Christ’s Gifts to His Church
Christ’s Gifts to His Church
The Worthy Life - Part V
July 1, 2007
""But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Ephesians 4:7
1. This is how the church of Jesus Christ is to function. These verses talk about gifts, and they begin by telling us that these gifts have come from Christ. They are Christ’s gifts to his church, and he has not overlooked anyone in the distribution.
2. You might ask, what is a spiritual gift and do I have one? The answer is if you belong to Christ then yes you have at least one.
"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." 1 Cor 12:8-10
3. A spiritual gift is any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church. This broad definition includes both gifts that are related to natural abilities (such as teaching, showing mercy, or administration) and gifts that seem to be more “miraculous” and less related to natural abilities (such as prophecy, healing, or distinguishing between spirits). When Scripture lists spiritual gifts (in Rom. 12:6–8; 1 Cor. 7:7; 12:8–10, 28; and Eph. 4:11; 1 Peter 4:11) it includes both kinds of gifts.
"And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues." 1 Cor 12:28
4. Yet not every natural ability that people have is included in these lists, because all spiritual gifts must be empowered “by one and the same Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:11), that they are given “for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7), and that they are all to be used for “edification” (1 Cor. 14:26), or for building up the church.
"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." Romans 12:6-8
5. Two points are worth stressing about Christ’s dispensing these gifts. First, if they are given by Jesus, then they are to be used for the purposes for which he gave them, namely, the service and edification of the church. They are not to be used for selfish ends, above all not for drawing attention to the personality or programs of the one using them.
"whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11
6. Second, the gifts are given to each Christian—that is, everyone has at least one gift—and for that reason, the church is only fully vigorous and healthy when all are ministering.
"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." 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
There is something inexpressibly pleasing to a justified mind to know that God has all the honor in our salvation, and we have none; to know that God's honor is not violated, but on the contrary, shines more illustrious; to know that God's law is not injured, but magnified and made honorable, to know that we are safe, and God has all the glory.
Robert Murray M'Cheyne
GracePointe Baptist Church
2209 N Post Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73141
Phone: (405) 769-5050