Spiritual Gifts

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SPIRITUAL GIFTS

     

The Holy Spirit unites the Church of Jesus Christ. In Him, we collectively form the body of Christ, also called the Church.  The body of Christ functions like a human body, with each member of the body playing a unique and significant role.  In fact, God never designed a believer to live apart from the body of Christ.

Key Concepts

 

  •   One Body of Christ

  •  One Care for One Another

  •  Diversity of Spiritual Gifts

  •  One Unified Ministry

    At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit blesses you with at least one spiritual gift.  God distributes those  spiritual gifts to each believer just as He wishes.  

1 Corinthians 12:18 (Page 1797)

 

“But now God has placed

the members, each one of

them, in the body,

just as He desired.”

 

Placement.  No member of the body of Christ can say to another member that he has no need of that member.  In fact, the members of the body which we deem weaker are necessary.  Likewise, the members we deem less honorable we actually bestow more honor upon.  God deliberately has composed the body of Christ, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked honor, so that there may be no division in the body.  That unity means that when one member suffers, all the members suffer.  When one member is honored, then all the members are honored.  

Ephesians 4:12 (Page 1831)

 

“for the equipping of the saints

for the work of service, to the

building up of the

body of Christ;”

 

Purpose.  The Holy Spirit places gifts into the body of Christ, one member at a time.  God means that He places those gifts within believers for specific purposes.  God intends for every believer to carry on the ministry of Jesus Christ, but each member must minister according to the gift bestowed upon that member.  God never intended any divisions in the body of Christ, and all titles such as “Reverend,” “Father,” “Rabbi,” “Clergy,” “Laity,” “Leader” not only divide the church, but also break the command of Jesus Christ to avoid titles and divisions (Matthew 23:6-11, Page 1542).  Jesus calls you to use the gift that the Holy Spirit has placed within you to His honor and glory.  In fact, the gift within you should be used to build up the body of Christ, that is, the other believers around you.  Your pastor and teachers function to equip the members to use their spiritual gifts for the glory of God.  They do not do the ministry alone, and they alone are not in full-time ministry.  God has called you into “full-time ministry” because you possess your spiritual gifts every day, all day.  You carry the power of ministry within you, and the spiritual gift you possess makes you essential to the body of Christ, even an honored member.

Ephesians 4:13 (Page 1831)

 

“until we all attain to the unity of

the faith, and the knowledge of

the Son of God, to a mature

man, to the measure of the

stature which belongs to

the fullness of Christ.”

 

Maturity.  It often helps me to break a verse into parts for me to understand it better.  In Ephesians 4:13, Page 1831, God tells me that He wants all believers: (1) to strive together for the unity of the faith; (2) to grow in the knowledge of the Son of God; and (3) to become mature members, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.  The spiritual gifts of the entire body will produce those results.  Well, what gift do you possess and how can you find out?

    Most Christians do not care about their spiritual gifts and the ministry that Christ has for them.  They think that ministry means you become a pastor, missionary, or have some other church-related employment.  Think again, but use the Bible as your guide here.  As we have seen above, every member has a spiritual gift, maybe even more than one.  But each gift, delivered directly from God, must be used.  Be sure not to neglect the gift God has given to you.  You will never achieve much out of life, spiritually, unless you yield yourself to using your spiritual gift.

Ephesians 4:11 (Page 1830)

 

“And He gave some as apostles,

and some as prophets, and some

as evangelists, and some as

pastors and teachers,”

 

     Notice that God gives different gifts.  Now let us look at the gifts mentioned in the New Testament.

Apostles.  The twelve apostles described themselves as people who were with Jesus from the baptism of John until they watched Jesus ascend into heaven (Acts 1:21-22, Page 1700).  Therefore, no one alive on earth today can really claim to be an apostle like the twelve apostles described in Acts.  Some other men were called apostles in the New Testament, but the gift seems to have passed away with the completion of the New Testament.

Prophecy. The gift of prophecy allowed the New Testament to be written by men moved by the Holy Spirit of God to produce His entire, complete, and inerrant revelation of God for this age.  Nothing more needs to be added to the Bible, but many believers disagree about the gift of prophecy today.  The Biblical evidence indicates that the gift of prophecy involved the revelation of new material, and the true prophet spoke without error.  This gift shall cease (1 Corinthians 13:8, Page 1798).

Evangelism.    The gift of evangelism enables a person to lead people to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.  When they exercise the gift, then people come to salvation in Christ.  If you see a person consistently leading people to salvation, then you may well be watching an evangelist.  They love to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and see positive results often.  Study the ministry of Phillip in Acts 8, Page 1713 for an example.

Pastors/Teachers.  Many pastors have the spiritual gift of teaching, but not all of them.  Yet, not all teachers are pastors.  Pastors tend the sheep of Christ because they love Christ.  The pastor equips the saints for the work of service.  Teachers have the special, divine ability to understand, explain, and communicate the Word of God.  They are not instruments of new revelation, but rather they use the existing revelation to benefit believers through their teaching.  Pastors use their gifts to comfort the saved, confront the sinful, and shepherd the sheep with the love of Jesus Christ.  Study 1 and 2 Timothy (beginning on page 1854) to see the life of a pastor.

Romans 12:6-8 (Page 1775)

 

“Since we have gifts that differ

according to the grace given to us,

each of us is to exercise them

 accordingly: if prophecy,

according to the proportion

of his faith; if service, in his

serving; or he who teaches,

in his teaching; or he who

exhorts, in his exhortation;

he who gives, with liberality;

 he who leads, with diligence;

he who shows mercy,

with cheerfulness.”

 

    Here we have another list of spiritual gifts: prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and mercy.  We have already talked about some of them, so let us outline the other gifts here.

Service.   The spiritual gift of service is like other gifts.  We all have the obligation to serve God, but God gifts some people to be special servants.  They have a spiritual talent for serving.  Consider the men of Acts 6 (Page 1709) selected to be put in charge of feeding the widows of the church.  These men had special abilities as servants to be sure that everyone’s physical needs were met. 

Exhortation.  The spiritual gift of exhortation involves the ability to confront and encourage other believers to walk with Christ under the power of the Holy Spirit.   Counselors often have the gift of exhortation to confront people with the Word of God and then encourage them to walk in loving relationship with Jesus Christ.  Think of the gift as calling people to Godly living.

Giving.  The spiritual gift of giving means the ability to give with liberality, and you do it consistently as a ministry to Jesus Christ.  Everyone has a duty and privilege to use God’s money for God’s purposes, but not everyone has the gift of giving.  The spiritual gift of giving means that you have been gifted by God with the desire, insight, and ability to give to those who really need it.  The gifted giver delights in providing for widows, orphans, and people in special need.  Consider Barnabas who owned a large tract of land, sold it, and laid the money at the apostle’s feet (Acts 4:37, Page 1706). 

Leading.  The Greek here indicates that leading means administration.  It refers to the ability to organize, to plan, and concentrate resources to achieve a goal.  For example, a deacon must be a good administrator of his family and household.  Diligent leadership characterizes the proper use of this gift.

Mercy.  The spiritual gift of mercy means that you extend the loving kindness of God as a ministry of Jesus Christ.  Mercy means that you withhold punishment.  Every believer must love mercy and do justice, but the believer gifted with mercy find special opportunities to practice mercy over and over.  They seek people needing God’s mercy and God delivers those opportunities to them.  In this passage, the gift of mercy should abound with cheerfulness.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10 (Page 1796)

 

“For to one is given the word of

wisdom through the Spirit; and to

another the word of knowledge

according to the same Spirit; to

another faith by the same Spirit,

and to another gifts of healing by

the one Spirit, and to another the

effecting of miracles, and to another

the distinguishing of spirits, to

another various kinds of tongues,

and to another the interpretation

of tongues.

 

    God often addresses particular problems in the Bible.  At the church of Corinth, Greece, the believers there had factions and disorder splitting the church apart.  The church services had displays of wonderful spiritual gifts, but division and discord marred the gatherings.  Please recall that before the last writer completed the New Testament, God used direct revelation through people to communicate His truths to His people.  Apostles, prophets, and others received direct instruction from God.  God also gave gifts for revelation to His people.  The revelatory gifts have become the subject of great debate today.  Not everyone understands spiritual gifts in the same way.  After careful study, the best definitions of these gifts are presented below, but be careful to keep looking to the Word of God for instruction and confirmation.

    The arrangement of the list of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, Page 1796, should influence our understanding of the gifts themselves.  In 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, Page 1796, the Greek text divides into three units of gifts separated by two different words for “another” (which our English Bibles translate as if they were the same):”  (1) “hetero” (“ἑτέρῳ”), meaning different kinds; and (2) “allo” (“ἄλλῳ”) meaning different, but the same kind.    Think of dogs and people.  People are of a different kind (“hetero”) from dogs, but citizens of America and citizens of China are different of the same kind (“allo”) because both groups are humans.  Likewise hounds are different from humans, but the same kind as spaniels.  Recognizing that division, verse 8 groups together two gifts based upon revelation: the Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge.  Verses 9 and 10a then present the next unit of gifts based upon faith: Faith, Gifts of Healing, Effecting of Miracles, Prophecy and Distinguishing of Spirits.  Finally, the last group concerns the use of tongues: Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues.  We may construct the following chart to illustrate the division of gifts.

Group One (verse 8): Word of Wisdom, (“allo”) Word of Knowledge

Group Two (“hetero) (verses 9-10a): Faith, (“allo”) Gifts of Healing, (“allo”) Effecting of Miracles, (“allo”) Prophecy and (“allo”) Distinguishing of Spirits

Group Three (“hetero”) (verse 10b): Various Tongues,  (“allo”) Interpretation of Tongues

The grouping helps understand the nature of the gifts.

Word of Wisdom.  Every believer should seek wisdom from God, who promised to give wisdom generously, without criticism for asking, to everyone who asks without doubting (James 1:5, page 1887).  We may glean from this passage in James that God has promised generous wisdom to every believer who asks for it.  Therefore, the special spiritual gift of wisdom mentioned in 1 Corinthians must be different from the generous wisdom available to every believer.  Only some believers had the spiritual gift of wisdom, bestowed upon them as the Holy Spirit desired (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, page 1796).  As we begin our brief study of the word of wisdom, remember the chart above.  To understand the Word of Wisdom, you need to see how it functioned in the New Testament church.  Paul explained his message and preaching were not in persuasive “words of wisdom,” and the faith he preached did not rest on the wisdom of men  (1 Corinthians 2:1-5, page 1783).  In contrast, Paul spoke God’s wisdom, not of this world.  He spoke God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:6-10, page 1784).  God predestined to our glory the revelation of that hidden wisdom, which he called a mystery.  As we shall see below, that term “mystery” always has a special meaning in the New Testament.  The rulers of that age did not understand God’s wisdom, because they would not have crucified the Lord of glory if they had (1 Corinthians 2:8, page 1784).  In the city of Corinth, Paul revealed God’s wisdom for the church, and called it a “mystery, the hidden wisdom.”  The apostle Paul put into words the revelation of the hidden wisdom which God gave to them.  Based upon this use of the term “wisdom” by the same author (Paul) in the same book (1 Corinthians), we see that the Word of Wisdom concerns divine revelation of something new and previously hidden, which God calls a mystery.  Regarding the term “mystery,” Paul described himself as a servant of Christ and a steward of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1, page 1785).  Paul described the term mystery in Romans 16:25-26, page 1781: “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all nations, leading to obedience of faith; . . . .”  We see here that a mystery is: (1) a revelation from God; (2) of a secret from long ages past; (3) now manifested; (4) by the Scriptures of the prophets; (5) according to the commandment of God; (6) and now has been made known to all nations; (7) leading to the obedience of faith.  Likewise, in Ephesians 3:4-6, page 1829, Paul described the mystery of the Church: “By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been  revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, . . . .”  Here also, we see that a mystery refers to: (1) something not known to prior generations, (2) as it has now been revealed; (3) to his holy apostles and prophets, (4) in the Spirit.  We may summarize a mystery, then, as something that God has now revealed through the apostles and prophets of the New Testament, but was not known to prior generations before the New Testament as it has been made known in the New Testament.  So, a mystery means something now known, which was not fully known in past, and mystery always means revelation directly from God, by the Holy Spirit revealing that new information to the apostles and prophets of the New Testament.  The term “mystery” also involves communicating that hidden wisdom to the other people.   In Acts 11:5, Page 1721, Peter received the vision that all of the animals were clean to eat.  He interpreted this vision to mean the Gentiles were welcome in the kingdom of God. With Peter, we see the “wisdom of God” revealing the inclusion of the Gentiles in the church, as cleansed by faith in God, just like Jews.  Peter wrote according to the wisdom of God given to him.  In 2 Peter 3:15, page 1903, Peter said that Paul wrote according to the wisdom given to him.  Again, the Word of Wisdom there involves communicating a revelation from God.  In Romans 9:1ff., page 1770, Paul explained that the mystery of relationship of the Gentiles to Israel has been revealed to him and he communicated that wisdom to dispel ignorance of God’s plans.  In Corinthians 15,  page 1880, Paul also expounded the mystery of the resurrection of all believers and communicated that doctrine to the Corinthians.  In Ephesians 2, Page 1828, Paul described the mystery of Christ and the church. In passing, keep in mind that Paul told the Galatians that he received the Gospel by direct revelation from God (Galatians 1:12, Page 1819). To the Colossians, Paul preached the mystery of Christ in the believers, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27, Page 1842).  To the Thessalonians, Paul warned of the mystery of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:7, Page 1852).  To Timothy, Paul wrote about the mystery of Godliness in the life, death, resurrection and glorification of Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:16, Page 1856).  To John, God unveiled the finish of the mystery of God declared to His servants the prophets (Revelation 10:7, Page 1925). In all of these cases, the Word of Wisdom involved God revealing a mystery, previously hidden, to an apostle or prophet who communicated it to other believers.  The Word of Wisdom constituted God’s chosen gift for revealing mysteries to the Church and recorded His revelation from the Word of Wisdom in the New Testament.

Word of Knowledge.  The Word of Knowledge means a new revelation of the authoritative application of Word of God.  Please remember that, as shown in the chart above, the Word of Knowledge must be the same kind of gift as the Word of Wisdom (“allo” gift).  Because the Word of Wisdom is a revelatory gift, we may also expect that the Word of Knowledge will be revelatory gift.  In 1 Corinthians 12:8, page 1796, we see that the Word of Wisdom operated “through” (”διὰ”) the Holy Spirit, while the Word of Knowledge works “according to” (“κατὰ”) the Holy Spirit.  This Word of Knowledge means the divine application of previously revealed truth.  Instead of unfolding mysteries, as the Word of Wisdom provides, the Word of Knowledge applies revelation at the right time and in the right way.    In 1 Corinthians 13:2, Page 1797, Paul linked the gift of prophecy with the ability to know all mysteries and all knowledge.  Therefore, we see that knowing mysteries will be related to knowing knowledge, but they will not be the same.  In Colossians 2:2-3, Page 1842, Paul prays that the Colossians would gain true knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  Knowledge in this context has been hidden in Christ, along with wisdom, but now has been revealed to believers. The Word of Knowledge builds upon the Word of Wisdom.  In 2 Peter 3:1-2, Page 1902, Peter illustrates the gift of the Word of Knowledge.   The prophets and apostles had provided teachings.  Peter specifically applied those teachings (revelations in themselves), under the influence of the Word of Knowledge, to the problem of mockers appearing many years after Christ ascended into heaven.  The result of Peter’s application of prior teachings amounted to new revelation for confronting mockers.  In Jude 1:17-18, page 1913, we read that Jude demonstrated the Word of Knowledge.  He applied the words spoken by the apostles to problems with mockers and revealed God’s means of overcoming them.   Consider also 1 Corinthians 10:6-11, Page 1793 (example of Israel applied to avoiding idolatry and immorality) and 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, Page 1807 (the hardened mind and veil of unbelief removed by Christ).  Like the Word of Wisdom, God used the Word of Knowledge to produce the New Testament, which is now complete (1 Corinthians 13:8, page 1798).

Gift of Faith.  Every believer should “walk by faith,” but not every believer possesses the Gift of Faith.  The Gift of Faith refers to a special ability to believe God to do miraculous things.  Consider Paul’s statement that by faith he could move mountains, just as the Lord Jesus Himself taught.  At another time, Paul prophesied that no life would be lost during a shipwreck.  He then reaffirmed the prophesy by noting that he believed God that it would turn out just as he had already told them.  This ability to believe God for miraculous events confirms God’s words in very tangible ways.

Gifts of Healing.  In the list of gifts in 1 Corinthians, Paul grouped different healing gifts together under the term “Gifts of Healing.”  Notice both terms are plural.  As you read through the Acts of the Apostles, you see all kinds of physical problems healed: crippled, blind, paralyzed, diseased and lame.  God miraculously healed those problems and often opened the door to proclaiming the power of God for salvation.  The physical healing had a spiritual purpose.  It also confirmed the message and revelation of the apostles.  God used the “Gifts of Healing” as part of the miracles, wonders and signs performed by the apostles to spread and confirm the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Effecting of Miracles.  Just as God used healing to confirm the message of the apostles concerning salvation and new life in Christ,   He also bestowed the broad gift to perform miracles upon His messengers.  The Effecting of Miracles allowed Peter at Joppa to raise Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:36ff., Page 1718).  As a result of the miracle, many believed in the Lord.  Another miracle concerned putting down opposition.  Elymas, a magician, sought to turn a convert away from Christ by using fraud and deceit (Acts 13:8ff., Page 1724).  Paul declared that Elymas would be blind because the hand of the Lord would be upon him for his crooked actions.  So, therefore, you see that the gift of miracles both opened the door for the Gospel and also confirmed the words of the messengers of the Gospel.

Distinguishing of Spirits.  Paul expects every believer to test the spirits to distinguish good and evil (1 Corinthians 12:1-3, Page 1796; compare 1 John 4:1-3, Page 1907).  At Corinth, spiritual utterances were common and, therefore, the congregation needed to have immediate discernment regarding the spirit behind the utterance.  The believer gifted with Distinguishing of Spirits had a special ability to pass judgment upon the utterance of anyone claiming to speak for God (1 Corinthians 14:29, Page 1800).  Notice that this gift comes right after the gift of prophecy in the list.  If you look closely at 1 Corinthians 14:29, Page 1800, another prophet, possessing the Distinguishing of Spirits gift, would pass judgment immediately upon what another prophet had just said.  The use of prophecy in the congregation was always subject to immediate review by another, gifted prophet.  Acts 16:17, Page 1732, portrays a striking example of Paul’s use of the Distinguishing of Spirits.  A woman there correctly identified Paul and his companions as “bond servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.”  She continued following Paul until he commanded the spirit to come out of her, and it came out.  Paul could see beyond the words to the spirit of divination inside the woman.

Kinds of Tongues.  In the 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, Page 1796 passage above, Paul groups the last two gifts into a third and final category: tongues.  The first gift in that category concerned Kinds of Tongues.  At Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles shortly after Christ ascended to heaven.  He came upon an entire crowd of believers at once, and the crowd understood foreign languages supernaturally even though they had never learned those languages (Acts 2:1-13, Page 1700).  At Corinth, the believers there had been enthralled with the gift of tongues, but the gift of tongues did not provide edification for the church, unless it was interpreted (1 Corinthians 14, Page 1798).  Absent interpretation, the use of tongues was directed to God and edified only the speaker (1 Corinthians 14:2-6, Page 1798).  While using the Gift of Tongues, the mind was unfruitful (1 Corinthians 14:14, Page 1799).  Paul sought for the Corinthians to edify one another, and so encouraged them to seek the Gift of Prophecy.  Paul restricted the Gift of Tongues in congregational use to the occasions when an interpreter was present (1 Corinthians 14:27-28, Page 1799), and even then only two or at the most three utterances should be permitted.  Although believers should not be forbidden from speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:39, Page 1800), the Gift of Tongues shall cease (1 Corinthians 13:8, Page 1798).

Interpretation of Tongues.  As mentioned above, the Gift of the Interpretation of Tongues relates directly to the use of the Gift of Tongues.  The Interpretation of Tongues describes the ability to translate a spiritual utterance by one person into a language understood by the listeners.  The Gift of Tongues was a sign for unbelievers, and without interpretation, yielded no benefit for listeners (1 Corinthians 14:22, Page 1799).   Therefore, the Interpretation of Tongues supernaturally translated the use of the spiritual Gift of Tongues into another language that blessed the entire congregation of people listening to the Interpretation of Tongues.

