God had supplied the church in Corinth with an abundance of spiritual gifts. Paul even begins his letter by remarking on their spiritual gifting.
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ1 Corinthians 1:4-7
But something was amiss in Corinth. Their was a palpable arrogance, lack of love, and a partisan carnality that hindered the church from fulfilling her calling as the body of Christ. The problem wasn’t in their gifts—they had been richly supplied with an abundance of spiritual resources. The problem was in how they were using—and not using—their gifts.
Some folks in Corinth believed their possession of a particular spiritual gift implied they also possessed a kind of spiritual maturity that placed them above Christians with “lesser” gifts. That’s why Paul had to remind them that every spiritual gift was vital for the health of the local body (see 1 Cor 12:13-31) and that love “does not boast” (1 Cor 13:4). It doesn’t matter if one possesses “up front” gifts like teaching or “behind-the-scenes” gifts like service and giving; each gift was essential for the church to remain healthy and well-balanced.
When members of a local church neglect to exercise their gift, the whole body suffers. When we refuse to use our spiritual gifts, we impede the body from becoming all it can be for the glory of God. God gave us gifts for the express purpose of using them to bless and build up the body of Christ. “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7), Paul writes: to withhold your gift due to fear, envy, or laziness is ultimately selfish, and contrary to the love we should have for each other.
The simple yet challenging call of God’s Word, then, is to exercise your spiritual gift for the good of your brothers and sisters at your local church. If your gifts are in areas of service, then serve with joy and diligence. If leadership, then serve with passionate courage and competence. If your gift is in showing mercy, then bless the church with your compassion and with an eye on people’s spiritual and physical comfort. If giving, then give with cheerful generosity. If teaching, then teach with skill and humility (see Rom 12:6-8).
There are countless ways to exercise your gifts at Creekside Bible Church. Men’s ministry, women’s ministry, fellowship meals, youth ministry, children’s ministry, young adult ministry, music ministry, GBF Press, evangelism, online presence and design, media production, set-up and tear-down, and a host of other areas.
The moment you became a Christian, God granted you spiritual gifts so that you might bless the body with your particular “manifestation of the Spirit.” God calls you to use that gift for his glory and the good of your church family at your local church.