NT Tuesday: Spiritual Gifts – Introduction

Gift BoxOver the last few weeks, we have been considering worshiping God as He has prescribed it in the New Testament. In my series of 3 posts I referred to the truth that I was discussing as a New Testament Principle. Now it is time to turn to another principle found in the New Testament. I want to remind everyone of what makes a New Testament principle. A principle is “a basic truth, law or assumption.” So, a New Testament principle is “a basic truth, law or assumption that was established or expounded upon in the New Testament for believers seeking to follow the Lord Jesus as His disciples, individually or collectively.”

To introduce this next principle, let’s look at a few verses. Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV “And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” And also, 1 Corinthians 12:28 ESV “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administration, and various kinds of tongues.” Therefore, another New Testament principle is that God has given each believer a spiritual gift.

Most Bible students will quickly recognize that there are several passages that deal with spiritual gifts. A spiritual gift is a super-natural enablement given by God to you at the time of your new birth. This gift is given to you along with a ministry and a series of related works that use the gift in an appropriate setting to accomplish God’s purposes.

God was gracious enough to give us some examples of these spiritual gifts. (I don’t for a moment believe that every spiritual gift has been enumerated in all of the passages on spiritual gifts.) God was also gracious enough to tell us the purpose for the gifts being given. They weren’t given to us, by God, for our own personal enjoyment, or even our own personal ministry. They are not to be buried and “kept for later” or exchanged because we aren’t happy with the one(s) we received. Rather, they were given to us by God to equip the saints for the work of ministry.

Most of you are saying “brilliant” at this moment because that is soooo obvious. But, I would like to suggest that perhaps from time to time we have lost sight of the goal when discerning gifts in our local meetings, etc. I am thinking, at the moment, specifically of the gift of teaching. I fear that for one reason or another, we have made the gift of teaching a “rite of passage” where every young man (or middle aged or older) is given a chance (or chances or even the platform regularly) to “teach.” We all know that we don’t believe in a “one man teaching ministry” but yet, we have embraced an everyman, or nearly everyman teaching ministry. That is certainly not scriptural (more on that later.)

Teaching is a heart-to-heart endeavor that, with all the other gifts, is designed to equip the saints to do the work of ministry. We ought not to be merely explaining Bible passages Sunday after Sunday. Almost any brother who studies the Word can explain a passage! But, dear saints, that is not teaching as envisioned by God and described in scripture.

We are going to talk more about this next week, Lord willing. But until then…fulfill your ministry (and use your gift to equip others to do the work of ministry.)





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