Spiritual Gifts & Revival
Matthew 16:13-15, 17:1-5; Exodus 24:15-17; Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:10; Ezekiel 1:4; Luke 2:9; Acts 2 • April 7, 2019 • Jon Thompson
As we conclude our series on the Spiritual Gifts we come to this final discussion on Disciplines, Gifts and Revival. Is there a distinction between renewal, revival and awakening? Well at C4 here is how we use these 3 words. RENEWAL: is when God touches the heart of a single individual. REVIVAL is when God touches a community of faith on mass. AWAKENING is when the wider society is impacted thought mass conversion and life change. Disciplines are open to all Christians, they are normative. Spiritual gifts are also expected, normative but are sovereignly assigned. But what about other experiences that don't fall into either category, what do we do with revival? And how is the different and how does that change our expectations? Revivals always include mass conversions of people to Jesus, and a true awakening takes place. But a common mistake many make is to pair the outworking or unusual manifestations of the Spirit during revival with the gifts that are always present in the daily Christian life. No, the revival settings I’ve described above are not about gifts or disciplines. As we have learned, spiritual disciplines are for all to exercise at any season of life. Spiritual gifts are sovereignly assigned and are normative, day in and day out. But revival is not normal, is not always, and neither are the results. Much of the time during revival there is greater power and presence of God, which means the disciplines are used more and the power behind the gifts is stronger. But revival is started and ended only by God. These seasons are given to send us out and to sustain us over a lifetime. Don’t pair one experience with the other. Some revivals last days, some last years. Should we pray for, ask for, and expectantly wait for God to move in revival? Absolutely. But if He says, “No,” or “Not yet,” that does not affect the gifts He has given or the disciplines He has modelled.
The POWER Gifts: Celibacy & Martyrdom, Gift Tension & Grace
1 Corinthians 7, Luke 9:23-25, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Revelation 6:9-11, Acts 6:1-7;7:59-60;15:36-41 • March 31, 2019 • Jon Thompson
So welcome to the second last week in our series on Spiritual gifts, Today we end with two last gifts, we tackle gift tension head on, we talk about the grace needed for us to keep going. Celibacy: The gift of celibacy is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to remain single and enjoy it; to be unmarried and not suffer undue sexual temptation. Though many of us do not have the gift, we are all called to the discipline of chastity and fasting, either by situation of life (we are not married) or if we are married, by an agreed time of mutually seeking God! Others of us have this gift and we can celebrate and find joy in this. Now why would any of us even be willing to do this? To deny what we want, what we are, to not fulfilled as a culture defines it? And the answer is simple, we love Jesus more than our own lives, rights, wants and desires no mater how strong. Martyrdom: The gift of martyrdom is a special ability to undergo suffering for the faith even to death while constantly displaying a joyous and victorious attitude that brings glory to God! One example is what happened in the story of Stephen. Christians went on the run for their lives but as they did the good news of Jesus spread all the way from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria into the Roman world all by this man death. God takes hate and death and brings life and forgiveness and will reward those that suffer for his name. Gift Tension & Grace: Our spiritual gifts make us respond almost instinctively (or better, with supernatural, spiritual sensitivity) to a situation that places us in a position to alert or encourage others to take action even though they may not perceive the need in the way we do. Most of us are grace-filled when it comes to the love gifts and word gifts as a rule.But when it comes to the power gifts, the grace drops real quick. For example, if someone speaks in tongues, but don’t do it correctly within the community, the response by others is too often a quick “See? It’s just fake; it’s not real”—rather than asking, “How could we do this better?’” We assume there’s room to grow and learn in the use of the love and word gifts but often don’t extend that assumption to the power gifts. Those are assumed to be delivered “fully functioning,” when in fact, just like the other gifts, people with power gifts have to grow into their gifting.
The POWER Gifts: Healing, Words of Knowledge & Words of Wisdom
1 Corinthians 12:7, 15:42; Revelation 21:4; John 5:19, 11:41-49; James 5:13-15 • March 24, 2019 • Jon Thompson
Healing: Those who have the gift of Healing experience a deep desire to see God alleviate physical problems in people and the willingness to be used by God to do so, an unusual ability to sense the power of God when it is present for healing, and the ability to trust God and believe that He wants to heal. You have the willingness to take risks for God… The principle of contagion probably applies here. Those who are around people operating in this type of healing ministry are likely to be drawn into it and be open to God releasing this gift in them so that they can release the healing to others. It is not about a show, it’s not about a big, dramatic display; it is about God healing people to either bring the person or others to Jesus in whose name the healing took place, or it is to heal followers of Jesus. Words of Knowledge: The key idea in understanding this gift is that it functions like the gift of prophecy but not in a communal setting; it’s one on one. It is God giving a very direct word. But notice it is situational and prompting based, it’s a Power Gift. The word of knowledge functions when God gives you information about someone you have no direct access to any other way. The right exercise of this gift and the information God gives you always humbles, always helps, and never humiliates. It can bring healing to others, but never hurts them. So words of knowledge are similar to prophecy, but are directed to individuals. Words of Wisdom: This gift is in action when God gives a situational word or a message acutely applicable in a moment that provides insight for people into the next steps of their spiritual journey. These are practical instructions like “go to this place” or “read this book.” Wisdom is knowledge applied, and in this case, every time the supernatural, situational word is given, you recognize it came from Jesus’ lips to you.
