(#404) Romans 12 -Some Opening Thoughts on Spiritual Gifts

/Welcome To


a Christian Church

Rory Clark



Good Morning!


Welcome to Barah Ministries…a Christian Church that makes a difference worldwide courtesy of the internet…a Christian Church that makes a difference locally in the Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler, AZ communities.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries, our God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and we teach the Word of God from God’s perspective, not from man’s perspective.  First Corinthians, Chapter 2, Verse 9 keeps ringing in my head…



...just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”\


God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts…His ways are higher than our ways…and if ever we are to understand the depth of God’s thinking it will be by the agency of God the Holy Spirit.  This verse keeps ringing in my head because I know The Christian Way of Living that we settle for is so much less than God has planned for us.


There is a perfect a description of The Christian Way of Living, as good as any description in the entire bible, and it touches on what God has planned for those who love both Him and His Word…Colossians, Chapter 1, Verses 9 to 12…



For this reason (the good report about Colossian believers that I received from Epaphras)…since the day we heard of it (your faith, your love, and your increasing fruit)…we have not stopped praying for you regularly and we have not stopped asking that you may be filled (pleroo) with the knowledge (epignosko) of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…\


Two Greek wordsin this verse…pleroo…God filling up our deficiencies by providing things that are lacking in us…and epignosko…a deep, intimate and personal understanding of The Christ, The Messiah.  Both the filling and the intimacy come from God the Holy Spirit who enlightens us and enables us with divine power, activating it in the inner man…



…(you are filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding) so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…pleasing Him in all respects…bearing fruit in every good work…and increasing in the knowledge of God…\


The fruit we bear we do not create…it is the fruit of God the Holy Spirit…love, joy and peace toward self…patience, kindness and goodness toward others…faithfulness, gentleness, and self-controldirected toward God…the Spirit creates this fruit in us and adorns us with it for all to see and for all to benefit from.  The renewing of our minds transforms our character as God the Holy Spirit keeps on conforming us believers in Christ to the image of God the Son…



…being strengthened with all His power in the inner man…according to the Lord’s glorious might…for the attaining of all steadfastness and for the attaining of all patience…\


God gives us believers in Christ a spiritual fitness that empowers us to be steady and empowers us to be patient so we don’t quit under pressure.  In the midst of tribulation we press on…we don’t lose heart…we don’t faint in our souls…instead we display an impressive inner character...



…joyously giving thanks to God the Father who has qualified us believers in Christ to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.\


All good gifts come down to us believers in Christ from God the Father of the heavenly lights…the stars. 


The funny thing about an inheritance is that it is something someone accumulatesFOR us…we do not accumulate it ourselves, nor do we earn it…and all the goodness of the inheritance, once accumulated, is passed on to us.  So it is with the spiritual life.  All spiritual goodness…our salvation…our sanctification…our walk…and our work…all comes from God the Fatherof the heavenly lights…our inheritance is not something we work to provide for ourselves.  First Corinthians, Chapter 2, Verse 9 keeps ringing in my head…



...just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”\


What an impressive God we have…God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and the uniquely born one, the Lord Jesus Christ…100% God and 100% Man in one person forever…our Rock…our Redeemer…our Remover of the enmity between God and Man…all praise to the entire Godhead!



Some Opening Thoughts on Spiritual Gifts\


Like the apostle Paul says in First Corinthians, Chapter 12, Verse 1…



Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.\


I don’t want you to be unaware, either, so in today’s lesson we’ll begin the discussion of spiritual gifts…a discussion I hope is enlightening and profitable for you and for the entire Body of Christ.



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



June Murphy\


Spiritual gifts were given to us at the moment of our spiritual birth.  June Murphy is away at her daughter’s wedding, so courtesy of a recording we have June to sing her beautiful song about the joys of beingBORN AGAIN.



