Ephesians 4:11 outlines 5 functions that are given to Believers namely; Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher. The passage makes it clear that these functions are awarded to Believers who will play a Leadership role in their community and whose job it will be to equip others in their living out of the relationship they have with God. These functions are best seen in the body of Christian believers as a whole and seem strongest in an organizational role. People with these functional gifts seem to emerge whenever groups of Christians gather and they seem to play the role of training others how to live out their Faith.
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 describes a list of abilities that are given to Christians for the common good. These abilities all have one thing in common, they are outward evidences of the presence of God in the world and in the lives of Christians. These abilities include working of miracles, healing and exceptional acts of faith. One thing is certain about these abilities, they were not present in that Christian’s life before they became a believer and follower of Jesus. However, after becoming a follower of Jesus, these miraculous abilities appeared and enabled them to do supernatural things. Not to draw attention to themselves, but as a way of showing that God is present in our everyday lives.
Romans 12:6-8 illustrates some of the gifts given to Believers to motivate them toward Godly deeds. There are some folks that I meet that are kind and I appreciate that about them, but then there are others that are more than kind. They are full of grace and mercy and after spending some time with them I come away feeling better about myself. This is an example of the kind of gifts that fall into this category. God infuses some Believers with an extraordinary ability to have faith for things, or to show mercy, or to encourage. These abilities are strongly evident in the Believer and encourage that person to act strongly in them – even more. They motivate the Christian to serve others using that ability and in so doing spread the love and character of God to all around them.
What are you doing with it?
The point of identifying these spiritually birthed blessings from God in our lives, is not so that we can use them as marks of distinction between Believers. They are not to be used as a hierarchy for superiority or to establish some pecking order in the Body of Christians. Rather, the point is that we do something with them. Use them to serve the people around us.
These Spiritual gifts, just like our physical or character talents, provide us with great joy (personally) when we use them. E.g. It just feels good to help someone believe for something, when you have the gift of supernatural faith. It feels like I am using what God gave me, for the benefit of others around me.
The other point of identifying your Spiritual gifts is that you cannot improve, what you are ignorant of. However, once you know where you are gifted by God you can begin to use the gift on purpose and using it makes it stronger. The more I do it, the better at it I get. The better I get, the more joy I feel and the more others want me to use my gift. It is a win-win situation.
What are mine?
Searching Spiritual gifts tests online will provide you with a number of FREE online versions of Spiritual Gifts Assessments that will help you discover where you are gifted. Use them to identify what God has blessed you with and get busy using your new ability. It will be rewarding to you and to those around you.
Remember that discovering these distinctive abilities you now have is part of uncovering your full Identity. It is now a part of WHO you are as a Believer. Before you knew Jesus, these abilities where not available to you. However, as a Believer they are now a real part of WHO you are and their presence changes what you are capable of. You need to know what they are, and you need to get busy doing them. It is a life changing reality!!
There are other life changing realities that we often overlook as Believers – which radically change what we are capable of. Next we will look at what we have inherited, now that we are Believers in Jesus. It is amazing stuff!
Till next time,
Two questions then:
- What Spiritual Gifts do you have?
- How would life be different if you began using your new abilities every day?