What are Spiritual Gifts?
Have you ever received a gift for Christmas or for your birthday, that looks great, but you never got round to reading the instructions and using it. Until finally one day you use this gift and you realise how great it is and how easier it makes things. Maybe you received a really nice watch and because of it’s worth you hid it somewhere in your home rather then where it out. This gift is hidden and unused; which is exactly what many of you are doing with the gifts that God has given you.
Many people, don’t even know what they are, where they are, how they are supposed to function.
1 Corinthians 12 – “Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant…” Verse 4, Paul continues and says; “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.” The same Holy Spirit gives these different kinds of gifts to believers. Verse 5 says, “There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” In verse 7, in the New Living Translation, it says this; “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” Notice that all Christians receive spiritual gifts. All spiritual gifts are useful. The gift your Father has given you is useful to build up the body of Christ and minister to people in the world.
A spiritual gift is a supernaturally designed ability granted to every believer by which the Holy Spirit ministers to the body of Christ. A spiritual gift cannot be earned, pursued or worked up. It is merely “received” through the grace of God. Spiritual gifts are divine enablements for ministry, characteristics of Jesus Christ that are to be manifested through the body corporate just as they were manifested through the body incarnate. Our purpose should be to discover the gifts He has given us and to use those gifts faithfully and joyfully in His service, without either envying or disparaging the gifts we do not have. John MacArthur
I really love what Sinclair B. Ferguson said;
‘When we exercise the gifts which Christ has given us we are really saying to our fellow Christians and others: See how much the Lord Jesus Christ loves you and cares for you; He has sent me to serve you in this way; He is using my hands and feet, my lips and ears, to show His love. It is a tragic mistake if we think that the message is: See what a superb Christian I am; see the wonderful gifts I have… Gifts are for service, not self-advancement. Sinclair B. Ferguson – Grow in Grace, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 1989, p. 69.
Hope now you have a better understanding of what Spiritual gifts. Tomorrow and the next few days we will consider what Spiritual gifts are not, so we can better understand what they are.