FoundationsForGrowing

Spiritual Gifts: Part I

by Joanna Pierce on August 03, 2017

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant (I Corinthians 12:1, KJV).

What are Spiritual Gifts?

Spiritual gifts are supernatural abilities given or enhanced via the Holy Spirit to build and strengthen the church. God gave us Spiritual gifts because He wants to invest in His church and use them for a special purpose. And, these gifts can only operate in a person filled with the Holy Ghost according to Acts 2:38.

There aren’t restrictions in God’s Word as to the number of Spiritual gifts or the exact definitions thereof. There are many gifts called out in Scripture, but there isn’t an all-inclusive list of gifts God can activate in someone’s life.

Categories of Spiritual Gifts

There are three broad categories of Spiritual gifts:

  • Supernatural Spiritual Gifts—These are gifts of power, utterance (speaking), and revelation (knowledge). These are not performed by natural means (we can’t learn how to operate in these gifts)
  • Ministerial Office Gifts—These are the offices that comprise the five-fold ministry as noted in Ephesians 4:11–12. We don’t appoint ourselves to these offices; however, we can be used in the gifting
  • Ministerial Service Gifts—These are noted in Romans 12:6–8 and should be relevant and evident in all of our lives

Understanding the Origin of the Gift

Scripture tells us there are diversities of gifts, but they’re all from the same Spirit (I Corinthians 12:4). We can desire any of the gifts, but it’s God’s choice on whom He places His gifts and how and when they are to be used. We must understand Spiritual gifts belong to God—they’re His property. It is an immense blessing to be chosen by God to operate in one of His gifts (I Corinthians 12:18–20). To be used as a conduit for the Spiritual gifts, we must be willing, submissive, and sensitive to the moving of God’s Spirit in our lives.

Spiritual Gifts in the Church

Spiritual gifts in operation in God’s church should be normal. God said He would supply everything we need, and He will pour out the Spiritual gifts needed for the church in: our individual lives, every service, every conversation, on every group, etc. God won’t leave the church in a deficit of Spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 1:7). He will always get us what we need!

Spiritual Gifts are about the Giver

We have a tendency to think more about the receiver of a Spiritual gift than the giver. The person operating in the gifting is just a person—God is the giver of the gift! We shouldn’t label someone who operates in a gift one way over the another, nor should we look upon someone negatively who isn’t used in Spiritual giftings. Note, operation in Spiritual gifts doesn’t speak of a person’s spirituality either. Consider Samson. He led a lifestyle filled with poor choices, but God chose to move upon Him at times (Judges 13:25).

Spiritual gifts say a lot about our God:

  • Prophecy, tongues, or interpretation—God wants to speak to His people in a real-time and fresh way
  • Faith—God desires that we trust Him and believe in Him more and more
  • Administration/Leadership—God wants things to be organized in His church
  • Services/Mercy—God wants to care for His people
  • Wisdom—God wants His people to make good decisions and to apply knowledge correctly
  • Miracles—God wants His people to know how powerful He is

When we focus too much on the person operating in the Spiritual gifting, we rob God of the glory. We need to pay attention to God, from who all Spiritual gifts are given.

Spiritual Gifts are for Keeps

Scripture tells us “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29, KJV). Spiritual gifts poured out in our lives are not by mistake and God isn’t going to revoke them. We can choose to walk away from those giftings—heaven help us—but God has placed them in our lives for a purpose. God will place an unction, urge, feeling, thought, etc. upon our hearts about the Spiritual gifts He wants us to operate in. We need to be sensitive and pay attention to this when we feel this direction because God is trying to work through us in His church.

Spiritual Gifts are to be Used in the Church

When operating in Spiritual gifts, we need to be keenly aware of motive. There is only one reason why God put Spiritual gifts in operation in the church: to build a church that would bring Him glory. If we find any motive outside of this, we are out of God’s will in the realm of Spiritual giftings.

God doesn’t pour out Spiritual gifts as rewards; they are given according to need and to help the body (I Corinthians 12:7). And, most importantly, Spiritual gifts are not to be used to replace God’s Word, godly leadership, or spiritual disciplines in our lives. Spiritual gifts will only confirm and strengthen these aspects of God’s Kingdom.

Not everyone will have all the different types of gifts (I Corinthians 12:11, 29–30). However, God’s Spiritual gifts will all complement one another and work together to bring strength, unity, and edification to His church body (I Corinthians 12:14–18).

Spiritual Gifts Operate in Love

In Scripture, Paul speaks about the Spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12 and I Corinthians 14, but right in the middle of it, he talks about love. If we don’t have love, everything we do won’t be effective and cannot be used to give God glory (I Corinthians 12:31, 13:1–3). Spiritual gifts will lose their value when love isn’t present, so we must abide in love to operate in the Spiritual gifts.

Not only do we need to exercise love when operating in the gifts, we must operate in the Spiritual gifts in excellence (I Peter 4:10). We cannot be slothful in their operation (Romans 12:11)—when God puts anything in our lives, we must use it for His Kingdom! Let’s pray that God can help prepare us to be used in His Spiritual gifts in the church according to His purpose.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on August 02, 2017 with Pastor Nave