How to determine your spiritual gift's):

The major N.T. passages dealing with spiritual gifts are found in Eph. 4, Rom. 12 and 1Cor. 12. Christians should familiarize themselves with these passages in order to understand all the gifts. Spiritual gifts are not for your benefit. Spiritual gifts are for the benefit of others in the Body of Christ. Spiritual gifts are a stewardship responsibility. Paul said in 1Cor 9:16 & 17, "For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship." From God's perspective, it's not optional to use your spiritual gift's) in the church. Certainly many other biblical principles apply, such as being submissive to the church leadership and not laying hands suddenly upon a man for ministry. So, how do you determine what your abilities are? I don't suggest taking some formatted test to determine what your gifts are, but I will suggest some simple principles to live by. First, spiritual gifts have a spiritual purpose in God's plan. So you need to have a close walk with God, spending time in His word and in prayer. If you're not close to God and yielded to God, your gifts will not be manifested at all. Second, you need to love the brethren. This command is repeated at least twelve times in the N.T. alone. If you're not loving others, you will not care. If you do not care, you will not see needs in the Body of Christ. In order to do this, you need to be attending and functioning in a local church that preaches God's Word as it is, not taking away or adding to it. Now, if you're doing the first two things, a third will happen as the Holy Spirit empowers you to use your spiritual abilities. When you're totally yielded to God and His Spirit, you will develop interest and passions to meet certain spiritual needs in the lives of others. Don't expect this to happen if you're living a life of disobedience to God. Christians can quench and grieve the Holy Spirit because of disobedience. Focus on moral obedience first, then move on to obedience in ministry. What spiritual interests and passions will develop? Time and Yielded ness will tell. If you truly have the gift of evangelism, you'll be looking for people to witness to. You'll go out of your way to talk to someone about Christ. And in many situations, you'll be leading individuals to the saving knowledge of Christ. If you truly have the gift of pastor or teacher, you'll have an incredible desire to be in God's word. You'll have a thirst to understand Scripture with the intentions of passing on that information to others. Pastors are shepherds. They want to see the people feeding and growing. They want to protect the flock, even to the point of self-sacrifice. Pastors want to be with the people. Pastors have a genuine love for others. If this sounds like you, then maybe you have the gift of pastor. So far I've only mentioned speaking and leadership gifts (and not all of them), but there is one more area of gifts. Ministry or service gifts such as, helps, mercy, giving, etc. Service gifts are very important in the church. The church could not function with speaking gifts alone and the church could not function with service gifts alone. That's why God has given both types of gifts to the church body. If you see physical needs among the saints all the time and you are driven to help people in those areas, maybe you have the gift of helps. If you visit folks in the hospital, in nursing homes, and you are drawn to those who are hurting physically or emotionally, you may have the gift of mercy. With limited space, I cannot deal with each and every gift. However, let me leave you with a few basic spiritual principles to help you determine what your spiritual gift's) are: 1. Ask yourself - when you're totally yielded to God and your spending time in prayer and in God's Word, what is your passion, what are you spiritually driven to do? 2. When you're in the state described previously, what impact are you having on others, how are they growing spiritually or being encouraged spiritually as a result of your ministry? 3. What is the confirmation of your godly church leaders? What do they see as your spiritual strengths? What are they encouraging you to do? Faithful, biblical, mature church leaders will recognize your spiritual ability long before you do. So trust their input! Last of all, don't get anxious about determining your spiritual abilities. Anxiety is sin and is an obvious manifestation that you are not yielded to God. On the other hand, don't be lazy, get going, get moving spiritually. Your leaders will not be able to see anything manifested, if you're not yielded and moving for the Lord. If you have questions, please feel free to send a note to the pastor.

Terry Aaron, Pastor

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