TITLE & PASSAGE
To make God known is to SERVE. Ephesians 4:1-16
“… BUT THROUGH LOVE SERVE ONE ANOTHER.” GALATIANS 5:13 We’re called to serve one another. Did you know that each weekend, almost 300 volunteers serve across Park campuses as ushers, greeters, children’s, and student-ministry leaders, band leaders, technicians and countless other roles needed to make our services run smoothly? Add to that, hundreds of small-group leaders investing in the members of their group by taking time to prepare and lead their groups through weekly Bible studies and meeting with members outside of group time. Scripture is clear that service is a mark of someone trying to follow Christ. At the time Paul was writing his letter to the Ephesians, both Jews and Gentiles were converting into this new faith called Christianity, but they were also bringing generation upon generation of baggage, bitterness, hurt feelings and resentment into the community. Paul’s letter gives clear guidance: We are to serve one another and “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace,” (Ephesians 4:3), as opposed to being in division with one another. As hearts of service develop, so does unity within communities. That’s why in Ephesians 4:7-16, Paul writes about the body of Christ and its parts; spiritual gifts; works of ministry; and spiritual maturity. A biblical community serves one another in a practical way. The work of the ministry belongs to all of us. “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:7)
SERVING IS A PRIVILEGE. Jesus gave us grace even in our sin – he served us. Jesus took the responsibility of the cross to win victory over death and also over the sin, immaturity and childish rebellion that keep us from serving one another. It’s because of that victory that we can do the work of ministry, because the power that enabled Jesus to do his work is the same power that lives in us through the Spirit. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) So what does it mean to have these spiritual gifts so we can serve one another? “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit [gifts] for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7). God has enabled us to serve each other by giving each Christ-follower spiritual gifts. These gifts are meant to manifest (or in other words reveal, expose or demonstrate) the Holy Spirit’s presence in a believer’s life. When God gives spiritual gifts, they are meant for the common good. These gifts are not for self-promotion or self-service, but for God-promotion in impacting and serving others, thus accomplishing and fulfilling God’s divine purposes here on earth. Spiritual gifts never belong to us; they are expressions of the Holy Spirit doing the Father’s will.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AROUND SPIRITUAL GIFTS, AND ANSWERS 1) What are spiritual gifts? Spiritual gifts are expressions of the Holy Spirit working in and through a believer’s life. Several passages of scripture list gifts, but there is no one passage with an exclusive list. (1 Corinthians 12:28-31, Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11-12, 1 Peter 4:9-10) 2) Where do spiritual gifts come from? God is the giver of all gifts. Spiritual gifts come from God and are given to believers according to the purposes of God. They are given when the person becomes a follower of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:12, 1 Corinthians 12:11) 3) Why are believers given spiritual gifts? Spiritual gifts are given to serve God and others, thus accomplishing and fulfilling God’s divine purposes here on earth. Spiritual gifts never belong to us; they are expressions of the Holy Spirit doing the Father’s will. (1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Peter 4:10) 4) How are spiritual gifts discovered or revealed? Spiritual gifts are revealed by God as we connect, surrender and obey the prompting and leading of the Spirit. As we serve others, the Holy Spirit reveals itself to us. As you serve, pay attention to how the Holy Spirit works through you and the impact you are having on others. (1 John 4:13, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, Proverbs 3:5-6) 5) Does every believer have a spiritual gift? Every believer has at least one spiritual gift, but no one has all the gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:7) 6) Can I choose my spiritual gifts or how I want the Holy Spirit to express itself? No. The Spirit works through a believer’s life just as he determines. (1 Corinthians 12:11) 7) Do spiritual gifts differ from talents? Yes. Spiritual gifts are a reflection of the Holy Spirit, while talents are a reflection of our abilities. (Zechariah 4:6, 1 Peter 4:10-11, 1 Corinthians 1:24-25, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Acts 1:4-5)
1. What challenged you from the XII Marks weekend teaching on serve?
2. As you look around the church and the city, what type of needs are you sensitive to?
3. If your name was mentioned to a group of friends, what needs, issues or causes would they say you are interested in or passionate about?
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4. Where are you serving at Park? How did you get connected to this ministry?
5. Read the following passages and list the spiritual gifts in the verses. Some gifts are repeated in different passages – just list them the first time they appear. Romans 12:6-8
1 Corinthians 12:8-10
1 Peter 4:9-10 25.
15. 16. 17. 18. 19.
6. Take a few minutes to individually complete the free Spiritual Gifts online assessment during your small group time. • Download the Spiritual app from your App store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spiritual-gifts-test/id680234954?mt=8). It’s available on iOS and Android devices. Open the app and tap the “Start” button. Answer each question on a scale of 1-5, with 1 meaning “strongly disagree” and 5 meaning “strongly agree.”
• At the end of the survey you can email your results to yourself by tapping on the “Share” button at the bottom of your screen.
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7. What are your tip 3 spiritual gifts? Write the definition of the gift (found on the bottom of this study) next to the gift:
SPIRITUAL GIFT DEFINITION 1.
