Spiritual gifts part 1: Situation normal - all fouled up!

John Farley
July 11, 2010


Spiritual gifts part 1: Situation normal –all fouled up!

The New Testament use of aphorizo in a positive sense is “to be set apart for special service”.

The roots for this verb aphorizo combine to mean “to be off-horizoned”.

Paul was picked up and placed in a new position where his horizon totally changed.

From a Jewish centered world to a Gentile centered world.

From works to grace.

From Pharisee to apostle.

From self-righteousness to Christ.

Every believer has your own unique horizon based on where the Holy Spirit has placed you in the Body of Christ.

Each one of us has a “sphere of influence” in our Christian life.

The phrase “body of Christ” is used to designate all Church-age believers in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Head and every member of the Church composes His body, Rom 12:4-5; 1Co 12:12-27.

One purpose God has in mind for your life after salvation is for you to discover this position in the Body and then make the most of it.

Your horizon is determined by (1) where you sit (location and height), and (2) how well you can see. Your position and your “visibility”.

There is this two-part reality to the life of a Christian after salvation:
(1) the positional, and
(2) the experiential.

The positional refers to what God did for us at the moment of salvation. This will stand for all of eternity, and God sees you as this right now. This does not change.

The experiential refers to the course of our spiritual life in time. This changes according to the extent to which we live in the things God has provided for us.

So verbs addressing experiential realities are often in the imperative mood.

The mood is part of the “dog tag” of the Greek verb.

Voice, tense, and mood are the three basic identifiers of the function of the verb in Greek grammar.

The way in which the action is conceived with reference to reality can either be actual or possible.
The mood defines the category of the reality.

The indicative mood is the mood of absolute certainty or fact with regard to reality.
“God so loved the world that He gave His Son.”

The imperative mood is the mood of command or entreaty.
“Love your enemies”.

Indicative =
statement of fact =

Imperative =
command of possibility = experiential

The Greek verbs for “raised” and “seated” in Eph 2:6 are in the indicative mood. They are dealing with positional realities.

Indicative =
statement of fact =

Imperative =
command of possibility = experiential

The Greek verbs for “keep seeking” and “set your mind” in Col 3:1-2 are in the imperative mood. They are dealing with experiential possibilities.

The Lord Jesus Christ expanded Paul’s horizon before He commissioned him to be His messenger with the good news of God, the Gospel.
He also expanded yours!

When God sets us apart for service, the way He does it is to elevate us.

We receive our position in Christ, who is seated at the Right Hand of the Father, at salvation.

Then when we have learned enough doctrine to actually believe and see that we are where He has put us (visibility), then we are promoted in experience to live in that calling and walk in those good works.

At the moment of salvation, God the Holy Spirit, in one of His seven ministries to the new believer at salvation, bestowed on you a spiritual gift.

Spiritual gifts are the sovereign decision of God the Holy Spirit, 1Co 12:4-7, 11.

Out of the many, one.

The emphasis is on UNITY.

The emphasis is on UNITY.

Your spiritual gift is not for private gain or enjoyment, but for the good of the team: the local assembly, the church.

The phrase is
pros to sumpheron

the present active participle of the Greek verb sumphero

Sumphero when used as a verb means to bear together, to contribute.
To be of use, service, or advantage.
To agree or to unite.
To profit.

“A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature”: sumphero means
1. to bring together
2. to help, to confer a benefit, to be profitable/useful

as a substantive, to sumpheron means profit or advantage.
It was a common term in ancient inscriptions that referred to contributions to the public good by civic minded people. It can be translated as “common good”.

NT - Paul:

to sumpheron is used for that which is profitable both for individuals and the church as a whole.

Situation normal all fouled up

This is exactly what the situation is here in South Florida!

This is the normal situation that is found in every local assembly anywhere at any time.

Local assemblies are made up of people!


The first letter of Paul to the Corinthians can be seen as an appeal to unity in the face of some shocking examples of disunity.

WHENEVER God’s people start doing something new to His glory, the kingdom of darkness will do whatever it can to try to stop it, or at least cause havoc and confusion to mess things up.

The Doctrine of Spiritual Gifts

Point 1: Setting the scene for Paul’s teaching on the Spiritual Gifts.

© Lighthouse Bible Church of South Florida, Inc. / John Farley • lbible.org • All rights reserved.