One of the helpful word pictures of the church in the Bible is that of a body. The church is referred to as the body of Christ. Christ is the head and the body is made up of many members. The many members within the body of Christ have been gifted by God for the purpose of building up the body of Christ and bringing glory to God (see Ephesians 4, I Co-rinthians 12-14, Romans 12:4-8, and I Peter 4:10-11). The body of Christ grows and builds itself up in love when each part of the body is working properly (Ephesians 4:16).
In his book, “Concise Theology,” J. I. Packer has made three helpful ob-servations about spiritual gifts that have been given to the members in the body of Christ. First, he points out that a spiritual gift is “an ability from Christ to show and share Christ in an upbuilding way.” Secondly, he notes that there are two types of gifts: gifts of speech and gifts of helpful-ness (see 1 Corinthians 12:6-8 & 1 Peter 4:10-11). Thirdly, he insists that there is no “giftless” Christian. Every Christian has a gift.
The Bible never speaks of a Christian in isolation from the body. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. God has made us to live in community and God has saved his people to live in community with other members of the body of Christ. We need each other. You need the ministry of others in your life and others need your ministry in their lives.
As believers in Jesus Christ and as members of his body we have the awesome privilege and responsibility of discovering, developing and deploying our spiritual gifts for the building up of the body of Christ and for the glory of God. Each and every gift is vitally important to the health and well-being of the body.
May I suggest some actions that may help in discovering, developing and deploying your spiritual gift.
- Be prayerful. Pray for opportunities to use your gift at Wake Chapel Church.
- Be involved. When there are opportunities available, look at your own abilities and interests and how your abilities and inter-ests may fit into that opportunity.
- Be flexible. It may be that you will try something that really doesn’t fit. When that happens pray about and look for another opportunity.
- Be bold in faith. At times you will feel like a failure. As Dan-iel Emery Price pointed out, “grace enables you to try to do hard things by removing the terror of all failure being final failure.”
- Be focused. Remember, gifts are given to build up the body of Christ and to bring glory to God.
- Be faithful. Your gift is a stewardship. You will give an account for how you used it.
- Be excited. God saved you and placed you in the body of Christ for a purpose.