The Gift of the Holy Spirit

What are these gifts of the Spirit? How can you know that you have particular gifts of the Spirit? Can others give us an indication of what our gift is? What does the believer do with these gifts in the church? Are some gifts more important than others? Are the gifts of healing still being accessed today by believers? Is the gift of miracles still existent in the church today?

Each and every believer has been given by the indwelling of the Spirit of God, gifts of the Spirit (Acts 2:38).  In Acts chapter 8 and in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 we see external gifts of the Holy Spirit. They were not gifts that they have been developed by human capacities, therefore the believer has absolutely no right to brag on these gifts. If we exalt in our gifts, we are taking credit for something that we have not earned ourselves. It is like taking credit for a gift you receive on your birthday. It is just that; a gift that was not yours but given to your freely and it is given apart from any inherent capabilities that you have within you. It is not like changing the old hymn from How Great Thou Art to How Great I Am.

No believer can say that they have no gift of the Spirit from God. God has given all believers gifts; some have several but everyone has these gifts. These gifts of the Spirit are given not for the believer but for the Body of Christ. It is to make the Body complete. These gifts are intended for the church to edify it, to strengthen it, to feed it, to exhort it, to encourage it and to have the Body of Christ empowered to do the work of Christ. These gifts are always to exalt Christ, to witness of God’s power, to build up the Body, and to work to enlarge the Body of Christ by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. There are several biblical tools and surveys that believers can use to discover their own gifts of the Spirit. These are helpful applications to allow the Christian to see what their gifts are and therefore how they can best help the church. No believer in Christ has any gift of the Spirit.

Isaiah 11:2-3 speaks of seven different spirits or gifts: “And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay (called discernment).” These are important gifts and some of them are similar to but different from the gifts of the Spirit that Paul talks about in the New Testament in I Corinthians chapter twelve. There are nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned by Paul in I Corinthians chapter twelve:

1) Word of Wisdom
2) Word of Knowledge
3) Faith
4) Gifts of Healing
5) Working of Miracles
6) Prophecy
7) Discerning of Spirits
8) Divers (or different) kinds of Tongues
9) Interpretation of (different) Tongues

This is not an exhaustive list of the gifts of the spirit, for example some are said to have the gift of mercy which is a person who is quick to forgive and not judge others who have sinned while others are not so quick to do so. God gives these gifts as He sees best and not what we think they are for (v 11). We can not receive gifts we are not intended to receive but we can desire certain gifts, indicating that we can receive gifts of the Spirit that may fulfill the desires of our hearts while still fulfilling God‘s purpose for them (v 31). Let’s examine what these gifts are and what is their intended use is for in the church today.

Romans chapter twelve has a similar listing of the gifts of the Spirit but I Corinthians chapter twelve is more comprehensive in nature. I Corinthians chapter twelve begin with Paul telling the Corinthian church, and for the most part, all believers in the church today. Paul wants to make these gifts crystal clear to us and so we will depend upon the inspired Word of God to reveal them to us (v 1).

Paul tells us that “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them” (v 4). No two gifts are the same and generally no two believers have exactly the same gifts but always these gifts are given for the common good of the church (v 7).

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