In 1 Corinthians 12–14 Paul provides extensive teaching on spiritual gifts. He also offers instruction in Romans 12 and Ephesians 4. Spiritual gifts are skills that the Holy Spirit endows followers of Jesus with.
Spiritual gifts are specifically intended for the benefit of others. The Apostle Peter urges us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10) And Paul says, “To each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7)
At various times during my lifetime, spiritual gifts have been in the forefront of teaching. At other times, we hear almost nothing about them. I’ve also recognized that there is a lot of confusion around spiritual gifts — especially with tongues and the other so-called “sign” gifts.
Let me suggest an idea I’ve been pondering for some time. If you compare the various lists of spiritual gifts, not one of the lists matches the others, and some of the lists contain gifts that you won’t find in another list. This suggests to me that the lists we have are not intended to be complete but merely representative of the spiritual gifts.
Then one day I was reading Exodus. In the latter part of Exodus, we find specific instructions about constructing the tabernacle. In Exodus 31:2–6, the Lord is speaking to Moses:
“Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!
“And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make.”
Clearly, the Holy Spirit endowed these men with all kinds of skills in a variety of crafts, and they used these skills to serve the Lord and the community of Israel.
What is it that you do well? I believe everything we have is a gift from God. What are your skills? Expand your mind regarding the spiritual gifts. Maybe your spiritual gift is something very down-to-earth like carpentry, plumbing, or electrical work. Perhaps your spiritual gift is more cerebral like accounting, managing projects or people, engineering, etc. However, God has gifted you, use your spiritual gift as a faithful steward of God’s gifts and for the good of others.
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1–11
In what ways has God gifted you? How might you use your spiritual gifts to glorify Him and serve others?
Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5