The POWER Gifts: Prophecy
Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, 14:3-4; Romans 12:6; Acts 21:8-11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17 • March 17, 2019 • Joel Penney
The gift of prophecy can be defined as the ability to deliver truth in a public context in either a predictive nature or as a situational word from God in order to correct believers by exhorting, edifying or consoling them, or to convince non-believer's of God's truth. A person operating in this gift is deeply impressed that God has by his Spirit given him or her a message to deliver in the situation. The message may result in further insight into God's word, cause conviction of sin, bring reproof, provide comfort or a new sense of direction to the group. There are, of course, two audiences: those who have (or may have) this gift, and the rest of us. Like all the Spiritual Gifts, we all need to know how each other's work. But especially this one, because it concerns us all when it's used properly. It's so easy to be skeptical, bitter and dismissive with prophecy, but we can't be!
The POWER Gifts: Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues & Intercession
Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 12:4 • March 10, 2019 • Jon Thompson
Sermon Description: Tongues: It can be a known or unknown language that is given to some but not all Christians. It can be used evangelistically, tongues can used to authenticate the addition of new people into God's church, tongues can be used for edification in small groups or worship. Tongues can be used to worship God by singing in tongues, to pray for others, to be thankful, to give inner assurance of communion with God, an affirmation of personal presence of God in your life. This gift can bring joy, allows you to cry out to God over others when words do not come. You can deeply changed and moved by this gift. Interpretation: Paul's language about tongues is "I wish", "I would like", it is not "you will", "you can" or "you must!" His point is that intelligible prophecy is better and is God’s will for corporate gatherings. And if you do speak in tongues in a small group or a public worship time then it must be interpreted in this example by another so everyone can understand. Intercession: This is a gift of prayer. It is not in formal list in Scripture but it and other gifts are inferred in scripture and this is a very strong one we need to address for a moment. The gift of intercession is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to pray for extended periods of time on a regular basis and see frequent and specific answers to their prayers, to a degree much greater than that which is expected of the average Christian.
The POWER Gifts: Faith, Discernment of Spirits & The Working of Power through Miracles
1 Corinthians 12, Hebrews 11:6, Ephesians 2:8, Hebrews 5:14; 2:3, Acts 17:11, 1 John 4:1, James 4:7 • March 3, 2019 • Jon Thompson
This week we begin to learn together about the POWER gifts, starting with the gifts of Faith, Discernment of Spirits & Workings of Power through Miracles. Faith: The spiritual gift of faith is not saving faith, or walking out our Christian faith in every day life. It a Spiritual gift. The gift of faith refers to the unusual capacity of a person to recognize in a given situation that God intends to do something and to trust God for it until He brings it to pass. The gift of faith is a Spirit-given ability to see something that God wants done and to sustain unwavering confidence that God will do it regardless of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Discernment of Spirits: The gift of discerning of spirits is the special ability God gives to some members of the Body of Christ which enables them to know with assurance whether certain behaviour purported to be of God is in reality divine, human or-satanic. You will get a glimpse of the behind the scenes supernatural reality in a situation, either a mental picture or in reality, you see physical symptoms that lead you to know something is wrong. You will see or sense demons in people, areas, places or situations, you will know when something that looks Godly but is human and about pride. Working of Power through Miracles: The gift of miracles is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to serve as human intermediaries through whom it pleases God to perform powerful acts that are perceived by observers to have altered the ordinary course of nature. Again this is casting out demons, raising people from the dead, changing the course of nature but notice it is not physical healing, that is a different gift. Series: Spiritual Gifts Series Description: Since we believe with all our hearts that Spiritual gifts are the only ongoing guaranteed place of power to serve from, we need to once again build the common script and understanding among all that make up C4 in this season. As we step out together, we all need to discover, rediscover, rededicate and walk in a power that is not our own, to do the impossible in this context we find ourselves. When we start using and growing in our gifts we will experience the joy that comes from honouring God, serving others and knowing part of our purpose in this life, that will ripple into eternity!
