Body Building 101
The passage in Romans 12 gives us seven amazing types of gifted people God wants to use in every church. Three of these seven gifts are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28 (prophets, teachers, administration); two of the gifts (prophets and pastor-teachers) are included in Ephesians 4:11; and another two (administering and serving) are listed in 1 Peter 4:10-11. So, these seven seem to resonate as a complete set that God loves to use. But whatever gift, or blend of gifts, you have been given, exercise them faithfully as a stewardship from God.
At every construction site where Christ is at work building His church, He will be sending believers that He has gifted for the following construction "jobs" or "duties":
- Workers gifted in Speaking Forth God's Word or "prophecy" (Romans 12:6). This Gr. word means "speaking forth" and does not necessarily have to involve prediction of the future or any other mystical or supernatural aspects. When used of a non-revelatory gift, this word "prophecy" simply identifies the skill of public proclamation of the Word of God (1 Pet. 4:11).
This person may be random, or may be systematic—but they love to proclaim the Word. But the key that tests the prompting of the Spirit is that a person's "prophesying" is to be done in proportion to the faith, a better translation would be "in agreement to the (not his) faith."
- Workers gifted in Serving God's People or "ministry" (Romans 12:7a). From the same Gr. word as "deacon," "deaconess" come from, it refers to those who serve. This gift, similar to the gift of helps (1 Cor. 12:28), has broad application to include every kind of practical help (cf. Acts 20:35; 1 Cor. 12:28).
This person never needs to be pointed towards a job, they are always looking for things to do for others.
- Workers gifted in Explaining God's Word or "teaching" (Romans 12:7b). The ability to interpret, clarify, systematize, and explain God's truth clearly (cf. Acts 18:24-25; 2 Tim. 2:2). Pastors must have the gift of teaching (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9; cf. 1 Tim. 4:16), but many mature, qualified laymen also have this gift. This differs from preaching (prophecy), not in content, but in the unique skill for public proclamation.
This person is very systematic and able to clearly communicate truth, even though they may be quiet and even prefer a small group.
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