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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Does the Bible Have to Say about the Christian and Spiritual Gifts?

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Don Stewart

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The Bible includes many references regarding the believer and spiritual gifts. From these passages we learn the following:

Every Believer Has A Gift

Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift:

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10).

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christs gift (Ephesians 4:7).

A believer may not know what his spiritual gift is, but he has one regardless of whether he exercises it. There are no ungifted believers.

For Others Benefit

The purpose of the gifts are to build up and encourage other believers. They are not for pride or individual glory.

But are manifestations of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all (1 Corinthians 12:7).

God Gives The Gifts
God is the source of all spiritual gifts. The Bible teaches that each member of the Trinity is involved in giving spiritual gifts.

God has dealt to each one a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11).

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christs gift. Therefore He says, When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:7,8).

We cannot earn a gift through human effort. Spiritual gifts are not rewards for diligence. No one should boast or be idolized for having a more prominent or visible gift. The gifts do not represent a degree of spiritual growth. They are given by God to certain believers as He desires.

The Gifts Are Varied

There are a variety of gifts, and the Apostle Paul likens them to the components of a human body.

But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body (1 Corinthians 12:18-20).

Every believer has a gift, but no believer has all the gifts. Each member of the body needs the other; there are no unimportant spiritual gifts.

Desire The Best Gifts

It is not for us to say which gifts we can have; God is the one who gives the gifts. Yet, the Bible encourages us to desire the best gifts:

But earnestly desire the best gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31).

Though we should desire the best gifts, we do not have a right to insist upon them. God is the giver of the gifts.

Gifts Can Be Developed

The gift of teaching, for instance, is a supernatural ability given by God to teach His Word. This gift can be developed as the believer takes time to study and learn the things of God. Certain gifts can and should be developed.

Gifts Need To Be Used

After discussing the gifts of the Spirit, the Apostle Paul said, "Let us use them" (Romans 12:6). The Bible encourages the believer to be faithful to the gifts God has given him:

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10).

Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2).

Gifts also need to be rekindled, or exercised when they are not used regularly.

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands (2 Timothy 1:6).

Therefore we can conclude the following regarding the believer and spiritual gifts:

1. Every believer has a spiritual gift.

2. The gifts are given by God to build up the body of Christ.

3. The gifts are given by God as He wills.

4. Every believer has a gift but no believer has all the gifts.

5. Certain of the gifts can be developed through time.

6. Gifts need to be used. They should be rekindled if they are not being used.

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