The Holy Spirit: 6 Principles About Spiritual Gifts
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Today is our last lesson on the Holy Spirit. I want to focus our time on 1 Corinthians 12, where we found one of the most extended lists of Spiritual Gifts yesterday. I will read the text and then point out six essential principles all believers need to understand about their spiritual gifts.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. — 1 Corinthians 12:4-26
This is a long text, but it has a lot of great information. Today, I want to list six fundamental principles you need to know about your spiritual gifts.
Principle one: You have a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:7). Every believer has at least one.
Principle two: Your spiritual gift is given to you, but it's not for you (1 Corinthians 12:7). It is for the common good in the believing community. You are only a steward of this gift and have a responsibility to steward it this way.
Principle three: You do not get to choose your spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:11). By his will, the Spirit distributes them to you. That's why they are called a gift.
Principle four: You have a unique gift in a diverse body distributed by one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). Your gift is the expression of diversity working in unity when you use it in the believing community.
Principle five: Your gift is essential to the church (1 Corinthians 12:14-17). You and your gift are needed. No one gift has more value or less value. The expression of your gift has equal value, no matter how specific, sweeping, conspicuous, or inconspicuous.
Principle six: Your gift will apply to suffering and celebration (1 Corinthians 12:25-26). This is why the Spirit gives different gifts. We each have our moments to serve one another each other. Suffering gives us each an opportunity for application. This means you should consider how your gift could support other believers from suffering to celebration.
Here is what we learn from these principles.
We see the symphony of spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit, the great spiritual conductor, distributes and coordinates his diverse gifts, harmonizing them to create a composition within the church. Thus, we get to join in with his song by stewarding, valuing, and utilizing our gifts for the greater good, whether in times of hardship or joy.
So do this today. Use your gift. And it's relatively simple: use your gift to bless another believer in their moment of need. And watch as the Spirit works through you into the life of another.
- What unique gift do you believe the Spirit entrusted you with? Take a moment to reflect on your strengths, talents, and passions. How might your gift contribute to the well-being of the community of believers and the broader world around you?
- How can you apply your gift to both suffering and celebration? Consider how your gift can serve others in moments of difficulty, providing support and encouragement. Additionally, think about how your gift can bring joy and celebration to the lives of those around you.
DO THIS: Use your gift today.
PRAY THIS: Dear Lord, thank you for entrusting me with a unique spiritual gift. Guide me in using it to uplift others in their times of need and bring joy in celebration moments, all for your glory. Amen.
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