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Category Archives: Gifts of God

A Look into Spiritual Gifts

Hello again!

This is what God has given me today in His word:

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

In everything, God is sovereign. This is also true when it comes to Spiritual gifts; even if it seems we don’t have any, we do. It’s just that our gifts are all different, as Paul said above, to some are given wisdom, to some the utterance of knowledge, etc.. Paul also points out that no matter how small the gift we have is, we still have one. As compared to an unbelievers, who is unable to help build up, but only tear down: that’s another thing that separates the believer from the unbeliever. Where one is (supposed to be) building up, the other is only able to tear down. And its only by coming to Jesus, and accepting Him as savior, that we’re able to stop tearing down, and start building up.

But, even though Christians are able to build up others with words and actions through gifts, the strange thing is, it seems Paul doesn’t want us to be content! In fact, quite to the contrary:

1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. (1 Corinthians 14:1)

We’re told to “eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit,”. This is possibly the only time that it actually is alright to not be content: yes, we’re able to, and should be building up others with the gifts that God has given us. But we’re also told not to stop there! As Christians, we’re supposed to eagerly desire more… A little more specifically, we’re to eagerly desire more so that we may better “follow the way of love” (build each-other up).

In addition to all this though, its important to realize one more thing: God has given us these gifts. This may seem like a fairly basic concept, but sometimes we lose sight of what God has done for us, and start thinking that, “yeah, we’re really pretty good to have done this.” In other words: we sometimes forget that its God’s work, and not ours. Though I’ve never seen someone forget who (God) gave them the ability to heal someone (possibly because I’ve never seen someone with the gift of healing), those with more subtler gifts may find it a temptation to praise themselves for something, rather than God. For example: the gift of the utterance of knowledge. It may be a temptation with that to think of how well someone has “trained their brain,” or some such thing.

As it is, however, we’re to praise God: He’s the one whose given us any and every gift, and He’s the one we should be focusing on; not ourselves.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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To Each His Own Gift is Given

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)

There has been a question asked for a long time, “Are we saved by works, or by grace?” James answers this question clearly here: it is by faith that we are saved, but that faith should be clear to everyone by what we do. If we don’t show our faith by our actions, our faith is dead. Something which in turn implies that works are in fact our savior, and not faith; because, after all, without works we wouldn’t have a faith, apparently. So which is it? Are we saved through Jesus’ blood, or do we need a “faith” in Him, but in reality need to work for our salvation (or else have a dead faith)? I’ll do my best in this post to answer that question.

We can definitely say that we are not saved by works. The Bible tells us over and over that we are “saved by grace, and not by works, that none should boast.” However, we still need to answer the question of keeping that salvation; do we need to do nothing to keep our salvation, our do we need to work and do “good deeds” to keep ourselves saved? This question is easily answered: you see, if we are truly Christians, we will naturally want to tell others of our Lord; to help that old lady across that street, to feed that man and give him a coat before saying, “be warm and filled.” However, we each express this natural, God given want to help, in different ways, in accordance with the gifts which we are given (see below verse):

Where one may be given the gift of hospitality, another may be given the gift of teaching, and still another the gift of evangelism.

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (Ephesians 4:1-7)

To wrap up: we are saved by grace; a grace given to us by Jesus’ death. However, we should show that we are saved by what we do. What we do may be different for each of us, but we still should want, as Christians, to serve God in whatever way He has given us the ability to serve in.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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