Posted by Jerry White on May 27, 2010
But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
John 15:26 (ESV)
“Every Christian has a gift. The Spirit gives one to each person, just as he determines (1 Corinthians 12:11). What is this gift for? ‘To each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good’ (1 Corinthians 12:7). These are illuminating words indeed. A gift, Paul suggests, is a ‘manifestation of the spirit’. It is a means by which the Spirit shows us more of Christ. He does so by using some ability he has given us in the service of others.
Martin Luther used to speak about the Christian being ‘a little Christ’ to his neighbour. That is what Paul means here. Unlike many of us, Paul did not think of a gift of the Spirit as something which makes the recipient seem special or important. A gift of the Spirit is meant to show that Christ is special. The only person the Spirit wants to manifest is Jesus! (See John 16:12-14 and John 14:21, 23). When we exercise the gifts which Christ has given us we are really saying to our fellow Christians and others: See how much the Lord Jesus loves you and cares for you; he has sent me to love you and serve you in this way; he is using my hands and feet, my lips and ears, to show his love in this special way. It is a tragic mistake if we think that the message is: See what a super Christian I am; see the wonderful gifts I have.”
Sinclair B. Ferguson
Grow In Grace, 87
“Because the devil has such great powers to ensnare, we must beware at all times. For at the moment we forget our low estate and think we have become spiritual and specially gifted, we have become wrong-spirited and we are in grave danger. This is a serious warning to those who have experienced special inner guidance and spiritual gifts. Do not slip from your place in Christ on the misstep of hidden pride.”
John of the Cross (1542-1591)
You Set My Spirit Free, 123, (Arranged and paraphrased by David Hazard)