Summary: Examine the scriptual definition of Spiritual gifts, where they come from, why we have them, and what we should do with them.
Rev. Bruce A. Shields DD
House of Faith Ministries
What are Spiritual Gifts?
To understand what Spiritual Gifts are and where they come from, and what they are for, we must examine the scriptures which answers all of these questions.
“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
Here in the Hebrew text, the word Banah (baw-naw) is used for build, which literally means to ‘Establish’
Establish – to make firm or stable. To ordain.
We cannot do anything apart from God! God must build us as a Church, and as individuals. Our building up is by His hand ONLY! God in us, working through us, through Spiritual Gifts that He alone has given us, builds or edifies the Body of Christ, which is who we are!
Ephesians 4:4-8 (NKJ)
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”
• We are one body of believers (The Body of Christ)
• We have one Spirit (The Holy Spirit)
• We have one hope (Salvation)
• We have one Lord (Jesus Christ)
• We have one faith (not denomination) Which is Christianity
• One baptism (an outward show of faith that does not need to be repeated over & over)
• One God and Father of all
• Above all, through all, and in us all!
All believers in Christ belong to one body; all are untied under one head, Christ Himself. Each believer has God-given abilities that strengthens (or edifies) the whole body (or Church). Your special ability may seem small or large, but it is yours to use in God’s service edifying His people!
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal:”
Manifestation (or display or demonstrations) of the Spirit is given to us to PROFIT all of us, or the body of Christ.
So we are all given the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit displays or demonstrates Himself through us to profit (or build) the body of Christ.
So these Spiritual Gifts are not us, but God within us!
In Romans we read Paul telling us that just like our own bodies have many parts with different functions, so does the body of Christ.
Romans 12:4, 5
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one member’s one of another.”
We do not all have the same “office” or function within the body of Christ. Paul goes on to say that we, being parts to the same body, have received the same spirit, and each must rely on the other parts as well as ourselves because we need them to operate fully as a whole. We need each other!
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”
So, our gifts are given to us “AS IT HAS PLEASED GOD!” He chooses what Spiritual Gifts we have.
And why not? Who knows us better? He knows where we would be most effective AND happy!
So knowing that we are the body of Christ, having different offices or responsibilities given to us by God through the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, you may ask;
What Spiritual Gifts are there?
The Bible doesn’t give an exact number. I don’t think we can limit God’s abilities this way. I’m sure there are gifts that many can operate in that we never even recognize as gifts or that they are from God, yet in their ordained way, they still edify the body of Christ.