184. Gifts of the Spirit.
We know that the Gospel is the message about God's gift of life through his Son, for it is the nature of God to give. 'For God so loved that he gave his one and only Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.' (John 3:16) If he has given us his greatest gift, will he not also give us the rest? 'He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?' (Romans 8:32) Thereafter, God gave us his Spirit, so that through him, he could give us the rest of his gifts. 'His divine power (meaning the Holy Spirit) has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him ( meaning the Father) who called us by his own "glory and goodness" ( who is Christ).' (2 Peter 1:3) Paul desired that the Church be knowledgeable about the gifts of the Spirit and not be ignorant of what God has freely given us. So he lists the nine spiritual gifts, of which three are Oral gifts which are the gifts of tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy; three are Revelational gifts which are the gifts of wisdom, knowledge and discernment of spirits; three are power gifts which are the gifts of faith, healing and miraculous powers. ( 1 Corinthians 12:8-10) All these nine gifts are divided among many in the body of Christ ( vs 29-30) but an Apostle operates in all nine gifts, as evident from the ministry of 'Jesus, the Apostle and high priest whom we confess' ( Hebrews 3:1) and also evident from the ministry of the Apostles he appointed, for Paul says, "The things that mark an Apostle - signs , wonders and miracles - were done among you with great perseverance." (2 Corinthians 12:12) This is one of the marks of an Apostle, that will help us 'test those who claim to be Apostles but are not' (Revelation 2:2) for many think they are Apostles just because they planted a church!
But these are not the only gifts! 'If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. It it is serving, let him serve, if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage, if it is contributing to the need of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.' (Romans 22:6-8) However, Paul's list is not exhaustive (fully comprehensive) and we can add many more to it. The ability to sing, dance, play musical instruments, score music, write, draw, design, craft things etc should be added to the list. Its the unique combination of the calling and the giftings that brings diversity to the body of Christ, just as it is true of our bodies. 'The body is a unit, though it is made of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body ... Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all Apostles, second Prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those with gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.' ( 1 Corinthians 12:12-28) With such a wide range of gifts, it is improbable (unlikely to happen) that we haven't received any! May the 'Spirit of grace' who is the 'administrator of the gifts', reveal the gifts lying dormant within us and help us fan them into flames. Amen.