QUESTIONS ABOUT SPIRITUAL GIFTS
Last week I introduced spiritual gifts with the verse, "But each one has his own gift from God" (I Cor. 7:7 NKJV). When I was saved not much was said about spiritual gifts, but today everyone seems to have questions about spiritual gifts because:
1. Dispensational writers are showing us the church dispensation is also the dispensation of the Holy Spirit.
2. The emergence of the Charismatic Movement and their emphasis on the sign gifts has forced us to look at the serving gifts. My emphasis today is not on seeking a sign gift but USING THE GIFT YOU ALREADY HAVE.
3. The various Spiritual Gift Inventories have awakened interest in finding one’s spiritual gift. I believe ours is one of the best because:
a. It is biblical, it has Bible verses included.
b. It is practical, it helps people know themselves.
c. It is comprehensive, it will compare you to all the serving gifts.
B. QUESTIONS PEOPLE ARE ASKING
1. Are church leaders the only people with spiritual gifts? Some who just sit in the pew think they are not gifted. I Cor. 7:7 says, "Each one has his own spiritual gift." Also, I Peter 4:10, "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another."
a. You can’t hide behind the excuse, "I don’t have a gift."
b. Many of you are like the baseball player with a lot of talent but you strike out and make errors. The pastor, like the coach, has to look within the player to motivate him to use the talent he has.
2. Is natural talent and spiritual giftedness the same thing? No! A spiritual gift is not natural ability, nor is spiritual giftedness augmented talent. A spiritual gift is the work of the Holy Spirit through a person. How do you get the Holy spirit to work through you?
a. Seek the Lord’s presence in your life. "If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spoke he of the Spirit . . ." (John 7:37-39).
b. Seek to be used. Notice the prayer of the old hymn.
Breathe on me breath of God,
Fill me with life anew.
That I may love what thou dost love,
And do what thou wouldst do.
c. Ask for His filling. The Holy Spirit will fill us and use us if we ask. Notice the command, "Be filled with the spirit" (Eph. 5:18). Since it’s a command, you must obey.
d. My observations about your natural talent and your spiritual gift.
(1) Some with great natural talent also are spiritually gifted to use that talent because they have yielded to God.
(2) Some with great natural talent are not used of God, nor is their spiritual giftedness manifested through that talent. The Bible calls these people "sounding brass and a clanging symbol." They make a lot of noise, but don’t edify anyone.
(3) Some with little or marginal talent are used of God in a far greater way than their natural talent. Some singers with average talent are used in great ways because it is the Holy Spirit working through them.
(4) The Holy Spirit doesn’t usually give a spiritual gift to someone in an area where they have no talent.