Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Opening Your Spiritual Gifts (Day 3)

Our spiritual gifts are the tools God gives to each of us to play our part in the Church’s mission.

Recently, my brother-in-law offered to mount a medicine cabinet in our bathroom. I handed him my battery-powered screw driver and he went to work. The screws on one side of the cabinet drove in easily. But the driver could barely turn the two on the other side. To do that was going to take a more powerful driver, one recharged through a wall outlet.

Unlike the wrong tool I gave to my brother-in-law, the spiritual gifts God grants to believers in Jesus are just right to do what He calls us to do.

So far, we’ve seen that the Bible teaches that every believer has at least one spiritual gift and that God calls us to use our particular gifts in concert with those given to other believers so that together, the Church can fulfill our mission.

But a good question to ask is, “What exactly is a spiritual gift?” I mean, apart from tools for our mission, how can they be defined?

Surprisingly, though it discusses spiritual gifts at length in several places, the Bible provides no succinct definition of what they are. Maybe that’s because God is more interested in the Church functioning as the body of Christ than in our having classroom definitions of the Christian way of life.

Nonetheless, a working understanding might be helpful. Over the next two days, we’ll consider the two major ways that Christians have defined what spiritual gifts are. Though they’re very different, they’re probably both true and both will help lay a foundation for us as we prepare to open our spiritual gifts.

Our spiritual gifts are the tools God gives to each of us to play our part in the Church’s mission.

Bible Passage to Ponder: “For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” (Romans 12:4-5)

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