Serve God with Spiritual Gifts
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
The Holy Spirit has, in the hearts of believers, created certain gifts. To some He has given the gift of prophecy. Now, this isn’t the “screaming in the streets” and eating bugs while living in the desert kind of prophecy as we see in the prophets of the old testament, but rather that God has given some people the ability to encourage or help others who are in some sort of condition where they could benefit from another believer coming along side them and giving them a statement from the Word of God to which assists them in what they’re working through. The gift of ministry can be translated to “service”. This is the person who is ready at a moments’ notice to run to the aid of someone who needs physical work completed. Painting, running wire, building things – this is the handyman and general go-to guy in the body of believers who sets everything aside so they can accomplish the tasks set before them. The gift of teaching is just that, a gift. You need to have this placed onto you by God so that He can use you in the right capacity. We are not merely to sit back in the dark and read books on theology and take classes in Greek and Hebrew, but we are to go out and teach those who are younger in their faith or who are struggling in one area or another. The gift of exhortation means lifting one another up and promoting them to do the work that God has placed onto their hearts. People whom God has granted the gift of abundance are to use that in conjunction with godly stewardship and give to ministries where God is working. Leadership is a gift from the Holy Spirit which helps to keep things running in an orderly fashion within the body of believers and to motivate people toward Godly goals until they are attained. The gift of mercy is one where people are shown the love of God despite their condition and to minister to those who are suffering. Mentally, physically, or spiritually – the person with this gift is able to come up along side of those who are in need and to help them by empathising with them through their struggle.
That is how we, the body of believers, are to work with one another. There are other more extensive lists of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-16), but it’s not that we’re placed into one niche and not granted the right or ability to do other things. While you may be given the specific gift of exhortation, are you forbidden from grabbing a hammer and fixing a roof for an elderly couple? If you’re granted the gift of teaching, are you then exempt from comforting a brother or sister who has just lost an unsaved loved one? We are given certain specific gifts, but we are capable of helping in other areas as well so long as we do not make that our main focus. There are some, however, that are given to all. Evangelism, for instance, (Ephesians 4:11) is something that some people have in abundance, but that others simply refuse to do out of pride or fear when Jesus Himself told us in Matthew 28 to go into the world and proclaim the good news that God has paid the sins of the unrighteous (Matthew 28:19-20). That’s everyone and it’s our job to go out and do that as He has commanded. What are you doing for the body of believers? Are you wasting your gifts?