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Re-Thinking Church
Part 6

Charisma, Who Has It?

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

Read Part 5

Introduction Ė There is in the world around us an incredible source of power and energy that we that is available to everyone. No one can see it, but everyone uses it and yet many simply take it for granted. People who have learned how to use it have done incredible things. For example:

  • Mechanics have learned to use it to change tires
  • Construction workers use it to break up concrete and asphalt
  • Transportation people use it to stop trucks, buses and trains
  • Millions of people depend on it to travel everyday
  • Football players and basketball players wouldnít have a game without it. There could be no final four, NBA championship, or Super Bowl
  • Columbus used it to discover America
  • Given enough velocity, it can destroy cities and forests
  • Without it none of us could live for more than approximately 6 minutes, give or take a minute.
  • All of us can feel it but unless you are from Los Angeles, you canít see it.

Basketball -

Wrench -

Air, Breath, and Wind, itís incredible. Did you know that in Hebrew and Greek, two of the three languages that our Bible was written in, the words translated as Air, Breath, and Wind (Ruach in Hebrew and Pneuma in Greek), are also the words that are translated as Spirit? Adam was just a clay mannequin until God breathed into him the Breathe or Spirit of life (Gen. 2:7 cp. 1:2). Until God breathed into him, he was like this basketball with no air.

Last week we began looking at the Holy Spirit in the Church. Just as God had promised a Messiah Savior, He also promised His Holy Spirit would come and live in His people. Peter recalled that at least twice in his sermon that led to the formation of the first church. Though there is a lot more we noticed at least 6 things that He does in our lives. We used the word TRIBES to remember.

  • T- He teaches us Godís word
  • R- He regenerates us. From dead to Life
  • I- He permanently Indwells us Ė never to leave us
  • B- He baptizes us or places us into the Body of Christ- The Church
  • E- He enables us to live do Godís will, Godís way
  • S- He seals us or secures our salvation

It is to the E that I want to return to today. Just as there is incredible power in air, there is also incredible unlimited power with the presence of God in our lives. Without Him, the Christian life is not possible to live (cp. John 15:4-5), but with Him we are capable of incredible things. Eph. 3:20 and Phil. 4:13, reminds us that we are capable of accomplishing things beyond our imagination or dreams.

For a second, let me remind you of our definition of Church. Remember, we are Re-Thinking Church. Looking past the veneer of centuries of tradition to the first church and seeing what God had in mind when Jesus said, "I will build my church (Matt. 16:18)." The Church is a special unique group of people bonded together by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of ministering as Jesus Christ in this world. Folks, let me ask you a real quick question. What is Church supposed to look like? Do you know? Collectively, we being many are to look like Jesus. His character, His conduct, His compassion and His concern for the lost, poor, hurting, etc are to be seen in us both individually and as a body.

Letís take a moment and look at 4 primary passages of Scripture.

  • Romans 12:3ff.
  • 1 Cor. 12:1-13
  • Eph. 4:7ff.
  • Also 1 Peter 4:10-11

If you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ, You have His Holy Spirit in You. He has placed you into His body, the Church and did you notice, He has given everyone of you a gift of grace to be used to profit the whole body. That is, He has given you a unique ability to minister as Jesus Christ to each other and to the world. If you are listening say, "Amen!" There are no exceptions. Church was never meant to be a spectator sport. Church was never meant to be just a place to go to on Sunday Mornings and watch a choir, or a worship group, or a pastor perform. Itís a team sport. Each passage that we read to you in length, mentions that each of you, with no exceptions, have been given a unique gift. Reminds me of the Narnia movie, where Saint Nicolas gives 3 of the young heroes a gift, a vile of medicine that will heal all wounds, a dagger, a bow and arrows that never miss, a horn that will always bring help, and a sword of valor and a shield of protection. Than Nicolas says, "these are tools, not toys." Well, each of us, have been given tools, not toys to use for, "the profit of all" (1 Cor. 12:7).

Look at 1 Peter 4:10, and then Romans 12:3-6. Do you see that word, gift or gifts? It is the word Charisma, from charis which means grace, and cousin to the word charos which means joy. Charisma is a gift of grace. But it is not a gift for you to keep. It was intended that you give it away and every time you give it away, God gives you more like the widowís oil and flour in 1 Kings 17:14. It is a means of gracing someone elseís life that should result in joy. When God gives us His grace in saving us and adopting us and giving us His Holy Spirit, it benefits us and gives Him joy, but it is a gift. We didnít earn it nor do we deserve it, it is a gift. Just the same, when you use the power of the Holy Spirit in you to grace the life the others, you generally receive joy and they receive a blessing, they may not have earned or deserved. It is a grace gift. Each of you has Charisma. You see God never intended that grace would simply be something that you just receive. He fully intended that the grace that you received would be given away.