The WORD Gifts: Leadership, Pastoring & Evangelism
1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:8, Ephesians 4:11, 2 Timothy 4:5 • February 24, 2019 • Jon Thompson
This week we follow up last weeks introduction to the Word Gifts by addressing those with the gift of Leadership/Ruling, Pastoring and Evangelism. Leadership: A person operating with a ruling gift demonstrates the capacity to exercise influence over a group so as to lead it towards a goal or purpose with a particular emphasis on the capacity to make decisions and keep the group operating together. The gift of Leadership focuses more on the what and who and less on the how. Pastoring: The pastoral gift is the capacity to exercise concern and care for members of a group so as to encourage them in their growth in Christ, which involves modelling maturity, protecting them from error and disseminating truth. The gift of pastor is the special ability that God give to certain members of the body of Christ to assume a long-term personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of a group of believers. Evangelism: this is the special ability in communication the Gospel message in relevant ways to unbelievers The gift of evangelism in general refers to the capacity to challenge people through various communicative methods (persuasion) to receive the Gospel of salvation in Christ so as to see them respond by taking initial steps in Christian discipleship.
The WORD Gifts: Teaching, Exhortation & Apostleship
1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4:11, 1 Timothy 4:16, Romans 12:8, 1 John 2:1, Acts 1:12-14, • February 17, 2019 • Jon Thompson
Teaching, exhortation, and apostleship are three of the word-oriented gifts of the Holy Spirit. Teaching as a role that informs, trains, prepares, disciples, and equips. Exhortation as a coming alongside with encouragement as well as confrontation if necessary, a gift that touches on the internal life of other followers of Jesus. Apostleship which is a pure leadership and expansion gift, pushing boundaries and overcoming obstacles as the Church continues its God-given work under the Great Commission.
The LOVE Gifts: Administration, Helps, Mercy & Giving
1 Corinthians 12 • February 10, 2019 • Jon Thompson
When it is a gift there is a greater ease, there is a frequency and power, there are great results, there is more joy, and worship and Jesus feels closer, it’s a supernatural sweet spot! The Love gifts (Administration, Helps, Mercy & Giving) are key to the church working right and Love gifts are secondary in the sense that they are all about supporting, building up what God has and is establishing through the leadership of a local church. This again is not about value at all but role. Series Description: Since we believe with all our hearts that Spiritual gifts are the only ongoing guaranteed place of power to serve from, we need to once again build the common script and understanding among all that make up C4 in this season. As we step out together, we all need to discover, rediscover, rededicate and walk in a power that is not our own, to do the impossible in this context we find ourselves. When we start using and growing in our gifts we will experience the joy that comes from honouring God, serving others and knowing part of our purpose in this life, that will ripple into eternity!
Spiritual Gifts & Character
1 Corinthians 12; 13:1 • February 3, 2019 • Jon Thompson
The spiritual gifts must access a place of every growing character, a deep deep reservoir of love. The gifts of the Spirit must be undergirded by the Fruit of the Holy Spirit which is first and foremost love. We all as Christians get at least one gift and the gifts are given for one thing and one thing alone the common good. To build up, to rebuke, to encourage, to challenge to bring life to the community! They are not given for rivalry or jealousy and they are given to be used, not to be hidden in fear or be suppressed for any reason. Series Title: Spiritual Gifts Series Description: Since we believe with all our hearts that Spiritual gifts are the only ongoing guaranteed place of power to serve from, we need to once again build the common script and understanding among all that make up C4 in this season. As we step out together, we all need to discover, rediscover, rededicate and walk in a power that is not our own, to do the impossible in this context we find ourselves. When we start using and growing in our gifts we will experience the joy that comes from honouring God, serving others and knowing part of our purpose in this life, that will ripple into eternity!
Spiritual Gifts: An Introduction
1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 • January 27, 2019 • Jon Thompson
We at C4 believe every Christ follower is called to impact those around them through loving, joyful, gift-based service. We know that when we give God glory there is joy, we know that when we work in the areas God has gifted us we experience such powerful joy and we know purpose is given when we serve in our God given assignments. But what if you don't know your Spiritual gifts? Or what if you have never been able to identify them and learn from others that have the same gifts? And what about the ongoing problem we have as the greater church body with so many different understandings of the gifts and our experiences with them. In this ten-week series we are going to address all of these questions head on. Series Title: Spiritual Gifts Series Description: Since we believe with all our hearts that Spiritual gifts are the only ongoing guaranteed place of power to serve from, we need to once again build the common script and understanding among all that make up C4 in this season. As we step out together, we all need to discover, rediscover, rededicate and walk in a power that is not our own, to do the impossible in this context we find ourselves. When we start using and growing in our gifts we will experience the joy that comes from honouring God, serving others and knowing part of our purpose in this life, that will ripple into eternity!