6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. NKJV
6 And having gifts, different according to the grace that was given to us; whether prophecy -- `According to the proportion of faith!'7 or ministration -- `In the ministration!' or he who is teaching -- `In the teaching!' 8 or he who is exhorting -- `In the exhortation!' he who is sharing -- `In simplicity!' he who is leading -- `In diligence?' he who is doing kindness -- `In cheerfulness.' YLT
6 Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith;7 [He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving; he who teaches, to his teaching;8 He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness. AMP
GIFTS = charismata — manifestations, grace-effects.
Giftings of the Holy Spirit are not something that once given we can do with as we wish, operate in at our whim and control, direct, use at our discretion. They are evidences of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. They are the means through which God moves through us at His discretion. Furthermore, God gives His grace effects to whomsoever He wishes, when and how He deems is best. We have little to say about it other than yes and no and/or arguing that that gift is what we want or should be doing. Ultimately God knows best. As for others, we have nothing at all to say about it other than whether or not we are going to lend our support to their growth in their giftings. If we do not lend our support, or if we actively impede another from growing in his/her giftings, we are working against God instead of with God. It’s always better to work with God. 1 Pe. 4:10, 1 Cor. 12:4-5, 1 Cor. 7:7
In this section of Scripture Paul is showing how with our differing types of ministering we blend into one body. By saying that we belong to one another (kata— are attached to) he is noting that we affect one another and also that we need one another. Paul is not here listing specific manifestations of what we might consider offices/minisries but rather categories and/or leanings in a sort of representative listing, only two of which are found in other lists (prophesy and teaching).
Paul points out 3 emphases: 1) we all have giftings 2) the giftings vary among us 3) all of these spiritual manifestations come from God. It is also of note that A) several of these leanings are qualities we should as Christians exemplify (serving, encouraging, giving, showing mercy); B) when they become spiritual giftings they become a focus or passion of our life as a Christian.
WHAT IS YOUR PASSION…….
What prophesying is not is the modern psychic reading or seeing of future events. Literally prophesying is speaking the mind of God, whether in a futuristic foretelling of something, in a present observation of what God is wanting, expressing God’s heart or judgements, or similar. A word from the Holy Spirit can be long or short, a type of preaching, teaching, exhorting. The purpose is always to serve God, minister to the church and not exalt self.
This is not the ministry of a deacon. The word deacon is a transliteration of the Greek diakonos. There was no idea of office. It means ministering and/or serving. The concept is to serve throughout in whatever way is needed. All the apostles and co-workers were called diakonos no matter what their specific ministry might end up being. This can practically end up being a wide range of services in churches from garden work to youth work, children’s ministry, outreach events, office work, cleaning, assisting and supporting other’s in their ministry, etc. It is a giving of oneself wholly to the task at hand.
What this is not is a desire to talk and share. In our day and age it is popular to want to be able to quote Scripture and sound like one is knowledgeable. We are able to do this without a HS unction or anointing to teach.
This category is also mentioned in the ‘fivefold ministries (Ephe. 4) and general charismata (1 Cor. 12). It is one of the criteria for leadership in 1 Tim. 3. Often those who have a general focus of teaching, also have a specific anointing in teaching and sometimes end up with specific ministries of teaching and are part of the five-fold leadership ministries for the building up of the church. Generally, it can be simply that one tends to dig into the Word in a scholarly fashion. Teaching is not only about speaking but is accompanied with a desire to study and research. Acts 17:11
Although the word includes comfort and consolation it also includes exhorting and admonishing. It carries the pastoral purpose of helping Christians live out their obedience to the gospel. This focus is most often within a pastoral/shepherd’s gifting but can also be within the dynamics of the prophetic and teaching giftings. Actually, it can be a focus of any of the five-fold ministries.
The difference between teaching and exhorting is that exhortation has the specific aim of encouraging Christians to live out their obedience to the gospel. Heb. 3:13
Sharing—Contributing To The Needs Of Others
This is not about money, or an office in the church. This is one who is generally inclined to give of personal time, money, and skills to those who are in need. This is a crucial passion for the church. Time is so short these days. Perhaps, this is why Paul admonishes such a gifted person to share generously and liberally in the sense of focusing on others rather than self. Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:32-34
This is not the type of leadership that resembles modern corporate institutions where there is a hierarchy of directives and permissions that go up and down a ladder of authority.
This is an unusual word and you will find different interpretations in different translations. It has to do with both standing before and overseeing, as well as maintaining order, and having been one who has gone before and now steps ahead to guide others in the right directions. It is from proistano or proistemi and the literal meaning is “stand before”. Such a person has a deep passion for wanting to see the people of God moving properly toward God. Often those with this focus will end up as elders or overseers when they have become a mature Christian or even what some churches consider today as deacons. Their primary passion is to guide, direct and point toward God in whatever way God gives them (ministries, prophetic and teaching giftings, serving, etc.) 1 Thess. 5:12, 1 Tim. 5:17, 1 Tim. 3:12
While this has elements of Contributing To The Needs Of Others, it is wider in that it expands to helping people in difficult circumstances whether economic, illness, old age, depression, or any other misfortune. In the midst of difficulties, one who can minister help with cheerfulness and without judgment or criticism is a gold mine for the body of believers.
SO, the question is again what is your passion as an individual member of the Body of Christ. As a Christian we are to live for Christ. Our lives are no longer just for ourselves and our own small section of the universe. We as believers are now part of a bigger picture. And this picture of living IN Christ is much more fulfilling, empowering, and healing than living only for ourselves, our family and our friends. Whatever we do as Christians should affect others positively. Of course, it’s not that easy, which is why we need each other and thus need to grow into the person that God had in mind when He mixed up our genes at the moment of conception. Each believer in Christ is unique and has a unique contribution to give to the whole. I pray that those who are reading this will contemplate these things and have some deep dialogue with our Lord about it. :)