Matt Chandler, pastor of a Texas megachurch, has explained why God gives His people specific spiritual gifts — and the importance of using those gifts to benefit the body of Christ.
"When it comes to spiritual gifts, I think people tend to immediately jump over to the sign gifts; the miraculous sign gifts of the Holy Spirit," Chandler, who leads The Village Church in Highland Village, said. However, the Bible "talks about the gifts a bit differently," the pastor contended, citing "multiple lists" in the New Testament about the gifts God gives to His children.
He explained: "One of the things the Bible is clear about is that every Christian, every follower of Jesus Christ has been gifted by God for a singular purpose: For the building up of the body so that no one's giftedness, whether that be administration or hospitality or prophecy or teaching — none of those gifts were given for the person alone, although the person might very much enjoy using the gift that God has given them."
Rather, those gifts have been given to build up the body of Christ, Chandler said, adding that "it's really important" to understand that everyone must use their gift to benefit the Kingdom — regardless of what it is.
"No one gets to kind of shove it down and not use it because they want a different gift," he emphasized." The Bible is clear — specifically, 1 Corinthians 12:13-14, are clear that not everyone gets all gifts, but God gives to each as He has determined and He has decided for the building up of a given body.
God, and God alone, knows "who is where and what community of faith needs what," Chandler said, and "puts all those things together in such a way that we might grow and mature."
"If you think of Paul's illustration about the body, where the eye cannot say to the foot, 'I have no need of you,' this is what happens when someone has the gift of administration but would rather have the gift of teaching and says, 'I hate being an administrator, I want to teach,' or a teacher says, 'I hate teaching; I want to administrate,'" he pointed out.
"Rather, if we could humbly submit ourselves to God and the gifts He's given us, the picture that gets painted is of a healthy body on the mission of God growing into the fullness of what Christ died to bring to us."
Chandler concluded his message by encouraging believers to "learn how God has gifted you, operate in that gift for the building up of the body, and to love."
"I think you'll find a lot of joy in that place and certainly your community of faith will grow in maturation," he said.
Previously, Chandler explained he is a "continuist" when it comes to spiritual gifts, believing that all the gifts are still available to believers today.
However, he clarified that these gifts "must still must be used as the Word of God would give them to us to use, and must be exercised in the type of humility and maturity that the Bible would require for us to operate in our gifts."
"They will make things messy at times, and they do require a pastoral staff to teach and train their members on how these gifts function," he said.