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Everyone Has A Gift (Blog Post Number 500)

April 21, 2014

Greetings,

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.  Are all apostles?  Are all prophets?  Are all teachers?  Do all work miracles?  Do all have gifts of healing?  Do all speak in tongues?  Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts.  And now I will show you the most excellent way.”  1 Corinthians 12: 27-30

Today I am just full of questions.  Like why can’t the answer to the seven questions listed above be YES? Why does everyone automatically assume that the answer to these questions is no?  Especially when Paul usually asks a question with the answer being no, he normally spells it right out…..like “shall we continue sinning so that grace may abound?”   The answer is, “by no means.”  Paul never comes right out and says that the answer to these seven questions above is no and I find it interesting that he doesn’t.

Think about it?  Are all apostles?  Yes, anyone can be sent by God to do a certain task.  Are all prophets?  Yes, anyone can give a prophecy.  Are all teachers?  Yes, I believe that anyone can teach someone else about something they know in Christ. Do all work miracles?  Yes, the Spirit can move in anyone to perform a miracle of sorts.  Do all have gifts of healing?  Yes, any believer can lay hands on someone and they can be healed.  Do all speak in tongues?  Yes, I believe anyone can speak in tongues as the Spirit enables them.  Is this list of gifts totally exclusive or is it possible that it is really totally inclusive?  I have witnessed these gifts being used by a multitude of different people over the years and with excellent results.  The truth is that with God all things are possible and HE can use ANYONE of us at ANY time He desires for ANYTHING He desires.  Now, I agree that some folks tend to walk in these various gifts more often than some others, but that does not mean that the rest of the body can’t flow that way at times also.  Again the question is are these gifts exclusive, just for a chosen few, or are they inclusive and available to the whole body at any given moment as HE sees fit?  After all WE are the body of Christ and “EACH one of you is a part of it”

Anyway, it is the “greater gifts” that we should be desiring after all.  According to the passage that follows this one…. those greater gifts are Faith, Hope and Love, with Love being the greatest.  Remember I am just asking questions here today, but I feel they are questions worth asking and investigating,   Thanks for allowing me to think out loud today, and remember none of what I suggest is set in stone.  However, I speak from over 35 years of experiencing the gifts in a relational, simple, organic, housechurch setting.  I have witnessed all of the gifts in operation at various times without title, special recognition, or pay.  When we gather together relationally these gifts just flow in simple ways without fanfare for the good of the entire body.  I do not deny the gifts, but I give them room to operate in all the members of the body as HE sees fit.  It is not a big deal, but rather something I see as a normal part of everyday fellowship.  I know my thinking is outside of the box, but this is church the way I have lived and experienced it.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

p.s. Thanks for reading my 500th blog posting.  I deeply appreciate everyone who reads these musings of my heart.  Special thanks to those of you who comment on these blog posts and add your portion to the overall mix of heartfelt ideas.  I love the interactive dialogue and give and take that we can share here.

 

 

 

 

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12 Comments
  1. Chris, I have had much the same insight given me about the famous “five-fold” passage in Ephesians 4:11. The other day a brother asked me if I was a prophet. I have come to the place where I believe that all the so-called “5 fold” gifts are all about Jesus and His graces given to all who are in Christ and not about us as individuals, but are rather about Him in us collectively. Like Paul said, “I can do ALL things through Christ who is my strength.” So, I try not to limit Him by saying, “I am a prophet, or I am teacher, or I am an apostle, etc.” No, “I am IN Christ and it is from there that HE can do all things,” IF I don’t limit Him by my flesh or preconceived ideas as to what my calling is. We limit Christ in us when we try to put Him in a box, whether that box be a church building and our church doctrines or it is saying within ourselves, “I am an Apostle!” or “I am God’s Prophet!” blah, blah, blah.

    This Ephesians passage is right smack dab in the middle of a chapter that has terms that are about ALL of Christ’s body being equal as we abide in HIM; “you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness,” [were is "all lowiness and meekness" if we claim an "office" that elevates us above the rest of the body of Christ?] words like ALL- “God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all,” words like ONE, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all,” words pointing to Christ as our Gift, “unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ… that he might fill all things,”

    But now we get to this mystery verse eleven which all of Christendom uses to justify church “offices” (another word placed in the N.T. that has no Greek equivalent in the text) and elevated king like authority. Here in verse eleven instead of ALL we read the exclusive term “some.” This word translated by the kings bishops as “some” is the same Greek work that was translated in John chapter one as “The.” “In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God, and The Word was God.” How would this read with the word “some?” “In the beginning was some Word, and some Word was with God…” Not quite the same. You see, the translators took quite a bit of license with this Greek word for, the definite article “ho” (a close look at the Greek in Matt. 28:11 will show the proper Greek word to be used for “some” is “tis” where it is used with the definite article “ho,” “…some of the watch came into the city…”).

