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.