Like the pastor, I read about a few years ago that gave out 20, $100 bills to 20 people and told them that the money wasnít for them to keep but to go into their community and to do good. The rest of the story followed the money and the people and organizations that received the blessings. One of the Pa. News channels has a Pay It Forward time each week, where they give someone $200 to help others with. Like the movie of the same title; Pay It Forward. Your Charisma, and you all have Charisma, is so you will pay your grace forward, both in your local church, the church international, and the hurting needs of the world. Your Charisma, your spiritual gift of Grace is the means by which we are able to fulfill the three great commands of the New Testament.

  • You can Love God with All your Heart, Mind, Soul and Strength. You can present to Him your body as a living sacrifice which is the logical way to worship Him (Rom. 12:1). You can live for the one who died and rose again for you (2 Cor. 5:14).
  • You can love each other as Jesus loved you because you have the Charisma to grace each otherís lives (John 13-15). You can encourage, comfort, serve, help, be hospitable, give, and be merciful.
  • You can love and reach the world that Jesus died to redeem because you have the power to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8), and to show the love of Christ that gives grace to the undeserving, the needy, and the lost. Your light can shine because you have the Holy Spirit and Charisma.

Now it seems like the Charisma or Spiritual giftedness falls into 3 categories. The Bible lists about 20. It may be more or less. I donít know that these few lists were meant to be complete as much as to say that everyone has a special Charisma. I am not going to define all of these for you; that could take weeks or months. But the 3 categories are as follows:

  • Special Gifts that, in my opinion, were given primarily for the formation of the very first church and the finishing of the Bible. Gifts like Apostleship, and Miracles. My purpose is not to argue this, but to say that these were special gifts for a special time.
  • Speaking Gifts which also involve the mind. Giftedness like teaching, preaching, knowledge, wisdom, discernment, evangelizing, and encouraging, etc.
  • Serving Gifts Ė like hospitality, mercy, helps, giving, administration, etc.

No person, especially your pastor, has all these gifts, though many think he should. God intended his church to be like the human body which needs all the different parts working together to be healthy and to accomplish the purposes it was designed for. When everyone, not just 10-20% is doing what they have been gifted to do, the result will be that the church will look like Jesus is in the House. Look at Ephesians 4:12-16. Someone once said that the church more closely looks like a football game on Sunday. On the field are 22 people who desperately need rest and there are 70 thousand in attendance that desperately need to exercise. Next week, I will tell you how to discover and use your Charisma.

Letís close this morning by simply remembering a few things.

1. My Salvation, or relationship with God has both a subjective and an objective purpose.

  • Subjectively, I have been grace, forgiveness, adoption, a family, eternal life and an inheritance promised. I have been given peace, love and the forever presence of Godís Holy Spirit so I will never be lost or alone, or helpless.
  • Objectively, I have been saved for a purpose. God gave me all those gifts of grace so He could me to grace others. He has given me Charisma as an inexhaustible way of gracing or helping others both in the church and in the world.

2. Our Giftedness or Charisma is of Godís choosing not ours (1 Cor. 12:11). We are all gifted differently. Not everyone is a hand or foot or eye or mouth. Our responsibility is to discover and use the grace He has given us. I am going to try to help you do that next week.

3. The Body will not be healthy unless all of us are doing what we have been gifted to do (1Cor. 12:14-27). There are no exceptions.

4. You can not be a Mature Christian unless you are ministering with the Holy Spirit as Jesus in the church or world (Hebrews 5:10-13). There are no exceptions.

5. Itís the Plan of God for the good of the church and the rescue of the world. It has nothing to do with a special calling. If you are a Christian you are called. End of story. Godís plan, again, is to reside in us all and then energize us all, to care for each other and to reach out to the world. There is no plan B. As I told you last week, we keep looking for the secret of church success and growth. We look for the latest Christian fade. Is it the music, the dress, the style, the time, the technology? What makes a church grow and be effective? That is why the Holy Spirit has been given to reside in us. The answer is simple and it is right here in front of us. A church will be effective when it stops being a spectator sport and becomes a participation event

Next week again, I want to tell you how to discover and use your Charisma, but for now, I want to encourage you to do three or four things.

  • When you go home, ask yourself or discuss this over lunch. What are we doing with our Charisma? How are we serving our Church or Community with the Grace of God?
  • Discuss, what needs to be done for people in our church (individually or as a whole), or in our community? Then, ask God to show you how to do it. Everything can not be pastor led. Ask God to show you.
  • Have you been disobedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit? Is there something that you know that you should be doing but you have not obeyed? You need to repent and commit today. Will you do that?
  • Will you commit to being part of a small group of believers who will meet together in a home each week to study Godís word and learn together how to use your Charisma?
  • Do you know the Savior who wants to bless you both subjectively with forgiveness, adoption, life and more, and bless you objectively by giving you a purpose in life? If not, you can know Him and you can have all of this if you will receive Him into your life. These promises are to you and to your children and to whoever will call upon the name of the Lord.

Read Part 7

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman