Different Categories of Gifts

There are three categories of gifts mentioned in the scriptures. These are not necessarily the only gifts, but they do seem to cover the full range of gifts that operate today. Some gifts are mentioned in more than one list, but this is to express different aspects of that gift.

a. Motivational Gifts.
[Romans 12:3-9] "Use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us." This recognises that God has given us different measures of grace or motivation to accomplish his will. That grace is a function of our faith in recognising and using our spiritual gifts. We are likely to have one motivational gift which is stronger than any of the others, but others will also play some part in our gift mix. There are seven motivational gifts.

b. Manifestation gifts.
[1 Corinthians 12:7-11] "The Spirit's presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all." This recognises the purpose of the Spirit showing or manifesting his supernatural power in us, particularly in a time of prayer or worship. We operate one gift at a time, but the body is intended to exercise all of them. There are nine gifts in the list.

c. Ministry Gifts.
[Ephesians 4:11]. "To prepare all God's people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ." These are leadership gifts or ministries, that are more closely tied to the role that a person has in the church. There are five of these gifts.

How Motivational Gifts Work

Your Motivational Gifts are your basic gifting that affects the way you see the work of God and how you serve him.

* They are not purely natural talents, but a combination of natural and supernatural abilities. To the degree that you yield your life to the Holy Spirit, God will use your human drives and characteristics and empowers and changes them for his supernatural purposes.

* They are not Christian roles, such as Sunday School teaching, but are the Spirit empowered way you do any Christian service, in whatever role you are in. Your motivational gift will cause you to do this task differently from someone else who is doing the same task.

* They are not the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22]. We are all expected to grow in all the fruit of the Spirit, whereas you are likely to have only one major motivational gift. Motivational gifts are abilities, but you need the fruit of the Spirit to enable you to also have mature qualities in your life.

* Manifestation gifts are given at the time when you need to use them, but motivational gifts are with you all the time, in everything that you do. They can be so much part of your life that you have failed to realise that they are in you.

* Your motivational gift will affect which manifestation and leadership gifts you exercise.

Discovering Your Gift

Be open to discovering and receiving your gift. - You must commit yourself fully to God [Romans 12:1-2 - You must be filled with the Holy Spirit [Acts 1:8] - You must gain victory over sin in your life [Acts 8:21]. - You must desire to love and serve others [1 Corinthians 14:1]

Learn about the gifts. - Study the Bible passages where gifts are used. - Get to know gifted people, especially those with gifts the same as yours, and observe how they use their gift. - Talk about spiritual gifts with other Christians. - Read books on the subject. - Study these notes carefully. They are well able to help you see what gift you have.

Pray for the gifts. - Be persistent. Discovering gifts takes time and courage.

Use the Gifts Questionnaire. The motivational gifts are well able to be discerned this way. Their accuracy however depends on how much you know yourself, so it is good to have other confirmation as well.

Use the help of other Christians who you pray and serve with to discern your gifts. Usually it is difficult to discern our strengths, but is often obvious to someone else. It is good to have others confirmation of what we have been able to tell in ourselves.

Exercise boldness. - Have a go with what you can do. Be available for service. Don't wait for gifts before beginning service, but rather step out in faith and expect the gifts to come as you serve.

Are the Gifts Meant for Today?

There has been a controversy in the church for a long time about whether the spiritual gifts are meant for today. Of course, if the gifts are not meant for today, we are wasting our time in trying to learn about them or use them.

There is nowhere in the scriptures that says that God has withdrawn or will withdraw the gifts. 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 is clear that the gifts will pass away `when perfection comes' and when we `know fully' - in fact only when we go to be with the Lord in eternity.

However through the history of the church, the gifts have been neglected. It is not surprising that after about 17 centuries of neglect, it is taking some time for the church to re-discover the spiritual gifts.

Who is Given a Spiritual Gift?

God wills that every Christian exercise spiritual gifts [1 Corinthians 12:7] But these gifts are only given by the Holy Spirit, so we only receive them as we receive from the Holy Spirit.

Why Use The Motivational Gifts?

1. Because we should use what God has graciously given us to use. Not to use God's gifts is pride (I can manage without them) or ignorance. [Romans 12:3].

2. Spiritual gifts turn you from being a spectator into a participator in your Christian life. They enable all Christians to have a ministry of service to others.

3. The Gifts of the Spirit are as important as the fruit of the Spirit in loving others. If we love them we shall bring to them prophetic encouragement, supernatural guidance, deliverance, counselling etc. The gifts must be exercised in love.

4. Motivational gifts help you to evaluate your place in the Body of Christ. You will be able to better operate in service with others, and be more united to the body of Christ, if you recognise the reality of our different strengths for service. [Romans 12:4-5].

5. The gifts are really just Jesus working through us in healing, prophecy etc. So if you have Jesus in your life, you will want to continue on his ministry.

6. If you have received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit you will have been released to use Spiritual gifts as a normal part of your Christian life. Spiritual gifts, including the motivational gifts, are not an optional extra, but an integral part of the Spirit filled Christian life.

7. You cannot effectively serve the Lord, without using the spiritual gifts. You will not experience supernatural help in your work until you use your spiritual gifts. Knowing your motivational gifts will enable you to find out the best way you can serve, and avoid unnecessary frustrations over ineffectively doing things the way someone else does them.

8. Without all the gifts operating, the church will be held back in its effective worship and work. The church needs its people to be using the gifts in order for it to grow and be fruitful.

9. Spiritual gifts are given to enable you to witness. [Acts 1:8]

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