1) Each is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit's presence.
2) Each is "for the common good," that is, each is intended to build up the body of Christ.
3) Each is given "as God determines."
If those gifts operate in love the church will accomplish what God intends for it and that is to show the world His plan of salvation for all people regardless of race, position, status, poverty, or wealth.
If you don't know your spiritual gift I encourage you to identify it's needed in the church. If you are sitting on your gift then your congregation is missing it like the body missing a finger. It can’t function at the optimal level without that finger as small and insignificant as you might think it is it still keeps the body from functioning as God would have it.
Because of the interested generated by this series Christ Church Wednesday Bible Study Group is doing an extensive study of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Here are notes of the first session in this study. To hear an audio recording of the session click the YouTube link at the end of the notes.
In Christianity, spiritual gifts (or charismata) are endowments given by the Holy Spirit.These are the supernatural graces which individual Christians need to fulfill the mission of the church. They are described in the New Testament, primarily in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12,and Ephesians 4. 1 Peter 4also touches on the spiritual gifts. The gifts are related to both seemingly "natural" abilities and seemingly more "miraculous" abilities, but all spiritual gifts are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
CHARIS” is a word in the original Greek language of the New Testament. It is often translated as grace, kindness, favour, blessing, etc. It means “unmerited favor.” It …
The word gift is translated from the Greek charisma (which is where we get charisma or charismatic, compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others) quite often associated with tongues, healings, word of knowledge, prophecy, miracles, and so on. Charisma means freely given or gift of grace.
These gifts were given by the grace of God so they were not earned through study or practice or genetics but by God's grace. These gifts are supernatural endowments given by the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 12:4-7 NKJV There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
These are the supernatural graces which individual Christians need to fulfill the mission of the church. The gifts are related to both seemingly "natural" abilities and seemingly more "miraculous" abilities, but all spiritual gifts are empowered by the Holy Spiri
Spiritual gifts are distinguished from other graces of the Holy Spirit, such as the fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:19-26 NKJV Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit,
Isaiah 11:2-3 NKJV The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord . His delight is in the fear of the Lord , And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
- Wisdom: Also,the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the whole image of God. We see God as our Father and other people with dignity. Lastly being able to see God in everyone and everything everywhere.
- Understanding: In understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live. The gift of understanding perfects a person's speculative reason in the apprehension of truth. It is the gift whereby self-evident principles are known, Aquinas writes.
- Counsel (Right Judgment): With the gift of counsel/right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus. The gift of truth that allows the person to respond prudently, and happily to believe our Christ the Lord
- Fortitude (Courage): With the gift of fortitude/courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death. The gift of courage allows people the firmness of mind that is required both in doing good and in enduring evil, especially with regard to goods or evils that are difficult, just like Joan of Arc did.
- Knowledge: With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God. The gift of knowledge is more than an accumulation of facts.
- Piety (Reverence): With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. Piety is the gift whereby, at the Holy Spirit's instigation, we pay worship and duty to God as our Father, Aquinas writes.
- Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe): With the gift of fear of the Lord we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. This gift is described by Aquinas as a fear of separating oneself from God. He describes the gift as a "filial fear," like a child's fear of offending his father, rather than a "servile fear," that is, a fear of punishment. Also known as knowing God is all powerful. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7) because it puts our mindset in its correct location with respect to God: we are the finite, dependent creatures, and He is the infinite, all-powerful Creator.
Charismata are to be used for the benefit of others while the fruit of the Spirit and other gifts result in personal sanctification.
Paul introduced the topic in his letters to Corinth, Rome and Ephesus.
Romans 12:3-8 NKJV For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
I Corinthians 12:1-12 NKJV Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 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. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-15 NKJV And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ--
Peter shares how the church is to function with each of us using our gifts and ministering to each other.
I Peter 4:7-11 NKJV But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
We see from these passages that there are different Spiritual Gifts and that our goal as Christians is to use whatever gift we have received to serve others. Let us then investigate the different gifts and discuss how we can start using them.
According to many nationwide surveys most of us do not know what our spiritual gifts are. It was the same way in the New Testament Church. Paul wanted to correct that.
I Corinthians 12:1-7 NKJV Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
Paul says that He doesn’t want us to be ignorant about
spiritual gifts so he uses three descriptive words that when put together help us better understand what a spiritual gift is.
First Paul wrote, ”There are different kinds of gifts”. The word “gifts” implies that what God is giving us is given to us freely, just like a Birthday or Christmas gift.
The second phrase that Paul used as a clarifier was “There are different kinds of service”. The word “service” implies that the gifts or those abilities or passions that were freely given to us by God, are to be used as a form of serving God. The word service is the same word that is used for ministry.
Paul is implying that God has given you and I spiritual gifts that equip us for ministry.
The final phrase that Paul uses is “There are different kinds
of workings.” The word “workings” is an exciting word. It is
only used twice in the Bible, both times in this chapter. This
word means the “effect or result” of the energy or the power
When we put all three phrases together we see that a spiritual gift is:
An ability or prompting of the Holy Spirit, given to us
freely, and is energized and empowered by God for His
The differences between spiritual gifts and talents: There are similarities and differences between talents and spiritual gifts. Both are gifts from God. Both grow in effectiveness with use. Both are intended to be used on behalf of others, not for selfish purposes
A talent is the result of genetics and/or training, while a spiritual gift is the result of the power of the Holy Spirit. 2) A talent can be possessed by anyone, Christian or non-Christian, while spiritual gifts are only possessed by Christians. 3) While both talents and spiritual gifts should be used for God’s glory and to minister to others, spiritual gifts are focused on these tasks, while talents can be used entirely for non-spiritual purposes.
- Tongues Interpretation
Here are twelve principles that relate to God's design for spiritual gifts:
To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all (1 Cor. 12:7).
2. Some believers have received more than one spiritual gift.
3. Spiritual gifts are given at the salvation, but they may lie undiscovered and dormant for a long period of time. Multi-gifted Christians often discover their combination of gifts through a gradual process.
4. Spiritual gifts can be abused and neglected, but if they are received at salvation, it would appear that they cannot be lost.
The Corinthian church illustrates the fact that believers can be highly gifted but spiritually immature. Read 1 Corinthians 12.
5. Spiritual gifts are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit, but the fruit of the Spirit, especially love should be the context for their operation.
6. Spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents.
7. All Christians are called to a ministry, and their gift enables them to perform their ministry.
Ministry is determined by divinely given gifts and opportunities.
8. Gifts are God's spiritual equipment for effective service and edification of the body.
They are not given for the self-promotion of the recipient, but for the profit and edification of the Body of Christ. The possessor is only the instrument and not the receiver of the glory (J. Oswald Sanders).
9 Spiritual Gifts without love do not accomplish God's intended purpose.
When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians he was writing to a church where all the spiritual gifts were in operation. God had given them for the edification of the body and each of them, but they were misusing them, they were abusing each other, they thought one gift was superior to another, they were puffed up with knowledge.
He went on to write
1 Corinthians 12:27- 13:3 (NKJV)27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.