Building up believers and the New Testament church

Spiritual Gifts

The Focus: Christ

As we consider this realm of spiritual gifts, we must look to God to do all things in His power, not to some certain gift or person, even though the Spirit may use a gift or a person. The real working of the life of God is in the Spirit. When this truth is realized and understood in the Spirit, we will look to God, by His grace and ability, to always minister in His ability and put our faith in Him and Him alone. God's design is perfect for what He is doing; the Spirit is well able to bring forth the life of God in each of our lives if we will allow Him expression by setting our wills to do His will in faith.

All ministry of the Spirit brings life. All God's ways are for His highest good. This is His plan. He has not asked us how we think it should be done, any more than the potter would ask his clay how he should mold it and what it would like to be. God made man for a purpose; He is now working out that eternal purpose. We cannot change God's plan, nor should we want to. We have become part of what He is doing. We have become the expression of His image  through the work of Christ on the cross. Remember, God's ways must be revealed to us by the Spirit, and this will only happen when we draw close enough to God to hear the deep things of His heart being revealed to us by His Spirit.

Paul tells us to desire earnestly, to "covet" the best gifts, but we can never seek the gift for the gift's sake. Paul goes on to instruct us and show us a more perfect way, a "more excellent way" (I Corinthians 12:31). There are many gifts and ministries, but God is the One who has given them all. Every good and perfect gift comes from above. All gifts and ministries are because of Him and for Him as He works His perfect work. We possess nothing in ourselves for ourselves. All things that God has given to us are to bring us to Himself in a fullness of understanding, a fullness of life. If we have been partakers of this in the power of the Spirit, we will allow God to do His perfect work and will keep our eyes only on Him, and then it will be His life being expressed. Christ must be our desire. Anything short of this will only manifest self.

Paul tells us that all things should be done to edify. As he wrote in I Corinthians 14:6, "...What shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?" Paul was looking for results of eternal value to be produced in those who heard him. He didn't seek the gift for the gift's sake. He allowed the gift to bring an eternal weight of glory to his hearers. Paul put the value in Christ, not in prophecy. Prophecy is something that will pass away, but while we are here we must allow the gift of prophecy to do the work God has purposed and designed it to do in His eternal plan. Spiritual gifts only have value when they do what God designed them to do, and when they are brought forth in God's timing.