June 30, 2016

Christ’s Gifts Through the Spirit

Ephesians 4:1-13

Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

—  Ephesians 4:11-12

Have you ever received gifts or trinkets that you don’t really need? In our family we’ve accumulated some unneeded and tacky gifts over the years. Many of these simply gather dust in our closet.

Closets may be appropriate for tacky gifts, but not for the precious gifts of the Holy Spirit. Paul stresses that, like salvation, these gifts are from Jesus applied through the Spirit, and they are for building up the church.

The gifts Paul mentions include some high-level leadership gifts, and we might say to ourselves, “I don’t have those gifts.” But those aren’t the Spirit’s only gifts. Actually more than twenty gifts of the Spirit are identified in the New Testament, and they aren’t exhaustive of all the gifts the Spirit may give.

One thing we can be sure of is that each of us has gifts from Jesus through the Holy Spirit. We may not dismiss these gifts and put them in a closet. These precious gifts are not to be used for our glory but for God’s ­glory, “so that the body of Christ may be built up . . . attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

What gifts do you have? How will you use your Holy Spirit-given gifts today to build up the body?

Dear Jesus, thank you for sending your Spirit to live in our hearts. May we use the gifts that the Spirit gives us to glorify you and to work with you in building your kingdom. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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