These Spiritual Gifts posts were originally written and composed by Mark Driscoll
“NOW TO EACH ONE THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT IS GIVEN FOR THE COMMON GOOD.” – 1 CORINTHIANS 12:7
During his life on earth, Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit to do ministry. Jesus said that one day Christians would do even greater ministry than he did (John 14:12). While this does not mean that Christians are greater than Jesus, it does mean that Christians who are also gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit can minister to more people than Jesus did because there are billions of Christians today spread across the earth. Therefore, as we begin our study of spiritual gifts it is paramount that we first see that our personal ministry is the continuation of Jesus’ ministry. Or, to summarize, the gifts of God are dispensed through the Spirit of God so that the church of God can minister like the Son of God.
THERE ARE FOUR BASIC POSITIONS ON SPIRITUAL GIFTS:
1) CESSATIONIST: Supernatural gifts (e.g., tongues and prophecy) functioned only in the early church and are not to be practiced today.
*This is the position of many, but not all baptists, presbyterians, anglicans, and lutherans
2) CHARISMATIC: Supernatural gifts are given to every generation and should be practiced today according to the limits of Scripture.
*This is the position of Ekklesia Muskogee
3) CHARISMANIAC: Supernatural gifts are given to every generation. Contemporary revelations are, in effect, equal to Scripture.
*This is the position of false teachers such as Benny Hinn and others like him.
4) PENTECOSTAL: Essentially the same as the charismatic position, but only Christians who speak in tongues have the Holy Spirit.
*This is the position of many, but not all Church of God, Assembly of God, Rhema, and GUTS congregations, typically known as “Word of Faith” or “Pentecostal” church
SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD
Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. (1 Cor. 12:1 NIV)
Sadly, it seems ignorance about spiritual gifts persists in our day. It is important to clarify some of the most debated aspects of the spiritual gifts.
1) The spiritual gifts differ from natural talents (e.g., musical ability, creativity, athletic prowess, computer skills) in that one is given at new birth and the other is given at birth.
2) Since no list of spiritual gifts in the New Testament seems altogether complete, compiling all of the lists together still may not result in a complete list (1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 12:28; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11; and 1 Peter 4:11).
3) We are each given different portions of a gift. We must be open to serving outside our area of gifting. God will also give us passions and opportunities in addition to natural talents and spiritual gifts. Discovering our gift(s) is related to assessing our desires, joy, and effectiveness. Every gift must be cultivated so that we are most effective in our ministry service.
WHAT’S THE POINT OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS?
Spiritual Gifts Serve the Lordship of Jesus: “You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:2-3 NIV).
The entire point of ministry and spiritual gifts is to reveal the lordship of Jesus Christ as God over all people and things. Therefore, if someone says they are a Christian or want to do ministry but they do not affirm the lordship of Jesus Christ, they do not have the Holy Spirit. The primary evidence of a person having the Holy Spirit is their love and submission to Jesus.
Spiritual Gifts Are Given by the Trinity: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men” (1 Cor. 12:4-6 NIV). Here we see that the entire Trinity is involved in gifting the church for ministry.
Spiritual Gifts Each Exist to Benefit the Whole Church: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7 NIV). Whatever someone’s gift, the purpose of the gift is to build up and benefit the entire church, not just edify the individual using the gift.
Spiritual Gifts Are Appointed by God: “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines” (1 Cor. 12:11 NIV). Spiritual gifts are given by God’s choice; we cannot choose our gift. So anyone who is unhappy about how God has designed them is, in effect, complaining about God not giving them the gift they wanted. This is like a spoiled kid unwrapping a present only to complain about it.
The following is a list of Spiritual Gifts that are listed in the Bible, as well as questions and clarifications posed to help you determine which gifts the Holy Spirit has given you for God’s glory and other’s good.
SPIRITUAL GIFTS (click on each)
WHATEVER YOUR GIFTS, USE THEM FOR GOD’S GLORY AND OTHER’S GOOD
Whatever your gifts, make sure that you are plugged in to a local church that loves Jesus, teaches the whole Bible, and is on mission to make disciples in and around their city and the entire world. Use the gifts that God has given you. Don’t hide your gifts and call it “humility.” When you don’t use your gifts, you’re not being humble, you’re being prideful, more concerned with what people may think of you than what God thinks of you. The problem with most is not low self-esteem but low God-esteem. He has graciously gifted you. Use your gifts. Stop making excuses and start glorifying God in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Serve in some way. Let your pastors know how you’re gifted, and ask them to help you find a good place for you to use your gifts to the glory of God. Watch your joy increase as you, by God’s grace, start to use your gifts for His glory and other’s good.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Always seeking your joy in Jesus,