You will not find the phrase “spiritual giants” in scripture. When people use that phrase they are thinking of someone that is spiritually-minded beyond the norm. It is someone who commands respect for their devotion to Christ and for their love to fellow-members of the body of Christ. They are indeed, as we sometimes say, “bigger than life,” but not because they are seeking the praise of men. It’s actually just the opposite; their main goal and passion in life is to exalt Christ.

In Acts 15:22 we read of such men, “Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send CHOSEN MEN of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabus, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, LEADING MEN AMONG THE BRETHREN” (NJKV). In the eyes of the apostles, elders and the whole church, Judas and Silas were “spiritual giants.” Their names are put right alongside Paul and Barnabus who were obviously spiritual giants and in verses 25-27 we learn one of the qualities of a spiritual giant: “It seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with OUR BELOVED BARNABUS AND PAUL, MEN WHO HAVE RISKED THEIR LIVES FOR THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.” A “spiritual giant” will be loved by the whole church and will be willing to “risk their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Again, they do not seek to be famous among their brothers and sisters, but their spiritual character will be such that all who love the Lord Jesus will admire them for the selfless life of service and for their supreme desire to glorify the Name of Christ.

A spiritual giant will be willing to serve in any capacity. Acts 6:1-3 illustrates this point; “Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenist, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, ‘It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve table. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you SEVEN MEN OF GOOD REPUTATION, FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND WISDOM, WHOM WE MAY APPOINT OVER THIS BUSINESS.” One would think that any “ordinary Christian” could have filled the position of helping to pass out food, but the apostles knew it had to be honorable, Spirit-filled men. One of those chosen was a man name Stephen and we read this of him in verse 5, “And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit.” No matter what service he was being chosen for, he had to be well-known for being “full of faith and the Holy Spirit.”

One of the most important passages that speak of being a spiritual giant is Matthew 23:11-12: “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” The world’s view of a “giant among men” is just the opposite. To them he must be self-assertive, seeking positions of authority and power, and endowed with many natural abilities. But our blessed Lord Jesus describes the spiritual giant as one who is “your servant” and as one who “humbles himself.” The Lord Jesus was a chief example of this, as we see in Matthew 10:27-28, “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

In closing, a spiritual giant may also include the thought of being highly “gifted.” One of the seven men who were chosen to distribute food was Philip and he later became a great evangelist. The apostle Paul was not only an apostle, but a gifted teacher, evangelist, pastor and a prophet. But we believe these men were blessed with these gifts BECAUSE of the spiritual character outlined above. It is the willingness to SERVE others and to GLORIFY Christ that makes one a spiritual giant in the eyes of other. And it should be noted that this would include our dear sisters in Christ as well. (251.9) (DO)