Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spiritual Gifts - Week 3

Spiritual Gifts
week 3 - October 24, 2008

Last week we looked at how Christ used giftedness in His ministry. But what happened after Christ died? What happened with giftedness after Christ?

Naturally I'd expect to jump into straight into Pentecost and the book of Acts, but we didn't. We remained in the gospels to see what was said would happen, before looking at what did happen. So, let's look to the end of each of the gospels and see what the writers of these books had to say. To help us understand some of these next passages we discussed the timeframe between the crusifiction and the assention.

Timespan between the death of Christ and pentecost

Day 1) Christ was crucified on Friday. This wasn't just any Friday, it was the day that passover was celebrated. Passover lasted from Friday into Saturday. see Matthew 26, John 19, Luke 23 and Mark 15

Day 3) On Sunday, the day after passover, was the feast of 1st fruits. On this day Christ rose from the grave. see Matthew 27, Matthew 28 and John 20

Luke 24
The Resurrection
1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb
The Road to Emmaus

13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.
31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?" 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, "The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon." 35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.

Other Appearances
36 While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be to you." 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit.
45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 "You are witnesses of these things. 49 "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
** Here (v.49) Jesus promises to send forth the power from the Father

Jesus among His Disciples

19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
** Notice that in John 20:22 Jesus breathes on them and says "Receive the Holy Spirit." This is on the first day after his resurrection. Still 49 days before pentecost.
John 21
Jesus Appears at the Sea of Galilee
1 After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will also come with you." They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 So Jesus said to them, "Children, you do not have any fish, do you?" They answered Him, "No." 6 And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch." So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.
9 So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have now caught." 11 Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus Provides
12 Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples ventured to question Him, "Who are You?" knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.
** This is the 3rd time Jesus came to the disciples. The 1st time he breathed the Spirit upon them, and they were still naive. The disciples were disobeying Him and looking for their own fish. So, while the disciples are fishing in disobedience, Jesus cleans, and cooks His fish for them. Then Jesus shows how serious He is, asking Peter 3 times if he truly loves Jesus. How patient must Jesus have been to give His disciples the Spirit, only to have them run away and have to go get them again.
Matthew 28:16-20
The Great Commission
16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

** Jesus tells the disciples what we found out last week. He tells them that He has ALL AUTHORITY. But then He tells the disciples that He will be with them "even to the end of the age." But how can Jesus go to the father and yet remain with EACH of the disciples?
The Disciples Commissioned

14 Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 "These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
** What are the signs? These sure look like effects of the giftedness that is to come indwell us.
Day 42) Christ ascends to the father. see Mark 16, Luke 24, and Acts 1

1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."

The Ascension
9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."

Day 52) Pentecost is 7 sabbaths (49 days) after the feast of 1st fruits. This is where we see the Holy Spirit descend upon the 120. see Acts 2 Pentecost was a one of the feast that the Jews would have traveled from very long distances to celebrate in Jerusalem. People would have been arriving before the actual day of Pentecost.
Acts 2
The Day of Pentecost
1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
** Notice that they already had the Spirit breathed upon them by Jesus himself. Now they are being "filled" with the Holy Spirit. This brings us to there being a couple ways that the Spirit indwells us. First the Spirit "Indwells" us at the time of salvation and baptism. Then the Spirit "fills" us at the time of our total surrender to Him.
We also discussed that God has always used spectacular events to usher in new ways that He is moving in His people. Pentecost for example ushered in the "Church".

5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs--we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God." 12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13 But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine."
3 things that happened in peoples reactions
  1. Acts 2 v. 6-8 "They were amazed and astonished" - The giftedness draws a crowd
  2. Acts 2 v. 12 "continued in amazement and great perplexity" - They were perplexed, creating curiousity. This curiosity moves either toward acceptance (see v. 47) or toward step 3
  3. Acts 2 v. 13 others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine." This happens when people are afraid and reject the work of God

If we bring people to church at they stay amazed at step 1 people rarely are moved to choose to accept or reject Christ. This keeping people stuck in step 1 seems to be common among many modern churches.

But what happens when we actually do it the right way, when the Spirit is moving. See what the mockers were saying in Acts 2:13? "They are full of sweet wine" So what must it look like to be "filled" by the Spirit? It may look and even feel wierd sometimes, a lot like the drunkeness that the people at Pentecost were accused of.

This is what I want to experience. I want so much of God that I cease to care what anyone else says or thinks about me. To be so free from inhabition, full of faith, to be drunk in the Holy Spirit. Free from sin, and enslaved by the Spirit, at any cost. Even to the ridule of others.

Remember Romans 6:15-23

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

For next week were to look at:

Romans 1 and 12

1 Peter 4

2 Corinthians 12 - 14

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Spiritual Gifts, week 2

Spiritual Gifts

week 2, October 17, 2008

This week looked a lot different than the last week. It was interesting to study scripture that didn't actually use the term spiritual gift.

We reviewed what we talked about last week with the "1st mention concept" and figuring our where we can first clearly see the use of spiritual gifts and the purpose of that giftedness. During this time we got a little bit into the explanation of the dispensations of scripture. We discussed where we are in these dispensations, and found out that we are currently in the dispensation of grace. Here is a list of the dispensations.
  1. The Edenic Covenant and The Dispensation of Innocence
  2. The Adamic Covenant and The Dispensation of Conscience
  3. The Noahic Covenant and The Dispensation of Human Government
  4. The Abrahamic Covenant and The Dispensation of Promise
  5. The Mosaic Covenant and The Dispensation of the Law
  6. The Davidic Covenant and The Dispensation of Grace
  7. The Palestinian Covenant, The New Covenant, and The Messianic Dispensation

Last week we looked at 1st mention concept and old testament examples of spiritual gifts. This week we went to the gospels. What can we learn from the life of Christ? What do we see about the giftedness of Christ? What spiritual gifts did He display? Here is a small list of things we thought of that we remembered Christ doing in the gospels.

  • Miracles
  • Prophecy
  • Healing
  • Teaching - as early as the age of 12
  • Discernment
  • Faith
  • Service - washing feet

We discussed that if Christ is God and all gifts come from God, then He has the ability to use them all.

We also took a look at John 15 and 16. At first glance very little of this looks like it has anything to do with spiritual giftedness. Reading these chapters can you imagine being the disciples that Jesus was speaking to? They had never heard anything like this. Imagine what the disciples must have felt and thought when Jesus said "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."

What would you think of this? What would you do? Well, we learned what Dan would do. Dan says "I'd jump into Jesus" I can just see Dan in all his fervor leaping on top of Jesus with this look like "what? you said I had to be in you."

But really imagine it. What is Jesus telling the disciples? Read it. Then read further. In John 15:9-17 Jesus tells us how to abide in Him. We discussed how that word abide in verse 10 tells us that to abide we will obey His commands, and therefore abide in His love.

Abide = Obey = Love

In John 15 we found that "The deeper the root, the more the fruit" or, as Dave put it "The more we abide, the more oodles and oodles of fruit we produce." But how could all of this apply to spiritual giftedness? The fruit He is talking about, could it be the fruit of the Spirit? Is this the fruit of the giftedness the He has given us? If so, what could this mean? Does this mean that we will become more effective with our gift(s)? Maybe it means that we will be given additional gifts. Either way this tells us that the more we abide in Him, the more we will receive from him in some way. What else is Jesus trying to communicate through these passages?

Throughout chapters 14-16 of John Jesus addresses some things that we may want to take note of.

  • In 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."
  • and John 15:26 says "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, {that is} the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,"
  • and John 16:7-15 "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12 "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear {them} now. 13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose {it} to you. 15 "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose {it} to you."

What do we see here? Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit coming after Jesus goes to the Father. But what does he say that the Spirit will do? These are permanent works of the Spirit's indwelling.

  • teach you all things
  • bring to your remembrance all that I said to you
  • He will testify about Me
  • convict the world concerning sin
  • and concerning righteousness
  • and concerning judgment
  • He will guide you into all the truth

We must also remember that in John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

The author of the bible indwells us.

No other religion has a God that died for them and rose again from the dead, and therefore gives part of Himself to indwell in them. Christ followers are the only ones that have a God that big.

Assignment for next week. Read John Chapters 13-17

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spiritual Gifts, Questions we'd like to answer

Spiritual Gifts Questions
Friday, October 10, 2008
Do you have any questions about spiritual gifts? Really? We came up with a small list of 17 things we'd like to find answers to. If you think of more please add them. I am listing them here instead of in the first day's notes so it will be easier to refer back to. I know I am going to want to look at it again later. So, here goes, in no particular order.
  1. Are spiritual gifts for inside or outside the church?
  2. Are we all required to, but some gifted to do certain things?
  3. Do we all have spiritual gifts?
  4. Am I limited to specific gifts? Are the gifts fixed or do they have fluidity to come and go?
  5. What are my gifts?
  6. Does the bible list them all?
  7. Should we label our gift?
  8. Can we look beyond scripture for more?
  9. What is God's process in revealing our gift(s)?
  10. Why do we have them?
  11. Is the giving of spiritual gifts only a New Testament concept?
  12. Is there a difference in spiritual gifts, such as sign gifts?
  13. Can I ever lose my spiritual gifts?
  14. Do you develop them or just have them instantly?
  15. Does someone who is predestined have these gifts before they are saved?
  16. Can I use my gifts to "make tents" like Paul?

