Jan 13 8:56 AM
Jan 13 8:56 AM
Jan 13 8:56 AM
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
1 Corinthians 12:13-14
Hey everybody, thanks for joining me for this Wednesday edition of Life Lifters. This week, we've been talking about the interesting subject of spiritual gifts. Each day we're answering a different important question about spiritual gifts. The first question we answered was, What are they? Spiritual gifts are supernatural abilities to perform specific tasks. Yesterday, we answered the second question, Who gives these gifts to us? The answer is the Holy Spirit. This all comes from 1 Corinthians 12. The third key question I want to answer today is this: When do we get the spiritual gifts? I've basically given you the answer in the first two days, but I want to be really, really clear. The Bible says you get spiritual gifts the moment you become a Christian.
Some people think that they have spiritual gifts before they become a Christian, but that clearly isn't true. Look at 1 Corinthians 12:13-14. Speaking to Christians in the Corinthian church, Paul says, "For we were baptized by one Spirit into one body ... and we were all given the one spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part, but many." I want to emphasize the line "we were all given the one spirit to drink." One view, which I would call the hyper-charismatic view, teaches that you do not receive the Holy Spirit the moment you believe. Not that all charismatics believe this, but some do, and it's preposterous and thoroughly unbiblical. The Bible teaches on this in John 14:16 and Acts 1. Jesus said, "When I leave, I'm going to send you another Comforter." In other words, when Jesus leaves as the Comforter for all believers, he will send the Holy Spirit, who is also God like Jesus is God, to comfort us. This text in 1 Corinthians says that you are baptized by one Spirit into one body the moment you believe. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a very misunderstood event. It has nothing to do with supernatural gifts or speaking in tongues. It has everything to do with receiving the Holy Spirit.
To be baptized means to be immersed, or to be a recipient of something. But then Paul says we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Drinking of the Spirit means enjoying or engaging in the Holy Spirit's power in your life. One of those things is spiritual gifts. You get spiritual gifts the moment you believe. Even if you don't know what they are, that doesn't mean you don't have them, it just means you don't know how to unlock them or use them. Or, you might be using them and not even realize it. Either way, it's important to know that once you become a Christian, you have spiritual gifts that God has specifically given you. You don't have to pray for them, wait for them, hope for them, or choose them. In fact, you don't even get to choose them. The Holy Spirit chooses them for you.
So, you receive spiritual gifts the moment you believe, but the problem is that some people have no clue what they're about, sometimes for years after receiving them. You have to use your gifts to know what they are. We have a class called Discover Your Purpose in which we'll teach you all the gifts, and we'll help you start the journey of finding which gifts are yours. But you'll never fully know what gifts you have until you use them. Something that might help you is what I call the E Test. The E Test means that when you use your gifts you use them with ease, effectiveness, efficiency, enthusiasm, elation, energy, etc. When you do that time and time again with a certain gift, you know you've got it. So that's what I want you to know about gifts of the Holy Spirit. They come the moment you believe, because we have a great God.
Let's pray. Father in heaven, thank you so much that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives us spiritual gifts the moment we believe. Thank you so much for that amazing promise that when we believe, not only do we have heaven, we have gifts to live out until we get there. Thank you, Lord. Help us to understand, know, and use our gifts wisely and effectively. We praise you for this in Jesus' name. Amen.