Your Ministry to Others
Every Christian has a gift. The Spirit gives one to each person, just as He determines (I Cor. 12:11). What is this gift for? “To each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (I Cor. 12:7). These are illuminating words. Paul says a gift is the ‘manifestation of the Spirit’. It is a means by which the Spirit shows us more of Christ. He does so by using some ability He has given us in the service to others.
Martin Luther used to speak about the Christian being ‘a little Christ’ to his neighbor. That is what Paul means here. Unlike many of us, Paul did not think of a gift of the Spirit as making the recipient seem special or important. A gift of the Spirit is meant to show that Christ is special. The only person the Spirit wants to manifest is Jesus! (See John 16:12-14 and John 14:21, 23). When we exercise the gifts which Christ has given us we are really saying to our fellow Christians and others: See how much the Lord Jesus Christ loves you and cares for you; He has sent me to serve you in this way; He is using my hands and feet, my lips and ears, to show His love.
… Gifts are for service, not self-advancement. We belong to each other (Romans 12:5); we need each other to reflect the fullness of the love of Christ (I Cor. 12:21). We must therefore learn to see our gifts as instruments by which we can love and serve others.
* * *
How are we using our gifts? For us? For others? For the Kingdom of Christ for the good of His people? Our gifts were given to share so that we all benefit and grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Share that you might grow and be a blessing as you share those particular gifts that are yours. For His glory,__TheologyGirl
“Grow in Grace” by Sinclair B. Ferguson, Chapter 6 “Growing Together”; ReformedWomen-TheologyGirl Growing in Grace Bible Study Series.