Summary: A look at Spritual gifts
It was my mother’s birthday last Tuesday. She was fifty five years old, don’t try to do the math trust me, it’s scary. The only reason I mentioned her age is that it’s crucial to the story. We’re driving to Saint John on this Tuesday which happens to be my sisters birthday and we are having what they are referring to as a gala birthday celebration. For Mom, Dianne and Angela whose birthday is this Saturday. My sister asked Mom what she would like for her birthday and Mom’s response was "Seeing I’ll be fifty-five I should get fifty-five gifts" Sounds valid to me, everyone likes to get gifts. And so in deference to my mother’s age my sister and I have decided to give her fifty-five gifts.
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 mother of all gifts because the Bible tells us in the book of Romans 6:23 Sin pays off with death. But God’s gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ 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 said, "Turn back to God! Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven. Then you will be given 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 Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.
1) There is a spiritual gift for every believer There is no believer who does not 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, Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts Listen to what Paul says in Romans 12:6 God has also given each of us different gifts to use. And in 1 Corinthians 12:7 The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.
Now let’s clarify that your spiritual gift isn’t necessarily your God given talent. Everybody has natural talents. Ashely MacIssac is an incredible fiddler, has buckets of talent and most people would say that he was gifted, others would say other things about Ashley but we’re not going down that road. But fiddling isn’t Ashley MacIssac’s spiritual gift it’s his 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 The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. and in verse 11 of the same chapter 1 Corinthians 12:11 But it is the Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us.
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 If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. Now in math you may remember that the way we prove a mathematical equation is by reversing it 1+2=3, but only if 3-2=1. So we can do the same with scripture. Turn Galations 5:16 around and it says: If you obey your selfish desires then you aren’t guided by the spirit. Listen to what James the brother of Christ wrote in the letter he wrote chapter 3 verse 12 Can a fig tree produce olives or a grapevine produce figs? Does fresh water come from a well full of salt water? So can a person whose life is not controlled by the Spirit of God exhibit gifts which the Bible plainly tells us are given by the Spirit of God for use in the body of believers, I don’t think so.
2) We don’t all get the same gift The scriptures that we read earlier all spoke of believers getting different gifts or special gifts. The problem is that when anyone talks about the gifts of the spirit most people automatically think that it’s the gift of tongues that’s being referred to. And that is limiting the power of the Holy Spirit, because in reality there are at least 20 different spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament. And Paul tells us over and over again that we don’t all get the same gift. He uses the analogy of a body to represent the Christian church and tells us that each part of the body performs a function that is essential for the body to properly function.