Monday, January 11, 2010

Spiritual Gifts - Intro

This is a series put together to examine the spiritual gifts discussed in Romans 12:3-8. The focus passage is as follows:

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Let me start by saying that spiritual gifts are different from interests or personalities or talents. These are not things that you are born with and develop throughout your lifetime. These are gifts that are granted to you once you come into a personal relationship with God through Jesus as your savior. These are gifts that may build upon talents or tendencies you already have, or they may be so foreign to you that others see a huge transformation in your life after your conversion to Christianity. God knows what He wants you to do and gives out these gifts accordingly.

Now, also know that these gifts are to be developed, matured, and used for God’s glory. They will be complete when you receive them, but not perfect, as your fallibility will prevent perfection. They are to be nurtured so that you may use them to the fullness of your own ability. They will be accompanied by Divine intervention from time to time.

You may have more than one of these from the get-go or you may develop others after time. You will have one primary one from the beginning. However, as you mature, you will likely develop others to work in congruence with another you already possess to mold you for specific tasks that God has in store for you. For instance…you may have the gifts of mercy and giving and therefore able to give freely to those you see in need. You may have the gifts of teaching and encouragement because you are to counsel others in need. You may have any combination of these, as God has seen fit to provide you with.

However, please know that whatever gifts He has given you, you will be held responsible for using them. If you do not use them, you will be held accountable regarding why you did not work for Him with what He gave you.

These gifts were granted so that Jesus’ ministry could be continued on this earth at a much accelerated pace, by utilizing thousands and millions of volunteers who have become His followers. These gifts are all an extension of who He is, as He exhibited all of these perfectly.

We will be looking at the gifts discussed in Romans, although you will find others discussed throughout the Bible. Keep in mind, as you read these, that we are all part of the body of Christ and it requires all of us working together to accomplish the goals that He has in mind.

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