Vision Homework, Week 2: Identity as Family
Spiritual gifts are given to the members of Christ’s church for the purpose of edification of its edification. The Bible teaches that every believer in Jesus Christ has received a spiritual gift to serve in building up the church. There are a variety of spiritual gifts described in the Bible (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-12), but they can be grouped into two groups, service gifts, and speaking gifts (1 Peter 4:11).
Serving gifts to build up the church include:
- Service: a willing disposition to serve others in practical ways.
- Generosity: a generous disposition to financially give to supply for the needs of others.
- Faith: a persevering expectation that God can and will work even in the midst of hard circumstances
- Acts of mercy: cheerful willingness to act toward the benefit of those in need.
Speaking gifts to build up the church include:
- Encouragement: words of encouragement toward others
- Teaching: an ability to explain Scripture in such a way that others may understand and apply it better
- Prophecy: telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind. "The one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement, and consolation" (1 Cor 14:3).
It is important to realize that the Bible does not attempt to give out an exhaustive list of all the spiritual gifts available. However, what the Bible does emphasize is that the Holy Spirit has given a spiritual gift to every member of the Church. In fact, we are commanded to earnestly desire spiritual gifts (1 Cor 14:1). Thus, we can come in faith to the Lord and ask Him to fill us with a spiritual gift for the edification of the church.
- Based on this description, what gifts has the Holy Spirit given to you?
- Ask your spouse, close friends, and your community group for some additional input into which gifts they see at work in your life.
- As you discern what your spiritual gifts are, how do you plan on using and growing in them for the building up of the church?