We’ve said that as a believer, you are a prism through whom the light of Jesus Christ is uniquely reflected in your service to the Church and through the Church, to the world. Pastor Rick Warren says that this is done in five ways, represented by the acronym, SHAPE. You personally reflect Christ through your Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experience.
What are spiritual gifts? They’re mentioned in many places in the New Testament, but most prominently in Romans 12, First Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. Looking at these passages and others, theologian C. Peter Wagner gives this definition:
A spiritual gift is a special attribute given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the Body of Christ, according to God’s grace, for use within the context of the Body.Who has spiritual gifts? First Peter 4:10 and First Corinthians 12:1-18 lead to the inevitable conclusion that every believer in Christ who lives in the Christian community called the Church has been given at least one spiritual gift, often more than one.
A spiritual gift is different from a talent or a honed skill. A gift is supernatural, inexplicable by either the one with the gift or those blessed by it. A man I know is clearly gifted as a Christian teacher. When he opens his mouth, people listen. The content of what he says isn’t unique. Nor his style dazzling. But the Spirit of God is clearly at work in him when he teaches.
How many spiritual gifts are there? Since God is living and active, the possible number of gifts is infinite. But the New Testament lists a number of them, a few of which we’ll consider tomorrow.
To determine your spiritual gift, the best method is the one we’ve already described as trial, error, and success. Along the way, make sure that you pray about it and get the feedback of Christian friends you trust. God has a unique ministry of service for you. Uncover your spiritual gifts and you’ll be on your way to finding it.
God gives every believer in Christ at least one spiritual gift.
Bible Passage to Ponder: “To each is given manifestation of the Spirit for the common good...” (First Corinthians 12:7)