Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Charismatic Distinctives, part 2
1 Corinthians 12:1
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. (Another translation says “ignorant,” and another says “uninformed.”)
Paul is writing to the Church and telling them that he doesn’t want them to be ignorant or unaware of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is obvious that there was some misuse of the gifts in the Corinthians’ church. If you skip to the end of the chapter, it says, “But earnestly desire greater gifts and I show you still a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:31) Paul’s main teaching in this chapter is that we should desire these gifts. That we should not stop using the gifts, but that the gifts should be governed properly.
The Nine Gifts (from 1 Corinthians 12)
Utterance Gifts: tongues, interpretations, prophecy
Revelation Gifts: words of knowledge, words of wisdom, discerning of spirits
Power Gifts: working in miracles, special faith, gifts of healing
The Utterance Gifts
We are going to focus on the Utterance Gifts. These are the only gifts that 1 Corinthians 12 gives instructions on how to use, as they can easily be misused. Once someone is filled with the Spirit, Scripture tells us that everyone has an utterance. The timing and the place to use that utterance is where the instructions come into play. It is easy for churches to not want to participate in the Utterance Gifts because of their misuse. But that would be like saying, “We aren’t going to take an offering because the money could be misused.” Saying you aren’t going to teach on something or expect it to manifest in your church and ministry because it could be misused is lowering ourselves to the lowest common denominator. Strong teaching about these gifts is very important.
When I pastored, our vision sheet (most people call their bulletin) that we handed out each week included a small paragraph that read: “If you believe you have a prophetic word or an utterance from the Holy Spirit, please see the person in charge of the service. You will be able to recognize them as they will be on the front, middle row.” We were stating that we were expecting these gifts to be used, but explaining that the gifts will operate in divine order with testing taking place before anything is shared publicly.
Sharing a Word
When people would come to me with a word, I would test it and respond:
“Let’s just sit on that and see where that goes,” or
I would hand them the mic and have them share, or
I would share the word (“Brother Bob just had a word…”)
There are different ways of doing things; you want to develop a culture where there is freedom, but also government. In my personal experiences, when people know that there is government will be exercised and that words will be tested, there is more manifestation of the word.
The Big Picture on Gifting
There are three categories of gifting in the New Testament:
Motivational Gifts (Romans 12)—serving, giving, mercy, etc. I believe that is a representative list, but not a complete list. These are father gifts. They develop character. They develop the culture in church life.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12)
Risen Son Gifts (Ephesians 4)—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
Is it possible to have a one-legged stool? A two-legged stool? No. You need a three-legged stool. How can someone say, “We want the gifts in Romans 12, but we don’t want the gifts in 1 Corinthians 12”? We need ALL the giftings in ALL their manifestations. I would highly encourage a series from the pulpit (and as part of your discipleship course) that is a verse-by-verse teaching so people understand these giftings.
Unmask the Gifts
Teaching on the giftings can unmask the gifts in your church. If you are going to have the results of fruitful, powerful, holy living that spreads to your communities, we have to go back to the basics. Get people baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Introduce them to the gifts of the Spirit. Teach them how the five-fold gifts mature them and cause them to become a united part of the body. Teach them about the motivational gifts so they can be plugged in and serving somewhere. All of those gifts work together to build the body. We need them all. Let’s not neglect what the Lord is doing. Let’s bring the fullness of God’s gifts to our churches.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!