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September 28, 2022 6:00 am
Spiritual gift abuse you need to know what it is you need to know how to spot it and you need to know how to confront today will cover the final five most common abuses of spiritual gifts. So grab a pen if you can and will get started just a minute. Thanks for joining us for this edition of living all the years with Jeff and Dave drew a Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christian was just a minute will wrap up our series your divine design. Just good in-depth study of how to identify, develop and deploy our spiritual gifts in this program were going to hear the second message about how the gifts can urgently be misused and even twisted to hurt people inside the church. So without any further delay. Let's join Chip for his talk is he begins by identifying the sixth warning sign of spiritual gift abuse.
Beware of any extreme position on spiritual gifts, i.e. they do not exist at all to a spirit filled Christian will have all the gifts I've heard both been in places where gifts don't exist. I'll tell you what you find gifts to find disunity and division of people arguing about them there are any gifts. All the gifts are gone after the first century effort people teach that and on the other hand, I felt your spirit filled and if you're really spirit filled whatever spiritual means. No one really knows nothing. The Bible has a pretty good definition, but depending on what group of background that can mean you been to Mars and back or could mean that you really walk with the Lord in the spirit it on, but your spiritual. You have all the gifts and then usually they have some in the church is an example of brother Bob. He's got all the gifts go I can prophesy I can teach you know me you can do it all anytime you feel is extremes.
Notice what it says in first Corinthians 12 verse one now about spiritual gifts, brother and I do not want you to be ignorant. You need United have understanding everyone has one primary gift. We know that he will give you ministry gifts. We understand the for the common good. When you know those 10 basic principles and guards against this kind of thing. Number seven warning light. Beware of using spiritual gifts and energy of the flesh, to fulfill personal ego needs or impress other people. This is another one that I don't think you grow out of. Beware beware be on your guard. Watch over your heart with all diligence, when you have a spiritual gift you can take a gift is like a tool God doesn't take away the tool you can be in the flesh, God will honor his word and he will honor the tool or the gift that is placed in your hand but I can use my gift and you can use your gift not in submission to the spirit.
But in the energy of the flesh, and it produces not good things, and what I think this is one of those really got check times were you have to ask, and I have to ask is this about me using my gift to get attention. Affirmation strokes from people.
Is this about impressing people only just let me apply this down to where we live. If you happen to have visible gifts okay there some gifts that are upfront gifts. It might be teaching might be exhortation might be prophecy might be leadership you find yourself or people are looking to you or you are speaking and you have a visible role.
The temptation is to begin to get a little carried away with yourself and really like the position in a what what does knowledge do it puffs up, and pretty soon it's, like you like being an important person in the church you like it when the big discussions on the board, everyone looks to you and says hey what you think because you got the gift of discernment and you like to be the go to person and secretly want to be up in front of people and you know what the times when you're not teaching the class for where you don't really feel very motivated to go to church is you really going because unconsciously it's developed. It's about you and and you got to be on your guard and the opposite temptation of those was serving gifts. There are people with behind-the-scenes gifts. I mean people was serving gifts and administrative gifts, and by the way if you've ever been involved in ministry your your love for these people like skyrockets of peak people who don't know a lot or have been involved churches. They think yeah do you need a point person who can teach and preach and you need leadership in the symmetrical where the rubber meets the road, someone does set up the chairs. Someone does type the things someone goes out and feed the homeless people.
Someone's back loving those kids and and and when you when there's a church where kids get love you thoroughly take care of.
There's an outward focus, your feeding the poor latte what that's for the rubber meets the road.
And often that's done with people with the gift of service expectation ministration and here's what can happen. It is those people pretty soon become like the martyrs of the church. Brother Fred what we do about 37 years at Richards but set ups. Bulletins are made, you know how you do it every Saturday morning you cooked that reckless you never make in the prayer you cook that breakfast for everybody and you know sister so-and-so and I mean in these people get to where you know what yeah they love to serve, but there behind-the-scenes and they learn to live on the strokes and the need to be needed and they play this really funky thing in their mind like if you step back and look at their schedule there. There Monday night Wednesday morning Thursday night Friday.