SMALL GROUP APPLICATION 8. As a small group: a. Share with your small group your top three spiritual gifts and how they are defined. Also share what ministry within the church you are drawn.
b. For those serving in a ministry at Park, how did you get connected to the ministry? How do you see God use your spiritual gift through that ministry?
c. After a person in the group has shared, other members can share how they have seen that person use their spiritual gifts in the body of Christ.
d. For those not yet serving in a ministry at Park, text “Park Serve” (same wording for every campus) to 62953 for serving opportunities.
e. Close in prayer, pray for the small group member on your right. Thank God for how he has equipped them with a spiritual gift and how it can be used at Park.
FOLLOW UP SCRIPTURE MEMORY: But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:7
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www.desiringgod.org/articles/steward-the-gifts-god-has-assigned-to-you www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/07/24/how-to-love-one-another-affirm-share-and-serve/ www.desiringgod.org/sermons/greatness-humility-servanthood
THE GIFTS DEFINED ADMINISTRATION Definition: To create structure. The Holy Spirit works through you to provide a system of management or governance to help a ministry fulfill God’s full intent. (Luke 14:28-30 ۰ Acts 6:1-7 ۰ 1 Corinthians 12:28 ۰ Titus 1:5) APOSTLESHIP Definition: To start. The Holy Spirit works through you to start or revitalize a ministry by encompassing its multifaceted aspects. (1 Corinthians 12:28-29 ۰ Eph. 4:11-12 ۰ Rom. 1:5 ۰ Acts 14:14, 2:6) DISCERNMENT Definition: To know the difference. The Holy Spirit works through you to distinguish what is the spiritual work of God from that which is the working of evil. (1 Corinthians 12:10 ۰ Matthew 16:21-23 ۰ 1 John 4:1-6) EXHORTATION Definition: To motivate others to seek God. The Holy Spirit works through you to challenge, encourage and strengthen the Body to grow in faith and in commitment to righteousness. (Romans 12:6-8 ۰ Acts 11:22-24 ۰ Acts 15:30-32) EVANGELISM Definition: To draw unbelievers. The Holy Spirit works through you to draw unbelievers into spiritual conversations that lead to the expression of the Gospel message. (Ephesians 4:11 ۰ Acts 8:26-40 ۰ Luke 19:1-10) FAITH Definition: To confirm and assure. The Holy Spirit works through you to confirm and assure the Body of God’s purposes. (1 Corinthians 12:9 ۰ Acts 11:22-24 ۰ Acts 27:21-25 ۰ Romans 4:18-21) GIVING Definition: To surrender resources. The Holy Spirit works through you to surrender your personal time, resources and possessions for the building up of the Body. (Romans 12:8 ۰ Luke 21:1-4 ۰ Mark 12:41-44 ۰ 2 Corinthians 8:1-7) HELPING/SERVING Definition: To support by meeting practical needs. The Holy Spirit works through you to accomplish, through people, essential tasks that enable God’s ministry purpose to be fulfilled. (1 Corinthians 12:28 ۰ Romans 12:7 ۰ Acts 6:1-4 ۰ Romans 16:1-2) HOSPITALITY Definition: To facilitate community. The Holy Spirit works through you to create a comfortable and disarming environment that encourages strangers and friends to enter into community. (1 Peter 4:9-10 ۰ Acts 16:14-15 ۰ Romans 12:9-13 ۰ Hebrews 13:1-2) INTERCESSION Definition: To pray as prompted. The Holy Spirit works through you to pray and plead on behalf of others in response to God’s promptings. (Romans 8:26-27 ۰ John 17:9-26 ۰ 1 Timothy 2:1-2) KNOWLEDGE Definition: To reveal spiritual purpose. The Holy Spirit works through you to reveal information that has a spiritual purpose. (1 Corinthians 12:8 ۰ Mark 2:6-8 ۰ John 1:45-50) LEADERSHIP Definition: To fulfill God’s vision. The Holy Spirit works through you to empower and equip the Body to accomplish God’s vision. (Romans 12:8 ۰ Hebrews 13:17)
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MERCY Definition: To show compassion. The Holy Spirit works through you to demonstrate God’s face of compassion for those in need or pain. (Romans 12:8 ۰ Matthew 5:7 ۰ Mark 10:46-52 ۰ Luke 10:25-37) PROPHECY Definition: To correct and proclaim. The Holy Spirit works through you to guide the Body towards correction and repentance by proclaiming biblical truth. (Romans 12: 6 ۰ 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 13:2) SHEPHERDING/PASTORAL Definition: To nurture and care for. The Holy Spirit works through you to provide care for the spiritual growth of people within the context of community. (Ephesians 4:11-12 ۰ 1 Peter 5:1-4 ۰ John 10:1-18) TEACHING Definition: To communicate truth. The Holy Spirit works through you to communicate a biblical understanding of the Body for its spiritual development. (Romans 12:7 ۰ 1 Corinthians 12:28-29) WISDOM Definition: To reveal spiritual perspective. The Holy Spirit works through you to reveal a spiritual perspective for guidance in specific situations. (James 3:13-18 ۰ 1 Corinthians 2:3-14)
we live to
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