Let us pray...\


Almighty God and Father…thank you for letting us know, as we grow in the sphere of Your grace and in the knowledge of Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, that The Christian Way of Living is not an intellectual pursuit… thank you for using the truth in our souls to transform our thinking in such a way that we begin to feel the impact and the significance of what You have done for us in this life…thank you for surrounding us in the sphere of Your love and forgiveness and grace as well…


Father of Lights, illuminate the spiritual gifts you have blessed us with…collectively, lead the people of Barah Ministries into the best use our unique combination of gifts…individually, help us to discover where our strengths and our interests lie in the use of our spiritual gifts…let Your gift of faith guide us in the deployment ofthese wonderfulspiritual gifts…


Teach us how to be open to the direction of God the Holy Spirit as He helps us discover our gifts…give us the graciousness to willingly receive the spiritual gifts other believers use on our behalf…help us to look for opportunities to serve others in the worldwide and in the local communities and to build up your kingdom through the work you give us…


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s name...Amen.



Some Opening Thoughts on Spiritual Gifts\


The passage that is the subject of our study is the third passage in Romans, Chapter 12, and it extends from Verse 3 to Verse 8…let’s review it together…


/ROMANS 12:3

For through the grace given to me by God the Father (the grace gift of being

an apostle…Paul’s spiritual gift), I (Paul) say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think…but to think so as to have sound judgment…the thinking that’s in line with the measure of faith distributed to you by God (as your spiritual gift).\


Our faith AND our spiritual gift comes from God.  Neither faith nor a spiritual gift is something we manufacture.  Our gifts come from God’s grace, and the grace is directed to every believer in Christ just as it was directed to the apostle Paul.  Ephesians, Chapter 4, Verse 7confirms this idea…



But to each one of us believers in Christ (not just to the apostle Paul…the) grace (of a spiritual gift) was given (by God) according to the proportioning of the gift from Christ...\


God expects each of us believers in Christ to play a role in the Body of Christ by recognizing and using our unique spiritual gift.


/ROMANS 12:4

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function (the same office)…\


Each believer in Christ is a vital and functioning part of a spiritual “body,” the Body of Christ.  With that in mind, others are counting on us just as God is counting on us to use our spiritual gift for the benefit of the Body.  First Corinthians, Chapter 12, Verse 27…



Now you believers in Christ are Christ’s body (He is the Head), and individually you are members of the body.\


But beware…parts of the body can atrophy from non-use.


/ROMANS 12:5

…so we, who are many are one body in union with Christ…and individually we are members one of another.\


This third passage in Romans, Chapter 12 is Paul’s first mention of the “Body of Christ.”  God does everything in ones, and there is one body of Christ…The Church Age believers.  Ephesians, Chapter 5, Verses 28 to 32, while appearing to be discussing the marriage of a man and wife, is really discussing this marriage of Jesus as the Head and His believers as the Body of Christ…



So husbands ought also to love their own wives unconditionallyjust as they love their own bodies unconditionally. He who loves his own wife unconditionallyloves himselfunconditionally…\


/EPHESIANS 5:29-30

…for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also nourishes and cherishes the church because we are members of His body.\



For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.\



This mystery is great…but I am speaking with reference to the mystery of Christ and The Church.\


Marriage between a man and a woman is an amazing illustration of the relationship between Christ and the Church…the bond between a man and his wife is more powerful than the bond between parents and children because spiritually, the man and his wife become one flesh…that is not the situation between parents and children…the bond between Christ and His Church Age believers is infinitely more powerful than a human marriage… we are in union with Christ, the Sovereign God of the Universe…thus we are one with Him…if you’re thinking about that on a regular basis there is just no way to miss the significance of this relationship.


/ROMANS 12:6

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise the gift accordingly…if he has the gift prophecy, exercise it according to the proportion of his faith…\


/ROMANS 12:7

…if he has the gift of service, in his serving…or he who teaches, in his teaching…\


/ROMANS 12:8

…or he who exhorts, in his exhortation…he who gives, with liberality…he who leads, with diligence…he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.\


We begin our discussion of SPIRITUAL GIFTS.



Since this is a subject many Christians “Freak Out!” about, I’d like to spend some time setting the stage for our study with a few thoughts on spiritual gifts.


As Christians, we are in full time service to the Lord.  The Greek word doulos, translated bond-servant or bondslave, is the New Testament term describing our twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week service to the Lord.  The apostle Paul describes himself as a doulos at the beginning of many of his letters, and Romans is one of those letters.


