Saturday, January 8, 2011

House Church - Spiritual Gifts

I find it both ironic and disappointing that so much division exists within the church over spiritual gifts. The reality is that God gives all believers spiritual gifts for the up building of His church. Keeping this in mind, spiritual gifts ought to increase rather than decrease the unity of the church as a whole.

Scripture shows us that all believers are needed for the good of the body. No one part is more important than another. By extension, all gifts are needed and beneficial as well.

I Corinthians 12 helps us immensely with this discussion (see also Romans 12:3-8 and Ephesians 4:1-16).

Gifts are to be used with humility for the service of the church family to the glory of God. Peter makes this very clear in I Peter 4:7-11.

Regarding the house church, what makes it unique is that all members of the body are encouraged to use their gifts for body edification throughout the gathering. Another way to say it is that every person who is part of the Christian community is encouraged to exercise his gifts at any time in the meeting to build up the assembly. There is no specific time when gifts are to be employed or are not to be employed. Nothing is scripted. There is no schedule.

It is a little difficult to describe what this looks like during a gathering. The reason for this is that it looks different each time we meet. We exercise gifts of helps, exhortation, giving, mercy, teaching, etc. throughout our times together. I'm happy that what I have seen has been done with humility and in an orderly fashion.

I've found it interesting that it is not obvious (at least to me) who is gifted in what area. This is because all within the church serve everyone else. I'm not suggesting that it is perfect, but rather that there is a spirit of service. This leads to much encouragement, exhortation, and care. In this atmosphere, I don't know who's gifted in what. I suppose it doesn't really matter.

Of course spiritual gifts are not simply to be used during weekly gatherings. They are instead to be part of our daily lives. As we communicate with and get together with other members of the body, we have the privilege of using these gifts for edification.

In the end, the use of spiritual gifts within the house church is similar to what it is in all churches. The unique aspect of the house church gathering is that all members have freedom and encouragement to use their gifts at any time to build up the body.


Al Shaw said...

I'm loving these posts! Thanks for sharing.

I agree that the term "charismatic church" is a tautology. The New Testament doesn't seem to describe any type of church than one which operates according to the grace-giftedness of its members, operated in love.

Eric said...


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback as we can all learn from one another.

It can be a challenge to discuss the house church without sounding condemning of traditional church models. I'm trying to point out what seems to be the biblical practice. I hope it's coming across that way.

sammyze said...

I wonder if God gives different gifts to different people at different times...maybe this is partly why we don't have a clear outline of what it looks like; maybe because we must totally depend on Him, and that may look different from one week to the next? Just some thoughts.

Truth lover said...

All who are born again have the gift of holy spirit. That spirit can show or 'manifest' in several ways. They are listed in I Corinthians 12. These manifestations are given to every man for the profit that God gives. God is no respecter of persons. We all get the full measure of spirit.

It is like all the football players on a team can play football, but each has long suits that put them in position to profit the team with the coach calling the plays.