Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
These teaching notes are from a series of studies about Spiritual Gifts. You can read previous parts here:
[These notes are from more than 45 years ago.]
Let’s break down Paul’s list of ‘Grace Gifts’ into Peter’s categories:
1 – Speaking Gifts
- Ruling (Leading)
- Word of Wisdom
- Word of Knowledge
- Interpretation of Tongues
- Discerning of spirits (??)
2 – Serving Gifts
- Ministry (Serving)
- Showing Mercy
- Working of Miracles
Apostles and prophets are no longer with us in the biblical form. They were given to the Church as foundations of truth and practice (Ephesians 2:0-22).
The sign gifts — healing, working of miracles, tongues — were given as part of proving God’s plan and actions to Israel. They also confirmed the special apostleship of Paul. The sign gifts would not convince most people in Israel of the truth claims of Christ’s claims and would be rejected (1 Corinthians 1:21-22; Isaiah 28:11-12).
That leaves eight gifts:
- Showing Mercy
- Discerning of spirits
There are three Greek words translated “minister” …
diakonos — a servant
leitourgos — a public servant
hupéreteó — an under rower, one acting under another’s direction
The word “ministry” means to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the minister. The words “minister” and “ministry” are used for many different functions and offices:
- Waiting on tables
- Serving guests
- Preparing food
- Supplying the necessities of life to others
- The office of a church deacon
- The general work of preaching and teaching
A number of individuals are called “ministers” in the Bible:
- Jesus Christ
- The Holy Spirit
- The Apostle Paul
- Earthly rulers
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching. Romans 12:6-7
NIV — “If it is serving, let him serve.”
LIT — “or ministry, in the sphere of the ministry.”
Paul does not speak of the “gift of ministry” again, but he does write about the gift of “helps” in 1 Corinthians 12:28.
“helps” is antilēmpseis .. a laying hold of, to support, aid, help
It is the idea of getting involved with others so as to meet their needs. That is similar to the gift of ministry.
didaskōn — the word comes from didaskó .. to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them.
The gift of teaching is the gift of instructing others in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Peter wrote that a person with a speaking gift should speak with the “very oracles of God.”
The effect is found in Ephesians 4:11-15. The pastor-teacher guides his people toward truth. That truth establishes the people and gives them a foundation .. a firm place from which to minister.
- The teaching of the gifted instructor is to be of supernatural origin: Galatians 1:11-12. Our message is directly from God. It was taught to Paul by revelation from Jesus Christ.
- The teaching of the gifted instructor is not to be different from what came before: Galatians 1:6-9. The message we preach should be exactly like Paul’s message centuries ago.
- The teaching of the gifted instructor is to be that of the “mystery” of the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Ephesians 3:1-9).
- The teaching of the gifted instructor is to be direct and forthright .. no apologies made for the truth: 1 Timothy 1:3-4; 4:1-6; 2 Timothy 1:3-10; 2:8-19; 4:1-5
- The teaching of the gifted instructor is to be based on a life that lives it: 1 Timothy 4:7-16; 2 Timothy 2:1-7; 2:22-26; 3:10-17
How can we know if we have the spiritual gifts of ministry or teaching?
- Do you like meeting the needs of others? Do you find joy in it?
- Do you reach out to help others without being asked?
- Do others receive a blessing from your ministry? Is that enough reward?
- Do you sense God’s power and presence in your service to others?
- Could you stop helping others and not feel a loss in your spiritual life?
- Do you like to study? Are you a good student of the Bible? Do you get excited about learning truth?
- Do you like to tell others about what you learn? Do others like to listen to your teaching?
- Do you enjoy seeing others discover truths in God’s Word? Is their obedience to the Word important to you? Do you sense God’s power and presence in your teaching ministry?
- Do you get angry or upset when God’s truth is distorted by people who claim to be teachers of God’s Word?
- Could you stop teaching God’s Word and not feel a loss in your spiritual life?
In the next part of our Teaching Notes series we will at the spiritual gifts of exhortation and giving.
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from more than 45 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your life and ministry.]