NOTE: At the end of each post, I will provide a link to the next post on the Prophet, and each subsequent post in the sequence of the Redemptive Gifts, and following the Prophet, I will link at the top of subsequent posts where you are coming from. Thus, the set of Redemptive Gift Posts will form a chain link. And now, the introductory post.
“Wait a minute, what do you mean by ‘redemptive gifts?’ “
“Why are you calling that person a Mercy? I thought Mercy was an adjective.”
“How is a Redemptive Prophet different from an office Prophet?”
“What is this goofy language you are using, David?”
“It sounds like you are part of a cult.”
Well, not really. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we might be doing that we forget who came along for the ride.
Allow me to back up and to partly explain why you are here.
You are here in part because of my doing.
You see, I have an unusual capacity to draw people in. When I want to draw a crowd or group, it can be useful. But when I want to do one-on-one with people, it can be a little bit………frustrating?
I have come to some startling realizations among those people that call me friend. I have this uncanny knack for being able to draw people who are absolute strangers to a given concept, and helping them grow into an understanding of the concept, and then helping them segue to the next season using that concept or those concepts as tools in the next season.
To the place where they are ready to transition to a larger season, set of relationships, or set of truths. In fullness, we move from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), from strength to strength (Psalm 84:7), and from faith to faith (Habakkuk 2:4), for as it is written, “the just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). And part of my job description is to help people increase their capacity to receive, store, apply, and utilize.
Kind of like a bright star….more on that later.
I came to this realization in the last few weeks while working to walk well with a new set of friends who are relatively new to the concept of the Redemptive Gifts. And, since the concept of the gifts and their associated terms are common conversation points on The Paraclete’s Hammer, I figured that I would give a ground-zero entry-point, an intro post for those people who might not know what the gifts are, what we mean when we say “Redemptive Gifts”, and how they hook in to the rest of Scripture.
So, without further adieu, the Intro:
When we discuss Redemptive Gifts, we are referring to those seven gifts that are found in Romans 12:6-8.
“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”Romans 12:6–8 ESV
From that Scripture passage, we pull the following list of seven gifts.
First delineated by Bill Gothard of the Institute of Basic Life Principles decades ago as Redemptive Gifts, these gifts have several associated parallel patterns throughout Scripture were discovered by Mrs. Judy Lee and the Gifts and their parallels were popularized by Arthur Burk of Sapphire Leadership Group.
So, at the outset, before anyone decides to label me a heretic for mentioning Bill Gothard in anything other than a “stone-the-heretic-with-stones-that-he-may-die” tone of voice, please go jump in a freaking creek or take a cold shower.
These gifts were not only sen as distinct from the Manifestation Gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, and different again from the Office Gifts of Ephesians 4, they were also connected to many of the other heptadic (“heptadic” means “seven-fold) groupings found throughout Scripture. For example, the Seven days of Creation show us the following parallels. Granted, this is not going to be an exhaustive list, and it is only going to be a getting-your-feet-wet intro:
- For Day 1, we see the Creation of Light. But consider this. Not only did G-d create light on that first day, but He also created everything that was necessary for that light to exist on that first day. Now, reasoning from principle and using a little bit of science, what is required for light to exist? Understanding that “all different types of light are part of an electromagnetic field that flows across time,” and understanding that light is both a wave and a particle, you have to have four things: Time, Space, the Laws of Science, and then the Matter that operates within in those natural laws. And as Time, Space, the Laws or Science, and Matter are necessary building blocks or Principles with which G-d built everything and got His Light to every dark place, so the Prophet is known for using the principles governing all of reality as building blocks, putting a million of them together in order to produce something that us useful and new. To illustrate, it was was not a simplistic “up” and “go” that got the first airplane into the skies. Rather it was a complex weaving together of dozens upon dozens of principles and variables. Thrust, lift, birdflight, gliding, kites, behavior of different wingforms in the air, windspeed, catapults before the first airplane wheels were considered, weight, loft, temperature, weather, and on and on and on. The Prophet’s ballpark and expertise is in the area of everything embodied by that first day and so much more.
- For Day 2, the Servant’s Day, G-d created the waters above, the waters below, the expanse between (the sky and atmosphere) and the weather patterns. And what do the weather patterns and the atmosphere and sky and oceans do? Quite simply, they perform massive cleansing and massive life-giving functions. They are not readily seen usually, but they keep us alive in ways we do not understand. Likewise, the Servant carries this massive capacity to cleanse people, above all the other gifts.
- For Day 3, G-d created the dry land and Vegetation, which is where we get the first concept of the Teacher. The dry landforms, dens for animals, tree homes for woodland critters, desert landforms for desert critters, polar and rainforest areas for those critters, all the safe places for each animal was created on this day. In addition, the vegetation that provided sustenance and medicine was provided on this day. Here is the picture we draw from this; the Teacher was designed to be a safe haven, a safe place, and a safe person emotionally. There is a massive amount of medical tie-in with a Teacher. Also, the dry land, the dens and homes for animals that were all created with the dry land on the third day, the Teacher is a refuge for those who are overtly oppressed.
- For Day 4, the Sun, Moon, and Stars, we move to the Exhorter, and the picture here is of broad scope. The Exhorter has, of all the Redemptive Gifts the capacity for working with the widest cross section of differentiated humanity. And, the sun, moon, and stars, control tides, give warmth, provide radiance, give a broad light, and attract people to study them, wildly divergent people who would not otherwise gather. Don’t believe me. Remember the solar eclipse a few years ago in North America. It caused EVERYONE to stop and stare and talk. That is what the big, bright, massive, sparkly things do, they move masses of people to a bunch of places. Just like the Exhorters.
- Day 5, the Birds and the Fish, brings us to the Giver with one key trait: timing. The Birds (including everything that flies: don’t shoot me down over bats) and the Marine Life ( everything that swarms the oceans, again, with the whales) both have MASSIVE seasonal and timing components to working together.
- Day 6, the Land Beasts, deals specifically in the concept of Systems with a million moving parts that all have to synch together. Herbivores, carnivores, and humanity all living together on land having to organize themselves and engage in the work of dominion.
- With the 7th Day, we come to the concept of rest, and the Mercy was made to just be and experience the depths of intimacy.
Granted, that is just one overly-simple expression of the pattern of how one grouping of seven parallels the Seven Redemptive Gifts.
But, what I want you to see as we move into this is that each gift is unique and plays a VERY valuable component, without which, the whole creation would descend to utter chaos.
And, please draw the parallel, no matter who you are or what your gift is, (and I think we each only have one Redemptive Gift as our dominant driving force) you are EXCEPTIONALLY valuable and have a real place where you can make a difference. Not to be all things to all people, nor to be nothing at all, but to do that one thing you were made to do.
To fix the one major problem G-d made just for you to fix.
To possess the one thing that will bring you the greatest fulfillment.
To possess that thing we call your birthright.
That is the reason we discuss these concepts of Redemptive Gifts so readily.
Helping you to discover what your gift is, and what it looks like on Monday morning, functioning highly and expanding the Kingdom is one of the things that brings me intense satisfaction. And with that, we will jump into each of the gifts as they come.
Consider these things deeply as we file through each gift. Ask a ton of questions.
Think about the implications, and let’s really explore what these mean for us as a tribe.
Be blessed, and sleep the sleep of the righteous.
And for those with insomnia, here is my post on the Prophet.