SPECIAL TOPIC: PRACTICAL GUIDELINES FOR HOW BELIEVERS CAN KNOW THEIR SPIRITUAL GIFTS
Christ Himself, or rather the Trinity (cf. Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Cor. 12:4-6), gives spiritual gifts to His/their people. Believers are all gifted ministers. Some are leaders, but all are ministers.
There are several lists of spiritual gifts in Paul's writings (cf. 1 Cor. 12: 8-10, 28-30; Rom. 12:6-8; Eph. 4:11). These lists are not identical. This implies that the lists are not exhaustive, but representative. For Paul the gifts are aspects of Jesus' ministry given to His body (the church) to continue His ministry. The NT never gives a definitive list of the gifts or a guideline for believers' knowing which gifts they are given. The focus is not on identifying gifts, but on the diverse aspect of ministry. One of the best practical guidelines for knowing one's spiritual gift is found in an IVP booklet called Affirming the Will of God by Paul Little. The same guidelines for knowing God's will apply to discovering one's spiritual gift.
1. pray specifically about clarification on your personal ministry
2. ask people who know you well what strengths they see in your life
3. look for open doors of opportunity to participate in different ministries
4. when you have done #1-3, follow the desires of your heart; God gives us not only the gift of service but also a special desire to perform His will
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