FAQ about When We Receive Our Spiritual Gifts & If We Can Lose Them
When learning about spiritual gifts, you might have some questions that are not specifically answered in a study of the key Bible passages related to gifting. Two questions not directly answered in Scripture are: 1) When do we receive our spiritual gifts. 2) Can we lose our spiritual gifts? Perhaps the following thoughts will provides some help in answering these FAQs:
When does a person receive his/her spiritual gift(s)?
Some believe we have our spiritual gifts from physical birth and tie them in with our personality traits. Others believe we receive our spiritual gifts at our new birth in Christ. Factors to keep in mind are that the Bible clearly teaches that spiritual gifts are a work of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-11). A person does not receive the Spirit until salvation (Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13-14).
Personality traits are linked to genetics, tempered by our environment. Spiritual gifting is a manifestation of the Spirit, tempered by our walk with God. If a gift lies dormant within us until salvation or such a time as it becomes manifested, does that mean an unbeliever has spiritual gifts within? How does that reconcile with Scripture about the condition of the unregenerate man?
Can I lose my spiritual gifts?
While there is plenty of Scripture to support the loss of effectiveness and fruitfulness, the Bible does not indicate the actual loss of gifts. Some may use parables like the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 to conclude that you can lose your gifts if you don't do anything with them because the master tells them to take the lazy servant's talent away from him. Understand that it would be pure interpretation to say that the talents represent spiritual gifts. Read on to see what happens to the lazy servant's talent. It is not only taken from him but given to the one who had ten. You are going to run into some serious logistical problems with that. Plus, it implies that gifts are merit-based in saying that the faithful are rewarded with the gifts neglected by others. Scripture is clear that gifts are given because of grace (Romans 12:6a) ... nothing earned or merited. One of the main Greek words used for spiritual gifts, 'charisma,' means grace. Perhaps the question of whether we can lose our spiritual gifts must be answered with a deeper question -- whether you can lose the Spirit who bestowed your gift(s) on you at salvation when He indwelt you.
For other questions your might have about gifting, go to: FAQ About Spiritual Gifts