What are they? Do we need them? Do we need to know what they are? And where can we find them in the Bible?
When we mention the “Gifts of the Spirit”, we often tend to think about supernatural abilities to do supernatural things. This may not be far from the truth, because indeed they are the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, enabling them to perform special assignments and fit into special roles within the Body of Christ.
Apostle Paul stated 1 Corinthians 12vs 1: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be unaware / uninformed / ignorant”. (NET/CSB*)
He went ahead to describe the diversity of spiritual gifts and asked the vital question:
“Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?” 1 Corinthians 12: 29-30
(Well the answer is No: All believers are gifted, yes, but we all have different gifts).
In this study, I will touch on these two aspects:
- Discuss what the gifts of the holy Spirit are and what they are not
- Make a list of the gifts of the Spirits were mentioned in the Bible and where.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Though the Bible does not give a definition of spiritual gifts, it does tell us much regarding their nature and function. In in the original Greek translation is known as a charism (plural: charisma or charismata), which simply means: gifts of grace
These gifts are an offshoot of the completed work of Jesus on the Cross, and they have been given to every believer in order to perform their individual roles effectively and efficiently in the Body of Christ.
Spiritual Gifts an endowment which is given by the Holy Spirit.
WHAT THEY ARE NOT
Before we talk about what the Spiritual Gifts are, let’s quickly mention what they are not
The Gift of the Holy Spirit are Not Human Talents
Human talents are inadequate to do the work of God. Spiritual gifts are abilities God gives the believer for the purpose of service and for doing the work of God.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not the same as the gift “Holy Spirit”
Let me explain. Every Believer at Salvation receives the Holy Spirit as a gift at the point of salvation. However, the gifts we are talking about now are the MANIFESTATIONS of the Holy Spirit Himself in the life of a Christian
The Gift of the Holy Spirit is Not The Fruit Of The Spirit
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5: 22-23). These are qualities or lifestyles of a Christian, not the gift
The Gift of the Holy Spirit are Not Offices
The various offices mentioned in the New Testament include: the office of apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, elder, and deacon. Those who occupy such offices should possess the spiritual gift that goes with it. But the offices themselves are not the gifts
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: WHERE WE CAN FIND THEM
Now let’s talk about the Gifts of The Holy Spirit, what they are and where we can find them.
There are three biblical lists of the “gifts of the Spirit,” also known as spiritual gifts. These three main passages describing the spiritual gifts are:
- Romans 12:6–8;
- 1 Corinthians 12:4–11; and
- 1 Corinthians 12:28.
- Bonus Ephesians 4:11, but that is a list of offices within the church, not spiritual gifts, per se.
- Also, Bonus – 1 Peter 4:11
The spiritual gifts identified in Romans 12:
- leadership, and
The spiritual gifts identified in 1 Corinthians 12:4–11:
- the word of wisdom,
- the word of knowledge,
- miraculous powers,
- distinguishing between spirits,
- speaking in tongues and
- interpretation of tongues.
The spiritual gifts identified in 1 Corinthians 12:28:
- diversities of tongues.
Ephesians 4:11 (Ministry Offices)
- apostles, and
- prophets, and
- evangelists, and
- pastors and teachers
1 Peter 4:11
- Whoever speaks
- Whoever renders service
Despite these variety of Spiritual Gifts, one and the same Holy Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:11)
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them (Romans 12:6)
20 GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
So, if we are to count numerically/categorically, we can list 20 Spiritual gifts highlighted for us in the Holy Scriptures
HOW DO WE CLASSIFY THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
The Spiritual have been classified in many ways. One of such classifications will be used here:
- Ministering Gifts:
These include: The gifts of an apostle, evangelist, pastor, teacher, exhorter, and discerner of spirits; the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge.
- Serving Gifts:
These include: The gifts of ministering, giving, ruling, showing mercy, and displaying faith.
- Sign Gifts:
These include: The gifts of prophecy, healing, miracles, tongues, and interpreting tongues.
DISCOVER YOUR GIFTS
The main point of spiritual gift is to use them. A more in-depth description of these 20 gifts will be published in the second part of this series, but suffice to say that we must seek to know what gifts we have and use them. Whether “small or big” gifts, whatever God has given us, let us use them.
Desire Spiritual Gifts
Apostle Paul admonishes us to desire spiritual gifts. So as believers we must not sit and “claim” that we do not have any spiritual gifts, but we must desire them and as such we will discover where exactly we fit in.
I believe these 5 Bible Verses will inspire us to dig deeper and discover the gold in us.
- “Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues.” (1 Corinthians 14:39)
- “… and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Corinthians 14:1)
- “Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophetic utterances.” (1 Thessalonian 5:19-20)
- “Do not neglect the gift that is in you … Meditate on these things, give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” (1 Timothy 4:14)
- and 5. “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:6)
The Bible is full of special instances where God used humans to accomplish His Purpose. And today, we all are instruments in the hands of the Creator and Saviour. If we seek to be used by God, we definitely will find Him, and through us, His Kingdom will be advanced on earth.
Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures are from the New American Standard Version of The Holy Bible