How to Use Your Spiritual Gift
Spiritual gifts are your tickets into contexts of people that need what you bring. This allows you an opportunity to prophesy, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ (Matthew 10.7). This is intended to destroy the nest of demons that are attacking the defenseless sheep; Jesus’ picture in Matthew 9.35-38. You are a laborer He is sending in to deliver the sheep. You have what you need for the task; just do it! Here’s why and how.
A Brief Review of His-story of Overcoming satan
- Revelation 12.1-12 begins with an allegory of the nation Israel and the birth of Jesus. The passage ends with a statement of history: satan rebelled in Heaven and was cast from there to earth, which is a type of prison for him until he will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20.10).
- The truth of the allegory was Israel’s bondage in Egypt, from which God saved His people and judged satan’s deceptions of the Egyptians, which had led to bondage. Exodus 12.12b quotes God’s declaration of intention to Moses.
- The Child of the allegory was Jesus, God’s Son, Who continued His Father’s work of overcoming satan’s bondage of people on earth. Two examples: Mark 9.25-27 and Luke 13.16.
- Jesus, even, deputized his apostles and disciples with His authority to overcome satan’s abuse of the sheep He saw everywhere, as is heard in Matthew 10.8 and seen in their actions of Luke 10.1-19. [Verse 18 is His remembrance of the events of Revelation 12.7-9.] Verse 19 continues today, explained in the following.
- After the ‘blood of the Lamb’ (Revelation 12.11) was shed for the remission of your sin (Hebrews 11.6; Mark 2.1-12; John 3.16, 14.6), Jesus ascended to be with God, and He sent the Holy Spirit (third person of the Trinity of God) to ‘abide with you forever’ (John 14.16-17). He, the Holy Spirit of God, continues to overcome satan’s abuses of mankind. The Apostle Paul was an example of this, as is seen in Acts 14.8-10. You can become such an example!
The ‘Scepter’ in Your Mouth
- Psalm 110.1-2 picture Jesus’ return to Father God. God proclaims His determined will to make Jesus’ enemies (John 3.18, 8.44) a footstool for His feet. It has not yet been done but will be done! How? Jesus’ ‘scepter’ will rule among His enemies until they are all defeated! Eaton’s Bible Dictionary identifies a scepter as properly a staff or rod; a symbol of authority; originated in the idea of a ruler as a shepherd of his people (Genesis 49.10).
- Jesus identified, in John 17.11-12, 6, 26, His scepter as God’s name that He gave to Jesus. Jesus’ authority was and is in His name, the name of God Himself, the greatest name and word above all names and words ever spoken, as Paul emphasized in Philippians 2.9-11! Then, in verse 12, Paul said to use this name, Jesus, to work out your salvation, deliver you, from whatever oppression satan uses to abuse you!
- The name Jesus is what is hated by His enemies (Matthew 10.22) because, through them, satan vents on mankind, made in God’s image (Genesis 1.27), his hatred of God for casting him from Heaven (Revelation 12.7-9) because of his rebellion (Isaiah 14.12-15)!
- Revelation 19.11-16 is allegory of the final battle with Jesus’ enemies. Verse 13: ‘…the name by which He is called is The Word of God’; understand this from John 1.1. The name Jesus was in the beginning! King Solomon built the Temple for the Name of God, which symbolized His presence, even though Solomon did not know that the name is Jesus; see 2 Chronicles 6.3-11.
- The ‘word of our testimony’ in Revelation 12.11 is one, powerful, greatest word and name ‘JESUS’! You are an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5.20) and operate with freedom in the foreign kingdom of satan (2 Corinthians 4.4) by using Jesus’ name.
- Remember that God, Whose name is Jesus, cast satan from Heaven to earth and sent His Son Who destroyed all of satan’s abuses of God’s ‘sheep’ while He was on earth (1 John 3.8b). Now, the Holy Spirit in you continues to do the same through you when you are willing to overcome satan and his demons by speaking the name Jesus in rebuke of them (James 4.7).
- It is not your cancer or whatever named other demon that has gained control of your body or mind (John 10.10a); it was not put there by God. If satan can steal God’s promise from you, he can destroy your faith to receive that promise, which will make you defenseless and him able to kill your body, mind, and/or to take your possessions.
- But, Jesus gives you abundant life (John 10.10b) when you use His scepter that He has given you for that purpose! As Paul wrote in Colossians 1.27: it is Christ in you that is the hope of glory (present and future)!