The fact is, it's not that they're just such a great servant although that's there gifts.
They also don't have any boundaries. They can't say no, their desperate need for affirmation because of other issues in their life. Every time the doors are open, they are there, and often it's not because they love God so much and are using their gifts, their satisfying ego needs because it's a lot easier than facing the hard stuff at home and dealing with the marriage and being a parent is not a coward and stepping up and doing what they're supposed to do and some very clear areas. I got called into because it's a lot better to be the miracle work at the church. Every church has these I had. We had one lady I said you know what, I can't you hear more than any staff member. She was and that she make stuff happen on it. It is a it's a it's an integrity check to the pastor. Just think it meant some of these people get so much done to send them home to get the priorities right is kind of tough.
But what you know it's the right thing to do and I think we all struggle with that anytime you have to do something and you find yourself ego needs and I think that's a warning light. You need to say wait a second here.
Notice what it says in first print is 13 sandwiched between chapter 12.
This is how to use the gifts and began then chapter 14 eagerly desire spiritual gifts, 12 says don't be ignorant about them.
14 says really desire and focus right in between his first Corinthian's 13 and it says if I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, there's a spiritual gift, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and I have faith so that I can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing if I give all my possessions to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, literally be a martyr but have not love, I gain nothing. I have nothing I gain nothing.
If I have this gift of tongues. If I have this gift of prophecy. If I have this gift of faith. If I have this gift of martyrdom and be willing but you can do what such a passage, say you can do all those things and I can do all those things, not about love, which is what focusing on other people giving other people what they need the most when they deserve it the least as your gift to God. I can do my gifts that way or can really be a subtle way to set Chip Ingram up to get Chip Ingram the strokes and the ego needs and unresolved issues in his life take care of and so it's a morning like be on your guard beware a number eight beware of confusing spiritual gifts with spiritual fruit, as the evidence of spiritual growth and maturity in some circles the development and impact in the use of your gifts becomes kind of a test for spiritual maturity but gifts remember our means, not an in other words, when you have these gifts when God is using you.
God is using you. God's using my land got to using you. That's wonderful, that's great, God is using you in some circles with that account. That's the goal God using you God using you is you that is not the goal gifts or what their paintbrush there a means. The goal is that you are becoming more and more like Christ. Spiritual fruit is about spiritual maturity.
Christ likeness spiritual gifts are about the means God uses in your life to help others become more like Christ. Let's look at a couple passages. Ephesians 413 we until we all reach to the unity in the faith in the knowledge of the son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. The goal is maturity or notice. Galatians 522 and 23 but the fruit of the spirit towards what is it the gods after the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. In fact, Jesus.
John 15 my just jutted. John 15 eight by this is my Father glorified, you have many gifts and are very impressive. They got unescorted. By this is my Father glorified, what that you bear much fruit will what is fruit. Fruit is always twofold. Number one. It's the life of Christ reproduced in your life. The goal of gifts is not your great your use didst develop were impressed. The goal of the gifts. Is it because of how you are living.
You are becoming more and more like Jesus and God is using you for the right reason in the right ways with the right motives to exercise a supernatural ability in the sphere. He's called you to. As an intricate interdependent part of the body and as you do that with an attitude of love and dependency. There are people whose lives, little by little by little become more and more like Jesus and they rub up next to you and they start loving their mate in a different way and they rub up next to you and pretty soon they rearrange their priorities and how they spend their money because of your gift of exultation leadership because they rub up next to you, they begin to say no to certain things and they realize that you know something I need to deal with some issues in my home.
