So far in this blog series we've talked about the great need for the Church to operate in every gift that God has given to Her. We went on to differentiate between the gift of the Holy Spirit, the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives for the common good of the church, and then "everything else." (including talents and abilities etc.)
We began by asking very specific questions like "what did the original audience here when Paul taught them about Spiritual gifts." We did this in hopes that we might hear a correct teaching from 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.
We moved on from that to discuss what the differences were between us and the original audience and we found that there were many differences. The primary difference is that they were very spiritual in their nature where we have become too intellectual thus suppressing Spiritual things in our nature.
After that we looked to theological principles. We sought to find out what things we could learned about God and His character. We learned that God communicates with us through His Spirit, that God wants good for us through His Spirit, and that God operates with great diversity (unique parts).
Today's question is all about how these theological principles apply to us.
This should go without saying, (but I can't take for granted anything in today's culture) although we are looking at HOW these theological principles apply we must first settle that they SHOULD apply to us. Far too many in the church today don't believe these things should apply to us and therefore they don't pursue them.
The apostle Paul spoke (not to an Apostolic leader nor people who literally walked with Christ) but to the church in Corinth where he instructed them that they were to eagerly desire the Spiritual gifts and operate in them. Implication: God had gifts that He wanted given to His Church. God wanted His Church to operate inside of those gifts. It's quite clear! We can see this in other books of the New Testament also. God intended for His people to be a supernatural people. Therefore it's not just how these gifts apply to us but the fact that they should apply to us!
The scripture tells us that all of creation is declaring the glory of God. (Romans 1:20, Psalm 19) It's easy to believe that nature and its beauty and majesty communicate Gods glory. However, we fail many times to remember that we too are a part of His creation. What does this mean? Well it means that if all creation is declaring the glory of God then we too are intended to declare that glory. Here's how we do it: through the giftings that God's Spirit has given to each of us!
There are some who have the gift of evangelism who go and proclaim the Gospel in such profound ways that people's lives are transformed and forever changed. There are those who have a gift of teaching and those who have a gift of proclaiming the spiritual truths of God's Word. Even still there are those who have prophetic giftings and various tongues as scripture says and they are used for the purpose of declaring the glory of God. And we still haven't mentioned "varieties of ministries" and "effects" in the church.
I love to ask the question why about everything in my life, simply because when I discover its answer it gives me the motivation for moving forward. For those who have abandoned the desire of Spiritual gifts just remember, God-made and gifted you to declare His glory!
We've become an individualistic culture in America and sadly in the Church also. A reality that never should have happened. Ancient Israel although made up of individuals was a to be one. Paul communicating that the body although made up of individual parts was also to be one. But because we are so individualistic in our mindset we have become selfish in thinking that everything that is done has to be done for our own personal good, and we refuse to do it if it's not. We serve no one we care for no one. Of course I'm speaking with broad brush strokes I do not intend to mean that nobody cares. But rather that the mind that is obsessed with individualism is synonymous with the mind that is selfish.
God tells us that He gave Spiritual gifts for the common good of the Church, not self. We have to embrace again that we serve one another in the church and not ourselves. When we change this, the eager desiring for Spiritual gifts will be clear and evident in our lives because we are thinking of others. One of the best ways to discover our own Spiritual gift is to observe whether or not that gift serves someone other than myself in God's Church. If the answer is yes you are very much on the way to discovering what Spiritual gift God has given you.
Along these lines come the diversity inside of God's body. If God Himself (a Trinity) is diverse and comes together in unity then God's people were designed to share their diverse gifts in a unified way. All for the glory of God and the common good of His people and the salvation of those who have yet to know Jesus Christ.
Whether it be someone who has gained supernatural wisdom through abiding with God or words of knowledge that can help in people's growth or somebody who has been given a gift of faith, these are all diverse gifts that are needed inside of the body for growth.
If you have been given the gift of healing or effecting of miracles, maybe it's prophecy or discernment of spirits these are all necessary in the church today. Some may see a higher necessity of certain gifts than others but all if given time will be able to see that each gift is good for the whole.
The same is true for speaking in tongues and interpreting those tongues which are all ways of living by the sovereign plan of God. The gifts of God are to declare His glory and to proclaim His name and for the common good of His people.
As we move forward in this series we're going to look at thoughts concerning the various Spiritual gifts and their application. I want to deal with what these gifts truly are as well as some funny notions about what people think they are. I will also be sharing different views on these gifts where we do not understand or fully know what their practical outworking is.
What are your thoughts about spiritual gifts?
Do you have any idea what yours might be?
Can you look over your life and see where you have spent time bringing glory to the name of God and building up His church?
If you will answer these questions you will begin to discover exactly what you're gifting is. And as always if you have any thoughts please comment in the comment section below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org