Summary: What the Bible says about spiritual gifts for today. Can we expect to receive spiritual gifts?
Iliff and Saltillo UM Churches
August 3, 2003
Spiritual Gifts #1
“I Don’t Have Any Gifts--What Does the Bible Say?”
INTRODUCTION: How many of you think you have spiritual gifts? How many think you don’t have any? How many are not sure? How many don’t care one way or the other?
A lot of people are inclined to say, “I don’t have any spiritual gifts. There are probably several reasons why we might say this:
1. Don’t know what they are.
2. Don’t think I would get any because I am not worthy or spiritual enough.
3. Don’t feel the gifts are for us today.
4. Not interested and don’t want to bother finding out.
5. Afraid I would be required to do too much.
Spiritual gifts are mentioned in four major scriptures in the Bible.
The one that we are more familiar with is probably the one in I Corinthians 12:1-11. Paul said to the people at Corinth, “I want you to understand spiritual gifts.” In Verse 1 he says, “Now about spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be ignorant or misinformed.” The church at Corinth was a very spiritually gifted church “not lacking in any spiritual gift” (I Corinthians 1:7) but the problem for them was that they were using their gifts improperly. They were elevating one gift above the other and trying to outdo each other. They were prideful and opinionated. This all led to divisions in the church.
Today I think people are more inclined to overlook spiritual gifts and allow them to lie dormant within them. What does the Bible say about spiritual gifts and how do they apply to us today? Let’s see what we can get out of today’s scriptures that will help us this week in our journey of faith.
1. Natural Gifts and Spiritual Gifts: There is a difference between natural and spiritual gifts. All of us have a different mix of natural talents and abilities, sometimes called “gifts,” that are based on heredity and on environment. People in the same family have different talents even though they were brought up in the exact same environment. One might have musical ability and another a talent in some totally different area. Educational opportunities sharpen these abilities and develop them.
ILLUSTRATION: One time I said to someone that I do better at music than I do in art. She replied, “Maybe you’ve developed your musical abilities and not your artistic abilities.” That was true. All of us have some natural abilities, but it could be they are not recognized because they haven’t been developed yet--they are still lying dormant within us.
Spiritual abilities or “gifts” can be defined as “special endowments of supernatural energy” given to people by the Holy Spirit. When we come to the Lord, the Holy Sprit gives us one or more spiritual gifts for the common good of the church or body of Christ. They are bestowed by the Holy Spirit whereas natural gifts are given as a result of heredity and environment. Sometimes the spiritual gift is very different from your natural gifts and sometimes it is along the same lines of interest. Often is is a gift that you wouldn’t expect would be easy for you to do. But the Holy Spirit has empowered you to do it. You can recognize that it has to the from the Lord or you never could have done it. Be on the lookout for new and different gifts and “gift mixes” to emerge as the needs around you change.
STORY: A elderly woman who was approaching her birthday was always given some little gifts from her friends and relatives for her birthday and Christmas in the form of knicknacks for the house.
Finally when she reached the age of ninety, the aging woman was asked what she wanted this year.
“Give me a kiss,” she replied, “so I won’t have to dust it.” (source unknown)
It is the Holy Spirit who distributes the gifts, and He alone decides which gift each person should have. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is. Everyone gets in on it and everyone benefits. There are various ways that God’s Spirit gets worked into our lives. The gifts originate in God’s spirit. A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. We have different gifts according to the grace given us. We don’t have to worry about what gift we have because they are chosen for us and will fit perfectly. One is not more important than the other.
STORY: The teacher asked his class, “Which is more important to us, the moon or the sun?”