I need to have a plan for my kids and Connie I need to deal with some of the wounds of my past and because of times of sharing their heart, and your wisdom and discernment and expectation pretty soon, they become more and more and more whole and then a different person shows up to the singles group a different person shows up to work a different person shows up to see its fruit. Any time there's an emphasis on the gifts as an end in themselves a little red warning light should go off warning number nine beware that apparent manifestations of the spirit can be counterfeited by human schemes and demonic forces. Beware of Venus is a big one is happens not only overseas, but this happens here, beware anytime something is supernatural.
That's amazing. I was at this meeting is you can't believe that I checked they didn't have in your phone and he did know this and he did know that and this person ever met in this lease. It is really true. I can't believe how could you know that chip you can't believe this is an amazing meeting and okay you went to an amazing meeting God may be choosing to do miraculous things. There may be manifestations of the spirit of God and doing things that are very unusually cold wow wow wow or it could be something supernatural or perceived supernatural is happening and there's a group of people that are being deceived. Don't necessarily assume because there are quote manifestations of the spirit, or apparent miracles or even real miracles.
As far as you can tell that it is always necessarily work of God in any listen to the very words of Jesus. Get your Bible turn to Matthew chapter 7 Matthew chapter 7 Mrs. this is toward the end of his greatest sermon and he gives us warning verse 22 many of you will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, I notice the gifts did we not prophesy in your name.
There's a spiritual gift and in your name drive out demons that we probably have some gifts going there and perform many miracles because yeah then I will tell them plainly.
I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who builds his house upon the rock and I just would say. Just because something is supernatural or perceived supernatural were told what test the spirits examine the fruit examine the character examine the lifestyle examine what the group what the person what happens afterwards examine okay there's these manifestations. It sure was exciting.
It sure perceived to me that if supernatural.
I think God is really in this okay now is it biblical are the goals biblical do the people have character, and if so, you say, while I think I just got in on the manifestation of God working in a supernatural way that is highly unusual, but if you find out that a great percentage of the income is going to the leader. If you find out that there is immorality behind the scenes. If you find out that people are being manipulated in the orphanage that they're supporting actually is pictures that is shot in Southern California right across the border than what you say to yourself, you know what I don't understand how those things happened in that room and they sure seem supernatural, but this is not a ministry from God about the way it's not new.
The apostle Paul seven printings.
My job is down 11 and verses 13 through 15 in his day.
He said everything that appears supernatural.the binder thinking that's necessarily from God. He talks about false prophets and seven printings 11. He says for such men are false prophets, deceitful workers masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light is not surprising then that the servants masquerade as servants of righteousness there and will be there actions what their actions deserve and what he saying is you know there are some times where guess what supernatural apparent manifestations need to be tested with first on-site test the spirits examine. Is it true is it not the final warning hears. Beware of viewing the discovery, development and deployment of your spiritual gift is either an optional exercise or interesting but not serious responsibility of giving you two passages. Ephesians 47 and second Corinthians 59 intent. Here's here's my observation.
The body of Christ by large in my confession is for many years. Even as a pastor.
All spiritual gifts.
That's really cool I guess is as long long salad bar maybe 25 or 30 some spiritual gifts, and you know something I'm eating a good meal, meat, potatoes, you not want to be a disciple. I want to grow you want to love my wife want to be a good dad and find my place in the church and there's a salad bar.
It's mostly desserts.
You know little bit salad unique and live without salad and you can without desserts.
That is not salad in the dessert bar and if I have a little extra time some day some wife. I think I'll go to the spiritual in a dessert bar or the salad bar and say you know maybe I have this that's kind interesting. I don't know.
Bob got that when I think it's cool guy and then maybe it's this one and I don't know and you know maybe I get on my plate and I will is probably one of these five or six or seven or eight or nine or 10 or 11 depending on who I'm talking to know if you on that day and you set them on the table that's that's the attitude toward spiritual gifts Ephesians 4, 7 to 10 is a very interesting passage about the work of Christ, and it talks about him dying going to lower parts of the earth and proclaiming victory over sin victory over Satan and victory over death and the evidence of that victory proclaimed is and he gave gifts to men.
