What is the gift of exhortation?
The gift of exhortation is mentioned among the spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation . . . (NASB Romans 12:6-8
The word “exhortation” comes from the Greek word PAPAKALEO which means to ” appeal to, urge, exhort, or to encourage” someone to take a certain action. If we try to motivate someone to be kind to another person, we are exhorting him or her to action. Exhortation is something that pastors, teachers, and at times every Christian should do.
Here are some biblical examples of how the word exhortation was used.
You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.” (NASB) Hebrews 12:4-6
In this passage of scripture, we have a negative exhortation, “Do not regard lightly . . . nor faint . . . ” The exhortation is to accept the discipline of the Lord and not lose heart. The rest of the chapter tells us that God disciplines us because He loves us. God uses discipline to motivate us to stop committing certain sins.
Hebrews 13:22 gives us another example of exhortation.
But I urge you, brethren, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. (NASB) Hebrews 13:22
Here the exhortation was in written form – the entire book of Hebrews.
The spiritual gift of exhortation is a special empowerment from God to motivate people to do something. Great men of the past such as Billy Graham, Dwight L Moody, and Billy Sunday are just a few men who had the gift of exhortation. God calls us to take action, but some of us need to be motivated. God has given certain men and women the spiritual gift of exhortation. Thank the Lord.
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