Free2Celebrate – Gifts of Grace

The free2celebrate seminar enriches our understanding of God’s character and in the process our understanding of ourself, others and our relationships with a revelation of what it means to have been created in the image of God. Do you sometimes wonder why you think and act one way and your friends, family, husband, wife or children in a completely different way? Or do you wonder why your ‘logic’ seems to be different to everybody else’s ‘logic’? Do you wonder about your life purpose and how to accomplish it?

This seminar is our foundational seminar and explores the different types of gifts of believers, but focuses on the gifts mentioned in Romans 12.  There are different names given in literature to this group of gifts e.g. Redemptive Gifts (Sapphire leadership group), Gifts of Grace (Free2Celebrate), Motivational Gifts (Discover your God-given gift) etc. but they all refer to the group of gifts we are born with and mentioned in Romans 12.  This is the first in a series of 3 seminars and a per-requisite to the “Enthrone Him” and “Face to face” seminars. Here is an example of a program (the program is adjusted to the needs of a seminar) as well as a longer summary of the content:


Friday night                                                                                                                 

18h30Get connected and welcome
18h45Three goups of gifts
20h30Created in God’s image
21h00Let’s call it a day

Saturday morning

08h45Get connected and worship
09h00The grace-gift of Prophet
11h00Tea time
16h00Quick leg stretch
18h15End of day

Sunday morning

08h45Get connected and worship
11h00Tea time
14h00Discussion and testimonies
15h00Awake you who sleep… and bless your spirit
15h30“Go be Dangerous!”

Summary of the content of the seminar:


We usually make a distinction between the gifts of the Holy Spirit as described in 1 Corinthians 12-14; the five fold ministry in Ephesians 4; and the motivational gifts in Romans 11:28 – 12:6-8 (sometimes called gifts of grace, redemptive gifts, or gifts of administration or function.) We can illustrate it as follows:

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are a demonstration of His power in us. It is the way He expresses himself in and through believers. The gifts of the fivefold ministry are job descriptions, intended to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry so that we will grow into full maturity. The standard for maturity is no less than the standard Christ sets for us. (Eph 4) This is not a ‘title’. The person functioning in this office should serve the body of Christ in humility with the gifts God has given him or her.

The motivational gifts as described in Romans 11:28 – 12:6-8 are the gifts of Prophet, Servant, Teacher, Exhorter, Giver, Ruler and Mercy (KJV and some other translations use other words for these gifts, e.g. Superintends for Ruler, etc.)

These gifts are an expression of God’s character and nature in us. As much as He expresses his character in the creation, the tabernacle, or in the letters to the churches in Revelation, so He expresses his character and nature in us. In other words it is God’s image in us. We were created in the image of God. When Adam and Eve sinned this image of God in us became perverted and we developed a battlefield that was not applicable before sin perverted this image of God in us.

2 Cor 4:7 states: “However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine light of the gospel] in frail human vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves”

We can illustrate this with a prism in the following way:

The context of Rom 11:28-30 indicates that Paul speaks of a gift that is given to us while we are still the enemy of God, disobedient and in rebellion. In other words children and unbelievers also have the motivational gifts. In Romans 11:29 Paul states that these gifts, once given by Father God, are never taken away again. The gifts of the Holy Spirit can be taken away from the person who fall back into persistent sin (e.g. Rev 2 – the letter to the church in Ephesus) The gifts were given to individuals so that they have different functions in the body of Christ (Rom 12:4). God did this so that the body would be interdependent on each other. The purpose of the gifts is to build the Kingdom of God. In practice it leaves us with a simple question – am I building God’s Kingdom, my own kingdom, or the enemy’s kingdom with my gift? In contrast to the manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor 12 Paul teaches us that this gift is under construction (Rom 12:2). It is a gift we need to grow and develop into maturity.

Our motivational gift does not determine the type of ministry we are being called to by God, it does however, influence the way we live out that God-given calling. For example: for the time and purpose of Jeremiah’s calling, God took an exhorter and called him to be a prophet, therefore Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. If we compare his ministry to that of Ezekiel, who was a prophet also walking in the calling of a prophet, we can see that there is a different and unique flavour to each of these men’s ministries, although both were called to the same type of ministry office.

For us to be able to identify our primary motivational gift, we need to learn about each gift’s Godly design and battlefield. The design is how God intended us to be and the battlefield are those areas that we struggle with as a result of our sinful nature. All these gifts are a revelation of God’s character in us and in the body of Christ. The gifts are equally important, none is more desirable than the other (Rom 12:3). Since there is no passage in the Bible that gives us a complete description of the gifts, the following methods were used to form a Biblical understanding of the characteristics and principles of the motivational gifts.

