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Tuesday: The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts — 10 Comments

  1. It is all too easy to become complacent about talents and occasionally cirumstances put our role into perspective. Here is a bit of my story:

    I was the visuals person for our church for about 20years. I spent a lot of effort in making the visual presentation in our church services interesting. Not only did I direct the visuals team for the church services, but I also created the visuals for the really big graduation and homecoming services for the College as well. I also taught visual communication as part of the suite of courses that I taught for the College. Then came a new church pastor, who claimed to one of the church committees, that "That old bloke on the projector didn't know what he was doing!" It is not really a good idea to make those sorts of comments when you are new to the church and don't even know the names of those on the committees. Needless to say, word got back to me, and to cut a long story short, I found myself as a seat-warmer rather than a participant in the local church worship scene. I am not going to pretend that it didn't hurt, but I learned long ago that nursing hurts to yourself doesn't do any good. I found solace in my birdwatching and photography and it was not long before I had expanded my horizon beyond the local church to the local community and had developed an interest in supporting those who seek to enjoy and preserve the local environment. Suddenly, I had a completely different group of people, unchurched people, to share with.

    Our natural tendency is to become miffed when our talents are no longer considered necessary in the local church. That is when those gifts of the Spirit, such as forgiveness, long-suffering, humility, forbearance hopefully come to the fore. It is sometimes tempting to take the advice of Job's wife and "Curse God and die!" However, if you let him, God can provide new opportunities to use your talents that you have not even dreamed about.

  2. I have found these study guides about the Holy Spirit enlightening.
    I used to lump all His aspects under the category of Spiritual Gifts and have now discovered that there is much more to His character and mission.
    Light Bulb (1) He is our Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Counselor
    Light Bulb (2) He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, judgment
    Light Bulb (3) He will guide us into all truth
    Light Bulb (4) Through the Holy Spirit the Father & Jesus will abide in our hearts & minds
    Light Bulb (5) He gives special abilities to enable us to share the Good News and glorify our Father in heaven
    I am sure I will discover even more.

    Back to the question - what is the purpose of the Spiritual Gifts?
    They are NOT for me to develop my spiritual relationship with the LORD, they are to enable me to share the good news (love & forgiveness) and to edify the body of Christ, and to make disciples. To teach the truth so the saints are not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine but may grow up in the knowledge of the true character of the Triune God. Eph 4:11-16

  3. Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. Eph 4:1

    Vocation means a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.

    Question: '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?'

    At a young age, I realized I had a natural talent, I did whatever that thing was without being taught. I used to and still now, close my eyes and had that thing/know-how in my mind, got whatever I needed, and worked with them, the end product came out good, but as I cont to work more on the talent and did a short course in it, things became more perfect and better. That thing also allowed me to gain or save money. But that thing is not my career. As I got older, I acquired a career. I went to school to gain that knowledge- I am still working in that field. The career sustained self and families.
    As an adult, the Lord gave me another talent. I never went to school to learn it but I prayed about it and the Lord open my understanding to manage it. I think I am managing it well. It also helps families. Added to my talents, I use my other talents and gifts to bring honor to God. I have the gift of speaking, an extrovert. He gives us, he will develop what we use to his glory.

  4. We all have gifts that can be a blessing to the church. From cooking to painting. Talent is supposed to be a "natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught". We all have something natural, that can be constructive and developed for the blessing of others.

  5. The Bible tells us the gifts are for the benefit of ALL. This would include the one gifted. The gifts are for the work of the gospel, which is to free the soul from sin and to partake of the Divine nature. There is no salvation outside of this accomplishment for every soul. Perfect unity of mind, body, and spirit with Christ and His Father is what Jesus died to make possible for every soul. This is the object of God's love for fallen man, for it will restore His creation to it's original state of being "very good" and to holiness. There is only sorrow and death for any who do not choose this restoration in their life.

    Every ability(talent), if sanctified, will profit the one with the ability along with all who are served by it.

  6. This topic has some triggers for me. My husband and I ended up separating ourselves from the Sabbath School class we had helped develop, because of this topic. Part of this group became so obsessed with “the gifts of the Spirit”, that we just felt we had to remove ourselves from the group. Here is one example of what was happening; the women’s group that met each Wednesday were practicing the gift of receiving a “word of knowledge”. The practicing involved writing down a color, red, blue green etc. on a piece of paper, folding it in half and then placing one in each woman’s hand. Then they would close their eyes and wait to hear from “the Spirit” what that color was. This is also the group that said they do not need scripture, they have the Holy Spirit. I am sharing this to make my point, which is this; if we are so closely connected to our Heavenly Father as scripture shows us, every gift is available to us when and if we need it. We don’t need to pursue getting these gifts, they are already ours. Acts 2:38 - Then Peter said to them “repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
    It’s pretty simple with no practicing involved, and each gift is for the benefit of others, so the Holy Spirit can work in the lives of others. The Christ’s Object Lessons quote in the lesson above spells it out really well.
    The one thing this group we left did do, was to make my husband and I study this subject in depth so that we could understand it better. As stressful as it was, it turned out to be a real blessing to us.

