Now we continue with our spiritual gifts FAQ’s, this time, a big question! There are six main reasons God has given us spiritual gifts:
- To glorify Himself
God has given us gifts so that we might exalt His name, that we might do things that will glorify Him.
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11
It is way too easy for us to get caught up in being busy or to build something up and forget that our purpose is to give glory to God. When this happens, we sometimes get the idea that our ministry is ours and not His. The result is that we often come to resent anyone else becoming involved in it, and this is not how we make disciples, for making disciples always leads us to teach others to take our place!
- To build up the body of Christ
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…
Church is a team sport, and each one of us has a place and a gift. Everyone needs to practice their gift, and to be in the Word and mature in their use of their gift. When each one uses his gift for the “team” then the team wins and others are brought into the Kingdom… if I might be permitted to use a sports analogy…and just like playing a sport, church ought to be fun. There are certainly aspects of any area of service that may not be fun, but after the game is over, after we have done our part and the “team” is back in the locker room, there is nothing but joy when the team has won the game and new members have entered the Kingdom.
- To develop unity in the body of Christ
…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish as fools.
Dr. Martin Luther King
Diversity without unity makes about as much sense as dishing up flour, sugar, water, eggs, shortening and baking powder onto a plate and calling that a cake. They have to be put together in a way that makes sense to us.
- To develop maturity in the body of Christ
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Maturity is the ability to stick with a job until it is finished. The ability to do a job without being supervised. The ability to carry money without spending it. The ability to bear an injustice without wanting to get even.
God is not as interested in your success as in your maturity
- To grow the body of Christ
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Did you catch “…as each part does its work?” Not some of the parts, not some of the parts some of the time and not all of the parts some of the time. All of the parts doing all of their work all of the time.
- For the common good of the body of Christ
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
1 Corinthians 12:7
This verse should settle most of the issues surrounding controversial gifts in our time, and it should settle most misunderstandings that we will face in this study. We will be fierce in our determination to understand spiritual gifts in the context of “the common good.”