The study methods used

  • We know that the number seven (7) is symbolic of God’s perfectness. Seven days of creating a perfect earth. The seven times Jesus spoke on the cross shows us his perfect victory over sin, etc. Therefore, when we notice that the gifts in Romans 12 are given in a list of seven, we know it demonstrates the perfectness of God’s character as He reveals himself in and through believers. The principles and characteristics of the 7 motivational gifts were determined by keeping all the characteristics mentioned in all the other lists of 7’s in exactly the same order as they are in the Bible, and then comparing all those named first, second, third and so forth to the list of gifts in Romans 12. When this was done we could clearly see that there were consistent principles and characteristics revealed. From this it was concluded that God is revealing the characteristics of the motivational gifts in the lists of 7’s in the Bible. We were introduced to this concept by Sapphire Leadership group (see the Bibliography below).
  •  The second method was to study the way Jesus related to people while on earth, so that we can learn from the examples he set for us.
  • The third method was to study different Bible characters to learn how they lived out their characteristics in their ministries.

God’s design of the motivational gift of the Prophet

The word prophet simply means to be an “inspired speaker” making known the thoughts of someone. When we speak we can make known our own thoughts, the thoughts of the enemy or the thoughts of God. Anybody can be an inspired speaker and clearly not all inspired speakers are speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. When speaking about the gift of being a prophet, the distinction should therefore be made to qualify what type of prophet, or what type of “inspired speaker” are we talking about? If we consider both the different words and different contexts of Romans 12 and 1 Cor 12 then we see that the gift in Rom 12 means a “particular spiritual endowment, talent or quality” while the gift in 1 Cor 12 is a gift that means “manifestation or expression”. From this we conclude that Paul meant to describe two different kinds of prophets in these two passages. Every born-again, Holy-Spirit-baptized believer receives the whole of the Holy Spirit and can therefore prophecy as the Holy Spirit gives the believer utterance, irrespective of their motivational gift. This gift of prophecy belongs to the Holy Spirit and it is the Holy Spirit that manifests or expresses Himself through the believer. However, when we speak about the motivational gift of prophecy, we intend to describe a person with the following characteristics that they were born with:

The motivational prophet is someone who likes to discover God’s principles, analyze them and use them to solve problems. They make known the thoughts of God on grounds of God’s principles. They are task orientated rather than people or relationship orientated, yet emotional. They are verbally very expressive. They are visionaries who can see far and deep – rather like a camera’s telephoto lens. They focus on identifying, declaring and living in the principles of God’s word. They tend to reduce information until they can identify the principle, and then build their lives, businesses and churches on those principles. They have an unwavering faith in the Word of God – once the Word of God is spoken, it is a done deal. They tend not to focus on the process that is often necessary to bring the manifestation of the Word of God into the natural. When they speak the Word of God, they do so with the intention of bringing God’s light and order into the darkness and chaos of the life of the person or situation they are speaking into. Since prophets often see things others do not see yet, they have an important intercessory calling. (e.g. John the Baptist, Peter, Ezekiel)

The Battlefield

The motivational prophet needs to work actively on building and maintaining relationships with people. They have to learn that unless you have relationship with someone, you mostly do not have the right to speak into that person’s life. A word softly spoken will encourage and build up the person and the body of Christ, but it should not compromise the truth of God’s word. Truth-based teaching is therefore essential. No vision of God will ever contravene the truth of His Word as spelled out in the Bible. Prophets need to submit to spiritual leadership in all that is Godly and allow others to speak into their lives as well. A life of humility and self-sacrifice is necessary, pride, bitterness and unforgiveness will cause an open door through which the enemy can hijack their gift. The gift of prophecy is particularly vulnerable to occultism and witchcraft. The prophet can appear to be judgmental of others because of their strong sense of right and wrong. Justice and fairness is important to them. They have to learn to live and practice self-sacrificial love towards others.

God’s design of the motivational gift of Servant-leaders

The servant is designed to create an atmosphere and a physical environment where the King of Kings is welcome and feels comfortable in. They are task-orientated yet fulfilling tasks with the aim to help people. They are neither verbally nor emotionally expressive. They support and maintain life that already exist and make sure that it stays alive. They specifically have great authority in standing against all kinds of situations where the enemy wants to bring premature death, whether physical or in the realm of God-given ideas, projects etc. In the natural they are often the ones who clean and make sure the chairs are ready for the service but it is very important that the servant understands that this gift has great authority to clean the spiritual atmosphere through warfare and to rearrange and sustain life in the spiritual realm. Servants easily see what needs to be done and then do what is necessary to meet that need. They have great authority to support leadership by taking tasks off their hands, and therefore opening up time in leaders’ diaries to enable them to spend more time in the presence of the Holy Spirit. They are essential armour bearers to leadership, providing a safe place/atmosphere where leaders can recuperate when they come in from the battlefield. They serve often at great cost to themselves. They focus on leading through service. They are extremely loyal in relationships and to leadership. They are excellent maintainers, spiritual warriors and clean the spiritual atmosphere with great authority.

