“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant…” (1st Corinthians 12:1)
Spiritual Gifts: Unity and Diversity In The Same Body.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” (1st Corinthians 12:4-6)
What are spiritual gifts?
Spiritual gifts are:
“the manifestation of the Spirit given to each one for the profit of all.” (1st Corinthians 12:7)
They differ: “according to the grace that is given to us.” (Romans 12:6)
In other words, if we (believers, the Church) are members of Christ’s body here on earth, (Ephesians 5:30) then that means that each of us have a specific function that we are meant to fulfill.
“for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1st Corinthians 12:8-12)
These gifts are not given to make us feel good about ourselves; they are given for a purpose. Like the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30, these gifts are intended for use. We are responsible for how we handle the priceless treasure that has been given to us.
Serve God with Spiritual Gifts
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:1-8)
Nowhere does Scripture have a “flat list” of all the spiritual gifts. It speaks of many of the gifts, and it has a type of classification for some of them, but usually they are vaguely described and loosely overlapped.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” (1st Corinthians 12:27-31)
The main emphasis that Scripture puts on the gifts is that they:
#1: Be exercised.
#2: Be respected.
We are not to think that our particular gifting is more or less important than anyone else’s gifting. Our spiritual Body is meant to work together like our natural bodies do.
“If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.” (1st Corinthians 12:15-20)
Our gifts are meant to help us work as gears in a wonderful machine. We are puzzle pieces in the massive, divine riddle of life. We are meant to work together, in our communities, to further the kingdom of God.
How do we use our gifts?
That’s a good question.
First, I would suggest you read 1st Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 in their entirety. Then I suggest that you bring those Scriptures to your Creator and ask Him what He made you to do. Scripture says to pursue love and to earnestly desire spiritual gifts, (1st Corinthians 14:1) so obviously you can ask for and acquire these blessings as God wills. Our Father loves to give good gifts to His children. And He loves to see them busy about His work. It brings joy to His heart to see you carrying out your calling. He delights when you properly function with your fellow believers. It means His body is working correctly, and there is no schism.
God wants you to find your purpose. He will help you discover your personal place in His plan. All you have to do is be quiet, listen, and study. Then when you receive your answer, you are accountable to have faith and step out where you feel led to go.
Don’t be like the servant who hid his talent in the dirt.
Be the servant that hears:
“‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:21)