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Fruits and Gifts [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
March 10, 2022 5:00 am

Fruits and Gifts [Part 2]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.

The gift of distinguishing of spirits or what is called discernment is a very important gift because when you're with people and they're saying things, you don't necessarily know if what they're saying is being motivated by God or motivated by their flesh or motivated by demonic powers. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, Word and Spirit, the Beauty of Ballots, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. Now, if you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you this resource, today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Alan Wright. There is no reading of the scripture with the exception of this one instance where Paul says that I really would want you to be able to prophesy. He doesn't really highlight one gift like tongues or something and say, oh, it's more important than teaching or serving or giving. Let me give you a real quick overview of these and I'm going to go lightning fast through a listing of these and just say that if you want to learn more about this, if you're in one of the sermon-based community groups here at Reynolda, you'll be studying this week and there is a handout that I've prepared that has an overview of these gifts on it.

If you're not in one of those groups, you can pick one of these up at the Welcome Center and it has one paragraph, a brief description of what these gifts are because Paul said I don't want you to be ignorant about the spiritual gifts. Let me just give you real quickly, starting with some of the ones that are listed in Romans 12 that we didn't look at and then I'll add the ones that we read from 1 Corinthians chapter 12, prophecy. A lot of people mistake this and think that this is like fortune telling, like it's like telling the future or that it's telling people what to do. That's exactly what prophecy is not. The New Testament perspective of prophecy is it where you, by the promptings of the Holy Spirit, get a scripture, an image, a word or something that is consistent with the scripture that is meant for the encouragement, edification or the comfort of someone else. And what makes it distinct is that the Lord has a way of identifying either with the need, emotion, thought or some other capacity of letting the person receiving that word know it's truly God who is speaking. Sometimes it would be because nobody but God could have known that or said that or sometimes it's just something you've heard before but it's so blessed of the Lord in that moment that you know it's God's word to you.

And that's really what prophecy is and it's so powerful for the help, encouragement, the healing, transformation of persons. The gift of ministering or helps or service as it's called in the ESV, it's just a Spirit-given ability to serve in a great supporting role with joy and with diligence. Every single Christian is called to serve but people who have this gift love it. And you can serve and you never go, oh, why am I having to do this? And you love seeing people released in their ministry. You love coming alongside somebody.

It's a beautiful gift. There's absolutely no way that the Church of Jesus Christ goes forward without lots of people that have that gift and use it. The gift of teaching, not just being a talented teacher but a supernatural unction to be able to effectively relate the word of God. Exhorting is really to say encouraging. It comes from the same word that Jesus uses to describe the Holy Spirit, the parakleitos.

Exhorter is one who comes alongside. It's like a coach that may challenge sometimes but it's never in a sense of you ought to. It's in a sense of you can.

That's what it communicates to somebody. If you get around somebody who has a gift of encouragement, it gives you courage to do what God has called you to do. The gift of giving, every Christian is called to give and every Christian is called to generosity and every Christian is called to make giving be the first priority of their financial stewardship.

There's no question about that. Every single Christian, we are called by God. If you want to live according to the design of God, have the blessings of God flowing in and through you, then you prioritize your life so that you can be a giver. Every single Christian. But I'm telling you there are some people, they have just got the gift of generosity because they absolutely just love, love, love to give.

Would give everything away if they could. Would just love to be able to do that and we need people like that in the body of Christ. Listen, some of you, God has made you affluent and put you in a position where you're able to do a lot and I just celebrate that and we thank you for it. And if God prospers you and you can give a lot, you are making one of the most gigantic impacts in the body of Christ. It is an astounding thing. It's not celebrated enough because we always try to be a little bit private about people's giving habits. But it's just a wonderful, wonderful gift. And some of you have this gift.

Fan it into flame. Don't ever be afraid of that gift. Boy, I tell you, I wish all of you could have met King Brown. I can't wait until you get to heaven and you get to meet King Brown. If you've never met King, first time I ever met King, he looked down.

