2/ Verse five speaks of a different aspect of spiritual gifts, the aspect of how the believer will minister (serve) for his fellow believers. The Greek word used is the same for deacon, and is simply used as an aide, server, minister, ministry, etc. God’s gifts to the church are spiritually gifted people He calls to serve fellow Christians, His team of disciples. He leads His saints to serve other believers through fellowship inside the church, and to minister to the world through outreach by all His saints as the local church. Fellowship is the focus on loving fellow believers. Outreach is the focus to make disciples of all nations.
We see grace gifts are given for serving fellow believers in 1 Peter 4:10-11 which says, “As each one has received a gift,” [this is what verse 4 above is pointing to and means each Christian receives one grace gift]
“minister it to one another,” [this is what verse 5 is describing, the gift is given to help other believers through fellowship]
“as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” [He clarifies that this is God’s grace flowing from the Holy Spirit inside each believer and it is our responsibility to manage this flow of grace through serving others as the Holy Spirit drives and leads us. It is not for your selfish pleasure.
“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (NKJ) [The grace gifts are divided into two types: speaking gifts and action gifts. Romans 12 lists prophecy [preaching], teaching, and exhorting as the speaking gifts. While serving, giving, leadership, and mercy [showing kindness] are action grace gifts. Your gift is your almost naturally feeling strength and focus.
This is important as we understand the value God puts on humble service to others. Let’s read in Matthew 20:26-28, “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (NKJ)
3/ Finally verse six speaks about the diverse ways the Holy Spirit reveals His power through His saints. These manifestations of God can be miraculous answers to prayer, miracles, and supernatural signs that prove to be from God. Paul met Christ in a supernatural way on the road to Damascus. Peter found tons of fish when he previously caught nothing. People were healed from diseases and some were raised from the dead. Crowds received food from a few little fish and some bread.
Here is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 ”But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
Let me be clear, there is not an equal distribution of manifestations from the Spirit of God, but instead, it is completely in God’s hands as He chooses to hide Himself or reveal Himself by divine will. If God wants to show great mercy to accomplish His will He will show himself. At other times of history and in different places He will choose to hide His power as He wills. There is no formula. This is why you can see the first Christians prayed and asked for God to do this. It was not assumed or expected to happen, so they pled with God to show His hand of mercy to their generation [Read the Book of Acts].
God’s sovereign choices are His and for His divine purpose as He sees fit. If in our day God does not act visibly and powerful He has a reason and it does not mean a certain church or group is disobedient. If He decides to have the sound of a hurricane force wind blow through Jerusalem, show fire over the tops of the Christians’ heads, and give human language gifts to attract men like He did in Acts 2 it does not mean He will do it again. Only one donkey spoke in the Old Testament, only one bush burned to get Moses attention, and God will or will not do things, as He pleases, when He pleases, and if He pleases or He may never repeat the action if He so decides.
This is different from the grace gifts where Peter said, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
We learn from this verse that every believer has one motivational grace gift. Therefore, it is imperative that every believer learn what their grace gift is for the sake of being a good manager and an excellent servant. So how do we find out what our gift is?