Talents vs. the Spiritual gifts of God: I believe that Jesus gave many parables so that those that had ears to hear could find a message that was embedded in them that would become a personal treasure to them and applicable in their everyday walk with the Lord. And I would like to share one of those personal treasures that I found in the parable that Jesus gave that is recorded in Scripture about a king giving talents to his servants. On the surface, these talents look a lot like money but I think the message is much deeper with some very precious blessing and also some very serious consequences. I would like to share the similarities between these talents and the gifts of the Holy Spirit so please give this some prayerful consideration. First I'd like to open with the following Scripture that the apostle Paul wrote under the inspiration of God.
1 Corinthians 12:3-11 (NKJV)... no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Keeping the above Scripture in mind, let's take a look at the business world. To one is given the talent to sell, one is given the talent to work with plastic, to one is given the talent to work with cloth, to one is given the talent to paint. And when we go to town to buy something, we profit from the talents of others and they in turn profit from our labors when we use our hard earned cash to buy their services and products. Therefore the gifts of God are no different, they are given to each for the profit of all. God has given to the true body of Christ, different spiritual gifts that is to be manifested to others showing that it is the same God who works all in all. These gifts of God that is being manifested through His Spirit is "needed product" for the growth and strength within the body of Christ. Also, take note that these gifts are given to the children of God but the gift itself still belongs to God because these gifts are being manifested through His Spirit. Man is not to take the credit for what God is doing through them. When they called Jesus "good teacher" He did not allow that because I believe He was not going to accept credit for what God was doing through Him. Jesus responded by redirecting goodness to God.
Matthew 19:17 (NKJV) "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. A very good lesson for us, indeed!
Now in the following parable, was Jesus really teaching about one personal financial profitability or is it possible that He was trying to teach about the importance concerning the divine Gifts of God that is given through His Spirit. Now please consider the following parable that Jesus gave concerning the king, and the talents that he gave to each, and notice that they were given according each one's personal ability.
Matt 25:14-46 (NKJV) "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. What is God's goods, is it not the gifts he freely gives to those through His Spirit? 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; Would God give a spiritual gift that was too much for someone? And do not all of our abilities differ from one another. And do not our abilities increase as we gain strength and knowledge from the Lord. and immediately he went on a journey. Did not Jesus go to a far country, like to the right hand of the Father which is in heaven? 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them. Do not those with the differing gift of the Holy Spirit suppose to trade their talents with each other for the profit of all? The corporate church of today is not set up the Way God intended for the manifestation of His Spirit. People go to a church service to be ministered to by one man rather than from the body of Christ. But if they went to a gathering of the saints that was manifesting the Spirit, then someone would call out proclaiming that God was truly among them as exampled in 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 (NKJV)
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
This kind of fellowship is not happening today but if it were, I believe we would see much more of God's talents that He gives to those that seek Him.
16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. You see, there is a Day of Judgment and God is going to settle the accounts of all. 20 So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.' 21 His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'22 He also who had received two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.' 23 His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'Pay close attention to the excuses that is given by the wicked and lazy servant. 24 Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' 26 But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, Notice that the Lord did not fall for the excuses but rather identified this servant as being wicked and lazy you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. You see, everyone is given a spiritual talent and we all have the ability of some sort to use the talents or the gifts of God for even this wicked and lazy servant that had very little ability, because his king only gave him one talent, even with his limited ability, he was still held accountable and had no excuse before his lord. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. Now notice how Jesus sums up this parable, speaking of that Day of Judgement where all wicked and lazy servants will be cast out. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' Jesus likens this parable to His coming, just as the king that went on a far journey came back, so will Jesus come back and settle the account of all, based upon how they ministered to others with the talents that is available to all, based upon one's open heart before God and His Holy Spirit.31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: Here is the behavior and outcome of those that were led by the Spirit of God 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' Now here is the judgment of those that lived their own lives that buried their gifts in the complexity of their own lives with little to no concern of others. Their lives we centered on self rather than contributing to the profit of all. 41 Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' 44 Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' 45 Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
You see, the ones that use the talents are of the righteous and the ones that buried their talents are of those that will go away into everlasting punishment. Jesus' life was an example of service to others, even to the point of His death. The apostle Paul wrote this warning to the wicked and lazy servants and gave this blessing to those that serve the Lord manifesting His righteousness in their lives.
Romans 8:11 (NKJV) But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Each person that takes claim to Christianity should in the very privacy of their heart, ask themselves, does the same Spirit that dwelled in Christ Jesus also dwell in them. Are they obedient to God, even to the point of death as Jesus led by example? Does not this verse clearly indicate that one's salvation is accomplished through the works of the Holy Spirit of God?
Romans 8:13-14 (NKJV) For if you live according to the flesh you will die; For those that are resistant to God's gift of the Holy Spirit, and live their lives in accordance of their own will, they will die. but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For the Children of God, that live by the Holy Spirit and all the gifts that are given through His Spirit, these are the true sons of God.
Jesus said: Matt 12:30 (NKJV) He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. Either they're with Jesus, using the divinely given talents/gifts and are gathering for the Lord or they're living their own life pleasing their own will and are amongst the scatterers.