Spiritual Gifts (23 of 28) by Harley Howard

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Spiritual Gifts (23 of 28)
Series: The Epistle of 1 Corinthians
Harley Howard
Romans 12:3-8, 1st Corinthians 12:4-11, 1st Peter 4:8-11

These are the three prominent passages that deal directly with spiritual gifts. We will look at others, but we will focus are attention on these passages. The first and foremost question that we need to answer is, "what is a spiritual gift?" It wouldn't do us any good to proceed with the topic unless we knew what a spiritual gift is.

Let's look at what spiritual gifts are NOT, and then proceed to what they are.

1) They are not natural talents or abilities. For example, there is no gift of cooking. There is no gift of singing anywhere in scripture. There is a great danger of confusing natural talents and abilities for spiritual gifts. There is a danger of ignoring the gift list that are in the Scriptures and try to create "gifts" that have nothing to do with what God has given us and in doing so, will not help the body to grow at all.

2) They are not the evidence of spiritual maturity or growth. (1st Corinthians 1:4-8) The words "come behind" means to come late, referring to a lack or a need of something. Right after Paul makes this great declaration about the giftedness of the church, then he says this, (1st Corinthians 1:10-13, 3:1-4) Every believer has at least one gift at the moment they are saved, but that gift(s) is no guarantee of any spiritual maturity or growth.

3) They are not given to you because you pray or ask for them. ALL gifts are given to you by God's sovereignty and they are given for His purposes, not yours. (1st Corinthians 12:11, 18)

4) They are not abilities or talents that we are able to produce on our own. (Romans 12:6, 1st Corinthians 12:7, 1st Peter 4:10) The sooner we understand that spiritual gifts themselves, and the function of them, are all from God, the sooner we can operate them correctly for His glory.

5) They are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit ...

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