Spiritual gifts come to us from the Holy Spirit. To know them we’ve to give careful and thoughtful prayers to discern what they really are. This calls for individuals having knowledge of themselves and their abilities. For, it’s though the working of the Holy Spirit that people are given special knowledge and wisdom to determine their gift or gifts (1 Cor 12:7). Many through their baptism will likely receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These instruct, regenerate, sanctify, and comfort us (Jn 16:13-14). In Mark 16:17-18, we learn these gifts were first given to the apostles as they were about to preach the Gospel to all nations. Through them other believers became recipients of these blessings. As for Christians it must be remembered everyone has at least one gift from God (1 Cor 7:7), but it was only in the apostles these gifts were made perfect.
A New Spirit
When people unconditionally surrender to God they will be blessed with renewed lives, and be led by a discerning Spirit. Billy Graham (b. 1918), an evangelical Christian said, “Some people have a warped idea of living the Christian life. Seeing talented, successful Christians, they attempt to imitate them. For them, the grass on the other side of the fence is always greener. But when they discover that their own gifts are different or their contributions are more modest (or even invisible), they collapse in discouragement and overlook genuine opportunities that are open to them.” The essence is that people not only have a gift or gifts from God, but they must be able to recognize, and use them wisely. They mustn’t be anxious, and envy other Christians who have different gifts than them.
It’s obvious that whether our gifts are great, or small, our missions must never be viewed as part-time activities. They are to be our source, and must be animated by the Spirit as we proclaim the Word of God. There will however still be pastoral challenges as believers become involved in social outreach programs. Nevertheless, people ought to use their gifts wisely to touch the lives of those around them.
Russell D. Moore (b. 1944), an evangelical theologian and president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission wrote, “In the New Testament, we don’t find our gift through self-examination and introspection and then find ways to express it. Instead, we love one another, and in so doing we see how God has equipped us to do so.” Spiritual gifts bring us to the exact place where we must be. It’s also true people can’t have these gifts without loving, and serving God, and our neighbors.
To have authority calls for the fulfillment of God’s commandments for service in our churches and communities. This is all part of having renewed personal encounters with others. Christians do so when they bring their message of hope to them. These blessings come to them as they practice a Christ-centered morality. Believers then experience osmosis with those living on the periphery of their lives. These gifts become profound blessings when people discover their spirituality.