"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
The Necessity, Identification, and Development of the Spiritual Gifts
2 Peter 1:3-11 (KJV)
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:16-20 (KJV)
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Last week we discussed assignments. We dove into the Word and what it says about finding them in the will of God for our lives and acting upon them. These assignments, however requires some gifts of the Spirit. Many may ask, are the gifts of the Spirit as manifested in the book of Acts still relevant for today’s church? The answer is, “absolutely!” Today as much as any other, the Spirit of God is using the gifts given by God to manifest His glory and power upon man. But are they necessary? “Absolutely!” As long as we are commanded by the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), the gifts will be with us as the Spirit of God is with us. Just as Jesus used basically every spiritual gift given in the Scriptures, we are to use the gifts that we have been given. If He is our model and we are His followers (Christ-ians: meaning Christ-followers) we should also model his actions in using our gifts of the Spirit. But what are these gifts and how do we know we possess them? Around this time last year, we posted an article on this topic by Dr. Jim Feeney called The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are for Today! In that Bible study it describes why these gifts are necessary and even gives a few examples. Identifying your gifts may not be as hard as you may think, however it does require us to be in tune with the will of God. The spiritual gifts help us identify our role in the team and find an area where we can maximize our strengths to the team’s advantage. It may also help to identify some areas of need for the ministry team that may be benefitted from our gifts and skills.
The many gifts of the Spirit manifested through the people of God can be found mostly in the New Testament due to the fact that the Holy Spirit rarely dwelt in me prior to this gift of Christ at the upper room experience of Acts 2. The Holy Spirit would sometimes come on men, but this would often be announced as, “the Spirit came upon him” or “the Spirit of the Lord was there”. Believers did not receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit until after the Upper Room experience. After the arrival of the Spirit in Acts 2, believers began to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at conversion. This is not to be confused with the Pentecostal term “baptism in the Spirit.” This is another type of baptism usually happening after the initial conversion and could be better described as the indwelling and manifestation of the Spirit presence in a believer’s life. Like every part of God, the Spirit is a gentleman and will not manifest His glory on those who wish not to receive it or who do not believe in these abilities however. There are many who deny that the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and interpretation of tongues exist today, therefore do not experience these gifts. However, this does not mean that they do not exists, they just do not exist for that believer due to their unbelief. We must be careful how we react to the Holy Spirit and be careful not to mock God in this sense. This goes for both those who are unbelieving of His gifts and those who exaggerate the effects of the gifts. There are those in the Pentecostal community who bring shame and dishonor on the gifts of the Spirit by exaggerating and dramatizing the effects of the gifts.
Romans 12:6-8 describes various gifts such as prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, and mercy. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 gives us gifts such as healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. 1 Peter 4:11 tells us of those who “speak and render service” in the light that they are gifts and abilities from God. Most of us have more than one gift, while others have nearly all of them. There are rare occasions when believers seem to possess only one, but usually they are gifted in that area so highly, it would be unnecessary to have any additional gifts. There are quite a few professional worship artists who fit this category and it is why they are compensated for such a rare ability to sing nearly any note. No one gift should be held in higher regard than the rest. The individual who is gifted in service and finds joy in serving God cleaning restrooms of their small church should not be made to feel less gifted or blessed than the teachers and preachers. Through my time in ministry, I have seen where just about every gift has been responsible for helping to bring in someone who was lost or sow the seed that leads to such a decision. We are all sowers, therefore we should always stand ready in season and out (2 Timothy 4:2)!
The best way to identify these gifts we possess is to serve in any capacity of ministry that we are given opportunity. There are a couple of gifts that we will know we have from a very early age. Singers know as early as they begin to sing and hold a microphone that they are called to do so. Preachers often find themselves seeking the microphone or public speaking in front of audiences as well. Called pastors find themselves possessing a great variety of skills such as discernment, preaching, teaching, showing, love, and serving. As you grow in the Lord and develop wisdom from His Word, your gifts will begin to manifest themselves. Your passions will become centered around your gifting. Those who find themselves interested in learning the guitar or keyboard may be blessed with the gift of music. Followers who find themselves diving into the Word of God and dissecting it like a frog in biology class are most likely good teachers. Those who find themselves highly motivated by motivating and lifting up others in the Lord are exhorters and may find themselves blessed by the ministry of revival evangelism or preaching. Never assume that you are unimportant to the Kingdom, every gift and every believer has a role in God’s Kingdom.
What we have to remember regarding the possession of these gifts is that they were bestowed upon us for a reason. God has a plan and a purpose for us to use them, therefore we must be obedient in that sense. We should expect to be used by God to highlight what He has done for us on Calvary. When we properly identify and use our gifts, we are representing God through the abilities He has given us. God is the Creator and Possessor of all gifts, therefore each gift we have been blessed with represents a small portion of God’s love. Maybe through your ability to communicate, the Gospel can be highlighted through your testimony showing how awesome a communicator that God is. Maybe you have a knack for awesome service. This testifies to the gift of Jesus Christ, the ultimate Servant and Giver of Life! Whatever your gifts, skills, and abilities; they are in our possession to be used by God as His vessel in service. When we hold them back, do not use them, or practice poor stewardship with them; it is seen as disobedience towards the will of God. We should also pass on the knowledge and identification of these gifts through discipleship and multiplication (Matthew 28:19).
To learn more about assignments and temporary places that God often puts us, visit our article:
Learn Your Assignment, Study Your Assignment, and Do Your Assignment