Scripture does not teach that gifts are a sign of spirituality or maturity. Immature or even worldly Christians may use gifts. The Corinthian church is a prime example. In 1 Corinthians 1:7 we read where the Corinthians were not lacking in any gift yet in 3:1-3 they are described as worldly.
God’s long-range goal is that we become conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). Traits of godliness do not include the use of spiritual gifts but character qualities (2 Pet. 1:5-11). In discussing qualifications for leadership in the church, no reference is made to spiritual gifts but much about character traits (1 Tim. 3, Titus 1). The fruit of the Spirit, of the same Spirit who gifted us, are character traits all reflecting Jesus Christ (Gal. 5:22-23).
Love is at the top of the list in measuring maturity and spirituality, not gifts. According to 1 Corinthians 13, any or all gifts mean nothing without love. Note that the expression of love is in the context of each list of gifts.
What do you think would be the result of a local church that was “well gifted” but lacked love?
Why is love the “acid test” of maturity and not our spiritual gifts or abilities?
Again, list some people within our church who you believe exhibit these gifts.
Definition: The gift of Prophecy is the God-given ability to reveal God’s truth and proclaim it in a timely and relevant manner for understanding, correction, repentance, or edification.
Scriptural Reference(s): Rom. 12:6, 1 Cor. 12:10,28, 1 Cor. 13:2
Distinctives of this gift:
Traits of this person: Discerning, Compelling, Uncompromising, Outspoken, Authoritative, Confronting, Convicting
Potential Ministry Involvement: Teaching Leader, Vision Setting team, Outreach, Devotion Leader
Definition: The gift of Shepherding is the God-given ability to assume long term personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of a group of believers by nurturing and guiding them toward ongoing spiritual maturity.
Scriptural Reference(s): Eph. 4:11-12, 1 Peter 5:1-4, 1 Tim. 3:1-13
Distinctives of this gift:
Traits of this person: Nurturing, Guiding, Protective, Supportive, Relational, Influencing
Potential Ministry Involvement: Small Group Leader, Sunday School Teacher, Follow-Up on Visitors, Shut-In Visitation, College Ministry, Outreach
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.