C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR SEPTEMBER 10, 2023 : LESSON 10: TOPIC – SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR THE EDIFICATION, EXHORTATION, AND COMFORT OF THE CHURCH
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH Nigeria And Overseas
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: UNDERSTANDING OUR APOSTOLIC FOUNDATION
JULY – DECEMBER 2023
UNIT TWO: THE LORD SUSTAINS US
17TH SEPTEMBER 2023
TOPIC: SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR THE EDIFICATION, EXHORTATION, AND COMFORT OF THE CHURCH
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all (1 Corinthians 12:7).
Spiritual gifts are God’s grace for us to function maximally with, and for Him, in and outside His Body. Discover, develop and deploy them appropriately!
Each spiritual gift has a special place in the body of Christ. They are chosen specifically for the advancement of the Church. There are different gifts but by the same Spirit-the Source. With priority, these spiritual gifts are given for many purposes-to glorify God and edify us (Eph. 4:12-15). As our perfect example, Jesus exemplified the spiritual gifts in His words and deeds. As our understanding of these gifts matures, our appreciation for all the members of the body of Christ is magnified. Apostle Paul rightly exhorts believers to endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3) for the differences of the gift to bring us to unity. Optimistically, we should therefore build up Christ’s body in love and unity in lieu of why the spiritual gifts are given. On his part, Paul told the Corinthian believers and clearly identified edification resulting in the comfort and growth of the church as the main purpose for the manifestation of the gifts. As God distributes His gifts among His people, His power, love, and wisdom are displayed. Earnestly contend to profit (faithfully) with the gifts you have been given.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS
Mon. 11: Spiritual Anointing Upon Jesus (Matt. 3:16)
Tue.12: Seek Revelation Only By God’s Spirit (1 Cor. 2:10)
Wed. 13: Seek Inspiration Only By God’s Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16 ,17)
Thur. 14: Seek Power Only By God’s Spirit (Zech.4:6)
Fri. 15: Seek Spiritual Gifts, Not Selfishly (1 Pet. 4:10)
Sat. 16: Spiritual Gifts: Not for Sale (Acts 8:18-21)
1. Enlightening, strengthening and encouraging His body are paramount in Christ’s heart in giving His Spiritual gifts.
2. When spiritual gifts are active and well appropriated, it is an indication of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church. These spiritual gifts become tremendous help to personal and communal walk with God.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:17-18
AIM AND OBJECTIVES:
AIM: To announce that the spiritual gifts are given to believers for divinely stipulated purposes.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, learners should be:
i. able to prove that the spiritual gifts are not mysterious powers that can be bought or sold;
ii. able to show that the spiritual gifts prepare believers to overcome challenges and defeat the actions of Satan against the Church; and
iii. personally showing the readiness as a willing vessel for the manifestation of these gifts;
TEXTUAL SOURCE: ROMANS 12:1FF; 1 CORINTHIANS 12: 4-5,7,11; 14:3- 5,12,16,23,24; EPHESIANS 3:6-8;4:11,13 W e thank God for the previous lesson that revealed God’s mind as regards the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the believers with signs following. Part of the signs that follow spiritual baptism is manifestation of spiritual gifts. This week’s lesson is centred on these gifts as part of the tenets of our Mission. They are tools given to believers in Christ to work and serve God and humanity. They are essential to a functioning body of believers, hence the need to properly understand them and their functionality in the days of the Apostles and our heroes of faith.
We shall be examining the biblical analysis of the gifts and their impacts on the Church. We hope to discuss the different categories of the gifts while also explaining their purposes. These would help us to see how we are faring individually, and as a Mission, in the administration of these gifts. May God help us to return to, and retain the godly legacy of our founding fathers, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION:
The This is a week lesson but divided into two. The first division introduces us to the categories of the gifts given to each believer. The second looks at the purpose, or the usefulness of these gifts according to how we received them for His assignment. None of these gifts should be looked down upon or treated lightly.
I. IDENTIFY THE GIFTS
II. IDENTIFY THEIR PURPOSES
I. IDENTIFY THE GIFTS (Rom. 12:1ff; 1 Cor. 12:4-5; 14:16,23,24; Eph. 3:6- 8;4:11)
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord (1 Cor. 12:4,5).
a) 1 Cor. 12:4-5: Spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit as signs of His ministry, and are with the Church throughout the entire Church age. Talents are different. They come by birth and education while gifts are from God. Only Christians possess spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:16, 23, 24).
b) A gift isn’t an office but a special supernatural endowment upon the person to do God’s work in edifying Christ’s body. Below is a list of the gifts:
1. Prophecy-speaking forth the message of God to His people (Rom. 12:6;1 Cor. 12:10; Eph.4:11).
2. Service (Grk.diakonia) (Luke 10:25-37: Rom. 12:7).
3. Teaching-instructing others in the Bible, logically and systematically (Rom. 12:7; 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph.4:11).
4. Mercy-sensitivity and genuine empathy towards those in need (Rom. 12:8).
5. Leadership (Rom. 12:8; Heb. 13:7,17).
6. Exhortation-offering others godly words of encouragement, comfort, and guidance (Rom. 12:8; Tit. 1:9).
7. Liberal and cheerful giving without thought of return (2 Cor. 9:7).
8. Celibacy-voluntarily remaining single with self-control, without regret, to serve the Lord without distraction (1 Cor. 7:7,8).
9. Apostle-sent forth to new frontiers with the gospel, providing leadership over church bodies and maintaining authority over spiritual matters pertaining to the church (1 Cor. 12:2; Eph.4:11).
10. Faith-being firmly persuaded of God’s power and promises in situations (1 Cor. 12:9; Heb. 11:1).
11. Knowledge (Isa. 33:6; 1 Cor. 12:8).
12. Wisdom-applying knowledge to life, making spiritual truths quite relevant and practical (1 Cor. 12:8; Col. 1:9-10).
13. Healings (1 Cor. 12:9,28,30).
14. Discernment-clearing, differentiating truth from error (1 Cor. 12:10).
15. Miracles (1 Cor. 12:10,28).
16. Tongues-speaking in languages not previously learned to glorify God and edify others (1 Cor. 12:10; 14:27-28).
17. Interpretation of Tongues (1 Cor. 12:10; 14:27,28).
18. Administration-steering the body toward the accomplishment of God-
given goals (1 Cor. 12:28).
19. Helps-rendering support or assistance to others in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:28).
20. Voluntary poverty-purposely living impoverished lifestyle to serve and aid others (1 Cor. 13:3).
21. Martyrdom-laying one’s life down for the course of Christ (1 Cor. 13:3; 1 Pet. 4:14-16).
22. Missionary-be able to minister in other cultures (Eph.3:6-8).
23. Evangelism (Eph.4:11).
24. Pastor-shepherding a group of believers entrusted to one’s care (Eph.4:11).
25. Hospitality-warmly welcoming strangers into one’s home or church to meet their needs (1 Pet. 4:9,10).
c) These gifts can be classified into:
1. Inspirational/Vocal gifts-Apostles, Prophecy, Evangelism, Pastor/Teacher, Teaching, Exhortation, Wisdom, Knowledge, Tongues and Interpretation (1 Cor. 12:1-31).
2. Sign gifts-Miracles, Healing, Tongues and Interpretation of tongues.
3. Serving gifts-Helps, Hospitality, Giving, Showing Mercy, Faith,
Discernment, Miracles, Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues.
d) The Bible does not stipulate that a gift is higher than the other. Each believer is given something to show who God is. The gifts are for believers” growth and church benefits. All kinds of gifts are given through the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit to all kinds of people.
e) God the Father pours out His power, Jesus the Son assigns the ministry, and the Holy Spirit gives out the gifts as deemed necessary for the proper functioning of His body.
