Paul’s heart for the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 12:1 is God’s heart for you and me today. Scripture says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.” Within the church today are defenders of multiple positions on spiritual gifts, each as staunch as the other. But God’s desire for you and me is that we would be informed directly from him about the incredible gifts of this loving Holy Spirit who dwells within us. God longs for us to receive all he has to give. He longs to teach us about the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives that we might live with greater purpose and affections for him and others. Let’s surrender our hearts and minds to God on spiritual gifts. And let’s seek out every last bit of what God has planned for us today.
The first aspect of spiritual gifts to note is that they are indeed a gift. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 says,
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to each of us. He “apportions” them according to his perfect wisdom. Spiritual gifts are never birthed by man and never given for selfish purposes. The Spirit gives us gifts because he loves us and others. All that he does is in perfect love and is for “the common good.” Whether you’ve been given the gift of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues, or interpretation of tongues, your purpose in the gift is to be the same as the Holy Spirit’s: love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (emphasis added). Spiritual gifts are all about love. Operating in a gift of the Spirit is always to be done in love. Paul is clear that gifts are annoying (1 Corinthians 13:1) and worthless (1 Corinthians 13:2-3) if they are not filled with love.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Spend time in prayer discovering what gift the Holy Spirit has given you and how he would intend you to use it for the benefit of the “common good.” Choose to align your understanding and belief on spiritual gifts with the word of God alone. And live today operating in love with the amazing gifts God has given you, whatever they may be.