by Joseph Franks
Consider the love of Jesus Christ for his church. He gave his life for her; no greater love has ever been displayed on earth or experienced by mankind .
Following this unfathomable gift, he continues to show love for his bride by imparting within her a special dose of the Holy Spirit. Christians become tabernacles or temples of the Lord. Believers become the sacred space where God descends and dwells within the soul of man and amidst the congregation of his worshipers.
And his love for his church is shown further as he grants spiritual gifts to his children. These he gives for the purpose of building up his body, improving his saints, and showering additional grace upon his holy family.
Paul comments on this spiritual gifting in 1 Corinthians 12-14:
… Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good … All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” … If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. … So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.
Therefore, upon reading this, some need to repent of neglecting their spiritual gift. According to the inspired teacher, every Christian has a God-impanted gift. This means that every believer has a stewardship responsibility. All Christians — men, women, boys, girls, young, old, new, mature, faithful, prodigal — have spiritual talent on loan from God.
- Do we recognize our spiritual talents?
- Do we use our spiritual talents?
- Are we improving in the usage of our spiritual talents?
- Have we sinned by discounting how the Lord might choose to use weak individuals like ourselves?
Additionally, some need to repent of wrongly using their spiritual gift. Paul is adamant regarding the purpose of our spiritual gifts — they are given to provide “care” for brothers and sisters. (12:25) Christians are to use them with agape, self-sacrificing love. (13:1) Spiritual gifts are to upbuild, encourage and console. (14:3) But sadly, as it was in Paul’s day, so it remains the case today. Gifted individuals have a tendency to use and display their gifts for praise, applause, power, or monetary gain. Some who have gifts are passive and choose to use them not. Other gifted individuals are pathetic and chose to use them wrongly.
- Are we selfless, loving, servants of Christ and his Holy Spirit?
- Do we need the praise of men in order to keep serving?
- Are we charging others for benefiting from the gifts given us freely by the Lord?
Some need to repent of devaluing the spiritual gifts of others. Arrogantly, many assume themselves to have the total package. They need not the fellowship of the saints.
- Are you a vibrant part of the worshiping community?
- If not, will you repent or will you remain distant?
- Are you one discouraging others in the usage of their spiritual gifts?
Finally, some need to repent of coveting the spiritual gifts of others. The Spirit is the one who assigns or apportions the various gifts; who are we to argue with God’s divine prerogative?
- Are you satisfied with God’s gifting or you?
- Are you seeking to use a gift that God not given to you?