    The English Standard Version comes much closer in its translation of this passage, “He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the [ho] saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,” (Ephesians 4:10-12 ESV). When you look at the Greek for each of these five Spiritual manifestation of grace they are all in the singular, not plural; apostolos – one sent forth, prophetes – one who speaks for God, euaggelistēs – one who brings good tidings, poimen – one who shepherds and feeds, and didaskalos – one who teaches.

    So now let’s translate Ephesians 4:10-12 as it should be, “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, THAT HE MIGHT FILL ALL THINGS. And he gave THE apostle; and THE prophet, and THE evangelist, and THE shepherd and teacher, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of service, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

    THE Word, Jesus Christ, fills ALL things, in this case He fills ALL the body (not just some) with THE Apostle, Jesus Christ. He fills ALL the body with THE Prophet, Jesus Christ. He fills ALL the body with THE Evangelist, Jesus Christ. He fills ALL the body with THE Shepherd, Jesus Christ. And He fills ALL the body with THE Teacher, Jesus Christ through HIS Spirit that abides IN ALL who are His. Why? Because God is NOT a respecter of persons and He desires that we ALL might be made perfect and be built up IN Christ… “to equip the saints for the work of ministry [service], for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge [perfect knowing] of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to GROW UP IN EVERY WAY INTO HIM who is the head, into Christ,” (Ephesians 4:12-15 ESV – emphasis added)

    Dear saints, this whole “five-fold” hierarchic invention of the ecclesiarchs in the Christian religion has yet to build up the saints into the fullness of Christ and it never will. Why? Because by its very nature it divides the body of Christ against itself into two classes, the haves and the have-nots. the clergy and the laity, the clean untouchables and the unwashed masses. It is a system designed in hell itself, not in heaven. But like Paul brought forth in his letter to the Corinthians,

    “For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife [divisions] among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed… Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” (1 Corinthians 3:3-23 ESV).

    All things are ours as we abide IN Christ who is our strength.

  2. Awesome insight thanking Father for you, then here comes the But, just kidding, I received that in awesome truth from and through you to me from Father in to see past the traps of this world, Thank You

  3. Insight does come from Father through Son by his Spirit to us, when we beleive, praying for none of us to get dogmatic, and not investigate any and all things said, for how shall one ever be free if they do not investigate trusting God to remove the dross, for God said the truth will set us free.

    So I see anytime I am in bondage, I am in error some how, someway, I got error mixed in the truth that I want to know, and today can only find through Christ. So I ask father to sift me trough and through, hearing LOVE GOD’s goes on forever, so in response just love and accuse no one, let their own conscious do that, the same as Christ did walking in Spirit and truth. And this Spirit and truth is the same Spirit and truth that led Christ, is for you, you and you, will you just beleive and not second guess at truth
    Truth Did Christ go to the cross for all sin?
    How many sins are left in Father’s sight, not the worlds?
    So how can one walk in the newness of life without seeing that they are forgiven 100%?
    Phil 3 reveals a lot in 1-11
    Love everyone here for their insights

    • "BK" permalink

      Again, I’m not sure of exactly what you are saying in the second paragraph…but in Spirit I sure do agree with how you go on from there….amen! to His taking away the sins of the world….none left.
      As to His sifting and correction, I do find He often times uses a brother or sister to speak what enlightens me along the way. Even reading Paul’s letter is a ‘brother’s words bringing light’. I so agree it is the Spirit Who brings such insights and siftings to light. “BK”

  4. We can do all things through Christ! !! Yes, any one of us can do any or all of the above. But we must be willing to accept His gifts. We shouldn’t expect them for He may have other ideas in His time for any of us. We must be willing to use any gift to glorify God, not for self indulgence. We must not be discouraged if we do not receive any certain gift for with our patients and courage to follow we have a better gift awaiting us in the next life & it’ll be worth the wait!

