Gifts of the Spirit
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Introduction

Bible Bell receives lots of mail that asks questions about spiritual gifts in general, and the gift of tongues in particular.

Accordingly, the goal of this essay is to examine the main Bible teachings on spiritual gifts and tongues.

God's gifts to ALL people

Because of God's great love, He has given gifts to each and every member of the human race. These gifts include but are by no means limited to...

  • Life
  • Planet Earth
  • Love, marriage, sexuality, children, family
  • His Son, His Bible, His church
  • The offer of salvation from the penalty of sin
  And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Gen 2.7)

Then God said, "...let them (
the human race) have dominion... over all the earth'' (Gen 1.26b)

Then God blessed them (
the human race), and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply..." (Gen 1.28a)

For God so loved the world (
the human race) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3.16)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God (Eph 2.8)

...
the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6.23b)

For
by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Cor 12.13)

(
Jesus said...) "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up (resurrect) at the last day.''
 

God's "standard" gifts to ALL believers on Jesus

God has given "standard" gifts to each and every person who believes on His only begotten Son. These gifts include but are by no means limited to...

  • Salvation
  • Faith in God
  • Eternal life
  • Baptism in and by the Holy Spirit
  • Resurrection to life after death

The above listed gifts are "standard" from the standpoint that God gives them to EVERY believer.

Nevertheless, these gifts are infinitely precious. They are free to the believer, but they cost God everything He has!

God's spiritual gifts to INDIVIDUAL believers on Jesus

God gives one or more spiritual gifts to each INDIVIDUAL Christian...

  • Spiritual gifts include but are not limited to those listed alongside.
  • God gives each individual Christian at least one spiritual gift.
  • Every Christian does NOT receive the same spiritual gift.

Later on in this study, I will give you a link to Biblebell's In-Depth Explanation of these gifts.

 

Spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12.6-8

  • prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging
  • giving, leading, showing mercy

Spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12.7-10

  • wisdom, knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy
  • discernment of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues

Spiritual gifts listed in Ephesians 4.11

  • apostles, prophets, evangelists
  • pastors and teachers
To the church of God (Christians) which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints (1 Cor 1.2)  

The Bible's main teachings on spiritual gifts are in First Corinthians, chapters 12 through 14.

Accordingly, this essay quotes extensively from the book of First Corinthians.

  • In the verse alongside, NOTICE that the entire book of First Corinthians is addressed to believers in Jesus.

God impelled Paul to write Chapters 12 through 14 of First Corinthians for the specific purpose of ensuring that Christians are not ignorant concerning...

  • the purpose of spiritual gifts
  • the proper use of spiritual gifts
  Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren (brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ), I do not want you to be ignorant (1 Cor 12.1)
  • Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
  • There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
  • And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. (1 Cor 12.4-6)
 

Spiritual gifts are bestowed on Christians by God...

  • There is no other way to obtain a holy spiritual gift.
  • God is the one and only source, bestower, and giver of holy gifts.

A spiritual gift is NOT the same things as a "talent"

The difference...

  • Talent is what a person can do.
  • A spiritual gift is what God can do, in and through one of His children.

Example #1 - the gift of ministering in song

  • I have heard unbelievers with wonderful voices sing hymns. They have "talent," but the lives of the people in their audiences remain unchanged.
  • Some Christians with God-ordained singing ministries have excellent voices.
  • On the other hand, many God-gifted singers have very "ordinary" voices. But Oh! God reaches out and touches the hearts of all who hear them! Lives are changed! They have the gift.

Example #2 - the gift of preaching

  • I have heard preachers who are excellent speakers. After one of their sermons, folks say, "What a wonderful preacher we have." Those preachers have talent.
  • On the other hand, I have heard preachers who were NOT all that great as speakers. However, after hearing their sermons, folks say, "What a wonderful God we have!" Now THAT, my friends, is a spiritual gift.
 

The Bible places emphasis on the fact that there are MANY different kinds of spiritual gifts.

  • Not just the gift of preaching.
  • Not just teaching.
  • Not just tongues.
  • Not just healing.
  • Many many gifts!
  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (1 Cor 12.6a)
But the manifestation (spiritual gift) of the Spirit is given to each one (each and every Christian) for the profit of all (1 Cor 12.7)  

God bestows at least one spiritual gift on each and every Christian.

