Sabbath School Lesson for August 1-7, 2020

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What are spiritual gifts? We must understand…

  • how gifts are different, but also unifying for the church (Sunday)
  • that God is the giver of all our gifts and talents (Monday)
  • the purpose of our spiritual gifts (Tuesday)

We must also understand how to…

  • discover our spiritual gifts (Wednesday)
  • grow our gifts (Thursday)


Last week we saw how the early Christian believers were blessed by the Holy Spirit. But, we must also look at some of the ways the Holy Spirit still works in His church today, by bestowing spiritual gifts as needed on all who are baptized into the family of God.

We recognize that witnessing actually involves the divine calling of each Christian, allowing us to share our gifts for the benefit of the church body. These gifts are the vehicle we use to witness to those outside the church, as well as to nurture those inside the church family.

Memory Text: “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” I Corinthians 12:11 NKJV

The Holy Spirit has always been at work in our world. Witnesses were empowered by the Spirit in Israel (Isaiah 43:10), as well as in the New Testament church (Acts 1:8).

Spiritual gifts are the mainstay of church operation. They are what identify us as Christians to the world. There are unlimited possibilities for anyone who serves God using the spiritual gifts given by God’s Holy Spirit.

As they say, God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He equips His followers for the tasks needed to edify the church and glorify His name. We need only cooperate with Him, allowing His Spirit to bring results to our witnessing efforts.

Sunday: Differing Gifts–United in Service

Although the disciples turned out to be excellent church leaders later on, they each showed different talents and tendencies during Christ’s ministry.

Peter, a work-hardened fisherman, was excitable and impulsive, whereas Matthew, being a tax collector, was probably more precise and focused on getting the details first. John, although tenderhearted, could be outspoken and offensive. Andrew, on the other hand, was also a people person, but more sensitive to others, less focused on himself.

Just as these various personalities balanced each other out, we, as church members, can find ourselves more useful to God’s mission when we consecrate our diverse talents to the Holy Spirit’s use through prayer and dedication to duty. This is how the disciples were able to accomplish what they did when they left their livelihoods to follow Jesus.

Indeed, everyone is needed for the church to function as a united body. Each person has a role to play in sharing God’s plan of salvation to the world, making all of us witnesses for Christ.

Bible Verses to Consider:

1 Corinthians 12:12, 13

  • What is it that makes us unified?
  • How do we achieve that goal?

1 Corinthians 12:18-22

  • Why is everyone important in God’s church?
  • When does being different become a weakness for a group of people?

Monday: The Giver of All Good Gifts

There are many verses in the New Testament that attest to the fact that God is the giver of all gifts and talents. Even those assets we choose not to use to glorify God originate from our Creator. Our most wonderful attributes given when we were born do not always become strengths for us spiritually, if we misuse or ignore them.

When we become God’s children through baptism, however, new spiritual gifts are bestowed which, when taken advantage of, become great tools for advancing the cause of Christ. These gifts may or may not be linked to any original talents we may possess at the time.

In any event, we are held responsible for our choice to use those gifts entrusted to us by the Holy Spirit. These spiritual gifts can and do bless others, when we use and grow them for promoting God’s love.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Acts 2:38-42

  • Why does God seem to chose our baptism as the time for bestowing spiritual gifts?

Matthew 3:16, 17 and Acts 10:36-38

  • What special gifts were given to Jesus at His baptism?

1 John 2:27

  • How does anointing benefit us when we are baptized?
  • Why is anointing necessary for every believer?

Tuesday: The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts

Paul was quite descriptive of what spiritual gifts are in his letters to the Roman, Ephesian, and Corinthian churches. He even listed some of those gifts in Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Corinthians 12.

Gifts such as ministering, serving, proclaiming, teaching, encouraging, and giving are made possible through individuals with the wonderful traits of hospitality, mercy, helpfulness, and cheerfulness.

Anything that equips us for building the church of God is spiritually-derived from God through the Holy Spirit. And we are to use these talents for God, whether newly acquired after our baptism, or in existence in some form before we came to Christ.

Those who find themselves in leadership positions within the church are responsible for helping each member use their spiritual gifts in a way that promotes the mission of God and glorifies Him to the world. God delights in using each of His children in some capacity for these purposes.

Bible Verses to Consider:

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

  • How many in the church are given a spiritual gift?

Romans 12:6-8

  • How and why does grace make it possible for us to use our gifts?

Ephesians 4:7, 11-13

  • What enables us to use our gifts in a way that unifies the church?
  • When will the church achieve the kind of unity that matches Christ’s perfect character?

Wednesday: Discovering Your Gifts

There’s two things we know we can ask of God: We can ask Him for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13) and for wisdom (James 1:5). And we need both. We need the Holy Spirit to acquire spiritual gifts for the benefit of others, and we need wisdom for determining what those gifts are and how to use them.

God, through the Holy Spirit, not only gives us these gifts, but He reveals them to us, and guides us in how best to use them. When our hearts are emptied of all self-glory and we have made service to God our number-one priority, our minds will be impressed with the kinds of ministries we are most suited for.

There are numerous ways to express our spiritual gifts. We have merely to ask God for the proper course to take to develop our gifts and thereby, be a blessing to others.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Luke 11:13 and James 1:5

  • Why is it necessary to ask God for these things–why aren’t they automatically given to us?

1 Corinthians 1:4-9

  • What are these verses saying about our gifts?

Thursday: Growing Our Gifts

Just as our faith grows more over time and our characters grow more like Jesus’ every day, so do our spiritual gifts and talents grow. We can expect our ability to serve God and nurture others to increase over the years.

The Holy Spirit is responsible for the development of our gifts. He supplies what we need to most efficiently fit the needs of our church family, helping us accomplish God’s will for this world.

But this growth only occurs with our continuing consent. We must choose to allow the Holy Spirit to supply and direct our efforts to be the kind of witnesses that He wants us to be. We must repeatedly and unreservedly invite Him into our hearts and then cooperate with the instructions He impresses upon our minds.

The parable of the talents illustrates the concept behind this process. See Matthew 25:14-30. It’s easy to neglect the development of our spiritual gifts by ignoring the clear counsel supplied to increase our service to God. Getting too absorbed in our immediate concerns and needs, too busy to think about our usefulness to God’s church family, will result in a great loss, not just to the church, but perhaps eventually affecting our own salvation.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Matthew 25:15

  • How was the amount of talents given to the servants determined in this parable?
  • What is one factor then that God may use in deciding what our spiritual gifts will be?

Matthew 25:23 and Psalm 16:11

  • What does it mean to “enter into the joy of your lord”?

Friday: Conclusion

The Holy Spirit has indeed empowered our witnessing, through the vehicle of the church body. We can accomplish so much more for God’s cause when we work together in spreading His love to a dying world.

Each church member, upon baptism, is given spiritual gifts to benefit the church as a whole. We aren’t thrown together in any haphazard manner either. When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we find that everyone has a precise way to fit into the church, and that, when we all take our gifts seriously, the church can move forward much faster toward our heavenly goals.

There are unlimited possibilities for God’s church when our spiritual gifts are recognized, valued, and used correctly for the advancement of the gospel. The blessings are ours; we have only to invite the Holy Spirit to assist us each step of the way.

Next Week’s Lesson: Sharing the Word

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