When we think about spiritual gifts, many of us are content to be a spectator assuming the gifts are given only to selected few in the church or consider some gifts more valuable than others based on the way they are manifested. Are these assumptions according to the word of God? Do you think you have spiritual gifts? What gifts do you have? How are you using the gifts? Our response can tell a lot about our understanding of the gifts. Scripture says that we are not to be ignorant of the gifts and in this post, i want to encourage you to know more about spiritual gifts from scripture and desire to manifest the gifts for the glory of God.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:“When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. – Ephesians 4: 7-13
What is a spiritual gift? Bible says that we are members in the body of Christ. In a body, each individual member has an ability and function to perform for the overall well being. Spiritual gifts are those abilities given to each member in the church to perform a unique function granted according to the grace of God. Just as our human body, each of us has a vital role in fulfilling the purpose, well being and growth of the church. These gifts includes administration/leadership, apostleship, discernment, encouraging, evangelism, faith, giving, hospitality, knowledge, pastor/shepherding, prophecy, teaching, serving/ministry, healing, showing mercy, wisdom, speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues. (Rom12:6-8, 1 Cor 12:4-11, Eph 4:7-13 ). Which gifts do you have?
God gives gifts to each one of us: God is the source of spiritual gifts and gives to everyone who trusts him and becomes a new creation. He gives according to his grace and not based on our works. Many of us are ignorant of this truth. We see a gifted person and assume that they are part of an elite group or they received it as a price for their works. Sadly, we think we are humbling our self by considering us as an outsider from the elite group or think we don’t have enough works to get the gifts. Isn’t this the opposite of what the scripture says? God gives gifts to each one of us and not to a selected few. It is according his grace and not based on our works.
Diversity in gifts: Christ gives gifts according to his purpose and for the glory of God. As we can see, not everyone has the same gift. Each one has unique gifts to fulfill the unique purpose in the church. As Paul explains (1 cor 12), a body has multiple members but not all members perform same function. Each one has unique function and vital role in the body. We are called to live in unity as one body and operate the gifts for the benefit of the whole body. Each gift is according to the grace of God and we are not called to value each differently and cause divisions, this diversity of gifts meet the needs of the church as a whole and promotes unity of faith.
Purpose of gifts: Each one of us is given gifts to perform works of service or ministry. God by his grace gives leadership gifts like apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to some in the church for equipping and making the members adequate to do the ministry. When each of the members perform its function, the church will build up and grow in the knowledge of Christ. It becomes more like Christ growing spiritually. His fullness manifests in each of its members and the church continue Christ’s work in this world. We are called and equipped for the great mission to manifest his works.
If you are in Christ and still think you don’t have a gift, I encourage you to read Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 12 & Romans 12 and pray for holy spirit to reveal the truth in your heart. We can identify and develop the gifts with the help of holy spirit when we are connected to the body of Christ. Are you submitting and yielding to holy spirit to operate the gifts in your life? Are you a good steward using the gifts for God’s glory?