What are spiritual gifts and why are they important for Christians?
We will explore what the Bible says about spiritual gifts, how to discover and use them, and how they help us grow in unity and maturity as the body of Christ.
Spiritual gifts are special abilities that God gives to each believer by his grace and through his Spirit. They are not natural talents or skills, but supernatural empowerments that enable us to serve God and others in various ways. The apostle Paul lists some of the spiritual gifts in Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; and Ephesians 4:11-13. These include gifts such as wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, interpretation, teaching, leadership, administration, mercy, and more.
The purpose of spiritual gifts is not to make us feel superior or inferior to others, but to build up the church and glorify God. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:7 that “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” He also says in Ephesians 4:11-13 that Christ gave spiritual gifts to his people “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
How can we discover and use our spiritual gifts? The first step is to receive the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit is the source and giver of all spiritual gifts. The second step is to pray and ask God to reveal our spiritual gifts to us. He may do this through various means, such as reading his Word, listening to his voice, observing our passions and abilities, taking a spiritual gifts inventory, or receiving confirmation from other Christians. The third step is to exercise our spiritual gifts in love and humility. We should not neglect or abuse our spiritual gifts, but use them faithfully and diligently for God’s glory and people’s good.
Spiritual gifts are a wonderful blessing from God that help us grow in our relationship with him and with one another. They also help us fulfill our calling and mission as his witnesses in the world. Let us thank God for his grace and generosity in giving us spiritual gifts, and let us seek to use them wisely and joyfully for his kingdom.