About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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You Are Gifted  


1 Corinthians 12 is well known for its list of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit but there is more to 1 Corinthians 12 than that.  Verses in the NIV through 6 state:

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working (or activities in other versions), but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work."  

These verses tell me that there are gifts given to the believer from the Holy Spirit, services given to the believer from the Lord Jesus, and workings given to the believer from God.  Many of us have noticed the gifts of the Spirit, but what are the services from the Lord and the workings from God all about?  Have you ever noticed them?


The word "service" in the phrase "service from the Lord" is translated from the Greek word "diakonia" which means to perform a service for someone.  Since these services are given to the believer by Jesus I believe them to be the services or ministries of Christ listed in Ephesians 4:11.  The text reads:


"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,"


Our English word "workings," or the word "activities in other versions, seen in the phrase "there are different kinds of workings ... but the same God" is translated from the Greek word "energema."  This word suggests the energy or ability that God gives someone to accomplish His will.   


In 1 Corinthians 12:28 Paul lists three services or ministries of Christ that we saw in Ephesians 4:11.  They are apostles, prophets, and teachers.  He then lists two workings from God, which I understand to be God-given talents given to everyone at birth.  They are the talent to be helpful and the talent to guide or administrate. 


This passage tells us that each believer, none excluded, possesses at least one of the gifts of the Spirit, or a ministry from Jesus, or a talent from God to function in his or her place of responsibility in the Body of Christ.  Only when each believer exercises his or her God-given gift, ministry, or talent, will the local expression of church effectively be the witness of Jesus to the community in which it lives.  We are all gifted in one way or another, so never neglect your gift.  Just be thankful and honoured that Jesus has asked you to serve Him with it.


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