Quotes about Spiritual-Gifts
God’s gifts are not given capriciously; neither are they given in such a way that the option for their use is left with us. As the gifts are discovered they are to be developed and used to the full in His service and to His glory. God distributes His gifts for His purposes and for the good of His people. His sovereign administration of these gifts must be acknowledged as right and proper by His people, even when they cannot see the good.
When we exercise the gifts which Christ has given us we are really saying to our fellow Christians and others: See how much the Lord Jesus Christ loves you and cares for you; He has sent me to serve you in this way; He is using my hands and feet, my lips and ears, to show His love. It is a tragic mistake if we think that the message is: See what a superb Christian I am; see the wonderful gifts I have… Gifts are for service, not self-advancement.
In the climate of our modern church, it is essential for us to realize that God’s Word is the central gift Christ gives to the church. The major gifts of the New Testament era were given either to write that word (apostles), apply it (prophets) or teach it (pastors and teachers). Whenever we dislocate our own spiritual gift from this anchor we begin to flounder in a sea of instability. We must see to it that our gifts are fed on the teaching of Holy Scripture, so that they grow strong and are channeled in the right direction, and so bring glory to Christ.
The reception of a spiritual gift is not the result of prayer, fasting, tears or sacrifice on the part of the recipient, but is a gift of grace, for the good of the body of Christ and is received at conversion when we are baptized into that body by the Holy Spirit.
A spiritual gift is usually just a special empowerment – an unusual effectiveness – in an assignment given to all believers.
We must not envy them that have greater gifts, for if we have any it is more than [our] due or than we have deserved; and this will teach us to be contented with that which we have had. Let us then look on what we have and give God thanks for it, and know that if we should have more, He would give more; yea if we consider that they that have much must make the greater account, and that we are unfit to do so, we will thank God that we have no more than we have.
Nor is it that a believer’s single gift will be restricted to only one category of giftedness. An individual gift may include a number of specific areas of giftedness, in a limitless variety of combinations. Someone with a major gift of administration may also have something of the gifts of helps and of teaching. Believers’ gifts are like snowflakes and fingerprints – each one is completely distinct from all others. Some teachers may emphasize knowledge, some instruction, some mercy, and others exhortation. From the palette of gift colors the Holy Spirit uses the brush of His sovereign design to paint the mixture of each believer so that no two are like.
Christians are not assembly-line productions, with every unit being exactly like every other unit. Consequently, no Christian can replace another in God’s plan. He has His own individualized plan for each of us and has individually gifted us accordingly. We are not interchangeable parts in Christ’s Body.
Not to use our gift is an affront to God’s wisdom, a rebuff of His love and grace, and a loss to His church. We did not determine our gift, deserve it, or earn it. But we all have a gift from the Lord, and if we do not use it, His work is weakened and His heart is grieved.
Each of us has one spiritual gift, a blend of the different gifts the Spirit has put together for each of us. Like a painter who is able to create an infinite number of colors by mixing any combination of the ten or so colors he carries in his palette, so the Spirit of God blends a little of one gift with a little of another to create the perfect combination within you. As a result, you have a unique position in the Body of Christ, with an ability to minister as no one else can.
Every individual believer is to stay close to Jesus Christ, faithfully using his spiritual gift in close contact with every believer he touches, and that through such commitment and ministry the Lord’s power will flow for the building up of the Body in love.
A spiritual gift is a supernaturally designed ability granted to every believer by which the Holy Spirit ministers to the body of Christ. A spiritual gift cannot be earned, pursued or worked up. It is merely "received" through the grace of God.
Nowhere in Scripture do we see real gifts of the Spirit operating when someone is out of control or under some sort of supernatural seizure. Nowhere does the New Testament teach that the Spirit of God causes Christians to fall into a trance, faint, or lapse into frenzied behavior. On the contrary, “The fruit of the Spirit is…self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23).
Spiritual gifts are divine enablements for ministry, characteristics of Jesus Christ that are to be manifested through the body corporate just as they were manifested through the body incarnate.
Our purpose should be to discover the gifts He has given us and to use those gifts faithfully and joyfully in His service, without either envying or disparaging the gifts we do not have.
It is not great gifts that God blesses so much as it is great likeness to Christ.
Ah! if there be degrees in glory, they will not be distributed according to our talents, but according to our faithfulness in using them.
Nowhere in Scripture do we have the slightest hint that God’s people are to volunteer. Rather, the Scriptures indicate that the use of our gifts should be considered a joyful responsibility.
What gifts have I received? Answer these questions:
1. What can I accomplish with my present abilities?
2. What type of service am I personally drawn to?
3. What have I been educated or trained to do?
4. What gifts do my pastors and church leaders think that I possess?
5. What does my family (who should know me best) think that my gifts are?
6. What specific needs are there in the church body?
7. Have I attempted to use a gift in a certain area and have regularly failed?
8. When have I met with success in attempting to exercise a gift or meet a need in the body?
9. Have I asked my closest friends to honestly help assess where I could most successfully serve?
We need to address the issue of personality and gifts tests. In my opinion, trying to make gift assessments based on these factors alone can be risky. People can reflect different personalities in different situations. Some people may misunderstand the questions and mistakenly answer them. Others may force certain answers hoping for certain results. Answers can be misread and misapplied. Therefore, to rely solely on personality tests to help a person determine his life’s service to God could be a serious mistake.
Trying to put many biblical concepts together, I would define a gift as a combination of personal desire, natural propensities and learned abilities. Obviously, all of this must be given to us by the grace of God, hence a gift. And for that reason they are often spoken of as “grace-gifts.”
Giftedness with character is important, but giftedness without character is lethal!
Persons searching for their gifts think that they can “find” their gifts in isolation from the body. They have forgotten that the orientation of God’s people is outward rather than inward. The question should be this: How can I grow in love for and service to the body of Christ? Gifts are the way we naturally love and serve. To paraphrase Augustine, if you want to know your God-given gifts, first know that the purpose of spiritual gifts is to bring unity to the church. Then “love God and do what you feel like doing.”
In our battles with sin, we need a team of people. We need teachers to help us understand Scripture, prophets to help us apply it, interceders to pray for us, preachers to focus our eyes on Christ, encouragers to remind us of God’s grace when we feel like failures, wise men and women to discern when we are making foolish decisions, and people of faith to tell us that everything God has said is true in Christ. In other words, God’s gifts to us are people – not just one person, but the church. This is how Christ meets us. The reason we need so many people is that we need Christ Himself. Since His glory and gifts are so immense, we need many people, not just an individual person.
God has given you a spiritual gift, and it is not the same as a natural ability. That natural talent, rightly sanctified for God’s use, often points toward the identity of your spiritual gift. But you should find out the special gift God has given you while you’re serving as diligently as you can without that definite information. In fact, in addition to the study of Scripture, the best way to discover and confirm which spiritual gift is yours is through serving.