The spoils the evidence. It's it's a picture of a general who wins a great army and there's all this plunder and he brings you know that the enemy often and in the ancient days they would come in chains often either stripped to the waist or naked, and they would parade them back to the hometown and the general evicting Victor general, usually on a white horse would come in behind them would be all the spoils and the camels and the donkeys in the jewelry and the gold and the silver and he would take that and give it to his officers take that give it to the people and they were taken give gifts to all the people of the city and it was the evidence that they were the bad guys and we are the good guys they were stronger than us or they thought they were. And we won the battle and this gift that you have is a reminder that we are winners and every time you say to yourself and to discover my spiritual gift, you're saying I'm gonna value the sacrifice and the victory of Christ and remind myself that I am a Victor today present tense over sin and its power over death and over the enemy's power and when I did when I develop my gift. I'm saying God, thank you for this gift that you gave me. It is a stewardship I'm going to development of nine to deploy it, and it's not optional, and is not semi-serious and not to do. Someday someone is not a salad bar, it belongs on the plate with the meat and the debate is in the diet of my life. I am to seriously discover who you made me to be because you died and rose from the dead in your victory you decided the way to earmark that for me with my spiritual gift is not an optional little interesting thing to do.
It's important. That's the positive reason the negative reason in sight. Printings five verses nine and 10 in the apostle Paul says so we make it our goal to please him. Christ, whether we are at home in the body or away from it, for we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ. The bema seat that each one may receive what is due him for things done in the body, whether good or bad, and the bema seat of the judgment seat of Christ is not about a person judgment of heaven or hell that that's accomplished at the cross.
The moment I received Jesus as my Savior.
My sins are forgiven, my sins are judged. I now get the imputed righteousness of Christ. I have a brand-new relationship with him and I live out as a steward out of gratitude all that is done for me as a believer then I will stand before the judgment seat of Christ or my works done as a believer and I will either have rewards or loss, either gold, silver, precious stones or wood haze double for Sprint. Insert and understand.
He's gonna say Ingram what did you do with the time the money the spiritual gifts and the opportunity I gave you you were my workmanship.
I created you in Christ Jesus for good works that I preordained for the foundations of the earth, and to do those good works. I put you in this family.
I give you these spiritual gifts I give you this opportunity this much time this much money and I want to know what did you do with the investment in you and I about you that sobering coming on a good day. It scares me to death.
I want to do what I want be a good steward gonna be a great steward. I want to discover my gift on to develop my gifts. Member gifts are like muscles you know you may have it what what are you doing exercise is how you develop learning, training, education, exercise, rubbing up against people that have your gift getting around people to have the opposite set of gifts so they can help ensure you in and around you out good areas as are 10 warnings that for me.
I want to keep on the spiritual dashboard of the spiritual car that I'm driving so that when one those lights go off, I'm can at least stop the car look under the hood and say hey and I'm not sure what's going on here, but may be spiritual gift abuse because one of the reasons people don't teach on spiritual gifts. I mean it. It can cause a lot of the vision and there's so many extremes.
As a pastor you think I don't teach on this because you know in the group. You know the minute mini start teaching there's people over here. There's people over here and in people back there that had a bad experience, but I think because of that we neglected one of the greatest teachings in the church and were gonna be stewards called to account know what your action plan. Okay honey I mean, we spent some great time together and I mean if it's us over what your action plan is to be where okay we got to the session.
While I now understand little bit more about spiritual gifts. I thought about it and what's gonna take you from where you are right here to if not if you have discovered it you discovered it. If you pretty well discover it you start developing your starting to develop that you really deploy it if you've already discovered and developed. It how you do deploy it to the max in the body of Christ. Can I give you a very quick action plan that I think summarizes sort of. This is how to go about it. Number one.
