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“All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as He determines. “
1 Corinthians 12:11
Do you have a Super Power?
Let’s not be silly, but you may have a supernatural gift from God.
That’s right and once this gift is given to you, the Man Upstairs does expect you to use it.
What are these gifts, are they the same as talents, and how do you discover them?
Why you Should Care…
You have found Jesus.
You realize He has been waiting for you the whole time, and now you are binging these episodes learning who God is, how to live a Christian life, and how to build a stronger relationship with God where Jesus truly knows you and you know Him.
You’re learning, growing, and living as a Christain woman. It hasn’t been easy ditching all those old, bad beliefs about God and religion after leaving the church, but slowly but surely God has held your hand. You still have so much more growth to go, but you know that you know you are transformed, reborn and you belong to God.
And now what? You start to get this little tingle. You want to share. Not just a little share, but you want everyone to know God’s love. The great commission. The last thing Jesus asked us to do in Mathew 28- bring Jesus and His good news to the world. You are not sure how, but you know He has equipped you in His perfect way. You know you are different since you came to Him, but just how different are you and could this difference of the Holy Spirit in you be more than just a guide?
What are Spiritual Gifts, Anyway?
Spiritual gifts. When I first heard this I did not know what it was or why they were any different than anything else God has done for us. After all, God did create us in His image and knit us together in our mama’s womb.
So isn’t our life and every part of our being a gift?
But spiritual gifts, as they are defined in biblical terms are a set of gifts that are special. They come with requirements and are not something we manifest. Like grace, they are a gift and something we don’t deserve but are truly given by the Holy Spirit within us.
Where do Spiritual Gifts come from?
Okay- let’s take it back to what church is. The church is defined as the body of Christ, and Christ is the Head. We say body in these terms and we think of a gathering of people, a group.
I want you to think of this a bit more literally- It’s a BODY.
That body has arms and legs and toes and ears and even a belly button that prevents us from looking weird in swimsuits. I don’t know how. It just does.
Paul explains in his letters in the New Testiment that every member of the body, even the funny little pinky toes have a purpose, a value, a reason from God to help build up the body. Did you know that is why we are called members in church? Because we are a member of the body.
Cool, right?! But what does this have to do with spiritual gifts?
Well, you are not a member of this body until you truly surrender your life to God, accept Jesus as your salvation and savior from your sinful ways, and are truly transformed. When you are transformed, you are born again as a believer and adopted into the family of God. Your soul is made new with that comes the Holy Spirit that fills your soul. It is God within you. And from this, we are given gifts, spiritual gifts.
These gifts are entrusted to us because we have discovered the true purpose of this life- to know God and to make God known. His glory gives us peace. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. We are because of Him. These gifts can not be given to us by any human or manifested on our own. They are a gift.
These gifts are given to us as the means by which we are to share the good news. Through these gifts, we become essential members of the body. That is how highly he thinks of us as His adopted children. He entrusts us with gifts that build the body up and bring glory to Him.
Pretty cool, right?!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11
What does the Bible have to say about spiritual gifts? What are they?
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get any of this growing up in the Mormon church. Callings were assigned by higher ups. I wonder if gifts are a thing in the church 🤔.
In the Bible, they are very much a thing and our calling is an out pouring of this gift from the Spirit.
There are three main passages where these gifts are outlined and a few others in additional passages. Let’s look at those passages and what they say about these gifts.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
- Service (ministry)
- Exhortation (stimulation of faith, encouraging)
- Giving (Contributing, generosity)
- Leadership (authority, ruling)
- Mercy (sympathy, comfort to the sorrowing)
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills… Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
1 Corinthians12:8-10, 28
12. Miracles (doing great deeds)
13. Discernment of Spirits
14. Tongues (speaking in languages never learned, ecstatic utterance)
15. Interpretation of tongues
18. Administration (governments, getting others to work together)
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,Ephesians 4:11
20. Pastor (caring for God’s people)
21. Celibacy (1 Corinthians 7:7)
22. Voluntary poverty (1 Corinthians 13:3)
23. Martyrdom (1 Corinthians 13:3)
24. Missionary (Ephesians 3:6-8)
25. Hospitality (1 Peter 4:9)
And some would also add…
27. Deliverance (casting our demons)
28. Leading worship
Is this all? Are there more? Are we sure that Spiritual Gifts Still exist today?
Well, let me just say this…
Even within modern Christianity today there is debate around spiritual gifts. Some are cessationists, meaning they believe the need for spiritual gifts was reserved for the early church, and gifts are no longer needed and died out. Others, are continuists and fully believe they are alive and well today because that is what the bible tells us and does not indicate that they had an expiration.
And even within those two camps, there are many variations. Some believe there are many more gifts than these. Combinations of gifts and only limited gifts are also beliefs many holds. Within churches, there is a variety of positions and even seminaries hold different beliefs.
My personal experience lands me in the ‘yes there are defiantly spiritual gifts from God and the bible tells me so’ camp.
Are spiritual gifts the same as our creative talents or other qualities?
And part of my personal experience has been the fact that I do believe God gave me certain creative talents, gifts, since birth, beacuse He is my creator and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
But these are not the same as spiritual gifts. I could have used this talent of artistry for all sorts of things, non Christian things.
Spiritual gifts are given to you when you become part of the body of Christ and are used for His purpose. Yes, He absolutely is going to use your talents, personality, and interests to further and enhance this gift, but it is not inherent in us. It is a gift.
For instance, you may have the talent of being a great writer. You also grew that talent, took courses and became better and better at communicating. Now you are following Jesus and the Holy Spirit has brought you to teaching. It is your gift. God knew your talent and combined with the gift of teaching you are able to share His good news on a whole new level. They can work together.
How do we discover our spiritual gifts?
How do you know what gifts you have been given?
I can’t tell you the perfect instructions for finding your gift, but what I can tell you is as you build your relationship with God, read His word, follow and trust Him you will find how He has gifted you.
I am, by nature an artist, a questioner, someone who is visual and introspective, but until I accepted Jesus the Bible often felt like gibberish to me. There wasn’t a ton that really moved me.
After I had my moment of surrender I can’t even explain the difference in the way the words have such intense meaning.
Is that a gift? The more I read, trust Him and go where He leads me the more wisdom is unfolded to me.
All gifts are unique to each individual person because it really is all about how God plans to use you. How He chooses to reveal that you will be unique as well.
Ways to Discover your Spiritual Gifts-
- Read the word and build that relationship with Him. That is how He speaks to us.
- Pray- talk to Him about it. Ask Him to show you how He intends on using you to build the body of Christ.
- Learn about spiritual gifts. Books, your church (all churches have very different takes on this), reputable people within the church, and those around you that walk with Christ. By learning more about your place and where you fit in the church will become clear.
- Try it on for size. If you feel you are being lead to a certain calling follow it. You won’t know if it is truly a gift unless you use it.
What to do with your gifts from here?
Discover more. Read more. Learn more.
Knowing how God has gifted you to build up the body of Christ means we can further understand His love for us. He thinks that highly of you to give you this special place in His church to help to do the last thing Jesus commanded- to make disciples of all nations, the great commission, to know God and make Him known.
A book I would highly suggest and one that I have used in developing this article and my own beliefs around spiritual gifts is Discover Your Spiritual Gifts, by C. Peter Wagner. I also enjoyed the audio version of Understanding Spiritual Gifts, by Sam Storms.
The more you learn the more you see what you’re being called to. And yes, these gifts will lead you to your calling. It is your place as a member of the body of Christ. No person can assign this. It is from God.
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That is His wisdom from above.
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