While much can and should be said about spiritual gifts, here are a few relevant observations or principles that I believe should guide our understanding and exercise of the charismata. Continue reading . . .
While much can and should be said about spiritual gifts, here are a few relevant observations or principles that I believe should guide our understanding and exercise of the charismata.
(1) Every single spiritual gift, whether it be mercy, serving, giving, speaking in tongues, or prophecy, is a “manifestation of the Spirit” given “for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). Therefore, every gift is by definition supernatural, since every gift is the enabling presence of the Spirit operating through us. As Paul says, although there are varieties of gifts, services, and activities, it is the “same Spirit” who “empowers them all in everyone” (1 Cor. 12:4-6). So, teaching is as supernatural as tongues; service is as supernatural as word of knowledge, and so on.
(2) In light of the first point, we must acknowledge that a “gift” or “charism” of the Spirit is an impartation to enable and equip us to serve others. Nowhere in Scripture are gifts portrayed as personality traits or characteristics. A person who is gregarious and extroverted can receive the gift of mercy. A person who is quiet and introverted can receive the gift of teaching. A person who lacks self-confidence and is by nature somewhat hesitant to speak can receive the gift of evangelism. A person who has little faith and never expects to hear from God can be the recipient of a word of knowledge. This isn’t to say there is never any overlap between a person’s unique personality and the gift God bestows to them, but we must never identify any particular gift with any partic