Summary: A practical look at the Gifts of the Spirit in the life of the believer
I love the distance between my birthday and Christmas, it’s perfect. It divides the year in half, when I was a kid I knew that I would get gifts in June and then again in December. I always felt sorry for the kids whose birthdays were close to Christmas, not just in December but in November and January. There was always at least eleven months before you got more stuff.
Not for me, there were gifts at Christmas and then six months later it the middle of June there were more gifts
I’m not nearly as excited about birthdays these days, I guess that I’d agree with Groucho Marx who said “Getting older is no problem. You just have to live long enough.” If the downside of birthdays is that you are getting older the upside is you get stuff.
How about you? Do you like getting gifts? Sure you do. We say it’s better to give then to receive but receiving has a lot to be said about it as well. And there are gifts and then there are gifts, a pair of socks is a gift, but a new BMW convertible, now that’s a gift.
If you are a Christian then you’ve received the greatest of all gifts because the Bible tells us in the book of Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now that’s a gift. That’s not all because we are offered another gift as well after we get that first gift, listen to what Peter tells us in the book of Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins, turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to show that you have received forgiveness for your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
But for the believer the gifts don’t stop there. Because when you come into a relationship with Jesus Christ, not only do you become a child of God, but you become a gifted child. Maybe you’ve heard people talking about spiritual gifts or the gifts of the Spirit and wondered what they were and how you can get them.
The answer to both the questions are found in 1 Peter 4:10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
It’s like God has a gift closet and those gifts are available for each of us and this morning we are going to look at what that means.
1) We All Get a Gift There used to be a time that not everyone at the birthday party received gifts, only the person whose birthday it was got gifts. Now parents have to spend a fortune on grab bags to make sure everybody gets a gift. “Hey, kid it’s not your birthday, you’ll get your chance.”
But from the beginning we are told that there is a gift for every believer, that there are no believers who don’t have a gift from the spirit. There are believers who don’t use the gift or gifts they have been given, but they have all been given at least one. Remember the scripture that we just read from 1 Peter, God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Listen to what Paul says in Romans 12:6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.
And in 1 Corinthians 12:7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
Now let’s clarify that your spiritual gift isn’t necessarily your God given talent. Everybody has natural talents. Miley Cyrus is an incredible singer, she has buckets of talent and most people would say that she was gifted, others would say other things about Miley but we’re not going down that road.
But singing isn’t Miley Cyrus spiritual gift it’s her talent. Talents are what you are born with, spiritual gifts are what you are born again with. Get it?
How do I know that because we are told in the scriptures that 1 Corinthians 12:7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
and in verse 11 of the same chapter 1 Corinthians 12:11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
Well sure you say, but couldn’t the spirit give his gifts to an unbeliever, well he could but he doesn’t. Listen to Galatians 5:16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.