THE PURPOSE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS
by Pastor Santos Yao
We have discussed the reality of our spiritual gifts, and what are the gifts mentioned in the New Testament. This morning, we are going to look at the topic of why God gave us spiritual gifts. In order to understand better God’s purposes, we have to look at the three prepositions mentioned in the passage:
1. “to” or “for” (“pros”).
This preposition emphasizes on the immediate goal, which is, “for/to the perfecting of the saints” (v.12). The word “perfecting” (“katartismon”) literally means to “complete thoroughly”, “to fit perfectly together”, “to thoroughly prepare”, or “to put right as in setting a broken bone”. So what is the immediate purpose of spiritual gifts? It is prepare us, equip us, and fit us right together for ministry. There are two emphasis here. One is to train, taught, equip us for ministry. The second is the “together” aspects of ministry. That is, we are being prepared to do ministry together and reciprocally.
2. “unto” or “into” (“eis”).
The medium range goal of spiritual gifts is “unto the work of service”. Gifts are to be used in ministry not for display. It is to be used with the attitude of humility as the word “diakonia” would emphasize. There is no room for arrogance nor pride. And every believer in the local church must be using their gifts for its corporate growth.
3. “unto the building up” (“eis”).
The ultimate goal of spiritual gifts is to build up the Body of Christ. All of us has a part in this “construction project”. This “building up” process has an expiration date as pointed out by the preposition “until”. And as emphasized by Paul, the building project would end when we all become mature. Maturity means:
o unity of the faith/full knowledge of the Son of God
o stability of our faith
o truthing in love
o health of the Body
There are three kinds of cells in a person’s body. Cancer cells that work against the Body, fatty cells that simply occupy space. And healthy cells that promotes the health and growth of the Body.
What kind of cell am I?