God bestows upon all members of His church in every age spiritual gifts which each member is to employ in loving ministry for the common good of the church and of humanity. Given by the agency of the Holy Spirit, who apportions to each member as He wills, the gifts provide all abilities and ministries needed by the church to fulfill its divinely ordained functions. According to the Scriptures, these gifts include such ministries as faith, healing, prophecy, proclamation, teaching, administration, reconciliation, compassion, and self-sacrificing service and charity for the help and encouragement of people. Some members are called of God and endowed by the Spirit for functions recognized by the church in pastoral, evangelistic, apostolic, and teaching ministries particularly needed to equip the members for service, to build up the church to spiritual maturity, and to foster unity of the faith and knowledge of God. When members employ these spiritual gifts as faithful stewards of God’s varied grace, the church is protected from the destructive influence of false doctrine, grows with a growth that is from God, and is built up in faith and love. (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:9-11, 27, 28; Eph. 4:8, 11-16; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10, 11.)
See also these Bible lessons from previous years:
- Spiritual Gifts, Keys to Ministry – 13 lessons devoted to the topic in the first quarter of 1997.
- Gifts of the Holy Spirit – Lesson 7 from a series of 13 lessons on The Holy Spirit (2006b)
- The Holy Spirit in the Last Days – Lesson 13 from the series of lessons on The Holy Spirit.
- Spiritual Gifts and Prophecy – Lesson 3 from a series on the Prophetic Gift. (2009a)
- The Fruit of the Spirit – a related set of 13 lesson on the topic of the fruit of the Spirit (2010a). It is helpful to consider that the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in the life of all whom the Spirit leads.
- Spiritual Gifts for Evangelism and Witnessing – Lesson 3 from the series Evangelism and Witnessing (2012b)
Some blog posts on the subject, with comments, follow: