Lesson 15 - The Protocol Plan of God and Spiritual Gifts

Lesson 15 - The Protocol Plan of God and Spiritual Gifts

Lesson for December 16, 2012

Our Spiritual Assets

The Protocol Plan of God and Spiritual Gifts

 

Protocol is strict adherence to precisely correct procedure.  In the case of the believer, protocol is strict adherence to the mandates from God and using the correct procedure for carrying out those mandates.  These mandates and the precisely correct procedures are found in only one place, the Word of God.  By learning and applying the truth found in the Bible, the believer can fulfill God’s purpose, plan and will.  When this truth is presented from the Word of God in a systematic manner it allows any believer to grow spiritually (regardless of I.Q.) by following God’s plan.

There is a point of reference with God under the Protocol Plan - the love of God.  This love is God’s unconditional love (Greek – “agape”) for all mankind that caused Him to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for sin.  When Christian integrity is developed by believers, they are able to exhibit love for God on the basis of God’s character.  Believers are also able to love their fellow man based on the integrity of God resident in their own souls.

Our authority for this plan is the Word of God.  It is the Word of God that establishes the standard by which all teachings, experiences and actions are judged.  Any teaching, experience or action that does not fully agree with Scripture is wrong.  Those who distort, change or misuse God’s Word are “false apostles” and “ministers of Satan” (even if they are well-meaning).  The Bible tells believers to note them and avoid them.

God’s protocol plan has a result.  The result is the ability of advancing believers to make good decisions from a position of strength, to take control of their lives and to develop a personal sense of destiny.  The Protocol Plan of God also has an enemy – the cosmic system of Satan.  As the great counterfeiter, Satan’s cosmic system seeks to mimic God’s power system.  The power of the Holy Spirit is counterfeited by human emotion and ecstatic behavior.  Divine Viewpoint Thinking is replaced with Human Viewpoint Thinking.  God’s grace policy is replaced by a system of human good works.  And virtue is replaced by a charismatic personality and charm.  And the authority of God’s Word is replaced by political correctness.  God has a purpose for His protocol plan and that is to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ.  Glorification of Christ in time is accomplished through the life of advancing believers as they exhibit the character of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The character of Christ can be produced only by God the Holy Spirit, as He is allowed to guide the thinking of a believer.  Bible doctrine resident in the soul of a believer is the “raw material” that the Holy Spirit uses to teach and guide the believer through life’s journey.

  1. The Protocol Plan of God has a system of authority.  God has delegated that authority in two spheres:  1] in the temporal sphere, the laws of divine establishment and government, 2] in the spiritual sphere, Bible doctrine, communicated by the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher. (Psalms 33:12; Ephesians 4:11)
  1. The Protocol Plan of God has a spiritual life for each believer.  Therefore, you and you alone are the only one who can live your spiritual life – no one else can live it for you. (I John 1:5-10)
  1. The Protocol Plan of God recognizes the volition of the believer.  Each believer is a production of his own decisions, whether they are positive or negative.  Volition is important for establishing values.  As you establish values, those values dictate the manner and function of your own volition [free will]. (Philippians 2:1-16)
  1. The Protocol Plan of God has a system for advancement, or spiritual growth… metabolized doctrine in the stream of consciousness of your “heart” [the soul]. (II Peter 3:18)
  1. The Protocol Plan of God has a system of problem-solving devices.  They are related to metabolized doctrine in your soul.  The Christian Way of Life was designed for you to personally resolve your own problems before God without interference from others. (Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 5:11-14)
  1. The Protocol Plan of God has both historical and individual time reference.  The historical time reference is the unique dispensation of the Church Age.  The individual time reference is from the moment you believed in Christ till the moment of your death or resurrection [Rapture], whichever occurs first. (Colossians 1:25-29)
  1. The Protocol Plan of God has a portfolio of invisible (spiritual) assets provided for each believer in eternity past. (Ephesians 1:3)
  1. The Protocol Plan of God has a system of invisible impact on history, which comes in 5 categories:  1] personal impact – blessing by association with a mature believer, a winner and invisible hero    2] historical impact – blessing by association to the client nation through the Pivot (remnant according to grace) 3] international impact – blessing by association to a non-client nation through spiritually mature missionary function   4] angelic impact – invisible heroes become a witness for the prosecution in Satan’s appeal trial, which extended from prehistoric times into the Church Age   5] heritage impact – blessing by association with the invisible hero after his death.  (Romans 11:1-12)
  1. The Protocol Plan of God has a precisely correct procedure, based on the principle that God has only one way of doing a thing – in a right way. (I Corinthians 14:40)
  1. The Protocol Plan of God has a system of eternal rewards and decorations for each believer who executes the Protocol Plan of God.  And even if you fail to fulfill God’s plan, your rewards will be on record…they will be in Heaven, available for you to see.  (I Corinthians 3:12-15)
  1. In the Protocol Plan of God, God makes war against the arrogant believer, but He gives grace to the humble believer.  This becomes the basis for whether you are ever going to succeed or fail, for arrogance is always failure under the Protocol Plan of God. (James 4:6; I Peter 5:5-6)

Spiritual Gifts

Every believer in Jesus Christ during the Church Age receives at least one spiritual gift at salvation (some have multiple gifts).  A spiritual gift is a specific ability given by God the Holy Spirit to the believer.  The word for gift in Greek is “charisma” and means “grace gift.”  Therefore, spiritual gifts are not earned or deserved.  These gifts are divinely bestowed by the Holy Spirit in grace.  The purpose for spiritual gifts, as stated in Scripture, is for the function of the body of Christ in the local church. (Romans 12:4-6; I Corinthians 12:11-31)

Within the category of spiritual gifts there are permanent and temporary gifts.  Permanent gifts were first given to believers in the early church and will continue to be operational until the end of the Church Age, which ends at the Rapture.  Temporary gifts were also given to believers in the early church, but were foundational for the establishment of the church until the completion of the canon of Scripture, and are no longer operational. 

