As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:“When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So 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 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
-Ephesians 4:1-16

What Is a Spiritual Gift?

An ability from the spirit of Jesus to do what Jesus did. They are gifts from Jesus (vs 7-8), an ability from the spirit of Jesus for his people (vs 11-12).

Spiritual gifts are not the same as your natural abilities, but rather abilities that rise to the surface when Jesus gets ahold of your life. They help us to do the things that Jesus did, to be the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth (vs 15-16).

They are also what make us unique and diverse-- the Church is like a seed, branches diverging different ways as it grows. How do we stay united with our diverse gifts?

What Is the Purpose of Spiritual Gifts?

To build up the Church (vs 11-12).

Spiritual gifts must come under spiritual fruit, or else they are being misused (vs 13).

Church is a place where you serve and are served, and where you can grow with others.

What Are the Spiritual Gifts?

See Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12, 14; 1 Peter 4:8-10.

Examples of some spiritual gifts (an illustrative list, not exhaustive):

  • exhortation
  • teaching
  • prophecy
  • pastoring
  • evangelism
  • discernment
  • giving
  • service
  • helping
  • mercy
  • hospitality
  • leadership
  • administration
  • wisdom
  • faith
  • tongues
  • healing
  • miracles

How to Discern Your Gift

  • Try different ministries; many of the items in the list are Christian duties/traits/values.
  • Ask yourself if you have a growing desire to do something specific. Do you have the ability? Do you see fruitfulness?
  • Is there a fitting opportunity?
  • Ask, “What is God leading me to do?” and share what you’re feeling with the community, asking for wisdom.
Questions for Small Groups
  1. What do you think it means to live in a “consumer culture”? Do you think this has shaped the attitude of Christians toward church? If so, how?
  2. Can you think of a time when serving others brought you joy?
  3. Read Ephesians 4:11-16. How would you define a spiritual gift? What do you think your spiritual gift(s) might be, and how did you discover them?
  4. How can the church affirm people’s unique gifts while ensuring these gifts build up church unity?


Missed this Sunday's sermon? Watch it here!