Saturday, July 07, 2012

Acts 2:1—3 Gifts of the Will

Acts 2:1—3
Gifts of the Will

[Appeal to the will of the individual]

I.          Sign gifts… demand an immediate judgment/decision.
            A.         “Tongues”
                        1.         Greek: “glossolalia” – the fluid vocalization of another language                                                    previously unknown to the speaker.  (Possibly the hearing/understanding    in the native language of the listener when the speaker speaks in their native language.)
                        2.         Two understandings:
                                    a.         Acts 2… speaking an actual language.
                                    b.         Speaking a “heavenly” language.
            B.         Miracles [1 Cor. 12:28]
                        1.         A miracle is something that cannot happen naturally or be explained                                             naturally (or scientifically).
                        2.         Miracles by nature are RARE.
            C.         Healing [1 Cor. 12:28]
                        1.         Healing is change of a physical condition to health… sometimes to a state                                                of health completely previously unknown.
                        2.         e.g. man born blind.
            D.         Martyrdom [1 Corinthians 13:3]
                        1.         Martyrdom is when someone lays down their life in such a way that Jesus                                     is made known. [Acts 7:56]
                        2.         This is the Greek word that eventually became translated as “witness” in                                      the English language.
                        3.         Courage, commitment, and audience response.
II.         Position gifts [Ephesians 4:11 –13]
            A.         Positions of leadership (power).
                        1.         Apostles NO LONGER EXIST.  Qualification… eye witness to the life of                                           Jesus.  (Some claim the title, but it’s meaning is NOT Biblical…. It’s more                                       in line with claiming to be “Bishop” or some other level of                                                                     ordination/administration.)
                        2.         Evangelist are both “traveling” and personal.  (e.g. Philip) [Acts 8:5]
                        3.         “Catch-all” category including “leadership” (Romans 12:8) and                                                      “administration” (1 Cor. 12:28)
            B.         Pastoral image:
                        1.         “Pastor” comes from the image of shepherd… image is that the “pastor”                                       is one who has the heart of Jesus for the people.
                        2.         It is a “lead” position as opposed to a “drive” position.  (above gifts).
                        3.         It is a “care” position NOT a “dare” position. (above gifts).
            C.         Nurturing image:
                        1.         “Teachers” comes from the Greek word more commonly known as                                                 “deacon” (servants)  [Different word than “slave” (“doulos”)]
                        2.         Information… the practical “how to.”
Wesley: “A prophet testifies of things to come; an evangelist of things past...”
(Implying) Then the pastor testifies to things that are of the present. (Dan Waite)

III.        What does this mean?
            A.         Those who posses these gift are few.
                        1.         They are those who lead (position gifts).
                        2.         They are those who are special occasion (for a reason) gifts (sign gifts).
            B.         However, the universal responsibilities exist in all of us.
                        1.         For instance: martyrdom…
                                    a.         Dying to self every day.
                                    b.         Giving of one’s life in an actual death.
                        2.         For instance: pastor…
                                    a.         Opportunity to show the heart of Jesus to someone outside the                                                      church.
                                    b.         ties in with evangelism/witness… “Preach the gospel, use words if                                                            necessary.”
[NOT inclusive list/example of the gift/universal obligation principle…]
            C.         Reality of American Christianity (from my perspective)
                        1.         We’ve created a consumer mentality… we go to where we get the best                                          service.  (No truth necessary)
                        2.         Result: we want a religion we can agree with NOT one we can own.
 [Agree means we think it should be done… by someone.  Own means we sacrifice for it.]
                        3.         These gifts cause us to understand we may not remain in agreement.
                                    a.         Christianity is either REJECTED.
                                    b.         Or it is intentional CROSS-CARRYING death to self, alive to God in                                                  service to others.
***** How do I know this?  It is what Jesus did. *****

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