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Ministering in the Spiritual Gifts

 

MINISTERING IN THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS

Worldwide Great Commission Fellowship conducts a Ministering in the Spiritual Gifts School. 

What are the Spiritual Gifts?

 

Spiritual gifts
 
According to Christianity the spiritual gifts (or charismata) are gifts that are supernaturally bestowed on Christians, each having his or her own proper gift (or gifts) to strengthen the church. They are described in the New Testament, primarily in First Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4.
 
Some believe their operation was limited to early Christianity. According to some Protestant denominations, certain of the spiritual gifts, for example speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues, were enjoyed only for a short time and were suited to the Church's infancy, not to later times. This view is known as cessationism. This opinion is held by John F. MacArthur, Jr., Robert L. Thomas and many other conservative main line Christian denominations.
 
In contrast, some Christian scholars such as Zola Levitt maintain that the number of gifts cannot be determined, because, as Levitt puts it, "A spiritual gift is anything that a person can do supernaturally well."
 
Other groups, including Pentecostal, Apostolic, and other Holiness denominations of Christianity, take an opposing view, believing that the spiritual gifts are still given by the Holy Spirit today, and Pentecostal meetings often involve ordinary parishioners displaying the use of these gifts (1 Cor 14). In addition, sections of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and many other Protestant denominations also continue to believe in and make use of spiritual gifts.
 
Emphasis on teaching about the nine gifts of the Spirit originated from Howard Carter, an early Pentecostal evangelist. This is based on the text from 1 Corinthians 12:27-30 giving the gifts and listing them as the "gifts of the Spirit". They were later taught and popularized by Lester Sumrall, who accompanied Carter on many missionary journeys in his youth. Modern Bible teachers and scholars have came to the conclusion that there are other gifts of the Spirit listed in Scripture, as seen in the chart below.
 

Biblical lists of the gifts

1 Corinthians 12:1-14 1 Corinthians 12:27-30 Romans 12:6-8 Ephesians 4:11
  • Wisdom
  • Knowledge
  • Discerning of spirits (human, angelic, and satanic)
  • Prophecy
  • Speaking in tongues
  • Interpretation of tongues
  • Faith
  • Working of miracles
  • Healing
  • Apostleship
  • Prophecy
  • Teaching
  • Working of miracles
  • Healing
  • Helps
  • Administration
  • Speaking in tongues
  • Prophecy
  • Ministry
  • Teaching
  • Exhortation
  • Giving
  • Leading
  • Showing mercy (compassion)
  • Apostleship
  • Prophecy
  • Evangelism
  • Pastoring
  • Teaching

List of Spiritual Gifts

There are various opinions as to the number of spiritual gifts. There are also different ways of categorizing the gifts proposed.
 
Many items appearing as spiritual gifts are also required by the Bible of all Christians, such as faith, prayer, evangelism and so on. One explanation is that the spiritual gift of faith means faith despite the circumstances, or a particularly strong faith in God. The spiritual gift of prayer could mean a supernatural confidence in prayer, or a special ability to pray. All believers are encouraged to share Jesus with other people, but the gift of evangelism could mean a particular gift to reach others.

 

 
Charismatic Gifts (1 Corinthians 12)
 
Main article: Charism
Also known as the "manifestation gifts" or "miraculous gifts". Some limit the term "spiritual gifts" to just the charismatic gifts. Cessationism claims that these gifts ceased to operate (through individuals) early in Christian history. Its counterpart continuationism claims that they still operate today. They are believed by some to be transmitted through the laying on of hands.

 

Fivefold ministry

Fivefold Ministry refers to an ecclesiology or system of church organization utilized by a variety of minority religious movements (usually Christian). The term "fivefold ministry" is derived by those who adhere to it from references in the Christian New Testament to the roles of authority in the Christian community, especially in the Ephesians chapter four verse eleven, which mentions five things Christ sent groups out as at one point in the Gospels: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher.
 
Adherents of this ecclesiology especially emphasize the presence of the charismatic gifts, often called "signs and wonders," and the accompanying role of apostle and prophet.
 

The Charismatic movement

In American revivalism and free-church movements, the development of the pentecostal movement, the charismatic movement, the "full-gospel" movement, the discipleship movement, the home-church movement, the restoration movement, the Jewish-Christian movement all gave rise to a return of both roles in religious practice.
 
The use of the term "Apostle" is generally used an "overseeing" leader that has God-given vision for the Church at large and "prophet" is the equivalent of a biblical practice of the gift of prophecy. The use of the term "apostle" (note the lower-case "a"), is also used (and perhaps more frequently so, in charismatic churches), to refer to a person or persons, who under the authority of a mother church, is authorized to plant new churches, and to administer their oversight. This view recognizes the uniqueness and authority of the original 12 Apostles of the New Testament Church, and the nature of their specific role as foundational to the Christian Church and Christian Faith.
 
While all Christians have been given the gift of prophecy, the prophet's focus is lead the Church in this area, and to serve under the authority of pastors and apostles.
In Charismatic circles, the "worldview" analogy is often used to illustraite the different offices of the fivefold ministry. -The Evangelist is primarily concerned with evangelizing -The Pastor is primarily concerned with his "flock" (congegration) -The Apostle is primarily concerned with the Church at large, and where God is directing it. -The Prophet is primarily concerned with "what God is saying," (the Rhema word of God) and seeing the whole body walking in prophecy. -The Teacher is primarily concerned with teaching the Bible (the Logos word of God) and helping the Church to better understand it.
 
 
Evangelists
 
Sometimes, the regular minister of a church is called a preacher in a way that other groups would typically use the term pastor. The evangelist in some churches is one that travels from town to town and from church to church, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many Christians of various theological perspectives would call themselves 'evangelists' because they are spreaders of the gospel. Many churches believe one of their major functions is to function as evangelists to spread the evangelist belief that Jesus is savior of humanity.
 
In common parlance, the title of evangelist is most easily associated with those who lead large meetings like those of Billy Graham, possibly in tents or existing church buildings, or those who address the public in street corner preaching, which targets listeners who happen to pass nearby on the street. It can also be done in small groups or even on a one-to-one basis. Increasingly, the Web enables anyone to become an Internet evangelist.
 
Evangelism is the Christian practice of preaching the Gospel of Jesus to both Christians (i.e., Orthodox and Catholics) and non-Christians. The intention of most evangelism is to effect conversion to Christianity. Evangelism is done in obedience to the Great Commission, a command from Jesus to his disciples to proselytize, as recorded in the New Testament.

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