The Battlefield

Servants tend to think that they are only able to execute physical tasks in the Kingdom. Therefore they are vulnerable to fall into a victim mentality and to feelings of unworthiness, rendering them much less dangerous to the enemy in the area of spiritual warfare than they should be. They struggle to say no and set healthy borders for what they are capable of doing in a set time period. This causes them to be misused and overworked, often to the detriment of their own families. Servants do not easily verbalize their emotions although they influence the atmosphere with it. They have to be careful not to fall into the trap of misguided loyalty. (e.g Queen Esther, Ananias, Barnabas)

God’s design of the motivational gift of Teachers

God designed this gift to validate truth in and for the body of Christ. They are loving, kind, safe people, verbally expressive and emotionally stable. They passionately share their knowledge with others. They love to do research and will seek answers for any question they are interested in. They quote the Bible in context. They tend to accept new ideas and teachings slowly, taking their time to make sure that the seed of the Word they receive and sow, is good, truth based seed. This is a generational gift, meaning that they have a deep intrinsic understanding that the seed they sow will grow and bear fruit into the next generation’s lives. The fact that the teacher moves slower than most of the other gifts, protects the body of Christ against taking action based on false prophecy, counteracts false teaching and gives the sinner time to repent and return to the Lord. They are emotionally very stable, loving, kind and safe people. They will always try to reason, teach or convince someone of the truth of the Gospel.

The Battlefield

Teachers can fall into religiousness and legalism if they do not focus on having a personal and intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that keeps the truth alive. We know that the Bible teaches us that the letter of the law kills. Sometimes teachers tend to teach outside of their families and then lose the emotional connection with their family members. They have to learn to maintain responsibility for their families as much as teaching others the truth of Christ, from a living relationship with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes they tolerate false teaching – not submitting to it – but not confronting it either. Confrontation is difficult for the teacher, but sometimes it is unavoidable and God requires of them to confront false teaching. Confronting false teaching in a constructive manner is a component of loving someone, since you are helping that person to discover God’s truth. (e.g. Luke, Esra, Isaiah)

God’s design of the motivational gift of Exhorters (To encourage and admonish)

The exhorter is verbally as well as emotionally expressive and relationship focused. They build networks of relationships with the purpose to build the Kingdom of God. They often have relationships with people across the social borders of church, race and communities. They have a keen sense of the processes and seasons necessary to bring about changes that will reach a goal or vision. They need time to process information and do so verbally. The journey is more important than reaching the goal. They focus on the practical action steps of the solution rather than the problem. They learn and teach from experience rather than from theoretical facts only. Application of truth is important. They will seek solutions and truth when they realise that they are experiencing a situation they do not have answers for. They can take abstract concepts and put it into practical language and action steps. They want to get as many people as quickly as possible into the Kingdom of God. They are good counselors, accepting of people, and believe in the potential of change in spite of imperfectness. They are not judgmental and forgive easily. They see big, detailed pictures rather like a wide-angle lens of a camera. They love to celebrate anything and everything and will look for a reason to do so constantly. God created this sense of celebration with the intention that they will celebrate Him and to encourage others to celebrate Jesus!

The Battlefield

They spend too much time on relationships with people and too little time on their relationship with God. Rejection from within the group, church etc. can cause the exhorter to compromise the truth of God as they favour keeping the harmony in the group relationships. Conflict in relationships feels like disconnecting, while they were created to connect people. When teaching from experience, it can sound as if they only talk about themselves. Dying to self, regarding people’s opinions, dealing with rejection from within their inner circle and living for God’s approval only, is one of the most difficult battlefields for the exhorter. They tend to be vulnerable to peer pressure. An important principle for the exhorter to learn is that what you sow is what you will reap as they tend to want to take the easiest possible way out, sow sparingly and then expect a huge return on their small investment. Living in the truth of God’s reality instead of your own version of reality is an important principle to put into practice.

God’s design of the motivational gift of Givers (to impart or to give out)

Givers are non-selfish, peace loving people; they easily give time, money, love, resources etc. They are very accommodating of different opinions. They have a long term vision of provision for others and the next generation. They save, look for the best value for money, and see business and other opportunities that others do not see. They are life-givers to projects and people in various ways. They are not naïve, and they quickly see and discern false motives and manipulation. They have a diverse range of characteristics, to the extent that diversity itself is part of the core nature of this gift. They have an evangelistic outlook, give out the gospel and support evangelistic outreaches. They focus on giving what is necessary to bring life to other’s design, in other words, they will rather teach the hungry the skill to catch fish than only provide in their need by giving them a fish to eat. They are independent people who look after themselves and others. Have an intercessory role in the body of Christ, offering the sacrifice of prayer and worship, including thanksgiving and praise, and to call the nation to repentance.

