John K. Jenkins, Sr.
Do you know that you have spiritual gifts within you that God placed there for special and unique purposes?
In the book of 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul is writing to the church in Corinth, which was a spiritual church but also a very carnal one. His prayerful intent was that this letter would bring them to a place of spiritual maturity. And I believe this sentiment can be applied to some of us in the church today.
In chapter 12, Paul writes about a very important element within the church: spiritual giftings.
Everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior has a spiritual gift because when the Holy Ghost comes to dwell within you, He promises to bring His spirit, guidance, and power. And while we all are equipped, some of us are sitting on how God has enabled us to walk in the kingdom of Heaven.
So, how do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Let’s explore what God’s word says.
God Gives a Variety of Spiritual Gifts (vs. 1, 4)
There are many spiritual gifts with unique purposes God gives to His Church. However, in His loving kindness, God does not throw us into the deep without helping us in these matters.
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:”
1 Corinthians 12:1, NKJV
Paul, a spiritual mentor, guides the church of Corinth in their awareness and understanding of the meaning of each gift. In the church today, we can gain the same insight by reading our Bibles, praying for understanding, and seeking wisdom from a trusted spiritual mentor.
Diversity of Gifts
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 12:4, NKJV
According to Paul, there are three categories of spiritual gifts.
A motivational gift inspires you to move on God’s behalf.
Romans 12:6-8, NKJV version says, “Having then gifts differing according to the grave that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
According to scripture, there are seven motivational gifts. They include:
Ministry gifts are the places you function within the Kingdom of God.
“Now you are the body of Christ and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”
1 Corinthians 12:27-31, NKJV
According to scripture, there are eight ministry gifts. These include:
Manifestation gifts are how the Holy Spirit moves through you on behalf of someone else. These gifts are not out of your power but of God’s.
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the prophet of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.”
1 Corinthians 12:7-10, NKJV
According to scripture, there are nine manifestation gifts. They are:
- Words of wisdom
- Words of knowledge
- Discerning of spirits
- Various tongues
- Interpretation of tongues
A Manifestation of the Holy Spirit
Years ago, I had the opportunity to preach in Baltimore. At the close of my sermon, the church’s pastor asked me to come up and pray for those at the altar. This particular church had a kneeling altar at the foot of the platform where people would come to kneel and pray. Well, as I began to pray for everyone, I got excited and began to sway back and forth, and unfortunately, I hit a woman in the head, knocking her wig off.
A year later, I was invited back to preach at the same church. After the service, a woman approached me and asked, “Do you remember me?” When I responded that I didn’t, she reminded me of the wig story. She also shared that last year, when she came to that particular service, she had been suffering from migraine headaches. Well, since my mishap of hitting her in the head, she hasn’t experienced one single headache since!
We all have motivational, ministry, and manifestation giftings. And through God’s Spirit, He will empower us to do mighty things for the glory of His Kingdom!
All Gifts Make One Body (vs. 12-20)
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body?”
1 Corinthians 12:12-15, NKJV
As a part of the body of Christ, there are many members, but we are one.
Far too often, people will get upset because they romanticize what operating in the gifts looks like. Maybe they long to preach when they are called to usher. Perhaps they want to engage in the gift of healing but are gifted with words of encouragement.
Church, we need to learn to be content right where God has placed us. Discover your gift, use your gift, and release the things God didn’t call you to do! And as you embrace it, remember, we are one body made of many gifts, all of which are essential.
“And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?”
1 Corinthians 12:16-17, NKJV
If every part of the body did the same thing, we would have gaps in how it functions. The same is true for the Body of Christ. What assignment has God given you?
The Gifts Need Each Other (vs. 21-26)
God Designed Us to Support Each Other
“But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’”
And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’”
1 Corinthians 12:20-21, NKJV
For us to function fully and be everything God designed us to be, we need each other!
1 Corinthians 12:22, NKJV says, “No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.”
It may seem as if parts of the body are insignificant, but in order to have an impact and make a difference as a whole, we need each and every aspect of it.
We Need Every Part to Be a Complete Body
“And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”
1 Corinthians 12:23-25, NKJV
Since the pandemic, the church has not returned to its former self. Unfortunately, we are lacking in many of the roles that are crucial to the health and well-being of the church body and those it serves.
A large percentage of churchgoers are not utilizing the gifts God has placed inside them. They benefit from the ministry while lacking in pouring back into it. Week after week and month after month, many come to church to be fed and leave through the doors right after. This is a problem!
Think about your spiritual journey. You got to the place you are currently because someone poured into you. They prayed, taught, and supported you. And just as you were mentored and encouraged by another, the church needs you to do the same for those beginning their own journeys!
Can I challenge you? In light of all God has done for you, will you honor Him and give Him one Sunday service a month? Your unique giftings are essential; the church needs your heart, leadership, and talents.
How will you make a difference in people’s lives this upcoming year?
For more on spiritual gifts, be sure to check out Pastor John’s sermon, Understanding Your Spiritual Gifts, on YouTube.