Jim Denison: Are Spiritual Gifts the Same as Talents?

William Borden was heir to the Borden dairy fortune, but he abandoned immeasurable wealth to serve God as a foreign missionary. Tragically, he contracted meningitis before reaching his destination and died. Among his possessions was found this scribbled note, summarizing his life’s passion: No reserve, no retreat, no regrets. His story and motto captured the heart of a generation and galvanized thousands for mission service.

How can our faith be as bold and joyous as his? How can we serve Jesus with such passion today?

“Spiritual gifts” are a crucial, often neglected part of the answer.

God’s supreme gift to his people is himself. He gave his Son for us, sending him to die in our place so our sins could be forgiven (John 3:16). He has made us his children by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), giving us new life in his Spirit (Romans 8:9).

Now his Spirit lives in us (1 Corinthians 3:16) and wants to use us to lead others to follow Jesus. He has given us “spiritual gifts” as a means to this end. Spiritual gifts are to the church what organs and limbs are to the human body. When we learn about spiritual gifts, we discover the anatomy of the church, the body of Christ.

Our gifts are God’s equipment, provided to help us grow in our faith. When we identify our God-given gifts and abilities, we know better how to serve our Father. We are empowered by God’s Spirit to accomplish God’s will for our lives. We live and share the Christian faith with joy.

And at the end of our work on earth we can say, No reserve, no retreat, no regrets.

Who has spiritual gifts?

Every believer has at least one spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:711Ephesians 4:7), given at his or her salvation.

No believer has every spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:122729-30).

Our gifts differ from each other (Romans 12:3-6a).

We receive our gifts according to God’s will, not our own desire or experience (1 Corinthians 12:11Ephesians 4:7-8).

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jim Denison