- Will you ‘work out your salvation’ (Philippians 2.12-13)?
Jesus, ‘the firstborn among many brothers’ (Romans 8.29)
- Paul explained ‘firstborn’ in Colossians 1.16-20. Jesus was with God at creation. But, Jesus had no ‘brothers’ originally. There was only God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
- No, ‘the firstborn among many brothers’ refers to all who become conformed to His image, not looking like Him but acting acting like Him. Christian means ‘little Christs’ means those who say the words and do the deeds of Christ Jesus, Himself (Who only said and did what He heard and saw God the Father say and do; John 5.19-20, 12.48-50). See 1 Corinthians 2.4-5 for an example of Matthew 10.7-8 and Mark 16.17-20.
- Acting like Jesus was God’s original plan for you, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3.18 and in Romans 12.2. God predetermined this in His plan before He began creating. Jesus said as much in John 14.12.
- Paul wrote in Ephesians 2.10 that these are ‘good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them’, who are ‘created in Christ Jesus’. Created means conformed to His image; new creation, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5.17. He gives the process of transformation in 2 Corinthians 3.18.
- In light of this understanding, how does Jesus’ taking authority over the storm (Mark 4.39-40) instruct you about Romans 8.19-22? Does satan cause destructive storms? Does he gnarl trees? This happened after Creation, as Paul pointed out. What are the limits of faith? Remember that Paul wrote that God predetermined the roles of teachers and preachers to equip those conformed to Jesus’ image to mature them to the heights of Jesus’ knowledge and faith (Ephesians 4.11-13). He quelled the storm…and walked on water.
- Jesus showed you the way and gave you the authority. Will you act like Him?
God has never lost a battle to satan…and is not about to start now. He executed judgment on Egypt’s gods. He destroyed satan’s philosophies and works through His Son. He continues to destroy satan’s works through His Holy Spirit in believers willing to use His name and symbol of all authority. Read again what Jesus said in Luke 10.19. Yes, He gives this to you!
Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2014. www.sozoclass.com
How do Spiritual gifts combine to do something good?
In John 16.14-15, Jesus explained that the Holy Spirit would distribute among His followers ‘what is [His]’. This would be needed by you to fulfill His assignments to you in John 17.18 and Matthew 28.18-20. Paul discussed the distribution of these Spiritual gifts in Hebrews 2.1-4 (AD 61; first Roman imprisonment) as evidence, along with God’s ‘signs and wonders and various miracles’, of salvation for man through Jesus Christ (Deuteronomy 18.18; John 15.24), the only Savior (John 14.6; Acts 17.22-31 [AD 53, third missionary journey]). Paul listed these for you in 1 Corinthians 12.1-11 (AD 55-56; third missionary journey) and explained these using the human body (verses 12-31) as a metaphor for the body of Christ. While you understand his discussion of individuality and uniqueness, the question remains: how are you joined to the other parts to move the body in coordination to perform ‘good works’ (Ephesians 2.10)?
What holds us together?
- Physically, you know that laminin are adhesive molecules that hold every cell of your body together. Without laminin, you would literally fall apart. It is shaped like a cross.
- Just so with the Spiritual body of Christ. The Holy Spirit the ‘laminin’ holding each part of the body to another. He is another evidence of God’s never leaving us; see Deuteronomy 31.8 and Joshua 1.5
- In Ephesians 1.13-14, Paul assured believers that they had received the Holy Spirit as the downpayment for their future eternity with Jesus and God in Heaven, as Jesus had assured His disciples in Acts 1.4. Cornelius evidenced this to Peter; Acts 10.44 and 11.15-16.
How do your top five gifts fit into the body of Christ where you study or worship? Is this true of your workplace, classroom, and/or casual locations with family and friends (your apostleship: where you are called, skilled, and sent)?
- Paul made a most important observation in 1 Corinthians 12.25-26: God created codependency among the different Spiritual gifts so that each would contribute and all would celebrate together. Victory requires all parts working together!
- God’s assigned tasks require the efficient and effective interaction of the following Spiritual gifts: a prophetic and wise leader understanding God’s task and having faith to accomplish it; an knowledgable administrator to divide the mission into several strategic initiatives; persons who can evangelize and teach those apostles with gifts of service, still other persons with mercy and giving and exhortation and helpful abilities in groups led by shepherds to perform each learned tactic of every initiative; a discerner to measure the results to the metrics of success, and one or more persons with the gift of hospitality to plan the recognition of special efforts and the celebration of successful completion of the assigned task by all.
