Blessing of Spiritual Gifts
Today we conclude with our message series from 1 Corinthians called “Spirit Empowered Living.” Our message today is entitled “Blessing of Spiritual Gifts.” What are spiritual gifts? Spiritual gifts are supernatural expression of the Holy Spirit working through individual believers. These spiritual gifts are God’s way of blessing people through His church.
In Old Testament times, only certain select people operated in some of the spiritual gifts. For example, some prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha had the spiritual gift of working miracles. Other prophets, had the gift of prophesying, that is speaking for God to others. In New Testament times, in which we are now living, everything changed regarding spiritual gifts. Peter, preaching on the day of Pentecost quotes the prophet Joel to explain what was now happening.
Acts 2:17a (ESV) “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy …
In the last days, which began at Christ’s resurrection and continue until He returns, the Holy Spirit makes spiritual gifts available to all believers. In order to receive the power to minister in spiritual gifts, Jesus taught that a believer must be baptized in the Holy Spirit, something that did not happen in the Old Testament.
Acts 1:4-5 (ESV) And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Spirit baptism, available to all believers, is God’s gateway to moving in spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts have two main uses: first of all, they can be used to build up and minister to believers in the church. Secondly, they can be used to provide the power of the Holy Spirit for witnessing to unbelievers.
Acts 1:8 (ESV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus here tells us that the Spirit’s power enables believers to be bold Spirit-empowered witnesses to those who do not know Jesus. As we go through the book of Acts, we learn that God desires for every believer to be baptized in water and baptized in the Holy Spirit. The evidence that a person has received Spirit baptism and the power behind Spirit baptism is the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues.
Tongues are simply communicating with God in a language that you have never learned. The power of tongues is that it allows a believer to pray a perfect prayer in keeping with God’s will that will always be answered. That is an incredible blessing that God has made available to us today. This morning, we’re going to look at 1 Corinthians 14 to learn more about the blessing of spiritual gifts, particularly within the church. Spiritual gifts are given to …