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A ministry gift not to be overlooked

Exhortation is a gift of the Holy Spirit whereby one is blessed with the ability to encourage others in the godly way. It may sound simple, but it is vital. It is mentioned as a, "by-product" of prophesying in
1 Corinthians 14:3:
"
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort." However, it can also stand alone as a function in the Body.

By the grace one is given by the Holy Spirit to exhort, it is expected that he or she will use that gift in humility. Do you have this gift, beloved? If so, here is a more detailed explanation of its operation in the Church of Jesus Christ.

This ministry gift is listed in
Romans 12:3-8:
"
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith;

Or ministry, [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;

Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
"

Exhortation is the word,
paraklesis in Greek and it means comfort, consolation, intreaty.
Exhort is the word,
parakaleo which means to appeal, desire, intreat.
We find the word often translated as, the verb "urge" or an "urging to" in the more modern translations. Also, it is given as, "a calling to do" something (as Peter exhorted his hearers to save themselves from the untoward generation in
Acts 2:40).

Thus, exhortation is a ministry to urge and encourage others to do something for their good/growth/godliness.

How necessary this gift is for today as many churches engage in many activities throughout the week but never grow spiritually because they never get any exhortation to truly repent and live holy lives, separate from this perishing world! They are not told that without holiness in one's life, one cannot see the Lord at all. (Heb 12:14)

As stated above, it is given as a gift by grace from the Holy Spirit and it is exercised to lead God's, people into the comfort of walking worthy of the God Who so graciously saved them.

1 Thessalonians 2:11- 2:12: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father [doth] his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

Let exhortation be employed then, in faith and diligence for the advancement of His Kingdom, as believers get encouraged and edified!

Finally, here are some other forms of the word as used in the Holy Scriptures:

For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 1 Thessalonians 2 :3

As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 1 Thessalonians2 :11

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 1 Thessalonians 4 :1

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 1 Thessalonians 5 :14

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 1 Peter5 :1

By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. 1 Peter 5 :12

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 3

May God use you for His Glory, brothers and sisters
.

© 2003 Pastor Pradeep Emmanuel Stephen

[Permission is granted to duplicate this article in its entirety, but only without additions, alterations or omissions of any kind, including the author and ministry name at the end.]