Paul outlines seven gifts that motivate us to do God's work in Romans 12. Each of us having a gift given to us according to the grace given to us. And we know these are motivational gifts because Paul says this: "for the body is made up of many members, and all members do not have the same function." We are all members of one body. Then he notes each of the seven gifts.

Prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhorting, giving/sharing, administration/organization, and mercy.

Attributes of the Perceiver...

Because of the definition today’s society has dedicated to the word “Prophet”, we will use the word Perceiver for our purposes although John the Baptist was absolutely the last Old Testament Prophet. He called himself “Friend of the Bridegroom” not fit to carry His sandal.

Greek word transliterated: Propheteia (prof-ay-ti'-ah) -- prophecy

    1. a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by foretelling future events
    2. Used in the NT of the utterance of OT prophets

1. of the prediction of events relating to Christ's kingdom and its speedy triumph, together with the consolations and admonitions pertaining to it, the spirit of prophecy, the divine mind, to which the prophetic faculty is due

2. of the endowment and speech of the Christian teachers called prophets

3. the gifts and utterances of these prophets, esp. of the predictions of the works of which, set apart to teach the gospel, will accomplish for the kingdom of Christ

Before we go any further, I want to make it clear that Jesus being fully human and being fully God personifies all the positive attributes of each Spiritual Gift. Having each of these gifts in full measure, Jesus also had the negative temptations that go along with each motivational spiritual gift. Since He was fully God and perfect, He did not succumb to the temptations. That is a whole other study in itself. But let us rest assured that Jesus did overcome those temptations; He knows how strong we need to be to resist those temptations; He supplies the power we need to overcome. Therefore, let us rest in His power and not depend upon our own.

So, when I cannot find a Biblical reference for the Biblical example used, we will look at the attribute exemplified by Jesus.

In Matthew 3:1-10 and in Matthew 11:1-6 we see that the Perceiver, John the Baptist, exemplifies the attribute "Clearly sees the difference between good and evil and hates evil." He sees through the hard shell around the hearts of those who came out to hear him preach and he calls them "Brood of vipers". And he does not keep it secret. He bawls it out for all and sundry to hear right to their faces.

Sees everything as black or white, no gray. 3:10And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Easily perceives the character of individuals and groups. Matthew 3:7-9

Encourages repentance that produces good fruit 38 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,

Strongly believes difficulties will produce positive personal brokenness 31In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" 4Now John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Has only a few or no close friends 112And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two ofhis disciples

Views the Bible as the basis for truth, belief, action, and authority 3 3For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
"The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
"Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight."'

Boldly operates on spiritual principles 11 4Because John had said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."

The rest of the week's focus on the Perceiver is located on my blog here for days 4-5 and here for day 6 which explores how this gift operates when we are walking in the Flesh and not in the Spirit.

This study on the motivational gifts was inspired by Charles Stanley's sermons on Romans 12 and from Don and Katy Fortune's book Discover Your Gift You can find the book on the internet, but Charles Stanley's sermon is deep in the archives at First Baptist Atlanta, not on the internet.

Moving on to Part 5

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3,