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You may not like it, but we need each other.

You may not like it, but we need each other.

JUNE 6, 2024

/ Programs / Key Life / You may not like it, but we need each other.

Steve Brown:
You may not like it, but we need each other. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free, and Key Life is here to bring you Biblical teaching that encourages you to never give into slavery again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster, and seminary professor who’s sick of phony religion.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. If you’ve been listening, I’ve spent a good bit of time talking about how the church is God’s methodology in the world. In fact, Jesus said, they’ll know we’re Christians, not by how much theology we know, not by how articulate we are, not by how obedient we are, and how wonderful and smart we are.

They will know we are Christians because we love one another.

And so, we’re talking about the Holy Spirit and love. And I spent a good deal of time talking about God’s work through his Spirit in creating and maintaining and sustaining what goes in the church. And we’re talking about how do we love each other? How do we care for each other? How do we become what He created us by his Spirit to be? Well, Paul points first how we are interdependent. Let me show you. He uses the imagery of the body of Christ and suggests that the body has been created in a way that presupposes the need for each member to be dependent on the other members. It’s in I Corinthians 12:4 through 7.

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; there are differences of ministries, but the same Lord; there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all

Here he comes.

but the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of everyone.

In other words, the Bible teaches that every Christian has a gift given to him or her by none other than the Holy Spirit. That gift, whatever it is, is vital for the home maintenance, and without the gifts given by the Spirit, we are incomplete. The basic word from which the term spiritual gift is taken is a Greek word, charis. Paul uses three other words that are translated as gifts, and the last one literally meaning things belonging to the Spirit. The literal translation of that word implies that the spiritual gifts are unmerited. The English words charisma and charismatic are taken from this Biblical word, which is used some 17 times in the New Testament. If you ever ask that on a Bible trivia quiz and make any money, you owe Key Life 10%. There is a lexicon says that a spiritual gift is extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians from one another and enabling them to serve the Church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit. I believe the Bible teaches that there are a great variety of spiritual gifts within the body of Christ. Some will tell you that there are a limited number of gifts. Generally, they’ll refer to 18 listed in the New Testament. However, because the lists are not the same and do not appear to be exhaustive, I believe the list could be expanded and limited only by the particular need and desire of the Holy Spirit to work in the church and in the world. I would suggest that the Bible mentions at least 20 gifts of the Holy Spirit, and again, I believe the gifts of the Spirit are far greater in number than those even listed in the Bible. Now, before we look at some of those gifts, let me say something very important. If you’re a believer, you have a spiritual gift, and that gift is either in reality or potential. Paul says.

The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one of the members of God’s family.

I Corinthians 12:7. Peter makes it clear that each member of the church has a useful gift. He writes.

As each one has received a gift, minister to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

In practical terms, that means that if you’re a believer, the Holy Spirit has singled you out for a gift that is supernaturally endowed, supernaturally empowered, and to be supernaturally used. Not only that, it means that if you are a part of the church, the body of Christ, and are not exercising your gift from the Holy Spirit, the rest of us who are a part of the same church are incomplete. Does that mean that the church will go down if you don’t use your gift? No, it doesn’t. Does it mean that we need to close the doors if you don’t use your gift? No, it doesn’t. But it does mean that if we don’t use our gift, the rest of us are incomplete. Now, I’m going to look at the spiritual gift of love, but I have one other item to bring to the discussion. How one knows which spiritual gift one has. Now, this is an aside, and I’m offering this to you for free. Don’t thank me. There are a great variety of ways you can determine your gift, and a lot of teachers have devised tests that help determine those gifts. However, I’ve found that if you ask yourself a series of questions, you can come to some kind of accuracy in determining where you fit. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that the first step in determining your gift is to recognize that you have a gift to be used by the family of God in church maintenance. After you have prayed about the gift and asked God to reveal it, let me suggest that you ask yourself five questions. What do I like to do for the King? There are people who always think if I give my life to Christ, he’s going to send me to a crazy country that I don’t like and don’t want to go to, or make me do stuff that I can’t stand. Actually, just the opposite. God has created in you certain likes and certain dislikes. And that’s the first step of determining where you fit in the body of Christ. The second question has to do with affirmation of your gift. As you try different ministries, as you reach out to other Christians, what does God bless? Where do you see God honoring what you’ve done? I’m positive that I’ve not been given the gift of administration because my efforts at administration look like Jericho after the Trumpets. The third question has to do with your relationship with other Christians. Where do your brothers and sisters in Christ affirm you? What does the leadership of the church say about you in what you do for them and for the King? And then the fourth question that you must ask in determining where you fit has to do with opportunity and circumstances. What are your opportunities? For example, you may think that your real gift is giving, and maybe we’ll talk, we’re not going to have time, we’re going to talk about love, as a spiritual gift, but if you don’t have anything to give, it’s a fairly good indication that you don’t have the gift of giving. If you think you have the gift of music, and can’t sing, or the gift of encouragement, and have the disposition of a serial killer, those are not the places where you fit. And the final question of this. Where is your burden? What are your hot buttons? What causes the cells in your body, to stand up and sing the Hallelujah Chorus? My friend Cleve Bell has a burden for his brothers and sisters in prison. And he has created and been the leader of one of the most dynamic prison ministries in the country. I sometimes feel guilty about not being involved in that until I realize that that’s not my passion. Find out where your passion is. Now, we’re going to apply all of this next week. But for now, it’s important to remember that you, as a member of the body of Christ, are important. I say it, and the Holy Spirit does too. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
And just like that, we close the book on this week’s study of the Holy Spirit here on Key Life. Thanks for being here with us. And remember that if you missed any episodes or maybe you just want to share it with a friend, you can always stream our content for free at and do join us tomorrow for Friday Q&A that’s when Steve and Pete answer this question. In the Incarnation, did Jesus know about us? On the topic of questions, here are some you may have asked yourself. Who is the Holy Spirit? What does he do? What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Does God still do miracles? Well, good questions lead to good answers, so you may want to get our free booklet. It’s called, Questions About the Holy Spirit. Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE to get that. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that booklet. Or to mail your request, go to to find our mailing addresses for the U.S. and Canada. Again, just ask for your free copy of the booklet called Questions About the Holy Spirit. And finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you join us in that work through your financial support? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or now, you can give safely and securely through text. Just pick up your phone right now and text KEYLIFE to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word or two. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950 and then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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