The ministry of spiritual gifts originates in the New Testament and was commissioned by our Lord Jesus Christ. After He established His church on earth and ascended into heaven, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to equip His church with the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, the disciples were strengthened to carry out their ministry assignment in God’s power. There are certain gifts that are of a spectacular nature to which greater attention is often given. The New Testament mentions at least twenty-one(21)gifts that the church is endowed with. These gifts are listed in Ephesians 4:11; Romans 12:3-7 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-12;28.

The focus of this article is to uncover what spiritual gifts are, where they come from, who has them, how they are received, and how they work for the growth of the church.

This article is meant to educate members about spiritual gifts and their impact on church growth; and to encourage them to use their gifts to bring hope to their homes, churches, and the world at large.

Road Map for Disciples

All of us as disciples of Jesus have been endowed with one spiritual gift or the other. These gifts are given to us to profit the church and the kingdom of God. It is good to have these gifts; however, to have spiritual gifts is not the important thing but how faithful a believer is in utilizing his/her gifts for the expansion of the kingdom of God. If you have discovered your gifts, use them to bless others, by doing so, you are fulfilling the purpose for which they have been given to you. Encourage members to list the spiritual gifts in Ephesians 4:11; Romans 12:3-7;1 Corinthians 12:1-12.Ask each one to mention his/her gift(s) from the list.

Do you know that all of us must identify and make of the gifts we have? We should know that spiritual gift is an individual manifestation of grace from the FatherthatHisplanfor the redemption of the world. A spiritual gift is a special attribute given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the body of Christ according to God’s grace for use within the context of the body.”Thus, spiritual gifts are given for service and the edification of the body of Christ and not for personal gains or aggrandizement. Since spiritual gifts were first given to the first disciples of Jesus at Pentecost (Acts 1:8;2:1-4), they have been the source of believers’ empowerment to do exploits for the Lord on earth.

What Are Spiritual Gifts?

Peter Wagner defines a spiritual gift as “a special attribute given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the body of Christ according to God’s grace for use within the context of the body. A spiritual gift is an expression of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers, which powers them to serve the body of Christ, the church. God is the giver of the spiritual gifts. It is an extraordinary power upon believers to exploit God. Spiritual gifts are not complicated but they are life-changing. This is so because the gifts provide clues to God’s intention on how we should live out our days and affirm the uniqueness of our calling as instruments of God’s grace. Spiritual gifts include words of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, gift of tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc. The Holy Spirit is the best gift one can have from God, for it is the Spirit of God and also the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit acts as a multi-encompassing power for the good of the population of the world. There is no other perfect gift you can ask from God.

What Spiritual Gifts Are Not?

Spiritual gifts are not natural talents or skills that a person develops through training. They are abilities that only the Holy Spirit can produce in the life of a believer. It should be well stated that it is true that every believer does manifest a gift of the Spirit from some point in their spiritual maturity and experience. The experience of being filled with the Spirit has always been a catalyst and an entrance into the realm of powerful manifestations of these gifts. They are thus special because of their source and service-oriented nature.

How Do we Build God’s Church through these Spiritual Gifts?

Jesus promised to equip the church with all that is spiritually necessary for the church to continue with His mission on earth. Hence, He said,“…I will build my church, and the gates of … One of the aspects of this equipping is the dimension of receiving, understanding, and operating with spiritual gifts. Therefore, every disciple of Jesus must:

  • Know that he/she has been given one spiritual gift or the other.
  • Identify his/her spiritual gifts.
  • .Utilise it or them within the body of Christ.

Enemies of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

In order to make good progress, it is important to emphasize some enemies of believers’ endowment with spiritual gifts so thatwemayeradicate them and create a healthy atmosphere for understanding toward maximum productivity and expansion of God’s work.

Fear: Fear is the first enemy. It is so unfortunate that believers usually claim the statement of Paul to Timothy that“God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”(2 Timothy 1:7)However, the opposite is often the case. We love Bible studies about faith but scarcely exercise it. This fear makes some believers become highly discriminatory, which in turn, gives other believers a bad notion about spiritual gifts. It is good to have reverent fear. However, fear that causes unbelief works against the Christian belief system. God wants us to embrace spiritual gifts by dealing with our fears. Do not be afraid any longer, identify your gift and use it. Read some of God’s encouraging words to us in Daniel 10:12; Luke 1:13,30;2:10; Matthew 1:27- 29;1 Corinthians 14:4-5,12.

A mindset: A mindset that is not renewed by the Word of God is also an enemy of spiritual gifts. The things of the Spirit of God call for faith in God’s ability to act according to His Word. Seeking to understand the things of the Spirit of God through the five senses will only take a person away from the path of faith in God. The truth is that since God is Spirit, those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth (John 4:24); to seek to subject God and spiritual gifts to physical proof is equal to outright denial of God’s real as well as existence. We know that God exists and so the gifts of His Spirit

Lack of understanding is another enemy the existence of spiritual gifts has to contend with. Many believers do not understand that they must live holy lives if they desire the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is not enough to read about spiritual gifts in the Bible without understanding them based on belief and thus tilting towards living in the Spirit amount to the same; as if one does not know they exist. Lack of knowledge is what destroys the church not necessarily demonic disciples to know and expect the Spirit that came on them at Pentecost. They had a mindset that enabled them to receive the spirit with His gifts. The time of waiting in prayer after the ascension of Jesus enabled them to receive the promise of the Father.

Conclusion

The Holy Spirit of God gives His gifts to believers without prejudice. In fact, the church is the testing ground where we can use our gifts. Whatever may be the case, Disciples of Christ should eliminate all enemies of spiritual gifts. Jesus, the sole owner of the church has the best interest of His church at heart and His mission in view when He chose to equip her with spiritual. gifts for the work He mandated the church to perform. As many as we are in the church, we do not have the same gifts. Each believer is endowed in a special and specific way. The fact remains that there is no Christian without a gift. The special gifts we are endowed with as Christians enable us to work and live for God. As we faithfully use our spiritual gifts, yielding to the dictates of the Holy Spirit, we avoid the pitfalls of the devil and serve God with sincerity of purpose. The indwelling Spirit also guides the believer in his/her daily life in truth, holiness, wisdom, and the fear of the Lord; counseling him/her at all times to be gracious to all humankind, as he/she walks in the knowledge and the gift of grace.