Summary: God through the Holy Spirit has gifts which glorify Christ and empowers the church to edify the Body of Christ and minister to all mankind. This message is an introduction to those gifts.
He Gave Gifts
Introductions to Holy Spirit Gifts
Charles Swindall gave an illustration of what it may look like to the Lord as He looks upon His church in regard to Holy Spirit given gifts to the body of Christ. Think how you would feel if this happened to you.
Let us say you have a friend who lives far away. Because of the great distance, you have not been able to see each other for many years. To help close the distance, you take time to purchase some special gifts which reflect your love and care. The proper use of these gifts would bring joy to your friend, and to those around him while at the same time maintain that closeness you established with each other when you first met.
Then one day, out of the blue, someone gives you enough money to make a long dreamed visit to your friend. You travel the many miles and you arrive to find a friend’s warm welcome.
After a few moments, you pause to survey the living room, but you see none of your gifts on display. While chatting with each other you glance into the den, then the kitchen, down the hall ways, and you see no gifts.
Eventually your friend has to leave you alone in the house for a length of time, you lose control and you begin to search the house. Your heart breaks as you open a closet door, only to find the gifts you have sent over the years. They are unwrapped and unused.
There are many Christians and churches which have done that very thing unto the Lord. The Bible says: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” (1 Corinthians 12: 5 - 6)
A child of God who is concerned with the Lord’s feelings has to wonder how He would feel as He sees His gifts hidden away, unopened and unused.
The Bible says, “Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines.” (1 Corinthians 12: 1, 11)
A spiritual gift is a skill or an ability that enables each Christian to perform a function in the body of Christ with effectiveness. When spiritual gifts are being administered through the Body of Christ under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Christians benefit and Christ is glorified. God through His spiritual gifts, longs to bring balance and life to the church body. A spirit-filled church body knows and exercises all the spiritual gifts with two purposes in mind: 1.) The body of Christ being edified and 2.) Christ being lifted up.
There are several passages in Bible that discuss clearly the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They can be categories in these groups: 1.) Service gifts: which are administration, leading, encouragement, faith, giving, helps or serving and showing mercy. 2.) Sign gifts: Which are distinguishing between spirits, healing, tongues and interpretation of tongues and miraculous powers. 3.) Support gifts: The word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, and prophesy. The apostle Paul refers to celibacy as being a gift. John the Baptist and Jesus most certainly had it. There are also other gifts which have vital functions in the church, such as hospitality. (1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:11)
All gifts from the Holy Spirit are given as He chooses and are like a springtime rain. When showered down upon the body of Christ, there are joyful benefits. Spiritual gifts keep the body of Christ balanced. Most of us like to pursue our own favorite interest, treading the same path until we have warned it into a rut, thus bringing death to a once alive movement of God. But the variety of Spiritual gifts keeps the body of Christ moving in many directions, safeguarding us against extremes and preoccupations.
Spiritual gifts keep the church healthy. Since every born again Christian has a gift, the burden of ministry can be shared equally. Often ministries collapse from exhaustion because a few people are doing too many jobs.
When people sit, not using their gifts, or if the church doesn’t allow people to exercise their gifts. The Spirit’s fire can be quenched and the church will lay dead. When Holy Spirit illuminated Christians help shoulder the weight, the church blossoms with a healthy vitality. The more people exercise their gift or gifts in the church, the more the Holy Spirit works through the body of Christ. And it is a necessity that the Body works in unity.