“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” (1 Corinthians 12:7 NKJV).
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are divine expression of God’s grace in and through the believers. They are supernatural abilities which the Holy Spirit distributes to the believers in the Church according to His will (Heb. 2:4).
Paul states, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” (1 Cor. 12:11 NKJV).
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not spiritual rewards or wages for the believers’ faithfulness, holiness, protracted fasting and prayer, or devotion to God’s work. They are simply gifts of grace to be received and exercised by faith.
Paul testifies, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Eph. 4:7 NKJV).
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not an exclusive privilege of some mature believers or ministers of God. They are for all born-again believers.
Paul said, “For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.” (1 Cor. 7:7 NKJV).
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not divine yardstick for determining or measuring your spiritual growth and maturity. They are not spiritual basis for comparison or competition with other believers or ministers in the body of Christ.
Paul warns, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Cor. 10:12 NKJV).
Many believers and ministers of God today are abusing or misusing the supernatural gifts or abilities the Holy Spirit has freely bestowed upon them because they are ignorant of the purpose of the gifts.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not bestowed upon you to project or promote yourself. Neither are they divine tools for the accomplishment of your selfish dreams and ambitions. But, they are supernatural abilities or tools to glorify Christ and fulfill the mission of Christ.
What are the purposes of spiritual gifts?
Let us explore the Scripture to find out!
First, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are bestowed upon the believers for God’s glory:
Above anything else, the purpose or mission of the Holy Spirit in the world is to glorify Jesus Christ.
Jesus expressly said of the Holy Spirit, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14 NKJV).
The Holy Spirit always seeks to glorify Jesus Christ in and through the believers. Christ is magnified and glorified before men as the believers exercise supernatural gifts in the spirit of love and meekness resulting in supernatural results.
The exercise of the gifts of the Holy Spirit manifests God’s presence to the people. They make room for supernatural manifestation of God’s presence, glory and power.
Whenever and wherever the gifts of the Holy Spirit are freely exercised in love, there will always be miracles, signs and wonders resulting in God’s glory and praise (Acts 3:1-10, 4:21, 19:17).
The right use or exercise of spiritual gifts in the spirit of love and meekness can convince the unbelievers of the awesome presence and power of Jesus Christ among His people, thereby leading them to repentance and salvation.
In his letter to the church at Corinth, Apostle Paul admonishes the church on the right use of the gift of the Spirit (different kinds of tongues).
1 Corinthians 14:
23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.
25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you. (NKJV).
Second, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for effectiveness and fruitfulness in God’s service:
God’s work cannot be effectively done in the energy or strength of the flesh. Natural abilities and resources are not enough for effectiveness and fruitfulness in God’s service.
This is why the Lord Jesus commanded His early disciples to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they are endued with power from on high before stepping out to be His witnesses.
Jesus said to them, “And you are witnesses of these things. “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:48-49 NKJV).
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NKJV).
Without divine abilities and endowments from the Holy Spirit, the believers will be ineffective, unfruitful and unproductive in whatever God has called or given them to do.
Third, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for the utility, benefit and profit of the Church:
Whatever gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon you is not exclusively for your own private advantage, benefit or profit, but for the common good or profit of all the believers.
Paul aptly states, “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” (1 Cor. 12:7 NKJV).
Paul further admonishes the church at Corinth, saying, “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.” (1 Cor. 14:12 NKJV).
Spiritual gifts are not to be commercialized, merchandized or traded for material gains. But, they are to be exercised for the purpose of blessing, encouraging, strengthening and edifying God’s people.
Paul instructs, “Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” (1 Cor. 14:26 NKJV).
Sadly, the exercise or use of spiritual gifts in many churches today often results in confusion and division because they are not being exercised in love and humility. It profits nothing if you fail to exercise your spiritual gifts in the spirit of love and meekness.
Paul attests to this truth.
1 Corinthians 13:
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (NKJV).
Beloved, love is the more excellent way to exercise, operate or manifest spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:31). Without love, the purpose of spiritual gifts is totally defeated.
Therefore, begin to seek to use or exercise the spiritual gifts or abilities the Holy Spirit has freely given to you for God’s glory, God’s service and for the edification of God’s people in the spirit of love and meekness.
Heed Paul’s admonition in his epistle to the Colossians.
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the proper gifts of the Holy Spirit that I have received. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to begin to exercise Your gifts in the spirit of love and meekness for God’s glory, God’s service, and for the edification of God’s people, in Jesus’ name. Amen.