  • If you are a believer on Jesus, you DO have at least one spiritual gift from God -- maybe even more than one.

God gives spiritual gifts to individuals so that they will be used for the profit of ALL the church. Repeat -- ALL the church!

  • God does not give you a spiritual gift so that you will believe, but because you DO believe.
  • God does not give you a spiritual gift merely for your personal enjoyment.
  • Yes, exercising your gift IS a joy, but God wants that gift to bring joy to many of His children. Not just you.
  • If you have a "gift" that doesn't directly benefit and serve the needs of others, then read again First Corinthians 12.7. Be wary. Think and pray.
  But the manifestation (spiritual gift) of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all (1 Cor 12.7)

God does NOT give the same spiritual gift to every Christian...

  • In 1 Corinthians 12.8-10 NOTICE the pattern -- God gives this Christian gift "A." To another Christian He gives, instead, gift "B." Yet another Christian gets "C," and yet another gets "D." And so on.
  • Over and over God repeats and repeats that word "ANOTHER."
  • God repeats Himself in order to drill into our brains the fact that there is NO "standard" spiritual gift that God bestows upon every believer.
  • Another Christian may not have the same spiritual gift that you have.
  • Another Christian, or GROUP of Christians, may have a certain spiritual gift that you do not have.
  • "To each his own gift" as God decides. NOT your decision. NOT my decision. GOD's!
  • If someone judges you because your spiritual gift differs from theirs, they are actually criticizing God. "Oh no," they protest. "Oh yes!" says the Bible. READ ON.
 
  • for to one (individual Christian) is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit
  • to another (Christian) the word of knowledge through the same Spirit
  • to another faith by the same Spirit
  • to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit
  • to another the working of miracles
  • to another prophecy
  • to another discerning of spirits
  • to another different kinds of tongues
  • to another the interpretation of tongues.

(1 Cor 12.8-10)

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers (Eph 4.11)

But each one (Christian) has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. (1 Cor 7.7b)

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing (spiritual gifts) to each one (Christian) individually as He wills. (1 Cor 12.11)  

For EACH individual Christian, it is God who decides which spiritual gift He will give to that individual person.

  • God decides which spiritual gift or gifts to bestow on (for example) His child Monique.
  • God decides which spiritual gift or gift to bestow on (for example) His child Ramon.
  • God decides EACH gift He will give to each INDIVIDUAL child of His.
  • God's child does not decide. The child's pastor does not decide. All the assembled members of the child's church do not decide.

GOD ALONE DECIDES!

First Corinthians 12.29-30 asks a series of questions using a form of presentation that DEMANDS a "NO" answer to every one of those questions...

  • Are all Christians apostles? No! Prophets? No! Teachers? No! Miracle-workers? No!
  • Do all have the gifts of healings? No! Do all interpret? No!
  • Do all Christians speak with tongues? no. No. NO!!!
 

1 Cor 12.29-30...

  • Are all (Christians) apostles?
  • Are all prophets?
  • Are all teachers?
  • Are all workers of miracles?
  • Do all have gifts of healings?
  • Do all interpret?
  • Do all speak with tongues?

Suppose a guy named Jack (for example) tells you, "If you are spirit-filled (or whatever) then you will surely receive such-and-such a spiritual gift."

  • Jack is speaking a doctrine that is NOT in the Bible.
  • Jack is inferring that your lack of such-and-such a spiritual gift means that you are NOT spirit-filled (or that you "lack faith," or whatever). The Bible absolutely does NOT say that.
  • Jack is inferring that God gives the same gift to every person who reaches a certain level of "perfection" or "spirituality." The Bible does NOT say that.
  • Jack is exalting himself above you.
  • Jack is putting you down.
  • SHAME on Jack!!!

Moral - Don't listen to the Jacks of the world, however well-meaning and sincere they might be. Listen instead to God as He speaks to you through His Bible.

  • The Bible does NOT say that you are given spiritual gifts based on your good deeds, spirituality, faithfulness, loving attitude, or whatever.
  • Salvation and gifts are bestowed upon you by God for one reason and one reason only -- GOD's amazing grace! NOT of works, lest anyone should boast.

To read the last part [page 2] of this essay...
Click HERE


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