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SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST 

 

There is a lot of confusion today about spiritual gifts, just as there was in the first century.  Paul said, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be uninformed” (1 Cor. 12:1).  Thus, we must make special effort to understand their place and importance.

 

Christ revealed Himself first in the human body, through which all His attributes were manifest.  Now He has a new body--the Church--a spiritual body.  We who know Christ are that Body.  Each Christian is a vital member of the Body, and just as a human body must work totally together to be healthy, so we must function in interdependence for the unity of this spiritual body.  God’s plan for the healthy function of the Body is this:  each believer has been given certain Holy Spirit abilities, called “grace gifts” or “spiritual gifts.”  Through these gifts, the Holy Spirit ministers to the other members of the Body and this network of inter-mutual ministry strengthens every part and allows the whole body to grow healthy and strong.

 

DEFINITION:  A spiritual gift is a special capacity for ministry in the Body of Christ, given by the Holy Spirit, for use in building up the Body.

 

Following are some basic principles regarding the use and function of spiritual gifts in the Body:

 

1)  Spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents.  The Spirit may elect to use

a person in the area of their natural ability, and gift them in that area--

or He may not.  The Spirit is not limited in either direction.  Remember:

A talent is a natural ability give at your first birth.  A spiritual gift is a

supernatural ability given at your second birth (your spiritual birth).

 

2)  Spiritual gifts are not the same as the Fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22-23.  “But

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,

faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no

law.”  We each have only certain gifts, but all of us should have all of the

fruit of the Spirit.  The fruit relates to our character and walk, the gifts

relate to our service and ministry.

 

3)  Spiritual gifts are no sign or guarantee of spirituality.  All believers possess

them, even the carnal believers (1 Cor. 12:7, 11), and the gift can be

counterfeited and operated in the energy of the flesh.  Having a gift is

also no guarantee of being right in the area of your gift (1 Cor. 14:29, 32,

37).  Gifts can be misused in a fleshly manner, as the Corinthians and

tongues for example, and Satan can pervert the gifts to his use.  The use

and results of gifts must square with Scripture.

 

4)  Every Christian has a gift or gifts -- 1 Peter 4:10, 1 Cor. 12:7.  However, we

do no always exercise them, as in 1 Timothy 4:14, maybe because we

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