Gifts That Profit All
It is good for us to go back from time to time and reread the Scriptures closely to make sure that we have stayed the course of truth and righteousness. Within the Church of God there have been so many twists and turns over the last twenty years or more that we sometimes begin to think the Bible says one thing – when it really says another. Too many terms and definitions have taken on different meanings over time because we were not careful to maintain the fundamentals.
Let’s take for instance the term ‘church’ and how it has changed. Long ago I heard pastors say, “I’ll check with Pasadena; I’ll check with the Church.” That is not how Jesus Christ used the word ‘church.’ Jesus said:
“I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
Jesus did not say, “I will build my churches (plural).” He said ‘church’ singular. Jesus had one thing in mind – and that was the called out brethren who constitute the Church of God. As Jesus looks down from His heavenly throne, He sees only His one Church. “Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.” (Ephesians 5:23)
“By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13) “[God] hath put all things under [Jesus'] feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the Church.” (Ephesians 1:22)
In 1 Corinthians 1:13 we read that Jesus is not divided. Therefore, the Body of Christ cannot be divided – but it is! According to God, there can be no barriers of division between like-minded, converted brethren when it comes to His Spirit and the gifts Jesus Christ has bestowed on the Church brethren.
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” (1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-7)
“Withal” is a word that we very seldom use. It means, for everyone. Withal means that each and every one of the brethren are to profit from all the spiritual gifts. Are these gifts given by God for a select few members in only one of the corporate organizations – or, are the gifts of the Spirit for the entirety of church brethren anywhere on the face of the earth? The answer is this: Jesus Christ’s spiritual gifts are given to God's people by the Holy Spirit for the common good of all the Church brethren.
Jesus says that the gifts that He gives are for the profit of everyone. Nowhere in these Scriptural verses do we find any limitation whatsoever that some brethren are to be excluded from benefiting from these gifts. There is no indication at all that some brethren are more worthy than other brethren to be beneficiaries of Christ’s gifts. How then are church leaders able to say that God has made them apostles; prophets; evangelists; pastors or teachers for only a portion of the Church? Why does Jesus give these particular gifts mentioned here?
This next verse, Ephesians 4:12, gives us the answer to this question of why God gives these special gifts. These gifts are given by Jesus for the purpose of perfecting God's people; for serving and for building up the Body of Christ. “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12)
Since the gifts of God are clearly for the profit of all the Church brethren according to Jesus Christ, how in the world do church leaders withhold the gifts they have received from Jesus from all the other brethren who are entitled to them? I submit to you brethren, that this Biblical truth is not believed or practiced by a single one of the larger church organizations today. They reserve the gifts of God to their loyal followers and severely sanction any who would go outside their corporate organization to share God's gifts - which God says they must share.
Almost every church organization freely admits that there are converted brethren in all the other groups – and yet they somehow withhold the spiritual gifts God has given them for the profit of all. The Scriptures clearly say that those gifts given by God are for the profit of all the brethren.
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