  7. What I wrote about in my comments yesterday fits todays topic as well. I agree with Robert, 'every ability (talent), if sanctified, will profit the one with the ability along with all who are served by it'. What is to take place in the new believer, would need to have already, or to some extend, have taken place in the person who witnesses, using the new spiritual gifts, talents, and adjustments to their temperament to reach out.

    1Cor.45-58 - Why would we expect all the changes to take place in others, but not expect them to also continuously take place in ourselves? We were saved for the purpose of drawing others to be reconciled with God and become citizens of the Kingdom of God; here on earth as well as in the life to come.
    v.45 - 'And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit'.
    v.46 - 'Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual'.
    v.47 - 'The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from Heaven'. This names the new source from which our spiritual Self is being now formed.
    v.48 - 'As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly'.
    v.49 - 'And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly'.

    So, 'why does God impart spiritual gifts to each believer and what are the purposes of those gifts'?
    2Cor.5:17-21 - 'If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
    v.18 - 'And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation'.

    We have been given the ministry of reconciliation that we and those that are touched by the Gospel message are transformed into God's image of RIGHTEOUSNESS. The flesh cannot inherit the Kingdom of God - cannot be reconciled to God!
    Our born-again spiritual 'Self' is given a chance to be formed into the spiritual image which we have been promised can inherit the Kingdom of God.
    The believer's spiritual self/identiy is that which is being transformed, not the flesh. In a Christian's life, all things are now spiritually measured.

  8. I believe the Spiritual Gifts are to enable one to tell people that Jesus saves, the gifts themselves do not save anyone, or change any ones heart, only the Holy Spirit working in the heart can change it.
    When a Evangelist preaches or one gives a personal testimony, who works on the heart - the Holy Spirit; who benefits -the one sharing the good news or the hearer of the good news?

    The Spiritual Gifts are given to people so if the gifts can save someone then it gives those that receive the gifts the power to apply the gift and save others? Or do the gifts empower the church and people can only be saved through the rituals of the church? My answer is no, absolutely not!

    Obviously the Spiritual Gifts are given to one who has already accepted Jesus as their Saviour and been baptized and has been filled with the Holy Spirit, (they don't need to be baptized again the purpose of the gospel), only to mature to the fullness of Christ.

  9. This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Gal 5:16
    If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. 2 Cor 5:17

    Brigitte, I am not so sure what you meant by 'The believer's spiritual self/identity is that which is being transformed, not the flesh'. Can you explain it?

    When anyone yields up themself to Christ, a change starts from the inside. The Holy Spirit communes with our spirit and changes our mindset, but the results are seen on the outside.
    The working of the Holy Spirit in the inside produces these; Gal 5:22-23.
    The working of the flesh on the outside produces these; Gal 5:19-21.

    What do you think of this;
    'The world needs evidence of sincere Christianity. The poison of sin is at work at the heart of society. Cities and towns are steeped in sin and moral corruption. The world is full of sickness, suffering, and iniquity. Nigh and afar off are souls in poverty and distress, weighed down with a sense of guilt and perishing for want of a saving influence. The gospel of truth is kept ever before them, yet they perish because the example of those who should be a savor of life to them is a savor of death. Their souls drink in bitterness because the springs are poisoned, when they should be like a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.' {PK 232.1}

    'To the heart that has become purified, all is changed. Transformation of character is the testimony to the world of an indwelling Christ. The Spirit of God produces a new life in the soul, bringing the thoughts and desires into obedience to the will of Christ; and the inward man is renewed in the image of God. Weak and erring men and women show to the world that the redeeming power of grace can cause the faulty character to develop into symmetry and abundant fruitfulness.' {PK 233.2}

  10. Gen 2:7 I need to be careful not to fall into the devil's trap that I am made up of a seperate body and a separate spirit/soul, God made a living being which is a combination of heart, mind, spirit and strength with which we love the LORD. Deut 6:5-6
    When Paul contrasts flesh and spirit he is contrasting the state of my mind's natural inclinations and when my mind and heart have been changed to think about and live according to spiritual things Rom 8:5-7


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