Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rolling with the gifts

It was pointed out to me that i mentioned that i said that, during my ramble about tongues, the gift of speaking in tongues was a role in the life of every Christian.

I should (at least attempt to) clarify. There is a difference between a gift and the ordinary role in the life of a Christian (you can either read the whole diatribe or skip to the gist at the end).

Any spiritual gift, tongues or another listed in the bible, has the potential to be used in the life of a believer. If you have put your faith in Jesus, the bible says that you are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Paul says that the Spirit gives the gifts, and thus, any Christian is capable to exercise any spiritual gift in the ordinary role capacity. During their life they may not do them all, but the potential is there.

As believers, we are called to have (and this is not a complete list) faith, intercede for others, evangelise, serve, give, exhort, lead, teach, be hospitable and even (if the need warrants) perform any of the "supernatural gifts (speaking/interpreting tongues, performing miracles, healings or exorcisms)."

But a gift is different to the ordinary role a gift may have in the life of a Christian. A believer will have the spiritual gift if they have the special ability to exercise any of these roles. This will be evident because they will be used more often, more efficiently, more passionately and with more enjoyment. The reason (and this is HUGELY important)? To build up the body of Christ.

But, no gift is more or less important than any other. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12, one part of the body cannot elevate itself above another. The nose can't downplay the importance of the eye, nor the hand to the foot.

But what if you don't exercise a spiritual gift, even if you are capable to perform it as a role? Well, the reasons aren't up to me. The Spirit decides what, when and where spiritual gifts are used and believers lives played out.

But, I'm pretty sure that during your lifetime, you don't need to do every spiritual discipline. You may never perform some of the gifts, or do so seldomly. That's ok. Some will not fit with who you are or where God has placed you.

Your gifts are determined in connection to your personality, background, talents, opportunities and (remembering the reason in the first place) the needs of the body of believers you are connected to.

Keeping it short...

The Spirit lives, dwells and moves through Christians.
The Spirit gives gifts and empowers believers to exercise them.
All Christians have the potential to do any of the gifts, even if they may not.
A gift is the special ability to perform the ordinary role in a Christian lifestyle.
Why? To build up the body of Christ.

I'm pretty sure this clarifies anything, but it gets it out of my mind...


kim said...

so you think all the people at ccc are exercising the role of speaking in tongues or for some reason everyone in the church has the same gift?

Graham said...

I won't say that they aren't just because i'm not familiar enough with the church, it's members and the needs of the church.

That being said, i would find it odd that one church would need so many people to exercise this role or particular spiritual gift so often and so publicly.

But, with the size and culture of the church, there are definately a stack of people exercising other gifts beside tongues.