1. Listed only once: Rom. 12:8, the one who shows mercy.
Present active participle of eleeo. Mercy is the attitude
and action that gives to others.
A. Grace: charis, the principle of grace
1. Benefit and provision bestowed by the Godhead based
on his perfect essence.
2. Any benefit or provision given to another based on
one's own compassion and integrity.
B. Mercy: eleos, the act of bestowing the benefit
1. Actually, mercy is the activity that reflects compassion.
2. Mercy is the expression of one's character.
3. Grace is the provision and benefit that comes from
2. The spiritual gift "showing mercy" is Divine
ability to take Truth known, and apply it to the personal hurts and dilemmas
And the term counseling best describes this function.
3. The need for the gift stems from the occupational hazards
of all believers.
A. Mat. 13.20-22
B. The growing believer spends a lot of time in --
C. Even a mature believer can fall prey to some of these
2 Cor. 7:5-6
D. So this gift is able to counsel believers in these
areas by supplementing the Truth that is in their soul, and the teaching
they get from the Pastor, with application wisdom.
E. In fact, the temporary gift, word of wisdom, was a
pre-canon counseling gift that functioned when there was not as yet a completed
body of revealed doctrine for the church.
4. This gift is a comforting gift when pressures and distractions
seem to be hindering consistency in growth and service.
A. The growing believer has difficulty - -
1. Showing his appreciation for Bible Truth.
2. Encouraging his pastor along the lines of Gal. 6:6
3. Getting burrs in his saddle that he cannot resolve.
4. And gradually substitutes human viewpoint for God's
B. Therefore, this spiritual gift keeps suspicion out
of the body and keeps the communication lines open.
C. Thus, it promotes unity and working together for maximum
impact to others. (friends, family, community, etc)
5. It is Divine ability to keep eyes on the issues of
Divine viewpoint, and not on the problem.
A. Usually the believer under pressure cannot see beyond
B. This gift supplies objectivity, clarity and information
so the right decisions can be made.
C. This gift has ability to be sensitive to the needs
of others so that the pertinent issues will be clarified.
D. The gift's ability sees through emotionalism and provides
the necessary viewpoint to stay or get back in fellowship.
E. It takes the principles of God's character and grace
and uses them to help people get eyes off of self.
6. The key to understanding this gift is found in the
word cheerfulness at Rom. 12.8
A. hilarotās (noun) means gladness. It indicates
a mental attitude that can see the levity in every situation in life.
B. Not that things become a "laughing matter",
but that you maintain a candid perspective toward yourself.
C. It is a mental attitude that takes God more serious
than it takes self, others, circumstances and things.
D. Thus, this gift is able to understand and communicate
how humorous it is when we hurt and hurt, while all the time, God is longing
to be gracious - if we would only take him at his word and claim his promises.
E. The gift of counseling points this out without preaching,
judging or scolding.
F. It shows compassion without feeling sorry or thinking
G. A related word in 2 Cor. 9:7, communicates this same
attitude of relaxation and cheerfulness in the area
of giving money.
7. The pastor-teacher counsels in general through the
teaching of the Word in public assembly, but rarely should he be called
upon to partake in personal counseling.
A. Usually, all he can provide is a mini-Bible class on
B. The gift of counselor fills the gap when personal counseling
C. If there is no counselor gift functioning in the church,
then by all means see the pastor.
D. Don't hurt in private and let it tear you up. See the
pastor or even the exhortation gift if one is functioning.
E. Even though these other gifts have different primary
functions, they can still provide Divine viewpoint guidance that should
clear the way to your solution.
F. Also, any strong believer is capable of assisting you
in most areas of weakness. Gal. 6:1-2; Rom. 15:1-2
8. The counselor should always function in agreement with
the pastor-teacher of the church and of course with "the Faith"
as the pastor faithfully teaches it.
A. This is reflected in Rom. 12:6 and Heb. 13:7
B. Usually the gift will establish itself by its effectiveness.
C. But there should be a public recognition and support
made by the pastor in order to provide relaxation
and unity among the people.
9. Occupational hazards of the counselor gift.
A. Attempt to give you a Bible class instead of 'wisdom'
B. Attempt to act like a pastor or even to take the pastor's
place as the authority in doctrine and policy for the church.
C. Tendency to judge and compare the believers he counsels.
D. Temptation to bring in secular 'wisdom' for help. psychology,
10. Suggested evidences of possessing the counselor gift.
A. A strong desire to provide personal comfort to hurting
B. Your meditation on Truth will always relate wisdom
to counseling issues.
C. You will be quick to volunteer information to help
others, whether asked or not.
D. Others will gravitate to you with their personal problems.
E. The desire to meet the hurting needs of other believers
will be stronger than evangelism or teaching desires.
F. In contrast for example, the exhortation gift will
have strong inclinations in evangelism and teaching, but his desire is
to iron out controversy and false doctrine rather than "saving souls"
or teaching a Bible class.