Are you a born-again Christian? This simply means that you have been spiritually born by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. (John 3:3, 5-7).
Did you know that when you were born again, that your body became the temple (dwelling place) of the Holy Spirit? (1Cor. 6:19).
Did you know that when you were born again and the Holy Spirit came to indwell you, that He would bless you with one or more special abilities that would enable you to serve the Lord and minister to other believers? (Eph. 4:4-8). We frequently refer to these special abilities as “spiritual gifts.”
Something very important is that whatever your spiritual gift is, it fits or suits you. It enables you to serve the Lord with ease, grace, and gladness. When each of us serves the Lord and each other in the way the Holy Spirit has gifted us, the church is happy and healthy. There is no room for boasting, bragging, or jealousy in the use of your gift(s). You have been enabled by the Holy spirit to find your place in the body of Christ and serve faithfully and fervently. (1Cor. 12:7).
Another thing to keep in mind is that we don’t all have the same gift. Thank God for that! In 1 Cor. 12:11, we read, “It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.” I don’t remember ever reading that “Lording it over someone” is a spiritual gift. Jesus is LORD (boss), the Holy Spirit is our helper and we are blessed to serve Him and each other for the glory of God.
Some have calculated that there are twenty-seven spiritual gifts. They may be right, but probably only the Holy Spirit who gives them knows for sure. Time or space in this newsletter won’t permit me to do an in-depth study on all of them, but I will mention them so that you have a framework for your own study. (1 Cor. 12:1-11; Romans 12:6-8; Eph. 4:11; 1 Peter 4:10-11)
1. The Gift of Prophesy – is the God-given ability to receive and communicate an immediate message of God to His people.
2. The Gift of Service – this is a special ability that God gives to certain members in His church. They are able to identify unmet needs that are related to God’s word, and they make use of available resources.
3. The Gift of Teaching – is a special ability that God gives to certain members of His church to communicate His truth that is essential to the health and ministry of the church. It is shared in such a way that people learn and grow.
4. The Gift of Exhortation – some members of the Body of Christ are entrusted with a special ability to share words of comfort, consolation, encouragement, and council in such a way that others feel helped and healed.
5. The Gift of Giving – some in the church have been especially blessed materially and they joyfully give or invest their resources in the work of our Lord. They are usually very generous in their giving.
6. The Gift of Leadership – those with this God-given ability is able to look ahead and set goals and communicate those goals in such a way that the people voluntarily and harmoniously accomplish those goals for the glory of God.
7. The Gift of Mercy – people with this gift have a special ability to feel genuine empathy and compassion for others – Christians and non-Christians, who may be suffering from physical, mental, or emotional problems. Often in practical ways, they can do things that show God’s love and helps to alleviate the pain those are experiencing.
8. The Gift of Wisdom – those with this gift is able to discern the mind of the Holy Spirit and pass on to others the insight and understanding God gives them so that it is pertinent to needs arising within the church, or an individual’s life.
9. The Gift of Knowledge – fortunately, God gives certain people within the church the ability to discover, accumulate, analyze, and explain information and ideas that are essential to the growth and health of the church.
I hope you can see how important these God-given abilities are to us as individuals and to the church as a whole. If you know how you are wired it can relieve a lot of frustration and give you peace as you find your place in the Body (Church) of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I will share further on the gifts in our next issue of the Jubilee Weekly.
God bless you as you serve the rest of the body and help it grow.
By His grace, Pastor Leonard