Spiritual Gifts: How has God empowered me to bless the body of Christ?

Exploring My S.H.A.P.E. for Service:

S = Spiritual Gifts    = Heart Desires    A = Abilities    P = Personality    E = Experiences in Life

“Who am I made to be?”, or “What is my purpose?” These questions are core questions to all of us who struggle in seeing our value or wondering how we fit in. It makes sense that as each of us carry an intrinsic understanding of the fall of man from the effects of sin that we would all carry a corporate and individual sense of shame. If you go all the way back to the garden of Eden after the apple incident, you see Adam and Eve both scrambling to cover themselves. In their new paradigm, it was more about managing their shame than it was about remembering their purpose and design.

Each of us carry the same burden as we try to manage how others see us rather than discover who we are made to be and how that matters in the much needed context of belonging.

So this S.H.A.P.E. journey is designed to do just that; remind us of how wonderfully we were made and the ways God redeems our fallen nature with purpose. What I can’t do, God can through our weaknesses. What He does, though, is to His glory and His will and not our own. Our job is merely to discern where God is asking us to let go and let him determine our steps.

Pastor Steve

“S” stands for Spiritual Gifts

“Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.”

1 Corinthians 12:1 (New International Version)

Don’t be too thrown by the word ‘ignorant’; all it means here is that Paul does not want us to miss out on the blessings that come by Spiritual Gifts because we are not understanding their purpose of application. From the very moment we humble ourselves to receive Christ, God starts to pour His power into our lives in the form of Spiritual Gifts.

What is a Spiritual Gift?

God empowers us as believers by the transforming and sustaining nature of His grace. This power is manifested by the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. It is also manifested within the universal Body of Christ through spiritual gifts. As the Spirit lives within us, the power of the Spirit is released to accomplish service to the Body that supersedes our own natural ability. Combined with our submission, a work is released that brings glory to God. These gifts are not meant to be used for our own purposes.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:7 (New International Version)

 

Try this exercise of a discovery.

Each spiritual gift listed below is defined carefully using concepts revealed in the key biblical passages. Prayerfully read each one and the accompanying verse, paying attention to what is happening at your heart level. As you go past a gift, does it continue to bring you back? Is the whole of you drawn to specific gifts? (Pay attention to more than what you think about the gift, to include what you feel and or experience.) 

  • Administration

The ability to see the mission, vision and strategies of a ministry and mobilize people and resources to accomplish them.

References: 1 Cor. 12:28, Acts 6:1-7, Ex. 18:13-26

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Apostleship/Missionary

One commissioned and sent out into the world as an ambassador and messenger of the gospel, who will also organize and strengthen the newly converted. 

References: 1 Cor. 12:28-29, Eph. 4:11-12, Romans 1:5, Acts 13:2-3

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Craftsmanship/Design

The skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts that are used to design, construct and/or teach others in building items used in ministry. 

Reference: Ex. 31:3,35:31-35

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Creative Communication

The divine empowerment to motivate worship and communicate the message of Christ through the arts.

References: 1 Cor. 14:26, Palms 150:3-5

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Discernment 

The ability to separate and clearly distinguish truth and error, good and evil.

References: 1 Cor. 12:10, Acts 5:1-4, Matt. 16:21-23

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Encouragement/Exhortation

Able to come alongside another as a friend or helper to console or comfort, encourage or strengthen, and inspire.

References: Roman 12:8, Acts 11:22-24, Acts 15:30-32

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Evangelism

Ability to lead others into a personal relationship with Jesus by sharing the gospel wherever and whenever there is an opportunity.

References: Eph. 4:11, Acts 8:26-40, Luke 19:1-10

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Faith

Seeing the character and promises of God as reality and acting in harmony with them. 

References: 1 Cor. 12:9,13:2, Hebrews 11:1, Romans 4:18-21

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Giving

The ability to give, share, or communicate to others what God has entrusted to them.

References: Romans 12:8, Luke 21:1-4

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Healing

The conviction to pray, touch, or speak words in order to bring spiritual, emotional or physical healing in harmony with God’s sovereign act.

References: 1 Cor. 12:9,28,&30, Acts 3:1-16, John 9:1-7

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Helps

The God-given desire to serve others by doing the practical and necessary tasks that support, encourage or assist the accomplishment of ministry.

References: 1 Cor. 12:28, Romans 12:7, Acts 6:1-4, Romans 16:1-2

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Hospitality

 Able to love others by providing food, shelter, and relationship.