- 1 Corinthians 12.31a and 14.1 form a complete thought. Diligently understand and practice your Spiritual gift with a loving heart (chapter 13) and a desire to proclaim the Good News about ‘sozo’ through Jesus Christ. Consider how Colossians 3.17, 23 and 1 Corinthians 10.31 add to this thought.
In Ephesians 1.18-19, Paul gives God’s general protocol for tasks:
- He assigns the task;
- He resources the assigned task;
- He uses His power to ensure that the task is completed by those who pray and obey.
How will you engage your Spiritual gift?
Praise God!!! Copyright by Maurice L. Painter, 2014. www.sozoclass.com
The Spiritual Gift of Apostleship
Interesting term, apostleship; probably misunderstood in the body of Christ because it has not been taught. That is, until now, when there is deeper discussion of God’s ‘call’ upon persons that are not clergy. If you are called to a unique ministry, you are an apostle, as is explained in the following discussion.
Jesus started this.
- Paul explained this in his doctrinal treatise titled Hebrews, specifically 3.1 (AD 61, first imprisonment in Rome). Who ‘appointed’ Jesus as ‘the apostle and high priest of our confession’? See Deuteronomy 18.18 and Isaiah 9.6-7. Note Jesus’ ‘responsibility to God’ in accepting His apostleship.
- From this, you know that an apostle is appointed by God to a particular office or task.
Notice the office of Jesus and the tasks God assigned to Him.
- Jesus chose ‘apostles of Jesus’. 1 Peter 1.1 explains this for those who saw and walked with Jesus daily, and Galatians 1.1 adds Paul (Acts 9.1-9, 26.15-18; Galatians 1.15-17). Matthew 10.1-5, Mark 3.16, and Luke 6.12-13 tell you that Jesus listened as God chose the 12, whom He called His ‘apostles’ and tasked according to Matthew 10.7-8, Mark 3.14-15 and 6.7, and Luke 9.1. Remember that Jesus’ context for this was Matthew 9.35-38.
- The original 12, including Judas’ replacement Matthias, and Paul (1 Corinthians 15.9), were the only ‘apostles of Jesus’.
The Holy Spirit continues this.
- Jesus authorized ‘other apostles of the church’, as Paul used the term in 2 Corinthians 8.23; John 17.18 and 20.21 quote Jesus’ intention.
- All, including you, were tasked with Matthew 28.18-20. But, some were focused more narrowly, including Paul (Acts 13.1-3, Galatians 2.8b, 1 Thessalonians 2.6), Peter (Galatians 2.8a), Barnabas (Acts 4.36-37, 11.21-24, 13.1-3), and others (Romans 16.7; Philippians 2.25; 2 Timothy 1.6-7; Acts 11.28 and 21.10). Also, ‘others’ includes deacons (Acts 6.1-6) and the artisans God chose to help Moses construct the Tabernacle (Exodus 31.1-11, 35.31; 1Kings 7.14). Notice that God birthed Bezalel in the home of a ‘worker in bronze’, who tutored him for His later use. What about you? Were your childhood ‘work’ experiences and professional training an accidental choice? Who guided them? For what tasks to be assigned?
- John the Baptist recognized the reality of being tasked by the Holy Spirit, as he said in John 3.27. What have you been tasked by Jesus to do?
You will have what you need to complete your assigned task.
- The references above about deacons and Moses’ artisans illustrate Jesus’ description of the Holy Spirit in John 14.26: ‘He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.’ Follow Him (Romans 8.14) and follow the instructions from the Bible (2 Timothy 3.16-17).
- Your vocation and avocational interests are His ‘good works’. You will be given the ‘keys of the kingdom’ to complete your task successfully, keys that you need to make life on earth like it is in Heaven, as Jesus said to pray in Matthew 6.10. The 12 apostles were given the keys (authority and power) to heal the sick and cast out oppressive demons. God provides the resources to complete His task and produce the results He envisions, which must become your vision (like Jesus said in John 5.19-20). The first key is John 14.6, as Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16.13-17. God gives the keys, His power, as Paul wrote in Romans 1.16-17.
The three jobs of all apostles: protect the word given by God and Jesus (Ephesians 2.20); receive, write, and declare God’s specific, circumstantial words (Acts 11.28); and confirm the words of God through signs and wonders (Acts 8.6-7, 1 Corinthians 2.4-5, Hebrews 2.3-4).
Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2014. www.sozoclass.com