God knew it would be impossible for one person to reach the whole world with the Gospel. No one person possesses all it takes to accomplish that goal or the goal of helping individuals grow and mature in their faith once they accept Christ. So, after Jesus ascended into heaven and returned to the Father…a really efficient paradigm was initiated in the form of “spiritual gifts”.
The Holy Spirit was sent to indwell each person who receives Christ and trusts Him for forgiveness. (Ephesians 1:14) The indwelling Holy Spirit enables, provides power, insight into the scriptures, comfort, guidance and the ability to function as a Christian .(John 14:15-27; 16:8-15; Acts 1:8) He represents the Personal Presence of Christ in and to each of us.
Because of the indwelling Holy Spirit it is possible for each believer to have a “spiritual gift” given by the Spirit.
“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it… it was He who gave…to prepare God’s people for the work of Service so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Ephesians 4:4-16)
Spiritual gifts were given for the specific purpose of helping God’s people be equipped to help others grow and mature in their faith.
There is diversity in the Body of Christ in the bestowment of these spiritual gifts. We don’t choose our individual gift. God does. And He knows exactly how we fit and how we would best be used for His Glory. It is important to know what your gift is; your God-given spiritual gift not your aptitudes or talents.
One way to discover your gift is to begin serving or teaching or hosting within your church. Pay attention to what you internally sense is a fit and is energizing to you when you do it. Ask for feedback and affirmation and counsel from others as they observe you. Pay attention to what you are drawn to and what you would like more training in. You could take a spiritual gifts test though practical service and trial and error works as well.
“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…” (Romans 12:4-8 ESV)
“There are different kinds of gifts but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working but the same God works all of them.”(I Corinthians 12:4-30 note partial list of gifts)
“…the truth we must grasp here is that our exercise of spiritual gifts is nothing more nor less than Christ himself ministering through his body to his body, to the Father, and to all mankind.”
JI Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit, 83.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms…so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” I Peter 4:10-11
Everyone has a spiritual gift and everyone’s gift is necessary. No one is left out. Everyone has a purpose. Everyone is included. And each person is needed. We are admonished to use our spiritual gifts. Why not? It is better for me to use my gifts and it is better for the Body of Christ. This is not because I am so special but because if I don’t use and develop my gifts for the sake of others there will be a lack in the Body. I am not living my part.
To not use your spiritual gift would be like not opening the birthday or Christmas gift that has your name on it. The packages sit unopened looking beautiful but totally missing the opportunity to be used. Don’t be that unopened gift. Don't miss your opportunity to collaborate with the Spirit's functioning.Everyone matters!
One person is not expected to do it all but simply their part with their particular giftedness. When that happens the functioning of the Body of Christ is smooth running with no waste.