References: 1 Peter 4:9-10, Acts 16:14-15, Hebrews 13:2

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Intercession

The enablement to consistently pray on behalf of others when prompted to do so from God.

References: Romans 8:26-27, John 17:9-26, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Col. 4:12-13

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Interpretation

The divine ability to communicate to the rest of the body what was spoken in an 

unknown language.

References: 1 Cor. 12:10,14:5,26-28

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Knowledge

The empowerment of the Holy Spirit to understand situations and circumstances and speak to them in a way that ministers to others through the bringing of answers, understanding   and healing. 

References: 1 Cor. 12:8, Mark 2:6-8, John 1:45-50

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Leadership

Guiding others by moving first towards the mission of the local Body while serving as protector, guardian and manager of the process.

References: Romans 12:8, Hebrews 13:17, Luke 22:25-26

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Martyrdom

Proclaiming faith in Christ while facing impending death.

References:  Acts 7:54-60

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Mercy

Extending compassion through helping or bringing help to one afflicted or seeking aid so that they may experience God.

References: Romans 12:8, Matt. 5:7

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Miracles

Able to be used by God to intervene in certain situations supernaturally in a way that brings glory to God.

References: 1 Cor. 12:10,28-29, John 2:1-11, Luke 5:1-11

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Prophecy

The empowerment of the Holy Spirit that brings light to others for understanding, correction, repentance and edification.

References: Romans 12:6, 1 Cor. 12:10,28,&13:2, 2 Peter 1:19-21

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Service

To attend to the needs of others.

References: Romans 12:6-8

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Pastoring/Shepherding

Providing for the welfare of believers through guidance, protection, care and nurture as they grow toward spiritual maturity.

References: Eph. 4:11-12, 1 Peter 5:1-4, John 10:1-18, 1 Peter 5:1-2

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Teaching

The ability through instruction to successfully help others to learn and apply Christian truth and duty to their lives.

 References: Romans 12:7, 1 Cor. 12:28-29, Acts 18:4-28, 2 Timothy 2:2

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Tongues

A moving within to speak in a language unknown to the speaker for the purpose of worship, prayer and/or to deliver a message to the Body.

References: 1 Cor. 12:10,28-30,13:1&14:1-33, Acts 2:1-11

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

  • Wisdom

Believers who are endowed with spiritual insight into godly truths and are able to apply that understanding to a specific situation in order to make right decisions and humbly choose proper courses of action.

References: 1 Cor. 12:8, James 3:13-18, 1 Cor. 2:3-14

Desire for this gift.  (    )   Joy when I think of or do. (    )  Others see this in me.  (    )

Types of Gifts

Spiritual gifts serve many purposes within the body of Christ. There are gifts used to equip God’s people. Other gifts are used to explain God’s truth. Some enable God’s work while others establish God’s authority. Each purpose serves to build the body of Christ.

Equipping Gifts – Apostleship/Missionary, Prophecy, Evangelism, Pastor/Shepherding

Explaining Gifts – Prophecy, Teaching, Encouragement/Exhortation, Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge

Enabling Gifts – Serving, Helps, Leadership, Administration, Giving, Showing Mercy, Discerning of Spirits, Faith, Hospitality, Craftmanship/Design, Creative Communication, Intercession

Establishing Gifts – Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, Miracles, Healing

Emboldening Gifts – Faith, Martyrdom

Who has them?

God has given each believer at least one gift.     1 Peter 4:10

How are gifts given?

The Holy Spirit gives the gifts.    1 Corinthians 12:7,11

What is their purpose?

To equip believers.    Ephesians 4:11-12

To edify the church.    Ephesians 4:12, 16

To establish believers.    Romans 1:11

To encourage believers.    Romans 1:12

For effectiveness in the church.    1 Corinthians 12:7

To enlarge the church.    Ephesians 4:16

To exalt Jesus Christ.    1 Peter 4:11

After this exercise, you can compare your results with the spiritual gifts part of your free S.H.A.P.E. test. (Note: Their list is not as comprehensive as our list below, and ours may not be complete either!) Knowing these gifts should confirm that God can use you to bless the body. At the same time, don’t allow test results to limit how God may empower you for a given situation.

So what did you learn about yourself? God? About how we are meant to be knitted together into a divine community of Grace? Leave a comment below so that we can encourage each other further in our understanding of God’s gifts and His power for change.

Are you ready to explore the next letter in S.H.A.P.E. exercise? Click here!

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