Sunday: Gifted Believers

If you asked the members of your church, many of them would have to think long and hard before they could conclude that they had any spiritual gift that the Bible lists, even though many of these people have probably already been exercising a spiritual gift. They have just not consciously recognized it as such. A number of people who have not formally sought to discover their giftedness do expert ministry in areas to which they feel called, and their church affirms them. Very often a spiritual gifts discovery seminar simply confirms the gifts already manifested in a ministry. It is clearly possible, therefore, that people can exercise a spiritual gift under the leadership of the Holy Spirit without formally discovering and naming that gift. At the other end of the spectrum there are those who find it difficult to become involved anywhere in the church because they don’t consider themselves gifted in any way. It is important to encourage them to discover their giftedness and intentionally seek to work within it. 1

Read 1 Peter 4:10. What does this verse say about everyone who is committed to the Lord having some gift? 

We have already seen that every believer has a ministry, so it should come as no surprise that God will equip us to perform it. Therefore, everyone who takes the great gospel commission as a personal evangelistic mandate from God will be equipped by the Spirit to become involved. Regarding the church’s soul-saving work, God knows what is needed in what place and at what time.

Read 1 Corinthians 12:11. It reveals that the bestowal of spiritual gifts to believers is a part of the Holy Spirit’s work of equipping the saints for every good work (see Eph. 2:10). Not only does the Holy Spirit distribute spiritual gifts among believers but, also, as Acts 1:8 reveals, He empowers us to use our gifts.

None of the Bible passages that list spiritual gifts are identical. This suggests that the lists of gifts given are not complete; that is, there might be other gifts as well that could be added to the list.

Think about the word gift or gifts. What does the word imply? What does it tell you about your responsibility to use what has been freely given you for the work of the Lord (as opposed to only for some other purpose)?



Sunday: Gifted Believers — 18 Comments

  1. There are books coming out by people with doctorates in spiritual formation about this topic as expressed here- "discovering" spiritual gifts, "discovering" your God language, etc...
    The notion of "discovering" spiritual gifts has its roots in spiritual formation theology. Where in Scripture does it say that we need to discover these gifts? We don't see Peter and Paul trying to "discover" their spiritual gifts- they just were willing to be used. The idea of inherent "spiritual gifts" actually cripples the effectiveness of the church by making people unwilling to operate outside of the realm of their "spiritual gift". The key to understanding the Spiritual gifts is allowing for God to use us as He sees fit. God knows where He needs you. In a certain circumstance he may need you to be a teacher, in another circumstance he may need you to do something else. If you are willing to be used, then He will use you in whatever capacity is needed at that time. There is no need for "discovery seminars"- just a willingness to be used by the Spirit. "But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills." 1 Cor. 12:11

    • Michelle, thank you for this observation.

      I believe you are 100% correct.

      If we study the history of the church throughout the ages, we find that God empowers those He calls. Much of "spiritual formation" teaching comes from a background rooted in the thinking of "Babylon."

      The truth of God is simple, yet profound. No one needs a PhD to understand it, but all who would understand it need to be born of the Spirit. I agree that "The key to understanding the Spiritual gifts is allowing for God to use us as He sees fit."

    • Michelle:
      It's true that God distributes these gifts according to His sovereign will (1 Cor. 12:4-6), but at the same time, we need to know which spiritual gift we have to strengthen the body of Christ for the common good (1 Cor 12:7). We also need to encourage one another in love to step out and use our gifts so that God will be glorified in His church. We are to desire earnestly these "gracelets" from God (1 Cor. 14:1). Also, Paul tells us "not to be ignorant of these gifts (1 Cor. 12:1). Yes, God will use us in many different capacities in ministry, but each of us have a unique, supernatural gifting that will be used to build up the church. It is our responsibility to know what that is and at the same time helping in other areas of need in the body.

  2. I have often thought of there really being only one "spiritual gift." That gift being the Holy Spirit as in Acts 2:38. In spite of the several lists of gifts and fruits that we try to define ourselves by, I think those categorizations in the end only limit the Spirit's expression in our lives. The one who has opened themselves to the Spirit, will probably not be thinking what gift do I have. They will not be worried so much about what they have received but rather enjoying the time spent working together with Him. (See Matthew 20:1-16)

    • Dear God. Thank you for reminding me how wonderful your work is. I know that I can be the teacher who is going to change lives of people and I am capable of fufilling my destiny to help children to make choices and lead them. I learned in life that you have to make mistakes - nobody is perfect. I won't tell you my problem, I will tell how great my God is. I love you lord. You know what my heart desires and how I long for freedom from this suffering life I am living. Please forgive me God. You are my Father and I am your child.

  3. I know nothing, except that God gives each and everyone of us a talent or talents, that we are to use to spread the truth of His Gospel to the lost.

  4. I agree with Stephen that the Holy Spirit is the most important gift but the Spirit is bestowed to deserving souls. Gifts of the Spirit manifest as one commits self in the work of God.

  5. I appreciate the comment above that points out how little our discovery of our spiritual gifts has to do with whether or not they are being used. Biblical faith in God connotes a faith that spiritual gifts are bestowed generously on all who accept Christ. What is difficult to understand in this age when Christians are suffering from a reputation problem, is why these gifts can sometimes seem more evident in non-believers. Has anyone read about coming face to face with an "anonymous Jesus" through a non-believer's generosity or hospitality for instance. Is this part of what Jesus meant in Matthew 25 when he talked about discovering Him in the least of these? Perhaps to say "all kindness points to the existence of a benevolent creator" is taking the principle in Matthew 25 too far. It is, however, easier for me to see Christ in the kindness of strangers than in the sick and homeless. Perhaps that is revealing my own lack of faith, or a shallow understanding of the suffering servant who is Christ.

    • Mark, could it be that what you are witnessing is that the image of God has not been completely effaced even from those who do not acknowledge Him?

  6. I am really touched with these comments. I thank God for revealing such wonderful truths to me. Have a happy Sabbath people.

  7. Thanks to you all people for the enlightening words. I do agree with most of your comments. I really found it difficult to understand what the lesson authors meant on tuesday that 'an appropriate spiritual gifts seminar is perhaps the easiest way to begin to discover your spiritual gifts'. I dont recall an instance in the Bible at which any of our men and women held a spiritual gift seminar. I also do not think that we should be striving to discover our spiritual gifts. If we know the almighty, he will use us at the right time in the right place and appropriate position.

    I strongly believe that the Holy Spirit is the one who calls us to minister for God. The greatest objective is for us to have daily fellowship with God, talk to him everyday and have 'just a closer walk with thee'. The problem nowadays is that we are copying lots of methods from the world and we have too much of PhDs and little fellowship with God in our church. God bless you all. LC

  8. The gifts from God is to serve each other, so We glorify and show the true God to the Gentiles.
    Not for self, churches or any organizations.


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