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Gifts Given to Believers
Jesus promises those who follow and believe in him will not be alone in this world to fend for themselves. He has sent us a Helper, that being the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). The Spirit has many ministries to help us navigate this world and live a fruitful, productive Christian life.
“One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit to believers is His bestowal of spiritual gifts on Christians. While Christians may have natural abilities even before they are saved, spiritual gifts seem to be related to the special purpose of God in calling them and saving them; and, in the language of Ephesians 2:10, they are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
While spiritual gifts are of a divine nature, they aren’t intended to create a super human who can do it all alone. Paul repeatedly speaks of the BODY of Christ and how we work together as one body (Eph. 4:4). One part isn’t greater than the other. Each part is essential to keeping the body working efficiently (1 Cor. 12: 12-31).
Romans 12:1-8 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
4 Things we learn from this scripture
- We should offer our lives as worship to God
- Don’t focus on worldly things but Godly things.
- Be humble and put the needs of others ahead of our own.
- Each of us have been given unique gifts and abilities and have a place to serve within the Body of Christ.
What is the purpose of Spiritual Gifts?
Ephesians 4:11-12 teaches; “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [a]edifying of the body of Christ.”
The following is a listing of gifts given which directly affect others. These gifts are used for ministering and building up the body of Christ. This is not a complete listing of all spiritual gifts.
- Showing Mercy
Our spiritual gifts mature as we draw closer to God. That’s why Paul says in Romans 12: 1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
While gifts are given to us as new believers, there are also times in our lives when the Holy Spirit will bestow new spiritual gifts in preparation for a new ministry or outreach venture.
Spiritual Gift Definitions
- PROPHECY: that special ability to see the influence of evil as did the Old Testament prophets and warn God’s people of its damage. The prophet has a deep passion to defend God’s reputation, stand for issues and use negative motivation, i.e., “Thus saith the Lord…” (1 Cor. 12:10, 28; Eph. 4:11, 11-14; Rom. 12:6).
- HELPS: that special ability to do service-oriented work for God in necessary tasks that may seem routine and mundane. The helper usually enjoys serving without public attention, doing such tasks as preparing a meeting room or working on a church building (1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:7, 16:1, 2 NKJV; 1 Pet. 4:10, 11).
- TEACHING: that special ability and desire to study God’s Word and share with others what is learned. The teacher enjoys communicating information to individuals or groups (Eph. 4:11-14; 1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:7).
- EXHORTATION: that special ability to find and communicate to others practical ways of serving God. The exhorter is a positive motivator, knowing practical Christianity will change the lives of others (Rom. 12:8, 1 Tim. 4:13; Heb. 10:25).
- GIVING: that special ability to contribute material resources to God’s work. The giver has a great desire to share time, talent, and treasures with liberality and self-sacrificing cheerfulness (Rom. 12:8, 2 Cor. 8:1-7, 9:12).
- ADMINISTRATION: that special ability to manage human, financial, and physical resources in an efficient manner. The administration functions by planning, organizing, leading, and supervising (Rom. 12:8; 1 Cor. 12:28; Titus 1:5).
- SHOWING MERCY: that special ability to identify with those in distress and sympathetically give spiritual comfort and support. The mercy shower ministers through identifying with those in distress and comes along side to comfort them (Rom. 12:8; Matt. 9:36).
- EVANGELISM: that special ability to lead unsaved people to knowledge of Christ. The evangelist has a passion for souls, a clear understanding of the Gospel, and a tendency to be confrontational in approaching people because of the urgency of the task (Eph. 4:11-14; 2 Tim. 4:5; Acts 21:8; Acts *;5, 6).
- SHEPHERDING: that special ability to lead a group of believers. The shepherd (group leader) has a desire to help the group determine its spiritual goal(s), provide direction as they move toward the goal, and protect the group members from harmful influences (Eph. 4:11-14; 1 pet. 5:1,3).
- After reviewing the list of gifts can you identify two gifts you possess?
- Which do you believe is your strongest gift?