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Wordwise Insight, Issue #065
January 14, 2010

WORDWISE INSIGHT is the free monthly newsletter of


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Are the spiritual gifts permanent? Or can we lose them by not using them?

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

MORE ARTICLES: Key steps in Christian service; how to evaluate a local church

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? See below for how to send it to us.


Are you finding Wordwise helpful? And do you have your own website? We would be delighted if you would provide a link on your site to ours. This will enable your friends to find us too! Check the page on the Wordwise website called "Link to Us," and follow the simple instructions. Click on Link to Us.

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LIKE TO ASK A QUESTION? On a Bible topic or passage of Scripture? Or one about a hymn or gospel song? Click on Questions from You.



(Are the Spiritual Gifts Permanent?)

QUESTION: Janice asks, "Once God blesses you with a gift does He take it back (if you do not use it)?"

ANSWER: Interesting question! The quick answer is no, I don't believe so. But let's explore the subject a bit.

There are about 20 spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament. I say "about," because there are one or two that may or may not be included (such as the gift of hospitality, I Pet. 4:9-10). Several lists of gifts are given, but each list is different, suggesting the ones mentioned may simply be examples, and that there may even be other gifts that are not specifically named. (Though I tend to doubt this.) The gifts are enablings of God's Spirit, abilities granted to individuals so they can serve the Lord and His church, the spiritual body of Christ.

Each Christian has at least one gift (I Cor. 12:7, 11; Eph. 4:7; I Pet. 4:10). Some may have been given a cluster of related gifts. Though Christians disagree on the subject, it is my understanding that some of the gifts were themselves temporary, being of special use during the apostolic era. They were later withdrawn, or have become inoperative. The gift of apostleship itself is an example of this. In its technical and narrow sense, there are no more apostles today, since they had to be men who walked and talked with the Lord Jesus, and had seen the risen Christ (Acts 1:21-25; I Cor. 9:1). They were foundational to the church in the early days (Eph. 2:20).

But that is not exactly what you are asking. You want to know whether the gift an individual has been given will be taken away again, if it is not put to use. I can think of no teaching in the Bible to that affect–unless we interpret the Parable of the Talents that way (more of that...

To see the full article, click on Spiritual Gifts Used.


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

In the spring I developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

A Special Feature
There is something unique about this blog that I don't believe has ever been done before. It contains what we could call a Hymn Almanac. If you want to know what happened in the history of hymn writing on any particular day, just click on the blog and you'll see!

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.


Here are two more articles that may be of interest. Steps in Service shows how the Lord works through us to accomplish His purposes. And A Healthy Church gives you three different ways to evaluate a local church.

Steps in Service

A Healthy Church

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