The Battlefield

Can be stingy and gather possessions out of fear that they will not have enough tomorrow. Their independence can be a stumbling block as they have to accept dependence on God for salvation and provision. They can focus on meeting physical needs only. Want to be involved in decision making in the ministries and causes they contribute to. They can be prone to control, and criticizing others. They have to understand that if you give, you give without strings attached. (e.g. Abraham, Jacob). Their peace loving kindness sometimes translates into a lack of enthusiasm for spiritual warfare to their own and the nation’s detriment as they have great authority in this area.

God’s design of the motivational gift of Rulers

Rulers are energetic, verbally expressive, task orientated and usually not overly emotional. They are motivated leaders that are passionate about administrating and implementing the tasks necessary to organise e.g. projects. They have the ability to build empires starting with only a few resources. The long term end goal is important. They are not perfectionists, only focused on “does it work or not?” They make notes, lists, diagrams and pictures to explain concepts. Likes to work with people and has the ability to motivate, mentor and disciple (even broken and hurting) people to do their best, and to bring them into their calling. Manage time and priorities well. Has respect for authority, submits easily to authority and expects the same from those they are appointed over. Delegates authority easily and with success. Does not offer to do something – expects tasks to be delegated to them. For them, offering help often means that they are transgressing on someone else’s area of authority. Once a task is delegated to them they will take responsibility for it and do it right the first time. Giving them responsibility for a task without delegating the appropriate authority to implement the task paralyses them to such an extent that they will rather withdraw from the task. They are visionaries and excellent implementer.

The Battlefield

As a result of regular criticism of being controlling, rulers build walls around them and become even more task orientated and absent in a team. Starts to work on their own or become slave masters. They can become workaholics as this becomes a way of escaping the pain of relationships and emotional involvement. Reaching the goal no matter what becomes their focus. The ruler’s ability to build worldly empires can become a stumbling block for living in dependency on God. They loose the mentoring, discipling component of their gift and just focus on getting the job done. (e.g. Nehemiah, Joseph)

God’s design of the motivational gift of Mercy

People with the mercy gift are non-verbal, emotionally expressive, loving, kind, safe people that are easily trusted and loved. Rarely have enemies. Father or mother figures to others. Peacemakers, sensitive to the emotional condition of others or groups, in other words they know who feels sad, glad, joyful or rejected. It is a very intuitive gift ‘knowing’ things with a sixth sense but finding it difficult to verbalize what they ‘know’. Does not like to function under pressure. Know how to rest in and move themselves and others into the presence of our heavenly Father. Need a lot of time to process their emotions and make changes. Has a natural inner joy. Often know things in their spirits that they find difficult to explain or express in words. Careful what they say and do because they do not want to hurt anyone. Avoid confrontation and do not defend themselves easily. Becomes angry on behalf of others rather than for themselves. The gift has an intrinsic design for seeking Godly excellence. Prefer being in the company of one or two close friends at a time.

The Battlefield

If a mercy has been deeply hurt and betrayed by others, they will forgive but find it very difficult to open up to that person again. Struggle to make decisions, especially if someone is going to be hurt in the process. They tend to ignore problems and avoid confronting wrong behaviour, making decisions, or discipline for example children. Their need for intimacy and fulfillment on spirit, soul and bodily levels often causes the mercy to fall into seeking fulfillment and self-gratification in things like welfare projects, friendships including sexual relationships and substance abuse instead of fulfilling this need in intimacy with God the Father. They are vulnerable to the victim spirit. Men with this gift are often perceived as not “macho” enough for a man’s world, yet God created this gift with a tremendous ability for Godly leadership. Their gift of excellence can become perfectionism and performance. Their excellence is often criticized by others with the result that they often have to leave organisations or churches or settle for mediocrity. They often try to keep the harmony in relationships and in the process compromises God’s principles and truth. (e.g. John, Joshua, David)

Shortened Bibliography
Amplified Bible, 1987, Lockman Foundation, Zondervan Corporation.
Burk, A. 2000 “Redemptive gifts of individuals”, Sapphire Leadership Group , Anaheim, USA.
Fortune D & K, 2009, Discover your God-Given gifts, Chosen publishing group, Michigan
New King James Version of The Bible 1982, Thomas Nelson Publishers.

© First Published in 2012,  Recently updated on 30 April 2020.  
© 2012 Copyright:  All Rights Reserved.  Author:  HG Venter