Peter described this grace as possessing a variety of facets. The King James Version translates it as the "manifold grace of God" in First Peter 4:10. Notice The Amplified Bible:
"As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as befits good trustees of God's many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]."
Each believer has received a gift from God. It is not only the gift of grace and salvation, but it is also a specific facet of His own grace to work in that person and reveal His greatness.
The word translated "gift" in the New Testament refers to a gift of grace, according to Thayer's. The root word in Greek means grace and actually indicates the results of grace. Thus, the various gifts named in the New Testament can be understood as "gifts of grace."
It is easy to grasp this when we consider these gifts separately. Each is an area that needs God's influence and empowering in order to operate through an individual.
First Corinthians 12 lists nine gifts of the Holy Spirit that will flow through Christians to enable them to minister effectively. These gifts are manifestations of the Spirit of God in power, in revelation, and in utterance.
But other gifts are mentioned in the New Testament as well. In Romans 12:6, the Apostle Paul says, "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us. "Then Paul proceeds to list seven gifts of grace in which some will function.
In Ephesians 4:7, Paul says, "Naturally there are different gifts and functions; individually grace is given to us in different ways out of the rich diversity of Christ's giving" (Phillips). Verse 11 adds, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers." These are ministry gifts to the Body of Christ for equipping and maturing the Church.
There is yet another list of gifts in First Corinthians 12:28: "And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues."
These gifts are not named in a particular order of importance or authority that places apostles at the top of God's list. Rather, they appear in an order of function in His plan. All have the same standing in the Kingdom of God. Every person has been bought with the same price and holds the same place of importance in the Father's heart.
Thus, the Scripture refers to more than 20 different gifts, all of them the outward workings of the godly influence within the hearts of God's people. To be true stewards of God's grace, we must understand not only the grace given to every believer, but also the unique calling and gifting of the Holy Spirit for each individual life.
- Excerpt from the
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