Several people have asked where do redemptive gifts and spiritual gifts meet or converge.
The answer would be unique to the individual and can probably
be answered best by looking at some individuals from the Bible.
Le's look at the apostle Paul. He had the redemptive gift of exhorter. I don't think any of us would argue
that Paul was a world changer. He preached everywhere he went, and didn't seem to be intimidated by the audience or the size of the argument or the hostility of the crowd. He was persuasive and articulate, and although he wasn't always well received,
he carried a fire within him and encouraged himself if he grew weary.
At the same time, he worked miracles, so we can say that he had been given gifts by the Holy Spirit to cast out demons, to heal, to exhibit
the power of Jesus wherever he went. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to undo the works of the devil, and to demonstrate the power of God. Paul said we could seek these gifts, and that he wished everyone would seek the gift of prophecy.
He was called to the office of an Apostle. He was sent to the Gentile nations and fathered the churches he established. His letters to the teachers are still used for instruction for the Church.
Now, let's look at John, the Apostle.
He was a redemptive gift of mercy. No one seemed to share the intimacy with Jesus that
John did. He referred to himself as the disciple that "Jesus loved." He laid his head on Jesus's breast. He was given the assignment of caring for Christ's mother. He was a mercy and his relationship with Jesus was close.
John was an evangleist and he also received revelation. In fact, he wrote the book of Revelations. So we could say he had the gift of prophesy.
He was an apostle. That was the gift from Jesus, one of the five (Eph. 4) for establishing the Church, that John walked in. He didn't stay in one place and pastor, but went to other nations to establish the church. But his work carried
the hallmark of the mercy gift as he went.
What about Peter?
Peter was a redemptive prophet. He was the risk taker, full of courage and faith,
and willing to move on impulse when his faith was in motion.
He was an uneducated fisherman, but he was empowered to preach so powerfully that he was sent to the Jews, because his words carried the
authority of Heaven after Pentecost. He got the hardest job, perhaps, confronting men who were the experts on all things pertaining to God. Wouldn't it have made more sense to send the educated Paul to the Jews? Not if you are going enabled
by the power of the Holy Spirit who is able to confound the wise in order to prove the folly of man's wisdom.
He also was empowered to perform miracles by the Holy Spirit.
He was called as an Apostle to establish the Church.
You may be a redemptive servant, prophesy, and be in the office of Pastor. You would pastor your flock with deep caring and
spend your times seeing to it that the needs of the people were met.
You may be a redemptive teacher, have words of knowledge to heal the sick, and be in a office of Teacher. You might teach anywhere
from the local church to a home group or wider audience, but your teaching would lay a foundation for whomever you taught.
You may be a redemptive giver, have words of wisdom, and be in the office of Pastor. Your
church might prosper and have outreaches and multiple way to help the community or even the world because of your ability with finances.
You may be a redemptive ruler, have a gift of healing, and pastor a home group.
You might be a redemptive exhorter, still seeking spiritual gifts, and be a great salesman whom people delight in buying from because you have joy and are sincere and friendly.
Everyone is not called to an office that puts him in the limelight, although there is one of the five office that we tend to gravitate toward, no matter what level.
It is not our goal
to establish ourselves in an office, but to naturally perform the office to which we are called to establish the church. We ultimately know whether we are called to go as an apostle or an evangelist, or stay and build like a pastor or teacher, or whether
we are designed to see what is possible in individuals or structures and encourage change and growth like a prophet. We don't strive for these offices, but we are established in them by Jesus for the Church and its work.
But that is also the rub, is it not? We may not see what we are called to, and we flounder or strive. People have landed on the mission field whose hearts are wanting to be obedient or in a pulpit, and it proves
to be wrong. Or there are those who may be miserable and feel left out because they can't find fulfillment in what they are doing. And there is the "conflict" between secular and "ministry," which is a divide that thankfully men like Ed Silvoso
and others have narrowed with their teaching on the imporantance of the "marketplace."
That is why we believe this teaching is so important. The redemptive gift is the foundation, because understanding
what the birthright of each gift is life-giving to us and to the world. Once we understand our design, then we are led into our function by the Holy Spirit and what we are able to achieve is unique and significant to the one who made us and to us.
We are equipped to perform whatever function we are asked to by our call to an office and the many different gifts of the Holy Spirit. They meet according to our particular uniqueness, the need
of where we are, what God desires, and our own willingness to do what we are asked. Sometimes our willingness to push through and go on is what is required of us. Paul could have quit after he was beaten, but he didn't. He embraced
the pain and suffereing and "fought the good fight."
There is a lifetime of training that goes into the emergence of a recognizable world changer who understands his own destiny and is living according to his birthright,
aware of his calling, and equipped with spiritual gifts. We look at such a person sometimes in wonder and admiration, but the possibility for each of us is there right inside of us. We have already been given every thing we need. (I Peter
1:3) Grace to us each to find and experience it.