At the moment of salvation, we become royal priests, who represent self directly to God.  First Peter, Chapter 2, Verse 9 describes the priesthood…



But you Church Age believers are a chosen race (elected to privilege), a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…\


In the Old Testament, The Jewish Race was the only group called The Chosen Race.  Through His work on the Cross, His shed blood, the Lord Jesus Christ broke down the barrier of the dividing wall separating Jews and Gentiles…and now whosoever believes in the Lord during this age of grace, The Church Age, is a royal priest with no intermediaries between him and God.  In no way does the Church replace Israel as the holy nation to God.  Just because The Church has similar qualities to The Jewish Race does not mean God has turned His back on The Jewish Race…He has not.As royal priests, we can develop a deep, intimate and personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.


Believers in Christ are also ambassadors…Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 20…



Therefore, we believers in Christ are ambassadors for Christ, as though God the Father were making an appeal through us (because He is)…we believers in Christ beg you unbelievers on behalf of Christ, to be reconciled to God.\


An ambassador is a person who acts on behalf of another…and in this lost and dying world, the Lord Jesus Christ uses His believers as ambassadors who make an appeal to unbelievers with the gospel message, the “good news” about what the Lord Jesus Christ did to provide salvation to all mankind through His work on the Cross.


One of the great things about our God is that He develops our priesthood, our deep intimate and personal relationship with Him, before He asks us to use our ambassadorship.  The use of our spiritual gift is an ambassadorship.In the religions of the world, the priesthood is not developed first.  Shortly after a person becomes a Jehovah’s Witness, they are out knocking on doors to evangelize.  People who are part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), the Mormons, are required to go on a mission trip for the purpose of winning converts to the faith, for church service, for humanitarian aid, and for community service.  It’s pretty difficult to be of service to others when you yourself don’t know much about God or His Word or what you believe about God.  You should consider it a blessing that the subject of your spiritual gift comes into play quite a while after you become a believer in Christ.  I’ve been a Pastor for ten years, I’ve been teaching the Word of God for nearly twenty years, and this is the first time I have tackled the subject of spiritual gifts…and for good reason…the priesthood must be developed first.


Let’s take a music break…as Christians we are instructed to fix our eyes on Jesus…the pioneer and perfecter of the Christian faith…who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God the Father.  Here’s June Murphy to sing about that joy in her song YOU GIVE ME JOY.  Take a moment to listen to the song and then we’ll give you some time to have your break.


/MUSIC BREAK                             


June Murphy\



Some Opening Thoughts on Spiritual Gifts\


Thank you for supporting this ministry with your financial contributions.  Through yourgenerous support, the Lord has been able to provide the Word of God from this pulpit for over a decade.  There is no way to measure how many broken soulsand broken spirits that have been touched by your generosity, but we know God is making it happen. 


Let’s take a few moments to give you a chance to make an offering.  If you are benefiting from the work of this ministry, then we ask you to contribute to the continuation of the ministry with any gift, large or small, so we can keep on providing the truth to those who might not otherwise be able to hear it.   Please welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with his offering message.



Deacon Denny Goodall\





Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.//In all your ways acknowledge Jesus, and He will make your paths straight.\




Dave McClure, Instrumental\



Some Opening Thoughts on Spiritual Gifts\


Spiritual Gifts.


What does it mean when something is spiritual?  Being spiritual is…



A way of being…fueled by divine power as opposed to natural, human power…a supernatural way of being.\


First Corinthians, Chapter 2, Verse 14 says…



But a natural man does not accept the things of the Holy Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him…and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.\


Human power is the opposite of spiritual power.  Human power is not good enough to appraise spiritual things.


What is a gift?



Something given voluntarily without payment expected in return….the act of giving…also something received without any effort required on the part of the recipient.\


Your spiritual gift is just that…a gift from God.


First Peter, Chapter 5, Verses 6 and 7 says…



Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time…\



…casting all your mind dividers on Him, because He cares for you.\


“He cares for you” is a Greek idiom that means God considers your

problems to be His responsibility.  One of your problems is discernment of

your spiritual gift.God considers it His responsibility to make you aware of your spiritual gift.


God has given you a spiritual gift at the moment of salvation.  You are not responsible for selecting it.  You don’t make it function.  It is given to you voluntarily with no expectation of you having to pay for it.  God would prefer that you use it, but whether you use it or not is up to you.  Many spiritual gifts go unused.  So when you think about the origin of your spiritual gift and God’s attitude toward it, there is really nothing to freak out about.


