OUR LORD WHO GIVES US GIFTS
In a demonstration of His kindness, our Lord will many times give His children gifts to encourage them along their way. The Lord Jesus described the nature of these gifts using a contrasting metaphor in Mathew 9 verse 9 - 11.
Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Here, the Lord our God is shown to be generous with good gifts that He gives to His children just for the asking. In this category of gifts that the Lord gives, His child could ask for a gift and our Father in heaven would surpass any human father in fulfilling the request by the giving of good gifts.
1 Corinthians 12 verse 7 - 11 lays out another category of gifts where the gifts are spiritual abilities that are given to individuals. The individuals, then develop the giftings that are in them and they are then able to use the gifts for ministering to each other for the benefit of the body of Christ as a whole by the guidance of the Spirit of God.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man for profit.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another various kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
But in all these works that one and same Spirit, dividing to every man individually as he will.
Our Lord also gives His people gifts of a different and more demanding category. In Ephesians 4 verse 7 - 13, the Apostle Paul outlines the way that God gives people, operating in various capacities, as gifts to the church. The passage goes like this:
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.”
(Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Here, a person is called and prepared by God to have specialized ministry skills that are constructive to the lives of the people of God and the church in general.
Thus, the three kinds of gifts of God are dispersed among His people: Personal gifts, spiritual gifts and the gift of able ministers prepared by God for good works.
Bless the Lord our God.