Victoria Park Christian Centre
Suite 1, 342 Albany Highway, Victoria Park 6100, Western Australia
Spiritual gifts are not just nice things to have that make us feel good and to bless our own walk with God. They are vitally important for the health and growth of the church, and for other believers within the body of Christ.
Most Christians have heard about the gifts, they are mentioned many times in the New Testament. Passages in the books of Romans, Corinthians and Ephesians detail what some of these gifts are. Paul urged Timothy to “rekindle the gift of God that is within you by the laying on of my hands.” Yet, this was not just a message for the ministry, but also for lay members. He told the Corinthians, “…concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.” He gave a lot of teaching on what many of the gifts are, and how they are to be (and not to be) used.
The reason Paul taught so much about the gifts is that they are vital to the church. They are given so we can bless others.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
In Ephesians 4 we read that we have all been given a measure of grace, of Christ’s gift, and that these gifts are how the church grows together, in love.
Jesus embodied the gifts of the Spirit in every word and action. He healed, taught, showed mercy to sinners, lived a simple life sharing all he had. He prepared food for his disciples, he wept with those who grieved. He prophesied, he encouraged, he evangelised. He showed his power with miracles and wonders, raising the dead and casting out demons. To understand the gifts of the Spirit we need look no further than the Gospels. Jesus’ whole life was an expression of the Spirit of God at work.
Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned…But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:14,16)
In giving spiritual gifts Jesus has imparted a small part of himself to each of us. What an incredible honour! We have been graced with the ability to express the reality of Jesus Christ in the world and in the church.
We cannot do what Jesus did by simple imitation. His acts were not merely physical, they were spiritually empowered to touch people and to change the world. Jesus’ gifts were backed by power. When we are acting in the gifts given us by God, ours will also be backed by power. Things will change. Minds will be opened to understand and receive the love of God. Some gifts achieve this by a simple word or deed. Others do it by an act of power. All these gifts have their own important part to play in the growth of the Kingdom of God.
The Body of Christ needs your gift. The church today is struggling, dis-unified and powerless because Christians are not living the spirit-led lives we are called to. Seek the Lord to find out what spiritual gift you have been given, and how to use it. You might be surprised to see that the gifts do affect the church and the world around you. How wonderful to bless and grow the church in unity, and to reveal to the world the love of God.
This message is a condensation of a message given by Karen Dixon at the Perth Healing Ministries church service on 14 February, 2016. To find out more about Perth Healing Ministries, or our church, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!