Gifts of the Spirit

The Bible lists numerous spiritual gifts. Many Bible interpreters divide them into natural gifts (such as speaking, serving others, showing mercy) and supernatural gifts (such as doing miracles and speaking in tongues). Some gifts may be enjoyed privately, but the main reason God gave them is to testify to Christ and to equip individuals to serve others and build up the church. Each believer has been given a special gift of the Spirit, so that he or she can make a unique contribution to the body, Christ's church.

Unfortunately Satan can also deceive people by giving phony and ultimately unsatisfying gifts that may actually tear down the church from within or without.

Particularly under discussion today are the supernatural gifts. Some insist that they were limited to the apostolic age, while others think they have been, and will be, present in the church throughout her history, right up to the present day.

  • Types of gifts
    • Speaking in tongues -- Acts 10:46; 19:6; 1 Cor. 12:10, 28, 30; 14:2, 6-11
    • Interpreting tongues -- l Cor. 12:10, 30; 14:13, 27-28
    • Prophecy -- Rom. 12:6; l Cor. 12:10, 28-29; 14:3-5, 22-25
    • Serving -- Rom. 12:7; 1 Pet. 4:11
    • Teaching -- Rom. 12:7; l Cor. 12:28-29
    • Being an apostle -- l Cor. 12:28-29; Eph. 4:11
    • Contributing to others -- Rom. 12:8
    • Exercising leadership -- Rom. 12:8
    • Showing mercy -- Rom. 12:8
    • Encouraging others -- Rom. 12:8
    • Being single -- l Cor. 7:7-8
    • Wisdom -- l Cor. 12:8
    • Knowledge -- l Cor. 12:8
    • Faith -- l Cor. 12:9
    • Healing -- l Cor. 12:9, 28, 30
    • Miraculous powers -- l Cor. 12:10, 28-29
    • Distinguishing between spirits -- l Cor. 12:10
    • Helping others -- l Cor. 12:28
    • Administration -- l Cor. 12:28
    • Doing evangelism -- Eph. 4:11
    • Being a pastor -- Eph. 4:11
    • Speaking in public -- 1 Pet. 4:11
    • Skill and knowledge in crafts -- Ex. 31:1-5
  • The purposes of gifts
    • To be enjoyed privately -- 1 Cor. 14:4
    • To witness to Christ -- 1 Cor. 12:1-3
    • To build up the church -- 1 Cor. 12:7; 14:3, 5, 12, 26; 1 Pet. 4:10
    • To demonstrate God's grace in us -- Rom. 12:6
    • To praise God -- l Cor. 14:24-25; 1 Pet. 4:11
  • Gifts are subordinate to love
    • The greatest way is the way of love -- 1 Cor. 12:31-13:3
    • Gifts will disappear -- l Cor. 13:8-10
    • Love will always remain -- l Cor. 13:13
  • Warning against gifts that deceive
    • False prophets can do wonders and signs -- Mt. 24:24
    • The antichrist will do counterfeit signs -- 2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:13-14
    • We must test the spirits -- 1 Jn. 4:1



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