First time I ever met him, a 34-year-old young preacher come into this church. He looked at me, he said, what size shoe do you wear? I said, well, it's a nine. He said, you know, I found a great pair at the Goodwill last week. I said, what?

And I thought, who is that? He said, yeah, he said, nobody should buy their shoes anywhere except for Goodwill. He said, why go over here? Brother Pastor, he said, why go over here and spend $60 for a pair of shoes at the store?

You can get a perfectly good pair down here for $2 at the Goodwill and that leaves you $58 to give to the missionaries. It's the way he lived his life. He was a mail carrier and he mowed lawns and was one of the biggest givers we had in the church in the history of the church. It's a gift of generosity. The gift of leading or governing or ruling, it can be called. Some people just have an anointing.

It's a servant attitude, but they have an anointing to be able to lead others and people want to follow in the body of Christ. The gift of mercy. When you have the gift of mercy, you are given a supernatural capacity to feel what other people are feeling. And sometimes if you don't, maybe you have this gift and you wonder, why is it I get around people and sometimes something will just move me.

I don't even know this person. Sometimes you'll be moved to tears. You might be awakened in the middle of the night with compassion for somebody or you might just have deep hurt that you feel when you're around somebody and you don't even know why. You have a gift of mercy. And what God does with that is he puts you in touch with what they're feeling so that you can intercede for them and care for them. It doesn't mean that you need to own their problem, but it does mean that God is supernaturally using you. Those are all listed in Romans 12.

Here's some in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, word of wisdom. This is not intelligent or common sense or a kind of wisdom like that. This is more like what Solomon had when in a unique situation, like you remember that story where these two women come, they both claimed the same baby was there. And Solomon's like, how could we really get to the bottom of this? He said, I'll tell you what, let's just cut the baby in half. And then, of course, the true mother said, no, no, no, of course not. Because the true mother would have such love for the baby and never wonder. So that was a word of wisdom apt for that situation where sometimes God will give you in a given situation with an individual or a group of people a word, an utterance that comes from him.

It's not something you thought up because you were smart enough. It's just this is what should be spoken. This is what should be shared right now for the handling of this situation so that there would be peace and understanding and encouragement and we can move forward. This is a beautiful, beautiful gift that some of you may have and you never known you had it. The utterance of knowledge, the word of knowledge, we generally share these most every week at the end of the service. We ask our ministry team to be praying, Lord, is there something on your heart today that you would like to do? See, the invitation of the Scripture, and this is just God's plan, is not that we wake up in the morning and we say, God, I'm going to do some wonderful things today.

Will you please bless it? Instead, what a life with God and the Spirit is, is you wake up in the morning and you say, God, you're going to do some wonderful things today. I'd like to cooperate with it.

What are you going to do? You follow the cloud. You follow the Holy Spirit.

You keep up in step with the Spirit. And I don't understand the ways of God. Why would God sometimes just lift up a particular need? Sometimes it's because it just flows right out of a sermon that's being preached or a song or something that God wants to confirm that. Or sometimes it's just something that the Lord is just so gracious. He just wants to build your faith.

That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. If you've ever thought that being filled with the Holy Spirit meant shutting off your mind, you're in for a wonderful surprise. God's Word and God's Spirit were never meant to be separated. Word and Spirit always belong together.

The key to abundant life in Christ isn't knowing your Bible. The secret isn't being filled with the Spirit. The answer is both Word and Spirit. When you make a gift of support this month, we'll send you Alan Wright's newest audio album on CD or digital download titled Word and Spirit.

It's about the beauty of balance. Embrace the fullness of God's Word and His Spirit and grow like never before. With Word and Spirit, you'll grow up and you'll be helping someone else grow as well. And remember, when you partner with Alan Wright Ministries, you'll be broadcasting the love of God to thousands every day. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org.

Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. I was talking to one of the prayer ministers this morning. He said, I'm just praying about this. He said, but I just kept getting the image of an elbow this morning.

And he said, I just wonder if there's something wrong with somebody's elbow that the Lord wants to heal today. Well, we would mention that to you. It might be that it's for you. It's a supernatural thing.

All right. So that's what a word of knowledge is. Faith, the gift of faith. Oh, I love being around people who got a gift of faith. People have a gift of faith.

That's what I call crazy faith. I mean, these people, they believe that mountain. So what? It's a mountain.

It can move into the heart of the sea. So what? That seems like a big obstacle to you.

That's no big deal. Are you talking about God's a mighty God? He's able to do the incredible exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all that we think, all that we imagine. These huge boys that are going over to start a professional Christian basketball team in Taiwan, starting it from scratch because they've got faith that they're going to be able to reach thousands of kids with the gospel and adults with the gospel. And I believe it with them. What's the gift of faith that's working within them, right? And sometimes you look at people who give them faith, they go, oh, man, are you out of your mind? But the gift of faith, God moves through it. There's a gift of healing. Everybody can be used by God for healing. But some people, this is a regular way that God's Spirit manifests through you, is that it just seems like an uncommon number of times that when you pray for people, God used that prayer for their healing.

You may have a gift of healing, right? The gift of miracles, same kind of thing, where God just uses certain people. They're signs and wonders. When they pray for things, they pray for people. God uses them in a regular, ongoing way. The gift of distinguishing of spirits, or what is called discernment, is a very important gift because when you're with people and they're saying things, you don't necessarily know if what they're saying is being motivated by God or motivated by their flesh or motivated by demonic powers. You really wouldn't necessarily know that.

Some people put on such a great face and can say all the right things. Remember, the devil himself used Scripture trying to tempt Jesus. It'd be a very important thing, really, in the body of Christ, wouldn't it, to know what is going on. So if there's the presence of evil that you know, it never, ever, I wish I could spend a long time talking about this gift because this gift is sort of like the sense of smell.

It's like, you know, it doesn't smell right. Well, this is what happens to people that got this gift. It happens in the spirit.

You just know things. Listen, beloved, if you've got this gift, I just feel like I need to take you over and say, let me bless you, we need this gift, and let me also tell you about the dangers of this gift because, man, if the Lord starts showing you some stuff about people, there's a fine line between then you starting to think that you can stand in judgment over those people or whatever, but no, this is just a wonderful, wonderful gift. One time, many, many years ago, an elder in this church came to me and he said, I had a dream in which the Lord, this is a bold elder, came to me and said, I had a dream in which the Lord came to you and offered you the gift of discernment of spirits and you said no. He says, has the Lord ever offered that to you and you said no?

I said, are you kidding? I've never said no to the Lord about some gift that he wanted to give me. I got away from it and I said, well, maybe I have. Because I had in my mind a little bit like, you know, I've got enough problems, I face enough demons all over the world, I've got enough stuff going on. I said, why do I want to see one more manifestation of some evil or something else going on?

And I had a wrong assumption. The assumption was if I see that there's a problem that I discern, that I've got to do something about it. But see, I had to get enough healing from that bad boundary lifestyle and all of that that would say, oh, just because you see a need, you've got to do something about it. No, perhaps what the Lord wants to do is give you more discernment so that you won't get tangled up with the wrong person or perhaps in your workplace you won't promote the wrong person or you won't partner with the wrong. You need to have discernment.

