Spiritual Gifts

In order for us to grow, the Lord not only gives each believer the Holy Spirit, He also blesses us with other members of His Body and family – the church.

In the Body Christ, He gives diverse gifts to different members of the Body to help each other to grow. Let’s take a look:

1 Cor 12:4-11 [NIV] 4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

All gifts are given to serve the body so that each member can grow, and as a result, the whole body will grow.

1 Co 12:27-31 [NIV]

27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.

Here Paul offers an extended list of spiritual gifts, but not in any sequential order.  Partly because there are greater gifts, such apostolic and prophetic gifts, but mostly is because these gifts represent how a local church grows under his ministry. He came to a place, preached the Gospel, then the prophets, like Barnabas, would co-labor with him to lay the foundation and set the local church in order. As others members of the church were baptized in the Holy Spirit, their gifts would be stirred up and utilized in the Body.

How to you obtain spiritual fruits? Jesus teaches us about this very clearly: abide in Him. Let’s take a look.

John 15:1-8 [NIV] 1″I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5″I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

God the Father is the gardener.  He holds the standard to judge the quality of the fruits. He will prune the vine so that what is left will bear fruit.
Jesus Christ is the vine. He is the source of all nourishment and only through abiding in the vine can any branch bear fruit.
We as the branches are given life so that we bear much fruit. We can only do so if we remain attached to the vine.

How to abide in Him then? He gives clear instruction in the following discourse:

John 15:9-17 [NIV] 9″As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.

Remain in His love and love one another.  This will show the world that we are His disciples.

This is _Part 3_ in the series Spiritual Gifts and Fruits.  To continue with this series, click on Pt 4.  To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this seriesPt 1 and Pt 2.

Photo credit: Jill Clardy

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