Get your pen out you need exhort you to fill these in your spiritual gift action plan one, write the word commit to discover, develop, and deploy your spiritual gifts in the local body meet and when I say commit what I mean is God before you.
This is Lordship want you to bow your head and just like member the day. Some of you they got married or some of you that signed on a made a commitment tell God Lord I'm afraid I don't know. I'm not sure, but I'm telling you if you'll show me my gifts so help me I'll do whatever it takes to learn. Make a commitment and I'll talk to you about what that commitments can look like second praise seriously seeking divine guidance.
Don't you think God wants to show you Jesus say ask, seek, not what one does anyone opening. This isn't like you know okay you know what was chiming as hard as possible to move this gift erratic and can help the Lord loves you he died he gave you get Friday but you know if you pray one day and you pray next month.
You must not really want me to put it on your list right on the card. Lord, I'm asking today you said seek I'm seeking you sit ask him asking if you said not come knocking. Will you show me make it real and you can you can just do it like this. Gradually you can have it just bank. I don't care.
I am going to seek your face. I made a commitment some to pray every day that you discover, deploy and develop my gift third is study to give passages in God's word and the corresponding handouts I think will help you. This isn't just some mystical thing get your nose in the word and I wonder you know, I'm not sure that Ingram got on this one gift get out a commentary you dig in and say what are these gifts, how do they really work is not what I think. It's not what your pastor thinks I hope we can help you, but you get your nose in the Scripture and say I want to discover what your word says about gifts. I've narrowed it down here and as you get into the Scriptures reveal it to you. Number four get quality counsel quality counsel find people who really know you people that are spiritually mature and people will tell you the truth, by the way, that's a rare combination.
They really find people that really know you love you enough to hurt your feelings. Look no you do not have the gift of mercy. Okay what you mean I don't have the gift of mercy. Trust me on this yet don't have the gift of mercy.
They know you there mature enough tell you the truth number five test the waters and I just put for six or eight weeks menu. Maybe it's better for three or four months menu get a job and just just go to some ministry in your local church that you think you might be gifted for and just say I like to sign up for three months and about and write it out at the end of three months undone all renegotiate and re-sign up the don't get like on yes I like to discover the gift of teaching third grade class and you like 11 years later someone comes back and says so you think you got it or not right. We all been there and we have a little meeting to say is it a fit or not a fit and if it's not you step back and you what, no guilt, no manipulative will who's good third graders. If you leave and the answer is someone with the gift of teaching. I don't have okay test the waters number six.
Examine the fulfillment factor may not. This is not the easy factor when you're in your gifts member.
The old chariots of fire movie member, you know member. The God was real fast. In the end up being a missionary and I love that line in the movie and a bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump on him seen that movie to rent a bump bump bump bump bump and he goes, I feel God's pleasure when I what do you do in the body of Christ we feel God's pleasure, not just it's fun that you feel God's pleasure is intimidated as I was at that conference at Moody. When I got to talk about the character of God in my gifts to a group of people and actually the fact that they went out on the airways and went around the world made it more intimidating. On the one hand, but for me and my guess it was like there's more skin in the game and I feel God's pleasure and asked me do I want to proclaim God's truth about walking with God and repenting and being God's church to 10 people 10,000 or 10 million 10 million to 2 God made me to be on what his word to get to so many people in relevant ways for their lives change doesn't mean it's easy. I was scared to death, but there's a fulfillment factor in the final one here is recognize God's evident blessing when you are in your gifts. It doesn't mean that you know things in a change overnight.
But God will use your life, people come up and say things you like. While I can't believe what's happening to my son was kind of a so-so youth group and I don't know what it is about you, but just your interaction. He wants to come, but not for the youth pastor just to get to talk to you and I can't figure out what's happened around here but you know we did used to care about people, but you know I was one of those people on the sidelines in your invitation and when you put your arm around me. When you believed in me when no one else would.
