Jake Kail, the teacher at our church spoke the other week on Spiritual gifts and how they relate to the Body of Christ. He mentioned a very good point; that all 3 mentions of the gifts in the N.T. are in direct reference to use in the Church, the Body of Christ. According to the Bible, these gifts are primarily for use amongst ourselves, to strengthen and build us up!
Without getting exhaustive, here are some nuggets from the 3 different sections:
1 Cor.12:4-7 “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
A few verses later in 12:12 “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
And in 14:26, he gives detailed instruction on how to use some of the gifts in the church setting: “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. ”
Eph.4:7- “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. and 4:11,12- “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,”
And in Romans-
Rom.12:4-6 says: “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…”
I think it is very important to consider why in each chapter they are always mentioned with the context of “building up the body”. If you read these chapters, you will see how much emphasis is on using these gifts among the family of believers.
It also strikes me that all 3 times, they are distinctly referred to as a “grace”. The Greek word translated “gift” is actually “charisma or charismata” and is directly connected to the Greek word “charis”, which is grace. They could literally be called “grace-endowments”.
That sheds a whole new light on what it means to be living in “the age of grace” doesn’t it?
They are freely given because of the merit of Jesus, never because of our works. Gifts are given to those who have good Christian character and also to those who do not. The only requirement for having a spiritual gift is to be reborn by the Holy Spirit! This is a very humbling truth that should help us keep these gifts in perspective. The gifts are not about us but, completely about love! (1 Cor.13)
1 Peter 4:10 says “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”
Yes, we have each received at least one gift. We are all supposed to be good stewards and serve one another with our gifts. Remember that Luke 6:38 says “Give, and it will be given to you… For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
This verse is about much more than financial giving that has been focused on so much. It is a Kingdom of God principle and applies to spiritual things!
Going back to 1 Peter 4, where I saw something interesting this morning:
4:10,11- “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11Whoever 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.”
Peter seems to confirm Paul’s assessment of spiritual gifts and recognize them all in 2 verses. Verse 10 seems to make mention of 1 Cor.12 and the first part of verse 11 seems to indicate the 5-fold ministry gifts because they are all speaking gifts. And the last part seems to refer to the Romans 12 service gifts. I do not know if this is an accurate interpretation or not but, there it is…