Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
i cor. xii:i, iv, vii
Every single believer has a spiritual gift. Do you know what yours is and why is it important for you to exercise it? Ephesians 4:12-15 tells us that spiritual gifts are...For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be NO MORE CHILDREN, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may GROW UP into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Who wants to be a babe in Christ for 25 years? I call it the Baby Huey syndrome. Baby Huey was a six foot tall cartoon duck that wore a diaper. We are to grow up and mature in Jesus Christ and not be babies in understanding and experience. Otherwise, we'll be tossed to and fro being deceived because we lack knowledge and experience in the meat of the word. Peter tells us to gird up the loins of our mind. If you are not using your spiritual gift, you are not only depriving yourself of blessing, but you are depriving Jesus of His fruits and depriving other people who are depending on you to do right.
All gifts must be undergirded by charity (I Cor. 13) and love. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give you; that ye love one another." That is a command from the Big Boss. We must be governed by love of God, love of the brethern, and love of our neighbor.
Let's be mature, built up soldiers and vessels of honor in the Master's royal service. If you haven't identified your spiritual gifts, look below and see where you fit in--this is for BELIEVERS ONLY. If you are not a Christian, get saved and then you will get your gift. These gifts have nothing to do with your natural ability (though your natural abilities can be used in the service of Christ). By way of example, before I started walking with Jesus, I didn't much care about other people's feelings and concerns, but now, I am always on the lookout for someone who needs some encouragement in the faith (exhortation).
You are not limited to just one gift, but you won't have every single one. We believers are compared to different parts of the body--not every part is the ear or the eye or the hand. Additionally, each body part is important. The ear can't say, "I'm not part of the body because I'm not the eye" and neither can the Vacation Bible School cookie lady who has the gift of helps say, "I'm not important because I don't have the word of wisdom." All the functions work together for the whole body. Every part has a distinct purpose that needs to be fulfilled so that we all come together in unity unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
Believers who serve with their hands like building, cooking, etc. In Acts 6 we see a problem arising with the Greek widows being neglected in the daily ministration. What did the apostles do? They picked out seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom to take care of this business so that the apostles could give themselves to prayer and the word and not have to worry about waiting tables. The first Christian martyr, Stephen, was one of these men. We know that Stephen also did great wonders and miracles and that he spoke with great wisdom (for which he was eventually killed). [Rom. 12:7, I Cor. 12:28]
Believers who serve by planning, directing, delegating, and taking the lead. A good example of this is Vacation Bible School. The Pastor might commission someone to organize VBS. That means arranging for dates, materials, snacks, special music, theme, etc. This person would lead other workers by organizing meetings, being the point of contact, etc. [Rom. 12:8, I Cor. 12:28]
Believers who serve by giving monies over and above their tithes or bestow gifts on others. They earn and handle money well. I've known two people who seem to have this gift. They always seem to think of others by giving a Bible to a new church member or if they have extra money putting it in the offering plate. They don't do this for show, it is just how they are--they may not even recognize that this is one of their gifts. [Rom. 12:8]
Believers who exhibit a caring and compassionate attitude, always with a kind word. They show kindness and forbearance towards hurting folks. They relieve suffering. [Rom. 12:8]
Believers who enjoy having folks over for a meal or lodging in Christian love. May prepare and take meals to the sick or infirm. This is not listed as a specific gift and should probably be listed under Helps/Ministry. It is noteworthy that the Bible says that we should all be given to hospitality (Rom. 12:13). It's good to invite members of your church family over for dinner and fellowship or invite a missionary on deputation to stay with you. [Rom. 12:13, 1 Timothy 3:2, Ttus 1:8, 1 Peter 4:9]
Believers who KNOW that God is going to work everything out. They have caught a vision of what God can do and they go for the gusto regardless of what happens around them. When others may despair, this person strongly believes God. [I Cor 12:9]
Believers who can quickly detect the false and the true. This person can read a book, hear a sermon or just be talking with someone and immediately detect error. Sometimes this person gets on people's nerves because it seems they are always pointing out error--I know because I'm one of these people. This gift reminds me of anti-bodies in our immune system that fight off invading germs. It's rough sometime. [I Cor. 12:10]
Believers who love to research, investigate and study the Scriptures. They are not satisfied with a shallow knowledge of God's word and they seriously study to shew themselves approved. Others are blessed by their careful study. [I Cor. 12:8]
Believers who can apply knowledge and determine a solution. This person usually has the answer to a dilemna. [I Cor. 12:8]
A believer who tells God's message. Paul said that the person who prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification (building up), exhortation (encouragement to grow), and comfort (I Cor. 14:3). He also said, desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy (I Cor. 14:1). When you look at the prophets of old, God would say something like, "Son of man, prophesy unto this people, 'Thus saith the Lord...'" Prophesy is speaking the word. This person knows the word. We can all read the word, meditate on it and obey it--then we will be able to proclaim it. [Rom. 12:6, I Cor. 12:10, Eph. 4:11]
A believer who urges other believers through advice, warning, admonishing, etc. to do what is right in Christ. They encourage others to run the race and continue in Jesus Christ. [Rom. 12:8]
A believer (a man) who shepherds the local church. He preaches and helps people who are having problems by sharing Biblical truths. He has a strong desire for soulwinning and the spiritual growth of his people. He meets all the qualifications for this office found in I Timothy 3. [Eph 4:11]
This believer has a burden to see others grow and learn through Bible study. They present Bible truths in a logical and systematic way. [Rom. 12:7, Eph. 4:11, I Cor. 12:28-29]
Only those in the Bible called directly by Jesus to establish the church. [I Cor. 12:29, Eph. 4:11]
This believer has a deep burden for soul winning. Their greatest joy is winning people to Jesus. [Eph. 4:11]
The following are sign gifts. Some say that these are no longer in operation. The scriptures do not give me the liberty to say so. I will say however, 1) there are many charlatans (quacks) that make merchandise of God's people through their staged antics and 2) many believers are obsessed with signs and wonders when they were not primarily for believers, but for unbelievers to show them the power of God...
What did Jesus say when the people doubted Him? He told them to remember the miraculous things He did. "Believe me for the works sake". What did He say about the unbelievers in John 15:24? "If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin.." His works such as raising the dead, causing the blind to see, the deaf to hear, cleansing lepers, etc. testified to the unbelieving and doubtful that He is the Son of God.
Unfortunately, many Christians want to see some sign, wonder or miracle in church every week. In some churches there is more time spent on moaning than the word. This does not follow the Biblical pattern which was set for us. The Word of God, His statutes and commands, should be at the center of service. The Lord said, "My people perish for lack of knowledge." When we hear the word, our faith increases (faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God) and we get good fruits like soul winning, holy living, and service.
All this said, God still has the power to do the following through His people today if He so chooses.
A believer who has the faith and ability to produce changes that transcend the laws of nature. For instance, Elijah prayed down fire from heaven. [I Cor. 12:10]
A believer who can heal people of disease. The apostle Peter healed the lame man at the gate called Beautiful. [I Cor. 12:9]
A believer who can speak in a foreign language, previously unknown to them, the wonderful works of God. On the day of Pentecost, the believers spoke in the languages of the nations visiting Jeruselem that day and each man heard his own language. Rules for this in church are in I Cor. 14:27-28. [I Cor. 12:10]
- INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES
A believer who is able to interpret, on-the-spot, the language of that one who is speaking in an unknown tongue. [I Cor. 12:10]
Click here for passages of scripture dealing with spiritual gifts. Godspeed to all believers as they exercise the talents and gifts which God hath given them for all men to profit withal. Amen.