As we begin the study of spiritual gift, we’re not going to make a list of the spiritual gifts and then obsess about which one we have.  To do so infers that you are responsible for the gift and its function.  You are not.  I have the spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher.  I spend zero time thinking about my spiritual gift…obsessing about my spiritual gift…I spend all of my time using my spiritual gift…and God is the One who powers it. 


I become a believer in Christ when I was eight years old.  For my whole life since then my spiritual gift has been operative.  I won virtually every speech contest I ever entered…I have been complimented about how articulate I am for my whole life…and I have known my whole life that this supernatural talent is a spiritual gift from God.  If you examine your life, and think about what people compliment you about, you’ll probably get a hint concerning your spiritual gift.  If you think about what you love to do…things you do which require no effort on your part…things you do which you never tire of doing…you’ll probably get a hint concerning your spiritual gift. 


I have a friend who has the gift of giving.  As a person who is pretty generous, I like giving as well.  However, the difference between my friend and I in the matter of giving is supernatural.  If my friend and I were walking down the street in an area frequented by homeless people, and we had fifty one dollar bills in our pocket, I guarantee all of my friend’s money would be gone after we left the homeless people, and all of my money would not be gone.  My friend’s gift of giving is supernatural…mine is not.  Conversely, my friend can teach…but would never rival me in the matter of getting information across to another person.Your spiritual gift is something you receive from God first, and then you give it away.


A final point…you can forfeit the use of your spiritual gift.  Just like a softball team that has a scheduled game and choses not to show up for it, and thus loses by forfeit, you can chose to forfeit the use of your spiritual gift.  I have people in my life I know have the spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher, and they have never done a thing spiritual with the gift.  The gift functions, but they don’t use it to benefit anyone.


More thoughts about spiritual gifts in our next lesson.



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life\


What is going to happen to you when you close your eyes in this life?  Is there an “afterlife?”  And if there is, how can you get to heaven?


Many people believe the answer to the question, “How can I get to heaven?” is to be a good person.  In fact, most people think they are, as they say, “Basically good people.”  For some, being good means not being bad. Here’s what I have heard many people say over the years…“I haven’t murdered anyone. I don’t steal. I don’t curse. I don’t lie. I’m not a drug addict. My conscience is clear because I’m not nearly as bad as the people I read about in the newspapers or the ones I see on television.  I’m just like everyone else, and I know everybody can’t be going to hell.”


And then if they’re unlucky, these people open the bible and obliterate their own delusion…Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 23…


/ROMANS 3:23

…for all creatures have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…\


Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 10…


/ROMANS 3:10

…as it is written “There is no creature who is righteous, not even one…”\


First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22…





For all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human who comes to earth) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…\


The good news is that the Lord has an interesting attitude toward His creatures…Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9…



The Lord is not slow about His promise of salvation, as some accuse Him of, but instead He is patient toward you unbelievers…not wishing for any of you to perish (in the Lake of Fire) but for all of you to come to repentance (a change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).\


The apostle John makes clear the function of the bible…John, Chapter 20, Verses 30 and 31…


/JOHN 20:30

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book (the bible)…\


/JOHN 20:31

…but these things written here have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah)…the Son of God (in human form)… and that by believing in Him you may have the resurrection life in Hisname.\


How can you get to heaven?  Right where you sit, RIGHT NOW, you can tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the moment of eternal life for you.  Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


/ACTS 16:31

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”\


Believing in Jesus Christ is your acknowledgement that you can’t do a thing to get to heaven on your own.   Romans,  Chapter 11, Verse 6 says…


/ROMANS 11:6

But if salvation is by grace, and of course it is, it is no longer on the basis of works…otherwise grace is no longer grace.\


God’s grace makes your salvation a free gift to you…if you have to work for a gift then the work makes you deserve the gift.  In salvation, there is no way for you to impress God enough that He would allow you to save yourself.  It’s very wise to let God save you, because once God does something He never changes His mind.  Heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


/JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”\


The apostle Peter reminds us of the words of Old Testament prophet Joel in in Acts, Chapter 2, Verse 21…


/ACTS 2:21

‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.’\


Join me in heaven!Here’s June Murphy to sing about the One who saves us...the great I AM!




June Murphy\



Let us pray...\




/Thanks for coming!

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Thanks for listening!


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