First of all, we must have the revelation that life is a gift and that life comes by Jesus. John 1:1-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” This life is obtained through confession of the mouth and believing in ones heart in the Lord Jesus and accepting Him (Rom.10:9).
Furthermore, John 3:16 tells us that life is found in Christ Jesus: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Salvation is the ultimate gift, however, there are many gifts which accompany this life as witness unto Jesus and unto the perfecting of the saints.
GIFTS TO THE CHURCH:
Ephessians 4:11-13 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
The Spirit of God gives to the church apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and teachers. Many misunderstand what the scripture means by giving some… Giving some, apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and teachers means that within one ministry these are given to some for the entire ministry to function as a body. For a ministry to function to the full, it is important to identify in those who the Lord sends which gift they have. Many times we have people in our midst that’s gifted, but we don’t even realize it, because we looking for able people to do the work. However, God looks at willing vessels to use.
The giftings given unto the church, like mentioned in verse 12 is ‘For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.’ These gifts is there to help the body function to its fullest. They are the senses of the body, and without these senses, many things might be overlooked and even cause the body to function with difficulty.
1 Cort.12:5-12 “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”
These gifts are given for the individual ministry in and out of the general ministry or congregation. You might have the gift of healing, and this will help when you are out and about ministering to people at work, school, street, etc… We are all called to the mandate of evangelism. Through the gifts of healing, you will find that God places you and directs your path to cross with many people who are sick. The gift of healing will help you be an effective witness for Jesus, as people will receive healing and believe that God really exist.
This also goes for all the giftings we receive individually. My gift of healing might be different than the next person with the gift of healing, but it still comes from the same God Who gives all gifts. Some receive the gift of wisdom, another the gift of knowledge, to some the gift of faith, to yet another the gift of working miracles, etc… The Bible does tells us to desire the gifts of the Spirit, but more so, we must have souls in mind. These gifts is given all for one purpose: To win souls! It all comes back to the mandate every Christian is charged with – Evangelism!
Now, you don’t need to have the gift of evangelism to go about evangelizing; these individual gifts is given to help you carry out the mandate of evangelism. However, to some the gift of evangelism is given to help head the church out in evangelism.
Each and every Christian receives a gift, and in many case you will receive more than one gift – as each gift will work together with another to the full working of God in an individual’s life. We must be able, through the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to identify our gifts; and then also develop our gifts first through studies on the gifts and also applying the gifts to further the functions of the particular gifts. In some cases, it is good to surround yourself with others with the same gifts as you; however, always remember that the Holy Spirit is our Teacher!
The general gifts is many times mistaken with the signs that will follow believers.
The sign which will follow believers is not for the believers benefit, but for the unbelievers. Through our believing these signs mentioned in Mark 16;17-18 will follow us so that others may also believe.
The general gifts which I speak of here is the general gifts which every Christian has through the in dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian has the gift to discern spirits, to heal, to prophesy, to preach, etc… How this works is through the application of the Word of God. We are not called to be bench warmers in church, we are called to be part of the function of the Body of Christ – which is the church. It is in the doing of the Word of God that God is expressed to the world through us.
You might not be gifted in the gift of healing, but that doesn’t stop you from praying for a sick person – there is no law against doing so. You might not have the gift of prophesy, but it doesn’t stop you of using the Word of God to prophesy positive things into peoples lives. I remembered a particular visiting pastor who is an ex-drug addict preaching in our church one day; saying that his mother always used to call him pastor. He didn’t know at that time that his mother received a word from God through the scripture concerning him. Upon receiving this word, his mother started to speak God’s Word over his life; and today he is a pastor.
Now, his mother doesn’t have the gift of prophesy, but she did prophesy something positive into his life, which eventually produced fruit. After all, Paul understood this and said in Phil.4:13 that he can do all things through Christ which strengthens him – this is, through the gifts and ability from within him. We too can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us, because the same Spirit lives in all of us.
GOD DOESN’T TAKE BACK WHAT HE GIVES:
I have had this question many times, and decided to clear the air on this subject. Many people don’t understand how God can use people that is doing wrong to be a blessing unto others. Some believe that the devil also uses people to do things, by imitating God and deceiving people. Now this does happen, but it doesn’t mean that God can’t use those who do wrong to also do right.
Look at the story of Jonah, he was disobedient to God when God gave him an instruction – he tried to run away from doing what God wanted him to do. However, in his disobedience, a whole ships crew and passengers was saved and they all turned to God because of Jonah’s disobedience (read Jonah 1 & 2).
Furthermore, God used Jonah, after he realized that he can’t run away from God to minister to a whole nation in just 3 days, and the whole nation was saved. Even Jonah was disobedient and hard headed, God still used him to do good. Now Jonah was gifted, but God didn’t take that gift back because of his disobedience – God used him to accomplish the task ahead.
Jonah turned back to God; and this is how God used him to save a nation; but in some cases, when people turn away from God, they turn for good. Even in this, God doesn’t take back the giftings He gave. Now we see that when devil turned against God, he’s gifts was corrupted. This happens not because God had corrupted the gifts He gave devil, but because devil left the presence of God. This also happens to people when they turn away from God; their gifts gets corrupted.
For us to function in the gifts of God, we need to stay in the presence of God. The gifts can only operate for the good when we under the anointing of God, which is found in the presence of God. This is pretty much like the fuel in your car, with out fuel, your car will not go the same. You might be able to push your car to where you want it to go, but it will be with great effort. You may also be able to use a down hill to free wheel your car down hill, but you wouldn’t be able to get it up the next hill with out fuel in the tank.
Our gifts is fueled by being in the presence of God and we can stay connected to this unending source of anointing through the ability of the Holy Spirit Who lives within us. The anointing fuels us to accomplish extra-ordinary results. Identify the gifts you have received from God and fuel it through tapping into the Word of God and the living pilot – the Holy Spirit which will bring you into the destiny God has planned for you.