    • "BK" permalink

      I think when we see those ‘giftings’ as manifestations of the Spirit, then we lose the disappointment of not ‘receiving’ something. As He flows, He manifests His life. Not a ‘gift’ to hang onto, but an appearance of Spirit. “BK”

  5. Ramma permalink

    Interesting thoughts here. Looking into the Concordant Literal from Concordant Punlishing Concern…..it records that “not all are…..” over and over. However, when God wants to use you for a specific purpose, you will do whatever He wants done by HIS SPIRIT, not your own. Remeber He even used an “ass” to speak when Man wouldn’t do it.The rest of our normal day to day life will most likely be in a different area of gifts or we may even just be quiet, which some consider that is a gift, “wink, wink”.

  6. "BK" permalink

    Here is something a sister sent me once when she was first seeing the ALL in Ephesians 4. I hope you can still feel her excitement. I no longer have the illustration she speaks of being attached but her words paint quite the picture. “BK”

    From: sand062652@comcast.net
    To: GatheringUn2Him@yahoogroups.com
    Subject: Re: [GatheringUn2Him] “The Church”
    Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 14:02:27 +0000

    I don’t remember just how far we were in our reading through the book, “The Harlot Church”, when we looked at these scriptures and it was like a light exploded in my mind.

    Ephesians
    4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
    4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
    4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
    4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
    4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
    4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
    4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
    4:14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
    4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:
    King James (Authorized) Version

    Being partially raised in “Church”, and my dad being an Assembly of God “pastor” – an “ordained” minister in “The Church” – I was reading through this book with BK and Ken with great trepidation. Just the idea of “questioning” all the things I had been raised to believe were truths – straight from the mouth of God to my pastors ears – I wasn’t so sure but I might be struck down just reading the book.

    I think it was after I read the above verses the “fear” of questioning went away. Suddenly this verse had new meaning for me:
    James 1:5
    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
    King James (Authorized) Version

    So I figured, if He, God, wanted to give to ALL of us, wisdom, surly that meant understanding also, and maybe occasionally a word of knowledge for me and maybe even for someone else. The thing was – He said He would give it to ALL of us. Thus the “Light” exploding in my mind.

    I remember I was so excited I could hardly get two words to come out in the order I wanted them to. I ended up drawing a picture it try and explain what I was seeing in my heart and in my mind.

    What I was seeing was: The Church is really The Body (of Christ), and He, Christ, gave to the Body, gifts, for the edifying of the Body; apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastorsand teachers. (funny how pastors and teachers are listed last???) So the picture that I have attached in a Microsoft Word Doc, is a true picture of The Church Body, and as you will be able to see there are some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. I don’t know if it will be clear enough to see, but EVERY SINGLE “O” THAT REPRESENTS A MEMBER OF THE BODY IS ONE OF THE LIST. THERE ISN’T ONE THAT IS NOTHING.

    The truth that came so strong to me was that we are all, at different times, as the Spirit leads us, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.

    EVERY ONE OF US!!!!!

    So, the very thought of going to a “church building” and listening to “one man” stand up on a “stage” and tell me that “he” has what God has for me today, because “he” has been “called” by God to be “His” mouthpiece, and “he” is my “covering”, well, that kind of makes the hair stand up on my arms and makes me want to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. I’d rather be sitting in a group of people who each one has spent time alone with the Father, and as we gather together, speak what the Lord has put on their heart, each in turn, speaking, listening, praying, seeking what the Father has for us. Feeling the freedom to say, “I have a question. . .” and not being told, “You are questioning “ME – THE MAN OF GOD”???

    I love that I am not limited to sitting in a pew listening to one man speak his agenda – spirit led or not. I love that I can be sitting at work, and start up a conversation with a total stranger and suddenly be sharing the Spirit of God with them and they with me.

    Isn’t that the way it should be?

    Sandy C

    • Thanks BK, that was quite fulfilling, a good meal, chewed and swallowed, did not choke, insightful, in getting rid of the cookie cutters that are placed in traditional places of fellowship, for we all that believe God are received of God, accepted in; we that believed are sealed, being healed by the transformation of each of us getting our mind sets renewed from carnal to Spiritual, daily thanks, remembering each and every morning when I wake up God just loves us all. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. These are great questions! I’ve never thought about it this way and I’m grateful that you shared.

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