You can see God, life. You are his workmanship. You are special. He's created you in Christ Jesus. He has wonderful works for you to walk and those works are can be highly determined by the super natural endowments given to you by Jesus, activated by the Holy Spirit in alignment with God's word so that the glory of God and the preeminence of Christ is when that happened, not only for the church watching world that really wonders whether all make sense. Be right back with this application message warning. Beware of spiritual gift abuse series your divine design.
Did you know God created you for specific purpose and that he uniquely wired you with a set of tools to help you fulfill his calling on your life in this eight part series strip explains the essential role spiritual gifts play in the believers walk and why these tools matter to God through trips inside and down to earth advice.
You'll learn how to Discover develop and deploy your gifts.
To make a lasting impact on this world. If you missed any part of the series.
The chipping room up is a great way to catch up anytime trips with me in studio now in chip before we wrap up this program. I was wondering if you talk to that person out there who's listen to this entire series and is eager to grow spiritually, but feels like something's missing. Can you encourage them, I'd be glad to Dave. I think in our Western way of thinking for so many of us, and it's really good to me and I've been a pastor for many many many years and we want people in the Bible and you know you need to be in a small group and we talk about all those relationships, but when you're eager to grow. Often the big thing missing is sort of the outflow. What we tend to, you know, I'm getting podcast and I'm listening to messages and I'm getting lots of truth in me, but for the dynamic that something that's missing is God has deposited inside of each one of us at the moment of conversion of spiritual gift or a set of spiritual gifts and those are designed so we actually get to be a part of his mission. Oh, we have gifts that teacher, administrator, show mercy, or to be generous and and as you activate those men, I will tell you, you start to really really grow in a great way and so your divine design is a book and a resource that we have created to help Christians discover exactly what God has deposited in them and then get back into the lifestream of the body of Christ today. I think that would be just a high level thing to do is learn your spiritual gift and then learn how to put into practice. I couldn't agree more chip to order your copy of your divine design go to LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003. Let us help you take the next step in your faith journey discovering your spiritual gifts and understanding how to activate them again to get your hands on Chip's newest book your divine design visit LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003 hapless nurse top special offers over. That said, here's chip to share some final thoughts for this message. As we close today's program and finish up the series. I went pretty quickly through that spiritual gift action plan to let me go over it again with the goal of you actually discovering your spiritual gift and then deploying it number one commit to Discover deploy and develop your gift number two. Pray, ask God he wants to show you number three study God's word and the handouts get clear on what each gift is what they mean. Number four get quality counsel fine people will tell you the truth about where and how they see God's gifts working in action in your life. Number five test the waters. 6 to 8 weeks just jump in somehow, someway to put your potential gift into practice. Number six. Examine the fulfillment factor when you function in your gifts you'll sense God's approval and you'll say wow I love to do this.
Number seven recognize God's evident blessing when your spiritual gift is at work. Something happens in the lives of others. There encourage lifted up the transformed the comforted. There's so much more. I wish we could go into but let me encourage you to get the message notes. In fact, this is a small group video series that we've had so many people go through and the lights of come on, find a couple friends or do it as a family.
Go to the series God's purpose will be fulfilled when you discover this is what he gave you to do what he made you and called you to do and all I can tell you is when you're doing what God made you to do. It's a source of great joy for you and great impact for the kingdom of God in the lives of others. Now let's discover and deploy our spiritual gifts, great word to wrap up the series chip clinics.
It is a reminder all of the resources for your divine design can be email@example.com will before we go I want to thank those of you who make this program possible through your generous financial support. Your gifts help us create programs. Purchaser time and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians. If you've been blessed by the ministry of Living on the Edge. Would you consider sending a gift today. You can do that when you visit LivingontheEdge.org or the chipping roadmap and you can now text the word donate 27 4141. That's the word donate 27 4141 will. Until next time, this is Dave saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge