1 Corinthians 12 :4-11
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, bu the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds fo tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each on individually as he wills.”
Spiritual gifts are not abilities. Spiritual gifts are opportunities to minister that are appointed by the Spirit of God and empowered by the Spirit of God, for the ministry of the Spirit of God and to unify the body of Christ which is the Church.
Unlike the spiritual gifts tests we take much like personality tests for work and potential career paths, spiritual gifts are from the Holy Spirit whom dwells within us and means that we are never alone. These tests are not helpful because they are not Biblical and in fact, they constrict us to think that we only have one spiritual gift. It proves us with an excuse to not act when the Holy Spirit provides us an opportunity to.
1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4:20-11 all list spiritual gifts but they are actually ministries and roles, not gifts in the sense that we think about gifts. In fact, the Greek word that translates into “gifts” is used 17 times in the New Testament (16 times by Paul) but never means ability. It is always used to mean “that which is freely bestowed or given.” Like a present.
These lists also provide a huge amount of diversity and in this diversity we find needs that connect us to each other. In the body of Christ, we cannot function by ourselves. Only the Spirit of God can unite the Church (1 Corinthians 12: 27).
So what to do?
- Stop asking “where can I use my gift” and start asking “where is God pointing me to a need in the Church to serve?”
- Pray for clarity. Pray to understan the needs of the body. Pray for the Holy Spirit to equip you in God’s time of opportunity.
- Serve. Serve someone. Sever someplace. Serve somehow.
- Make some friends. Have community. Work thru the awkward times of first introductions to really develop relationships with people.
This sermon was very interesting to me because I have never made the straight connection between opportunities and my spiritual gifts before. God only gives you the gifts you need for the situations He is calling you into.
For more discussion on this sermon please visit http://www.reedemerkansascity.org to listen to the whole sermon.