DEFINITION: Spiritual Gifts are supernatural abilities distributed by the Holy Spirit to every believer according to God’s design and grace for the common good of the Body of Christ.
“Now concerning spiritual gifts (matters) Brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant (uninformed).” (1 Corinthians 12:1)
They are supernatural abilities – divine endowments.Given to us to make our Unique Contribution – (1 Corinthians l2:7)
THEY ARE NOT LEARNED OR ACQUIRED, BUT COME FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT.
They are distributed by the Holy Spirit – He empowers us in our use of them. (1 Corinthians 12:11)
This is proof of different measures of grace: “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.” (John 3:34)
To Every BELIEVER according to God’s DESIGN AND GRACE
- Our gifts enable us to glorify God and edify others.
- Every believer has at least one Spiritual Gift. “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:7)
- Every believer is a minister “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10)
- Our gifts allow us to serve one another better. (1 Corinthians 12:7) “For the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all…..”
Each Believer has a unique role to play.
- God has designed us and carefully selected each believer’s Spiritual Gift and place of service within the Body.
- “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit and He gives them to each one, just as He determines.” (1 Corinthians 12:11)
- “But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted.” (1 Corinthians 12:18)
WE ARE EXPECTED TO USE THEMWhat the bible teaches about spiritual gifts is very exciting. Without parallel the Christian life demonstrates a partnership with the Holy Spirit to extend His kingdom and meet the needs in people’s lives.
“Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you.” (1Timothy 4:14) Function in Spiritual Gifts:
This inner freedom in a healthy environment causes Spiritual Gifts to manifest.
- Paul said to exercise our God-given abilities for spiritual service.
- We have different gifts not all the same function.
- There are diversities of Gifts or “Various Kinds of Allotments.” (1 Corinthians 12:4)
- A believer should be diligent in using their spiritual gifts. Each gift (charisma) is to be used to serve (diakonos – deacon) or minister to others faithfully.
OPERATIONS OF OUR GIFTSOur different gifts and abilities should make us love and depend more on one another and this should therefore make us more united as the Body in Christ.
As believers we are to work together under the command and authority of Jesus Christ.
The gifts are given for the common good of the whole church for corporate empowerment. As we encourage and remind one another to use our spiritual gifts, unselfishly, to prosper the church and do the works of Christ we will see breakthrough and restoration. God works through spiritual gifts to reproduce the ministry of Jesus.
This unlimited resource of the Holy Spirit’s fullness is available to obedient disciples of Jesus.
“Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.” (1 Corinthians 14:29) Two or three prophets are to speak and the others are to test their messages to see if they come from God. Speakers are to edify the church and maintain proper order.
“For you all can prophesy one by one that all may learn and all may be encouraged.”
(1 Corinthians 14:31).“And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” (1 Corinthians 14:32).
Each Member of the Godhead comes to the church bearing gifts – This is amazing!
Three Different kinds or categories of Spiritual Gifts
- 1 Corinthians 12:5 – Administrations – “Diakonia” to serve – given at salvation by the Father (Romans 12:6-12)
- 1 Corinthians 12:6 – Operations – “Energema” to be mighty in – given at calling by Jesus: (Ephesians 4:11)
3. 1 Corinthians 12:7 – Manifestations – “Phanerosis” an expression of the Holy Spirit: (1 Corinthians 12:8 – 10)The New Testament has three chapters dedicated to Spiritual Gifts.
1 Corinthians 12 – teaches us the information on the gifts
1 Corinthians 13 – teaches us the love motivation on the gifts
1 Corinthians 14 – teaches us the operation on the giftsOur service to God will be fulfilling, fruitful and faith-filled when it is done through the releasing of the Spiritual Gifts that God has specifically given to us.
Pitfalls of operating in your Gift
- We should never honour others inappropriately – by worshipping the vessel God chooses to exhibit His power through.
- Men and women of God have not generally “fallen” on the basis of lack of gift but rather for want of “character” and the prophetic often falls foul of pride.
- Seek the giver and not just the gift. Determine to work on the depth of your life and ministry and let God determine the height.
- We prophesy according to our faith, there is always the distinct possibility of failure as we learn to minister effectively. Failure is a normal part of growth for any believer.
- In the New Testament Paul writes about the main areas of sin: lust of flesh, lust of eyes and pride of life. Sin can stop the gifts flowing.
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
1 Corinthians 12 gifts called the “Manifestation” gifts “Phanerosis” or Expression
Gifts. These gifts are the Property of the Holy Spirit.
These are all supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s presence among His people. They are demonstrations of the Holy Spirit’s character.
The Nine gifts are the perfect balance and complement to the nine “Fruits of the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-23). “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
God by His Holy Spirit provides balance for our lives. There are in fact three groups within the total of nine.
Three gifts know something (revelations or knowledge gifts)
- Word of Wisdom
- Word of Knowledge
- Discerning of SpiritsThree gifts do something (power gifts/doing gifts)
- Gifts of Healing
- Working of Miracles
Three gifts say something (vocal / utterance gifts)
- Interpretation of Tongues
Paul exhorts us to desire all spiritual gifts – (especially prophecy.)
Diversity of Believers:
When we accept that each of us has a unique design, then you can understand that when we gather together as the church there is great diversity in the body.