All right, man, I wish I could talk some more about that. And then there's the listing of the gift of tongues. This is obviously the one that's caused so much controversy, especially over the last 50 years, over the last 100 years, really. But especially in these moves that we call the charismatic revival, tongues is something that's become the big issue. And the reason it did is because there's one segment of the body of Christ who has said, oh, this is the gift. They base it on the fact that a lot of times when people were first empowered by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, there was speaking of tongues. But not in every instance was there, and there's no doctrine in the New Testament that says, oh, you need to have the gift of tongues or else you haven't been filled with the Spirit. Now, I know that some of you have come along in that kind of tradition, and I know that there's an argument to be made for that. But here's just what I want to say to that is that when Paul says to all speak in tongues, there's a rhetorical answer to that, and it's no. And I've just known lots of people who really want to have this gift because they so want to feel like they're really in and they really have the Holy Spirit. And yet these people have other gifts, and I've seen God use them powerfully. And so I just have to conclude from the Scriptures, no, no, God is not elevating one gift over all the other gifts. So that's been one of the problems. The other problem is that people just think, well, to our logical minds and our intellects, the idea of speaking in an unknown language is something that just seems too far out and too weird, so people discount it.

So for either one of those things, it's been really controversial. Let me just tell you real quickly, the New Testament speaks of tongues in really three different ways. In the book of Acts, in chapter 2, when the Holy Spirit falls at Pentecost, people are speaking in languages that they did not themselves know, but they were known languages. And other people from other cultures and ethnicities and nations heard their own language being spoken by someone who didn't know their language and it was a miracle, and that was powerful. The second thing that can happen is that someone can have a prophetic utterance, can have a word of encouragement, a word from the Lord that is spoken forth in an unknown language.

It's not any known language, it's just a spiritual language. But if it's in a corporate gathering, if it's happening in a group of people, then it's because God is using it like He would use a prophecy. And so either the one who gives it or somebody else in that room, if it's a real word, then they'll be receiving, not like a translation, like a word-for-word translation, but they'll be receiving in their heart, this is what God's saying through this, and they'll share that.

So it's like a prophetic word of encouragement. But the other, and this is what is so often talked about when Paul talks about, you know, when I pray in the Spirit or I pray in tongues, rather, he says it's for my own edification. This is your own unique way that God gives you to pray in a kind of a, you might call it a spiritual language or prayer language. It's an intimate form of communication with God wherein the Spirit helps you pray. I've taught on this subject before about what it means to pray in the Spirit, and praying in tongues is not the only way of praying in the Spirit. So when Paul says to all of us to pray in the Spirit, he also means if you're praying the Scripture, you're praying in the Spirit, because the Spirit has infused and breathes Himself into the Scriptures. So that's Spirit praying, right?

If you're praying with the help of the Holy Spirit because you've got a gift of mercy and the compassion of the Holy Spirit's flowing through you, you're praying in the Spirit. So, so, so, so much more could be said about that. There's a handout there.

Our community groups are going to talk more about this. I know that that's just an unbelievably too quick and too expansive and too general, but I just wanted to do that because I want you to know that today, and if somebody's listening by podcast or radio, you should earnestly desire that the Lord fan these gifts into your, into flame in your life, or you may hear one of those gifts I just listed, and you say, I really would love to move in that gift, and you ask the Lord for it. And maybe you think, I think maybe I have that gift, but I never even knew that was a gift. I've talked to so many people like that before, they'll just say something like, I didn't even know that was a gift. And it's like, this is a gift of the Holy Spirit to you.

He's supernaturally using you. It's an incredibly exciting thing to be used supernaturally by God Himself. Well, let me think a few kind of observation about the gifts of the Spirit before we talk about the fruit of the Spirit in just a moment. And the first is that I would just want to make this point. I have no time today to do a defense of why I believe the scriptures make it clear that the gifts continue today.

I know maybe some people listening right now that you've been taught that the gifts have ceased, or you've taught that certain gifts continue and certain gifts have ceased. But I just want to just say this. This whole discussion, I hope that you can at least see this. I just read from three chapters in 1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14, and Romans 12. And I just want you to be aware, this is not some tangential conversation that's sort of non-essential. They always shouldn't even, you know, like politics or something. You shouldn't even talk about it because this just gets division in the body of Christ. Are you kidding me? We're talking about the supernatural equipment of the body of Christ to do the things that Jesus did.

This is absolutely important. And so wherever you are on this, I'm just going to challenge you to say that if you're at a point to say, well, I've always believed the gifts ceased, investigate this further because maybe you'll be like me where at one point in my life when I started hearing about these kind of supernatural things that were happening, I said, if any of that is true, I'm missing something big in my spiritual life. And God wants to invite you into it. There are no inferior and superior Christians.

There are no ins and outs. You've all been baptized into one body, into the Lord Jesus Christ, and you all have a spiritual inheritance with Him. And Colossians says you have been qualified for your inheritance in the same.

There's no second class citizen in the kingdom of God. These gifts are for you. And we need them coming out of you. We need them. We need these gifts. There may be somebody whose life will be transformed because you had the word of encouragement for them. God, we need these gifts. That's why, that's why people say the gifts are controversial and, you know, and people get divided over prophecy or tongues or all these things and, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I'm like, listen, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not all wrapped up. I want to be totally biblical about this, but my experience is that people need help. God loves people. He wants to help people.

The mission of the church is at stake. Also, I want to just point out, this comes from a quite articulate writer and friend, Sam Storms. He's written a beginner's guide to the spiritual gifts and he's written a book called Convergence, both of which, if you're exploring this and you're an intellectual, he is one of the smartest guys that's ever been around and he's written all about his experience and he's very articulate, but he makes this point. The manifestation of the Spirit is what Paul says at 1 Corinthians 12, 7. And what he's saying for this is that the gifts of the Spirit are not separated from the Spirit himself. Please understand, these are not like magic tricks that the Lord gives you and now you know how to do it.

You got this little magic trick. The gift, if there's a healing that takes place through your gift, it's the Spirit himself who's doing that. If there's a teaching that goes forth and it's anointed, it's the Spirit himself. The Spirit of God is not separated from the gift of God. So to say that he gives you a gift, he's given you himself. He's given himself to you to work through you.

I also want you to make this point, and I've just got to go really fast, listen fast. The word for gift, my favorite word in the New Testament, is charis, which is the word grace. Alan Wright. I find that refreshing. It's in the middle of our teaching, fruit and gifts in the greater series, The Beauty of Balance. Alan is back in a moment with additional insight on this for your life and a final word. If you've ever thought that being filled with the Holy Spirit meant shutting off your mind, you're in for a wonderful surprise. God's word and God's Spirit were never meant to be separated. Word and Spirit always belong together.

The key to abundant life in Christ isn't knowing your Bible. The secret isn't being filled with the Spirit. The answer is both word and Spirit. When you make a gift of support this month, we'll send you Alan Wright's newest audio album on CD or digital download titled Word and Spirit.

It's about the beauty of balance. Embrace the fullness of God's word and his Spirit and grow like never before. With Word and Spirit, you'll grow up and you'll be helping someone else grow as well. And remember, when you partner with Alan Wright Ministries, you'll be broadcasting the love of God to thousands every day. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. So Alan, what's really jumping out here is this last point that you made that the gifts are of the Spirit, and so therefore they're linked. They can't be separated. And so sometimes we may be trying to grab and reach and fight to get a gift, but really we should be asking for the Spirit, right?

Yes. I think sometimes people are confused on the gifts of the Spirit, Daniel, and they think that these gifts are like some sort of separate force. Or, you know, even some view them almost like you would a magic trick that somebody has.

No, no. The gifts of the Spirit are of the Holy Spirit, and so it is God Himself who is moving. We just are the vessel. We just become used by God. We might just be a mouthpiece for a word the Lord's going to share. We might be the hands that God uses to serve somebody or help somebody, or for God to move through us to heal somebody, but it's all God. And so the gifts are not something that sort of stand by themselves. They are gifts of the Spirit, the very grace of God. Today's Good News message is a listener-supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-12 15:13:53 / 2023-04-12 15:25:10 / 11

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