God Gives Us Special Abilities to Advance His Kingdom
The topic of spiritual gifts confuses many people and perplexes others. It’s easy to understand a physical present, something we can put in a box, wrap, and put a bow on. Giving tangible objects as gifts is easy to comprehend—and to receive.
The disconnect comes as we move from the physical to the spiritual. God gives us spiritual gifts. These are significantly more important than a physical present anyone could ever offer. But these presents don’t come in a nicely gift-wrapped package, presented to us on a special occasion.
In the post What Are Spiritual Gifts? I offer a basic framework. God provides us with special abilities to grow his kingdom. These come from the Holy Spirit and are for our common good, divinely allocated as needed.
In each local church, we are one body made up of various parts. God equips each of us to do our part for his church. One way he does this is by supernaturally giving us special abilities.
To assist us in comprehending these spiritual presents, some examples will help us better understand. Bible scholars list spiritual gifts. Based on Scripture, they come up with between nine and twenty-three divine gifts, sometimes more.
Though this finite catalog of spiritual gifts is a smart place to begin, I don’t view any list as absolute. If it were, Paul would certainly have given them all in one place. He records thirteen for the church in Corinth and them tacks on four more.
He adds another quartet of gifts in his letter to the church in Rome and two more to the church in Ephesus. We can also find additional gifts in other New Testament books, as well as in the Old Testament.
We should view any list, regardless of its length, as the starting point and not the end. The basic truth about spiritual gifts is that the Holy Spirit will provide Jesus’s followers with special abilities to advance the kingdom of God.
How to Learn Your God-Given Gifts
If you want to discover what your gifts are, one option is to do a spiritual gifts assessment. There are both online resources and books that can help you determine your special abilities. One such book is Discover Your Spiritual Gifts by C. Peter Wagner, as well as many others.
Another discovery option is to ask close friends what areas of giftedness they see in you. Even better, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal this to you.
Whichever path you take, may God lead you into discovering and using the gifts God has given you.
Regardless of what our spiritual gifts are, our job becomes to receive these divine presents and use them for their intended purpose.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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