And the most important one of all.

17. What will we use to determine the answers to these questions?

We did answer one of these questions. We decided that to look for answers to these questions in any other way other than through God's word would be at least inappropriate. So we are going to look in one place to attempt to find the answers to these questions. The Bible!

If you have more questions or comments please post them.

And if you are not already, but would like to be involved in this process, it is open for all to attend. I can give directions to anyone who needs them. Otherwise, be at Dan and Kristie Cook's house on Friday nights at 7pm.

See you there!

Spiritual Gifts, week 1

Spiritual Gifts

week 1 - Friday, October 10, 2008

To prepare for our study we were to read the following chapters of the Bible. I am not going to include them this time as they are pretty long.

Ephesians 4
Romans 12
1 Corinthians 12
1 Corinthians 13
1 Corinthians 14

We covered quite a bit of ground last week, talking about questions we have about spiritual gifts, the reasons God may give us these gifts, and about the first uses of these gifts.

Where do we first see the use of spiritual gifts? Acts? James? It never really occurred to me that the miracles we see in the old testament could have been the use of spiritual gifts. They may not have been spoken of as spiritual gifts, but gifts none the less. It's amazing when you think about the men of old. So, where was the first account of the use of these gifts? We didn't figure out for sure the first usage, but we think it's safe to say that we can at least go as far back as Moses and see gifts used.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So, what can we learn from these instances? What is God doing? Why is God giving these gifts to be used?


We see in Exodus 3 that Moses comes to the burning bush and gives excuse after excuse as to why God can't use him. For each excuse God gives something to Moses. For his speech problem he gave Aaron, and for those who don't believe God sent Moses, God gives Moses a staff. Moses use this staff to work miracle after miracle.

  • Plagues in Egypt
  • Parts the Red Sea
  • Strikes Rock and water flows from it

Why did God use Moses and these gifts in combination? What was the purpose of these miracles? We know that God didn't NEED to use these miracles to move his people from Egypt to Israel. So, what purpose did these instances have? What did this do?

I think it proved who God was. It showed Israel, and Egypt that He is the I AM. The gifts Moses used proved to everyone who God is.


After Moses died Joshua is left in charge. One of the first things Joshua does is to lead the Israelites across the Jordan. When they got to the Jordan river it was basically in flood stage. They had a couple options, they could build a bridge or they could wait for the river to recede so that they could walk across. But what does Joshua do? In Joshua 3 he tells the priest to walk into the river and when the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the ark touch the water it starts to back up upriver. The ark has what in it? It carries the ten commandments and, that's right, Moses staff, the one he used to part the Red Sea.

Why would God have Joshua do this when they could have just waited for the water level to drop? What was God's purpose? This sign helped establish to the people that Joshua was truly God's appointed leader.


Elijah does miracles over and over.

  • Raises the widow's son
  • Prophecies the drought
  • Challenges Baal's priests
  • Outran a Chariot

Why did God choose to do these things through Elijah?


Elisha was Elijah's successor and does about twice as many miracles as Elijah. One of them is parting a river with Elijah's cloak


Samson kicked butt and took names, burned fields of the Philistines by lighting foxes tails on fire, etc.


Was stone slinging a spiritual gift? Well, maybe not, but it was surely a talent. But in this instance was David using a different spiritual gift? What about the gift of faith? It had to have taken an astounding amount of faith to stand before Goliath and proclaim that God had delivered him from bears and lions in 1 Samuel 17 and David says to Goliath

1 Samuel 17:45 Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 "This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD'S and He will give you into our hands."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We have amazing examples of old testament characters that used spiritual gifts. But, what was God's purpose in these situations?

Here are some of the conclusions we came to about spiritual giftedness in the old testament.

  • The giftedness proves who God is
  • The giftedness proves who God's people are
  • It is used to defeat the enemy
  • They are freely given to ordinary people
  • The gifts further His kingdom
  • These gifts inspire His people

So why does God give us spiritual gifts? One common denominator in all of these conclusion is that the end result glorifies God. So let's put the focus back where it belongs, off of me and back on God.

As Dave said "It's not what gifts we get, but how God is using us for His benefit"

Our little group

On Friday night there is a small group of us that get together. Why? We get together because there is something inside us that drives us to find out more about this one little book that has stood the test of time for thousands of years. One book that has shared historical facts, scientific anomilies, and war. But through it all this book give hope, brings understanding, and explains the love of a savior willing to die for people that would crucify Him. This book is the Holy Bible. As we study this amazing book, we talk, learn, grow, and sometimes sit on the couch a little befuddled.

I am mostly going to write about those things we discuss and wrestle through in our humble little study. Feel free to add to this with your ideas, thoughts, scripture, and questions. Obviously I won't remember everything we discuss, so please add anything you think of.