Youth, discovery and spiritual gifts: Demystified (Part 4)


<— Click here for Part 3 Click here for Part 5 —>
Assisting Youth to discover their spiritual gifts and enrolling them to serve in: Introduction (Part 1)

The excesses of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements have created a ‘baby with the bathwater’ effect in Christian conservative circles regarding the present work of the Holy spirit. Click image to enlarge.

How do the spiritual gifts differ from talents or skills? Warren Wiersbe puts it like this, “A spiritual gift is a God-given ability to serve God and other Christians in such a way that Christ is glorified and believers are edified.” [emphasis added] (Wiersbe 2003:37)

The gifting is not capricious; they are for the common good (1 Cor 12:27). They are also not limited to a subset of Christians (1 Pt 4:10). Youth, who have trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, have also therefore being gifted by God for the edification of the saints (Rom 12:2 – 8).

The Bible has more than one compilation of gifts attributed to the Holy Spirit. The lists vary in length and are deemed to be descriptive rather than comprehensive. “Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie, respected scholar and theologian, in his book, The Holy Spirit, lists 14 spiritual gifts. Dr. Peter Wagner, also a respected scholar and theologian, lists 27 gifts in his book. And most other writers number the gifts somewhere in between.” [emphasis added] (Bright, 1980:218)

What can be agreed upon is that these gifts are divinely appointed (1 Cor 12:7 – 11), that they’re to be used in love (1 Cor 13:1 – 3) and that they are evidence of a healthy community of believers (1 Cor 12:27).

Not all gifts are available to all believers. For example the gift of celibacy (1 Cor 7:1 – 9), the ability to control ones sexual impulses and remain single voluntary so as to serve the Lord without distraction, is only intended for people who are not already married (1 Cor 7:5). And the gift of Apostleship (1 Cor 12:28 – 31), the exercise of general leadership and authority on matters of faith in the early church, was reserved for the 12 disciples and later Paul (Eph 4:11 – 12).

Other gifts are not appropriately used by all believers at all times. For example the gift of tongues (Acts 2:1 – 12), a super natural ability to speak in languages never learned for the purpose of evangelisation and edification of the body, was only to be bought to the body when an interpreter was available (1 Cor 14).

<— Click here for Part 3 Click here for Part 5 —>
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5 thoughts on “Youth, discovery and spiritual gifts: Demystified (Part 4)

  1. Good thoughts. I am for the exercising of the gifts of the Spirit. If they indeed be gifts of the Spirit. There is simply too much overemphasis on the gifts and not enough on the giver. I would be wary of Peter Wagner. He is one of the leading lights in the Third Wave Apostolic Movement.

    • Hi Simon,

      Yes, on all your points.

      On Peter Wagner, I’m not advocating him, he was used in a useful quote by Bill Bright which included Charles Ryrie (who I would advocate for, he’s one of my favourite Systematic Theologians on my shelf).

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Thanks Mark, I really appreciate that. Very encouraging.

      This was supposed to be the meat, the Scripture of the discussion, but I was constrained to only 325 words which is not a lot to work with. Tomorrow is the discovery angle which talks to your point, “And you don’t have to take a man made test to find out your spiritual gift..” (second time you’ve been one step ahead of me).

      I wrote this last weekend while sitting on a deck viewing the Drakensburg. I felt inspired to write about God’s Glory but was burdened to write about His people.

  2. something that makes me very glad and joyful is that i have JESUS.I have peace with GOD.All my works are done and i am saved by grace.this grace helps in my weakness.

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