1 Peter 4:10-11 (Page 1898)

 

As each one has received a special gift,

employ it in serving one another as good

 stewards of the manifold grace of God. 

Whoever speaks, is to do so as

one who is speaking the

 utterances of God; whoever

 serves is to do so as one who is

serving by the strength which

God supplies; so that  in all

things God may be glorified

 through Jesus Christ, to whom

belongs the glory and dominion

forever and ever.

Amen.”

Usage.  1 Peter 4:10-11, Page 1898, provides excellent guidance regarding the use of spiritual gifts.  The purpose of spiritual gifts is to serve one another.  The duty of spiritual gifts requires you to act like a diligent steward.  The diversity of spiritual gifts lies in the manifold grace of God.  God recognizes two basic categories of gifts here: speaking and serving.  Therefore, we will use that division as the point of departure for investigating what spiritual gift(s) you possess.

Faith.  Without faith, you cannot please God.  This general principle must control your entire spiritual life.  Remember you possess a spiritual gift, and God intends for you to use it to His glory.  Therefore, claim the promise of God by faith.  What promise?  The promise that you have a gift and He wants you to use it.  He will show it to you when you trust Him to show you.

Sin.  If you know of sin in your life, that you have never confessed to God, then the use of your spiritual gift will be a problem.  If you have a current problem with immorality, coveting, idolatry, drinking, or swindling, then you cannot be in fellowship with other believers until you deal with your sin.  Without that fellowship, you cannot be a direct blessing to others.  Consider 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Page 1788.  Do not get discouraged here.  God does not want to punish you for your sin, because He has already punished His Son, Jesus Christ, for all of your sins.  But God does want you to confess and forsake your sin (1 John 1:9, Page 1904), and then you can believe that God will reveal and use your gifts. 

Neglect.  Many believers start down the road of finding their spiritual gift, but then get discouraged and turn back or just sit down.  If you are counting upon other believers to support your ministry, stop and count only upon God.  When other believers support God’s use of your gifts, thank them and glorify God.  Ultimately, however, you must look only to God for the use of your gifts because Satan will oppose the use of your gifts.  Satan wants division and discord in the body of Christ.  Do not allow discouragement or a lack of gratitude for your ministry to slow you down.  Trust always and only God to use your gifts because the body of Christ needs your ministry.  You can also be an encouragement to others to use their gifts.

Blessing Others.  I recommend that you look back before you look forward.  If you have been a believer for any length of time, look back and see if God has used you in any particular way to be a blessing to other believers.  We will generally look in two directions here.  Have you ever done any speaking to individuals or groups that proved a blessing to believers?  If so, then consider teaching, exhortation, leadership, and faith.  Have you ever done any serving that blessed believers?  If so, then consider mercy, giving, and service.  Go back through the passages associated with the gifts above and see if you have acted before with that gift.

Asking Others.  Be extremely careful who you ask about your spiritual gifts.  Select only spiritual people you trust to know the Bible and love Jesus Christ to interview concerning your spiritual gifts.  If you have been a believer for a while, then ask the elders in your church about your gifts, if they know you well enough to offer insight.  If not the elders, then ask your most spiritual friends to share their knowledge and observations with you.  If you have been a believer for only a short period of time, then you can expect to find your gift by letting God open up opportunities for speaking and service.  He will guide you into the paths for exercising your gifts.  Invite your spiritual friends to pray for you and see what doors for speaking and service open before you.

Discipleship.  Someone led you to Jesus Christ.  Someone should be discipling you all the time.  Make it a matter of prayer in your discipleship to seek out your spiritual gift and then use it.  Keep on praying and reading about the use of your gifts.  As you read the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of your heart from examples in the Word.  The Holy Spirit will show you how others have used His gifts to His glory.  Count upon it.  Do not be discouraged.  Pray together for specific ways to learn about your gift and see how God wants to use you to His glory.

Review Questions

1.  What are spiritual Gifts?

2.  How do you receive a spiritual gift?

3.  Who chooses what gift I receive?

4.  Why do I have a spiritual gift?

5.  What is my spiritual gift?

6.  How can I find my spiritual gift?

7.  What should I do with my spiritual

     gift?  

 

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