 

Temporary Spiritual Gifts

(I Corinthians 13:8-10; Hebrews 2:1-4; Mark 16:20)

Temporary spiritual gifts were foundational as the early church was being formed.  The purpose of gifts at that time was to confirm the spoken word of the apostles and disciples of the Lord.  Some of these gifts were for the detection of heresy in the early church, which was rampant in the first century church.  Some gifts were given to evangelize the lost in their own language.  When these known languages were spoken in the local church an interpreter was always required in order that the entire congregation could be taught.  There were also temporary gifts that established the apostles’ authority over all churches.  And finally, there were certain gifts given to men for the teaching of doctrine not yet a part of the canon of Scripture.

Communication Gifts

  1. Apostleship – Established the apostle’s authority over several churches. (I Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11)
  2. Prophecy – Forth-telling or foretelling events not yet recorded in the canon of Scripture and teaching Bible doctrine. (Romans 12:6; I Corinthians 12:10, 28, 14:3; Ephesians 4:11)

Sign Gifts

  1. Tongues – The ability to speak a known language not previously learned. (I Corinthians 12:10, 28)
  2. Interpretation of Tongues – The ability to translate the unknown language into the common language spoken in the church. (I Corinthians 12:10)
  3. Healing – The ability to heal at will regardless of the faith or lack of faith of the person who was being healed. (I Corinthians 12:9, 28)
  4. Miracles – The ability to perform miracles at will. (I Corinthians 12:10, 28)
  5. Faith – A companion gift to healing and miracles involving the faith of the person with the gift, not the one receiving the miracle or healing. (I Corinthians 13:2)
  6. Discerning of Spirits – The ability to detect heresy in the church. (I Corinthians 12:10)
  7. Knowledge – Knowing Bible doctrine not yet in the canon of Scripture. (I Corinthians 13:2, 8)

Permanent Spiritual Gifts

(Romans 12; I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4)

Permanent spiritual gifts were given to the early church and continue to be operational throughout the Church Age in which we live.  The purpose for these gifts, as stated in Scripture, is for the teaching of the believer, the edification of the believer and for divine production by the believer.  Every spiritual need of the believer in this age is met by the function of one or more of these spiritual gifts. 

Communication Gifts

  1. Pastor-Teacher – The ability to study, learn and teach Bible doctrine accurately in a systematic way because of his interest in the congregation understanding truth and growing spiritually.  He also shepherds the local church, which means he protects them against apostasy and heresy through accurate interpretation and teaching. (Ephesians 4:11)
  2. Evangelist – The ability to communicate the Gospel clearly and effectively for the main purpose of leading people to Christ.  The evangelist is normally involved in outreach ministries and missionary activities.  They normally have a charismatic and dynamic personality. (Ephesians 4:11)
  3. Exhortation – The ability to stir people to action and encourage others with sound Scriptural advice. (Romans 12:8)
  4. Teaching – The ability to study and teach systematically the truth of Bible doctrine as learned under their right pastor-teacher.  This person will be a good educator. (Romans 12:7; I Corinthians 12:28)

Organizational Gifts

  1. Word of Knowledge – The ability to study and categorize the truth of Bible doctrine and answer related questions. (I Corinthians 12:8)
  2. Word of Wisdom – the ability to make proper application of Bible doctrine in a practical way. (I Corinthians 12:8)
  3. Faith – The ability to have a vision for the advance of the local church.  This person is optimistic about the future and trusts God in every situation. (I Corinthians 12:9)
  4. Discernment – The ability to see clearly a course of action for the local church.  This person asks the right questions, is a good listener and can see through the confusion in order to come up with the proper solution to any problem. (I Corinthians 12:10)

Service Gifts

  1. Administration, ruling, governments – An organized person that has the ability to manage people, programs, finances, set up systems and delegate responsibilities. (I Corinthians 12:28; Romans 12:8)
  2. Helps – The ability to serve behind the scenes without recognition.  They are flexible and adaptable.  They will do whatever needs to be done without complaint. (I Corinthians 12:28)
  3. Giving – The ability to give above and beyond what the average believer is able to give.  They are good with finances and know how money is spent and used for the good of the local church body.  They are wise stewards of what God gives them. (Romans 12:8)
  4. Ministering – The ability to render service to the physical needs of others, such as helping the poor with food, clothing, etc. (Romans 12:7)
  5. Showing Mercy – The ability to empathize with the needs of others.  They are sensitive, caring and concerned about the needs of others.  They strive to reduce the pain of others and make good hospital visitors. (Romans 12:8)

Spiritual gifts are a great blessing from God for the local church.  Without the function of these gifts in the local body, the church could not properly operate.  Each of us has a spiritual gift/s and it is up to us to discover that gift/s and use them.  The discovery of our gift/s may come from recognition from a person in authority in the local church, such as the pastor or a deacon.  However, most spiritual gifts are discovered as the believer begins to function in the local church doing things they love to do.