II. IDENTIFY THEIR PURPOSES (1 Cor. 12:7,11; 14:3-5,12; Eph. 4:13) Let all things be done for edification (1 Cor. 14:26b).
a) 1 Cor. 14:3-5: Without selfishness, confusion and contention, each should seek to “build up” the congregation for God’s glory (vv. 12,26).
b) 1 Cor. 12: To help believers serve God and His Church…for the profit of all (cf. Acts 13:1-3; 1 Cor. 10:24; Gal. 2:7-10).
c) 1 Cor. 12:11:For the unity/oneness of the Body of Christ.
d) 1 Cor. 14:3,12: Enlightening, strengthening and encouraging the body to attain perfect knowledge and maturity in Christ (1 Cor. 12:31-13:8; Eph.4:13).
e) So as not to be like the carnal Corinthians (1 Cor. 3:3). Spiritual maturity helps one to know how to use the gifts in ways that produce the best results.
f) Summarily, God gives these gifts to exalt Christ (1 Pet. 4:11), edify (Eph. 4:12,16), encourage (Rom. 1:12), establish (Rom. 1:11), equip believers (Eph. 4:11-12), and enlarge the Church (Eph.4:16).
i) The purpose of spiritual gifts is for the spread of the gospel, leading the church, building up believers and serving others as an example of God’s love. We are called and commissioned into this (1 Tim. 4:14).
1. Though there are different gifts for administering and growing the body of Christ, they are all from only one Source, the Holy Spirit.
2. God’s purpose for releasing His graces upon us must be the number one driving force for seeking and using them-edification of the Church.
1. From the standpoint of Christ Apostolic Church, are the spiritual gifts still in operation today? Why does God give them to us?
2. Are there just nine gifts of the Holy Spirit? Mention and discuss them in categories.
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS:
ANSWER TO QUESTION 1:
* Yes, spiritual gifts are still in operation today. God’s gifts are without repentance.
* The founding fathers’ belief in the truth of the Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is being handed over from one generation to another.
* “Thus, says the lord” still stands as one of the legacies of the church.
* Spiritual gifts are still being given for God’s will to be carried out effectively in the church
• The church today believes and operates in the five-fold ministry as found in the Scripture as seen in Christ Apostolic Church.
* The authority of the Holy Spirit is still highly esteemed in the church
Why God gives them to us…
* God gives them to us for various purposes as believers which include:
* oneness/unity of the body of Christ;
* that we might be wholly equipped against the wiles of the enemy;
* for orderliness in the church;
* to live a total Christian life without flaw or blemish;
* victory over Satan, death and sin; and
* It is part of a Christian’s inheritance in Christ Jesus.
ANSWERS TO QUESTION 2:
* Refer to division II of this lesson.
* Going through the entire Bible, we may say “No” the gifts are more than nine.
* It is in I Corinthian 12:8-10 that has the record of nine. But in verse 28, other gifts are added.
* The book of Romans 12:6-8 also has other records,
* Regardless of how many spiritual gifts are on the list, the key point is that when we follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives us special abilities to operate.
The spiritual gifts can be grouped into categories they belong:
i. Motivational gifts
ii. Ministerial gifts
iii. Manifestation gifts
God is the most generous Giver we ever know. The ultimate gift He offers us is Himself. The Scripture tells us that God gave Himself to us in physical form in the person of Jesus. And when the time came for Jesus to return to His Father in heaven, He gave His presence to His follower as the Holy Spirit. One of the ways He gives Himself to us is by empowering us with Spiritual gifts. Developing and using these gifts for God, His own Spirit is working in, and through us as we trust in Him. The Spiritual gifts given will not only comfort the Church, but He would help the believers to continue the work of His mission;-the good news.
Here we come to the end of lesson 10. We are through with discussions on a very crucial article of faith of our great Mission, Christ Apostolic Church. God has given every true believer the spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ and edify it. Graciously, every gift given to every believer is significant and needed by the body to be healthy, and grow unto maturity. May God’s grace abound with all in maximising these gifts accordingly, and to the glory of God. Amen.