You are gifted! God takes ordinary, average people and puts His Spirit in them to do extraordinary things! I love this verse in Acts: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, untrained, ordinary men, they marveled, and they realized that they had been with Jesus” (4:3). The word for ordinary there is where we get the word “idiot.” We may not be much on our own, but as a child of God we are gifted! Every child of God is gifted with at least one spiritual gift with which we are to serve God (1 Cor. 12:11). They are not just reserved for a few.
At the beginning of 1 Corinthians 12, Paul says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant” (v. 1). God wants all His children to discover their purpose. He put us on this earth and in the local church to make a difference. People should serve where they are gifted and love what they do. At Liberty, we want you to discover your spiritual gift. If you are pursuing tasks you are not gifted to do you, will become disenchanted and disgruntled. Design reveals destiny. Psalm 139 talks about how intricately the Lord made us. As your Pastor, I am not wanting something from you but I want something for you. I want you to wake up every day saying, “I was made for this!” Spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells believers, and He empowers and equips us for service. Spiritual gifts are not toys or trophies but tools to be used in the service of the kingdom. They are not natural gifts or natural talents. They are supernatural! Understanding the gifts helps us not only better understand ourselves but others.
In verses 4-6 Paul explains that there are diversities of gifts. They are from the same Spirit, but the gifts themselves are different. We have a variety of gifts and ministries within the body of Christ, but ONE body. In sports, each teammate has an assignment and position, but they function as ONE team. There are a variety of gifts mentioned in three key passages in the Bible: 1 Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4. Some Bible teachers have grouped the gifts into three categories: Motivational Gifts, Ministerial Gifts, and Manifestation Gifts. Another way of saying it is: Speaking Gifts, Serving Gifts, and Sign Gifts. The gifts mentioned in our current passage are wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. I explained each of these in more detail in the sermon on Sunday. If you missed it, you can check it out at www.libertylive.church/messages. There are different gifts! I encourage you to discover your gift. If you need help, we have a spiritual gifts assessment you can take at www.libertylive.church/gifts.
As you read through chapter 12 it’s obvious that we are not to all have the same gifts. A puzzle is made up of different pieces that all fit together. That is the church. It is good we are not all alike. The Giver of the gifts determines the results. We should not all desire the same gifts or expect the same gifts. Our desire should be to glorify God by using the gift He has given us. They are for the benefit and good of the whole church. You do not have any choice in the matter. You did not determine when or where you would be born. You did not determine your spiritual gifts given when you were born again. Jesus told the disciples that it was to their advantage that He ascend back to the Father so the Spirit would be sent. I have a pastor friend, J.D. Greear, who says it like this: “The Spirit inside you is better than Jesus beside you.” God knows what He is doing. He does all things well. He knows what is best! We never have to be envious or jealous of another person’s gift. We are not to seek a specific gift, but rather trust the Holy Spirit to manifest in us the gift that is needed when it is needed.
Life is short. The worst thing that could happen is an inward focus. He did not give us gifts to sit around and show them to each other. He gave them so we can show the world Jesus. Alistair Begg said it this way: “God’s Spirit has been given to God’s people so that God’s world may be drawn to God’s Son.” Discover your gift today and make sure you are using it for His glory!