Spiritual Gifts and the Glory of God

Tim Brister —  February 13, 2012 — 11 Comments

Last night, I taught on the nature and purposes of spiritual gifts.  One particular point I tried to elaborate was this: a church passionate about the glory of God will be passionate about the spiritual gifts being exercised in the body.  And here is the reason why.

1.  Christ is glorified in the church (Eph. 3:20)
2.  The Holy Spirit purposes to glorify Jesus (John 16:14)
3.  The Holy Spirit accomplishes this purpose through the gifts He supplies to the church
4.  The sovereign administration (1 Cor. 12:11, 18) and measure (Rom. 12:3) of the spiritual gifts are so that “in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 4:11)

We are dependent upon the Holy Spirit to do in us what we naturally do not have the ability to do.  And God so wires our gifts that we cannot boast in them or in ourselves.  Rather, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:26-31).  We should consider our gifting the same way we do our calling, for this is God’s design.  We only can boast in the giver of the gift, and the glory is not making us look great but through us the Holy Spirit putting Jesus on display.

A church where the spiritual gifts are missing, ignored, or downplayed cannot be serious about the glory of God. The glory of Christ is seen in the grittiness of believers exercising their God-given abilities for the edification of the church. In God’s kindness, He has equipped every believer with supernatural ability to glorify Jesus, not by our strength, but “by the strength that God supplies” (1 Pet. 4:10), or according to Paul, “with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Col. 1:29).

Every Christian should have a consuming passion to live for the glory of God.  But practically, what does that look like?  How do we live that out in the church?  We should so live and serve in way that “in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” And I believe the we go about doing that is by being good stewards of His grace in the free and regular exercise of His gifts.

Simply put, the glory of Christ is seen through the exercising of the gifts of His Spirit in the ministry of the church.

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  • Bruce H.

    I agree. The pursuit is the issue of the issue. In Matthew 25:31-46 the sheep who did what the Master wanted them to didn’t even realize that they did what they did. Yes, we must glorify God, but we cannot lay out the plan to do so. It is the life committed and devoted to Him that responds like Christ to a lost and dying world. We don’t even realize what we are doing when we do it. The goats on the other hand seemed to think they were slighted because they did do the things they thought glorified God. It is the things we do that we have not scheduled into our day that is accounted for by God. Keeping our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our faith seems to bring the glory to God in the things accomplished.

  • This is a great post. Excellent reflections. Can I translate it to spanish so I can share your thoughts with the latin american church?

    • Sure Eduardo! That would be awesome. If for that matter, anything you read here that you think would be profitable to the latin american church, feel free to take it, translate it, and use it for others.

      • Thanks, will do! God bless!

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  • Great Post. Is it possible that you could link to the audio when it is available? You had my curiosity stirring as you were preparing for this study.

  • Reblogged this on benleney and commented:
    I think this is a key to recognising how God is going to change this nation and change our churches. Not through us per se but through what God has put in us. Having faith in the fire.

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  • Richard

    Mans’ progression because of Jesus is to be; justified then sanctified and then to glorified.
    The enemy will do what is required to stop this progression.
    He has caused forgiveness to be conditional on repentance, so that a huge section of the church will say “repent to be forgiven”. . . instead of the truth, which says “you’re forgiven, therefore repent”.

    Because of confusion and lies this causes Justification becomes conditional on Sanctification.
    This relationship between justification and sanctification is called “the law”.
    Or “another Gospel”.

    After being Justified we are sanctified and then to be continuously be sanctified by the Word.
    The Word of God reveals darkness in our renewed mind, it is a mirror,and our reaction to these revelations can bring condemnation, or a greater knowledge of the fathers love for us and with that boldness to move forward towards God.
    The enemy causes a focus on condemnation to stop our progress towards Glory.

    We are told to move towards Glory with the sure knowledge of being justified by the blood of our saviour, Jesus.
    As we accept our position of being the “Glory of the Lord” and manifest his nature, his wisdom, and actions by the Holy Spirit we can sometimes forget the sacrifice.
    Operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit without acknowledging Jesus is entirely possible. I’ve been there. . . it’s a “strange fire” that lights the way.

    We are made able to manifest Gods glory, but we still need to do that by Faith.
    Fellowship, acceptance, prayer, thanksgiving, worship, to know, to say, and do what we can’t do in our own ability, are all made possible by Faith.
    God is now “in” us and we release him out of our Temple by Faith. . . All the fruits, Gods justice, Grace, and goodness all flow from us to show the Glory of our God.
    Every day contemplate, the cross, wash in the Word, fellowship, worship, and light the world with the Spirit of God.