Summary: Spiritual gifts are abilities given to us apart from our first birth. They equip us to function as members of the body of Christ. Our spiritual gifts, though different, are all useful so we can work together to serve God and each other. We are ide

The purpose of the gifts

Spiritual gifts are abilities given to us apart from our first birth. They equip us to function as members of the body of Christ.

Our spiritual gifts, though different, are all useful so we can work together to serve God and each other.

We are identified as believers through the gifts of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives the gifts to us for His clearly defined purposes. They are to be used to serve the body of Christ

These gifts imply that we have a great responsibility as they direct us to sacrificially serve others as Christ has served us. This responsibility does not just belong to the pastor or a few of the church leaders. Every member is gifted, and every member is therefore responsible to edify the body with that gift. And for the whole body to be fully edified, all the gifts are needed.

Spiritual gifts are to profit everyone and can therefore also be linked to prosperity and blessings.

1 Corinthians 12:7 - But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.

Proverbs 17:8 - A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers.

Gifts are for the purpose of glorifying God. God is glorified when we use our gifts to build up the church. The revelation, power, and inspiration gifts were all operative in the early church. Many want a particular gift because it supposedly aids in worship or because some similar personal benefit is derived from it. The gifts are not for ourselves but are given to help others because there are no insignificant or unneeded members.

Some of the gifts have the purpose to serve as authenticating marks of the apostles and their ministry.

Hebrews 2:4 - God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will.

Spiritual gifts come from God for a special purpose to be beneficial individually and corporately.

How we are to behave and interact with one another is governed by the Spirit working through each of us with these gifts. We must acknowledge our role in the body.

God gave spiritual gifts so that the members of the body of Christ could by them lift up one another. The Spirit gives us abilities to build up the whole body of Christ, which extends beyond the programs of a single church.

We are all one body in Christ and each of the members of a body belongs to the other members, even though they have different functions.

In the same way that each member of the human body has been placed where it belongs, so the Spirit has placed each of us in Christ's body exactly where we belong, with gifts appropriate to our function. Each member is necessary to the body and should be cared for appropriately.

Romans 12:4-5 - Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ's body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do. So we belong to each other, and each needs all the others.

Differences in gifts and functions are part of being a body, and if we reject each other or refuse to perform our own functions because of these differences, the whole body suffers.

All the gifts are needed, all are essential because they all are designed to edify the church, help us grow in vitality and maturity, and glorify God.

You cannot strengthen someone who is weak unless you are mature yourself. Spiritual gifts help you mature so you can edify the church and strengthen others.

The gifts are placed in the church as resources to be utilized at the point of need for ministry in the body. This means that not every believer will have the same gifts as every other believer.

The full potential of a church will not be experienced until there is a clear, Biblical understanding of spiritual gifts.

1 Corinthians 12:1 - Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

Spiritual gifts are designed to edify. Where they do not accomplish this purpose, the church suffers.

There is no indication anywhere in Scripture that we should limit the exercise of the gifts to the worship services or other formal programs of a local church. The early church frequently exercised their gifts outside of the church on the streets.

The book of Acts gives us a number of examples:

Stephen taught the Sanhedrin the meaning of the Jewish Scriptures at his own trial

* Ananias acted on a prophecy he had received in his own home and went to the house of Saul of Tarsus to lay hands on him

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