Read 1 Corinthians 12:7 and Ephesians 4:11-16. Why does God impart spiritual gifts to each believer? What are the purposes of those gifts?
Spiritual gifts serve several purposes. God gives them to nurture and strengthen His church to accomplish His ministry. They are designed to develop a unified church ready to accomplish His mission in the world.
The Bible writers give us examples of the spiritual gifts that God imparts to His church, such as ministering, serving, proclaiming, teaching, encouraging, and giving. It also speaks about the gifts of hospitality, mercy, helpfulness, and cheerfulness, to mention only a few. For a more complete list, read Romans chapter 12 and 1 Corinthians chapter 12.
You may be wondering about the relationship between spiritual gifts and natural talents. Spiritual gifts are divinely imparted qualities that are given by the Holy Spirit to each believer to equip them for their special ministry in the church and service to the world. They also may include natural talents that are sanctified by the Holy Spirit and used in service for Christ. All natural talents are God-given, but not all are used in the service of Christ.
“The special gifts of the Spirit are not the only talents represented in the parable. It includes all gifts and endowments, whether original or acquired, natural or spiritual. All are to be employed in Christ’s service. In becoming His disciples, we surrender ourselves to Him with all that we are and have. These gifts He returns to us purified and ennobled, to be used for His glory in blessing our fellow men”. — Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 328.
Also, God has established special gifts such as the gift of prophecy and specific offices in the church, including pastors, elders, and teachers, who are teachers within the body of Christ to nurture and equip each member for service (see Ephesians 4.11-12). The function of all church leadership is to assist each member in discovering their spiritual gifts and teach them to use these gifts to build up the body of Christ.
|What are some natural talents that you have that, however useful and beneficial in a secular environment, can also be a blessing to the church?|