Wednesday, October 18, 2006


So what about spiritual gifts? Remember what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:7, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (Obviously, italics are mine.) Emphasize that each and every individual believer has a spiritual gift. Emphasize that spiritual gifts are actually a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Emphasize that gifts are given, they are by definition “graces.” Emphasize that they are given for the common good of the body of Christ.

The gifts given to us by God are not meant to be used for ourselves; they are to be used to help and build up the other members of the church. In fact, if anyone tries to use a spiritual gift for his own benefit he is actually abusing a gift of the Spirit.

Here is our biggest problem in the early 21st century: We members of the church are not close enough to be able to exercise our gifts for the benefit of one another. We gather to worship on Sundays and then go home. We like each other! We love each other! We would do anything to help each other! But we don’t know each other well enough to be able to minister to one another for our spiritual edification!

We have to find ways to spend more time together so we can trust each other and open up to each other. Only then will we be able to exercise our gifts “for the common good.” We need to make this a priority in our churches or we will never really be a church, just a group of people who pass each other on Sunday mornings during our worship time!

And what about discovering our spiritual gifts? What if I don’t know what my spiritual gift is? Shouldn’t we have some studies on how to discover our spiritual gifts? Shouldn’t we go through some classes to teach us how to identify spiritual gifts? There is no need to worry about all this. There is no mystery involved. As you serve the Lord and as you serve the others in your fellowship it will become apparent what you gift is. Just get to know people! Learn to care about them and learn to love them! Serve them in any way you can, in any way you know how. You’ll be using your gift without even putting a label on it!

(From “What about Spiritual Gifts?” Sermon number 089 at Shiloh Community Church, Caledonia, MI. 15 October 2006)


At 8:32 PM, Blogger Doulos Christou said...

I can't believe you posted this and I haven't seen it yet... a hot topic back in Mayberry these days.

Hey, what would you say to someone who says that "every believer has ALL of the gifts" - or at least access to all of them? They'd also suggest that, for example, everyone has the gift of tongues, but fear, pride, etc. keep people from exercising them.

Help me out here!!

BTW, I found your number - I'll try and call from the office tomorrow.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Such a statement is patently ridiculous.

1 Corinthians 12:29, 30 "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues?

Paul assumes a negative answer to all these questions. The answer HAS to be negative because he has just finished teaching on diversity and unity.

I also am convinced that the spiritual gift of tongues is the gift of speaking earthly languages which one has never learned for the purpose of edifying the body of Christ, usually in evangelism. This is clearly the gift of Pentecost without argument. Can anyone show me where it changed to ecstatic utterance? NO! I think Paul clearly differentiates between the gift of languages and the non-gift of ecstatic utterance in 1 Cor. 14. I think my exegesis of this passage is very convincing! (Of course! I wrote it!)

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

PS. Doulos, thanks for being my only reader. You seem to have twice as many readers as I do!!!!


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