Last night we were talking about spiritual gifts, surveying the NT teaching from Ephesians 4, Romans 12, and focusing in on 1 Corinthians 12. Here is quick summation of what we found:
-Spiritual gifts are special abilities, talents, and characteristics that the Holy Spirit supplies to Christians for the building up of the Body of Christ and enhancing the ministry of the Church.
-Spiritual gifts are given to each Christian (Eph. 4:7; Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:7) for the common good of all.
-Spiritual gifts are both the gifts that are given and the people who are given the gifts. Eph. 4:11-12 says that Jesus “gave some as” apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to the church for the equipping of the saints and the building up of the body.
-Spiritual gifts are wide-ranging and quite diverse. Some involve speaking (prophecy, exhortation, teaching); some take place up front (leadership) and some take place behind the scenes (service, helping); some are overtly supernatural (prophecy, tongues, miracles) and some are almost common (helping, giving, service). The gifts are wide-ranging (probably even broader than just the ones Paul mentions), but all of the gifts are necessary to the proper functioning of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:14-26).
-Every Christian is spiritually gifted. Every gift is to be used for God’s glory, the building up of the Body, and the ministry of the church. Therefore, every Christian is responsible to God and to the church for properly using the gifts God has given. To be a Christian is to be a steward of God’s gifts.
All of these truths point to the comprehensive truth that God has made the Church for the Christian and the Christian for the Church. God has given the church leaders (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) for the sake of equipping and building up the believers. And God has given Christians gifts for the sake of using them in the building up and ministry of the church. To be a Christian is to be a churchman (or churchwoman)–both to serve and to be served in the life of the Body of Christ.
Have you experienced the blessing of brothers and sisters around you using their gifts for your growth?
Do you know how God has gifted you?
Have you found a place in the life of the church to use your gift?