Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Spiritual Gifts

Read 1 Corinthians chapter 12.

In this chapter the Apostle Paul is writing to the church at Corinth to explain about spiritual gifts.  The church at Corinth had many questions and misunderstandings about spiritual gifts.  As a life-long Baptist, I can easily say that I have many questions and much to learn about spiritual gifts.

Below are a few things we can know about spiritual gifts from this chapter.

1) We all have at least one spiritual gift.

"All these (spiritual gifts) are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines."  1 Corinthians 12:11

"For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body... whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free... and we were all given the one Spirit to drink" 1 Corinthians 12:13

I believe that we all have the complete indwelling of the Holy Spirit from the moment of conversion.  We at that moment were baptized into one body of believers and given the one Spirit to drink.  Because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we will have a manifestation of the Holy Spirit of some kind.  What manifestation and to what degree will vary, but we all have some gift/gifts of the Spirit.  No Christian can say that they don't have a gift.  One could say they aren't aware of a gift or aren't using a gift, but I believe all Christians have a gift of the Spirit.

2) All gifts of the Spirit are important, likewise all those with the gifts are important to the body of Christ.

"Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.  If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.  And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be/  If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has arranged the parts of the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would they body be?  As is is, there are many parts, but one body."  1 Corinthians 12:14-20

The metaphor is easy to see in this passage.  Don't let yourself be tricked into thinking that you are not important of your local church or the Church universal.  You are essential and so is everyone else.  Don't think of yourself too lowly or too highly.  You are essential but not self-sufficient.

3) The purpose of Spiritual gifts.

"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good."  1 Corinthians 12:7

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.  Amen."  1 Peter 4:10-11

Spiritual gifts are given for the common good and the glory of God.  When using your gift of the Spirit you should ask.  "Is this for the good of others or just me?"  "Does this glorify God or me?"  Asking these questions will help you faithfully administer God's grace in the form granted you to do so.

Gifts of the Spirit are also to highlight the diverse and wonderful character of our God.

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