The Purpose and the Nature of the Gifts

September 30, 2019

God has given the gifts of the Holy Spirit to His people that they might be used to build up the body of Christ. A mature and healthy fellowship will naturally have the gifts of the Spirit in operation. It is unfortunate that people hold the position that the gifts have ceased because they rob themselves of much of what God wants to do in and through their lives. Since the gifts are given for the profit of all, we should “earnestly desire the best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31).

Before we discuss the gifts of the spirit individually, there is one important point I want to make: the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8–11 are not the permanent possession of any believer, but rather the potential experience of every believer. The one exception might be the gift of tongues.

As the Lord Wills

I make this point for two reasons. The first is the fact that there are many self-serving men who are anxious to take financial advantage of unsuspecting believers under the guise of being “God‘s anointed.” They claim God has endued them with the power to heal, perform miracles, and prophesy. There is no indication in Scripture, however, that anyone has ever had a permanent gift of healing or of miracles. When I say “permanent,” I mean that the person has the ability to exercise the gift at will. As great as the apostles were, not even they had the ability to heal or perform miracles any time they chose to do so. The only One to have the power to exercise the gifts at will was Jesus. That is what we would expect of the One to whom the Father gave “the Spirit [without] measure” (John 3:34). To each of us, however, a “measure of faith” has been given (Romans 12:3).

Be Open and Available

The second reason is to encourage you to be open and available to however God might want to use you. Perhaps He would like to give to you the gift of healing or the gift of prophecy. All believers are potential recipients and vessels of these gifts. They are the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and since we, the church, are the “temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthian 6:19), we can expect that He will manifest Himself through us.