11 o'clock. I'm talking too fast, just tell me to break, but um, i've had. I was like thinking last night I'm like I Really could use a drink right now water. We went golfing a little bit. I need to drink up thirsty, but I'm like not gonna get up just to go get the water cuz it's gonna hurt. So what else do I need to do while I'm up? I started counting steps. This is what Paul saying is like spiritual gifts, right. Like all of a sudden I noticed How much my feet matter to me and when my feet hurt, like how much that throws off my life, also my fingertips. I can't open soda, i can't twist off a bottle, like I can't do these things without pain. And Paul saying you've been given a spiritual gift to be part of the body of Christ. He's saying Paul saying to every Christian, every believer anywhere you follow of Jesus, with the Holy Spirit in you, you've been gifted. The church needs you. The person next to you needs you. The person behind you and in front of you, you need you. Everyone in this room, we need each other. Our faith needs you, our church needs you. We need each other. And I love how Craig Groschell, who pastors right now It's currently the largest church in the US He says if you're not ministering and using your gifts in the church, then something God wants done is being ignored And I know that's heavy and it can be convicting. But it's true. You have been gifted to do something, to contribute to make a difference, not just that church, but in the world and through the church. God didn't just give you this gift to lift yourself up. God didn't just give you a gift so he could watch you use the gift. No, paul tells us specifically you're part of a body your hand, you're a foot, you're an ankle, you're a fingertip and When you're not participating, we're like a body missing one of those parts. We're not able to do something that God wants to be done. That's the sort of stuff that, as the pastor of this church, i like keeps me up at night. On the one hand, i'm like I love spiritual journeys and people taking steps of faith. You go from not believing or being antagonistic And we're going on journeys with people. I love the different faith backgrounds. But on the other hand, i think what are we missing out on if people don't get involved? like, what sort of vision Does God have for our church, with all of the people he's brought in community with us that we're just missing out on? Love it? I get excited about it Showing up to our church or any church. You're out looking around, you're checking out, you're listening online. Showing up to any church without Identifying and using your spiritual gifts is wasting something valuable that has been given to you. You're wasting something so valuable and God gave it to you for the common good. So back to our little phrase here and answering our question. A spiritual gift is a spirit prompt, that ability given to every follower of Jesus, meant to be used for the benefit of all. This is what spiritual gifts are. This is what you're supposed to do with them. Now, a detour sidebar really quick here because it's come up on the connection card questions. I'll answer it more deeply in the podcast. Speaking in tongues Right, some of you are wondering what about speaking in tongues? It's a gift. It's a spiritual gift that people have. You might have it in the room. You might have the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues. We read in the New Testament. We see different functions of it. Sometimes there's that acts two moment. People are speaking in tongues. It's very public. They weren't necessarily at a church service, but they're outside their speaking tongues And what happened in that scenario is that other people could understand the languages being spoken and it was about the gospel of Jesus. Jesus. This is who he was. This is what he did In other scenarios in the Bible. In the New Testament, paul says that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through, or speaks to God through us, through holy grounds, and so sometimes speaking in tongues, and Paul also calls it a heavenly language. So it might not be something like me all of a sudden speaking Spanish. By the gift of the Holy Spirit, it might be a heavenly language. These are all things. Now, i think, if you're going to say no, speaking in tongues doesn't happen. I'm wondering how you chose that, because I know some scholars and theologians do. I want to be fair to this point. I don't know how you draw the line there when it's in the middle of a list that we just read. How did you kick that one out? And why didn't you kick teaching out or leadership out? Why didn't you kick all of them out? I think if we're doing a good hermeneutic, which is how you study the Bible, the science of studying the Bible, hermeneutics I don't know how you can throw that one away. I don't know how you can throw it away and not throw the other ones away, and I know there's an argument And you might even know the argument on how. But I'm telling you, i think, by throwing it away, i think that you are opening up more questions than you're providing answers, and not that the simplest road is always the best road, but I think in this scenario it is. And then also, i know Baptists in Africa who speak in tongues. I mean, it's proof right there. Right, i can speak more on speaking in tongues. If you have specific questions, jot them down. Now, what do we do with all this information? You have a spiritual gift. It's been given to you for the benefit of all. The challenge is so simple and it's hard, but it's to get on a team. It's to contribute to this body. At Madison Church every week It's a rotation of Jeff and Marby and Danielle and Megan and Dan And I hope I'm not leaving anyone out But it's a rotation of musicians. They're all volunteers. They're using spiritual gifts God has given them for the benefit of this body. We have kids workers. Right now We have Jake in the middle school room. Right now We have Megan upstairs. We have Ginger in the nursery And they're using their gifts to teach. And other times it's Sue up there, other times it's Teresa up there And they're using their spiritual gifts to invest on a team, and so these things are all going on And we all see how this benefits the body. And so the challenge today is figure out what your spiritual gift is. Again, i'm going to post that on the blog, not just what the spiritual gifts are, but an assessment, an inventory. So if you're it's not popping out at you, you can take that. But to get on a team, it can be the band, it can be tech, help setting up, cleaning up. At the end of the day, it could be so many things working with students and kids. There are just so many opportunities for you to be involved in a big way, and I want you to imagine I don't want you to imagine that, like you're losing time. I want you to imagine that you're gaining purpose, because that's what's happening. You're gaining purpose because God has given you a gift for the purpose of serving alongside others for his mission in Madison. Can you imagine what would happen if everyone at our church, like, took this seriously, stepped up and stepped into this truth that you have an essential role to play? You do. You have an essential role. You may not be the one up here leading the songs. You may not be the one up here teaching. You have an essential part. It's not less important, it's just different. Imagine what would happen, not just in this church, but as we ripple effect out. Imagine what happens to your workplace, the city of Madison and Dane County. If there's a church that takes Jesus's command, that takes Paul's word so seriously that we say with a deep conviction that God has given me something that I need to do And I got to do it with other people, for other people. How might that change the world? And that seems really big. You're like I don't know if I can change the world. Well, no, you buy yourself camp. But Paul says you're part of a body. How could this body change the world? And I absolutely believe that we can. I see a future in which no one in our community goes without, because we all share our gifts, and that results in radical generosity. What might happen if every one of us joined in allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us as we use our gifts for the benefit of all? I just believe that that would make this world all that God dreamed it would be, if we would just take one step together.