Friday, March 25, 2011

Spiritual Gifts Part 1 - Introduction

As we have studied through 1 Corinthians in our adult worship, we have examined passages that speak to the Corinthians about spiritual gifts. A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability empowered by the Holy Spirit.
 4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Everyone who has put their belief and trust in Jesus as their Savior has been empowered by the Holy Spirit to do ministry through a unique gifting set given by the Spirit. Our unique gifts allow us to follow in Jesus’ steps in fulfilling the Great Commission of sharing the Gospel throughout the world. Mark Driscoll (Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle), in his series on Spiritual Gifts, explains, “the gifts of God are dispensed through the Spirit of God so that the church of God can minister like the Son of God.” God has given His children special gifts to reveal and reflect who He is. Matt Williams shared in his teaching on 1 Corinthians 12 that your gift(s) help drive what you think is broken about the church and what needs to change. Different spiritual gifts bring out different ideas and passions; all are from God, reflecting who He is and what He thinks.

Identifying your spiritual gifts is essential in learning and understanding your role in the body of Christ to live out the greatest commandments – love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-39) – and to spread the kingdom of God. As believers, we carry the burden of sacrificing our lives in order to share in the suffering of Christ for the sake of the Gospel being proclaimed. Each believer has an indispensable part in the body of Christ so that the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) can be fulfilled. God created us uniquely so that we can work together, diverse but unified, to serve others and extend His kingdom to all parts of the world. When we bring our gifts to the table, and use them to glorify God and help one another, we reveal who God is to the world around us.

The Bible provides us with several passages describing different spiritual gifts – Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 28; Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Peter 4:10-11 – however this is not an exhaustive list. It is also important to recognize that spiritual gifts are different from natural talents – a spiritual gift is given at spiritual birth, when the Holy Spirit rests on a believer, while a natural talent is given at physical birth.

It is also important to understand that spiritual gifts are not age-based. Children who are believers have a spiritual gift set, although these gifts may not be apparent depending on where the child is in season and life experience. It is the job of the body of Christ, and especially parents, to help young believers, regardless of age, to recognize and develop their spiritual gifts. Parents need to examine and seek understanding of their own gifting, in order to be equipped to lead their children through discovering their unique gifts.

To learn more about spiritual gifts, you can visit our website for online teaching from 1 Corinthians. You can also check out The Resurgence blog to learn more about Mark Driscoll’s Spiritual Gifts series.

-Nicky Darling, Elementary Coordinator

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