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Spiritual Gifts

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant

1 Corinthians 12:1
The Bible records three different lists of gifts. Also, there is a fourth reference that lists some gifts from each of the other three. In each reference there are gifts, the giver, and the purpose. This test focuses on the gifts of God's grace. The lists and their Bible reference are:
  1. The Gifts of Jesus (Ephesians 4:11)
    1. Apostle
    2. Prophet
    3. Evangelist
    4. Pastor
    5. Teacher
  1. The Gifts of the Spirit or Manifestation of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8–10)
    1. Revelation Gifts
      1. Word of wisdom
      2. Word of knowledge
      3. Discerning of spirits
    2. Power Gifts
      1. Faith
      2. Gifts of healings
      3. Working of miracles
    3. Vocal Gifts
      1. Diverse tongues
      2. Interpretation of tongues
      3. Prophecy
  1. The Gifts of God's Grace (Romans 12:6–8)
    1. Prophesy
    2. Ministry (Some translations say - Helps)
    3. Teaches
    4. Exhorts
    5. Gives
    6. Leads (Some translations say - Administration)
    7. Mercy
  1. List With Some From Each (1 Corinthians 12:28)
    1. Apostles
    2. Prophets
    3. Teachers
    4. Miracles
    5. Gifts of healings
    6. Helpsps
    7. Administrations
    8. Varieties of tongues

As you read the following Bible verses look for the gift(s), the giver, and the purpose. We've put them in bold font to make it really easy.

The Gifts of Jesus

(11) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, (12) for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (13) 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;

Ephesians 4:11–13

Jesus is the giver – "He Himself gave". The gifts are apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. The purpose is to equip the saints to do ministry work and to edify (build up) the body of Christ". This list has two unique statements that set it apart from the other lists.

First, are the two words – "to be". Jesus gives gifts to some and He sets them apart TO BE something, not DO something. This is one reason this list of gifts is often referred to as the 5-fold ministry gifts. Here a person is gifted TO BE a prophet which differs from a person who prophecies. A person who is gifted TO BE a teacher is different than a person who teaches. A person who is gifted TO BE an evangelist is different than every believer sharing their faith with people they meet.

Second, is the word, "SOME". "And He Himself gave SOME to be." You will notice in the other two gifts lists they are given "to all" or to each one. Here the gifts are given to SOME. This is why we do not include this list of gifts in the test. Not everyone has one of these gifts.

The Gifts or Manifestation of the Spirit

(7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: (8) for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, (9) to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, (10) to another the , to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. (11) But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

1 Corinthians 12:7–11

The Holy Spirit is the giver. The gifts are; word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. The purpose is for the profit of all. These gifts are ways that the Holy Spirit manifests, reveals, or makes Himself know. All nine gifts are available for us if we make ourselves available for the Holy Spirits use. They belong to Him and he distributes to each one as He wills.

We should clarify, wisdom is not the same as a word of wisdom. Knowledge is not the same as the word of knowledge. Discernment is not the discerning of spirits. Just because a person is wise, knowledgeable or perceptive does not mean the Holy Spirit is manifesting Himself through one of these gifts.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not included in this test because all of these gifts belong to the Holy Spirit and are available to all believers as the Spirit wills. We don' t own any of them, the Holy Spirit uses us to manifest Himself.

The Gifts of God's Grace

(3) 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. (4) For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, (5) so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (6) .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; (7) or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; (8) he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:3–8

God is the giver – "God has dealt". The gifts are: prophecy, ministry (some translations use the word service), teaching, exhortation, giving, leading (Some translations use the word administrations), showing mercy. The purpose is implied by the analogy of a physical body with different members who have different functions all working together to supply what the other needs.

Here are a few things to notice in these verses. First, all the gifts are action oriented, Not only are they action oriented, but we are instructed to use the gift for its intended purpose – if teaching, then teach, if giving then give liberally, if prophecy, then prophesy in proportion to our faith, etc. The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10-11

"(10) 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. (11) 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"

1 Peter 4:10-11

The gift we have is not for us, it is to be given away or used to minister to others. When we do this, God is glorified.

Second, EACH ONE has been given a gift. Nobody is left out. This is why we use this list of gifts for the test. We know that everyone has been graced by God with a gift that wants to make the body stronger.

Third, the gift has been given according to the GRACE that is given to us. Even Paul, the writer of 1 Corinthians says in vs 3, "For I say, through the grace given to me…." The grace given to Paul prompted him to communicate – "For I say..". Another example is Ephesians 3:7, "…of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power." What does gift of God's grace prompt you to do?

Before we take the test, let's look at one more passage where we will see all three groups of gifts referenced. We started with 1 Corinthians 12:1 where we are admonished not to be ignorant of the spiritual gifts. For context we will start with vs 1 again. Notice the words used – they are very specific.

(1) Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant; (2) you know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. (3) 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. (4) There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (5) There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. (6) And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. (7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given…. 1 Corinthians 12:1–7a

Notice verses 4, 5, and 6.

  • Verse 4: "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." This refers to the gifts or manifestation of the Spirit listed in the continuing verses. They are available to all, for the profit of all, as the Spirit wills.
  • Verse 5: "There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord." This refers to the gifts of Jesus in Ephesians 4:11. They are given to some, for the equipping of saints and edification of the Church. Notice the verse uses the words, "different ministries" and "but the same Lord." Ephesians talks about ministry callings ("He Himself gave some to be ..."). These different ministries are given by the same Lord (not Spirit, not God).
  • Verse 6: "And there are diversities of activities, but the same God who works all in all." This refers to the gifts of God's grace in Romans 12. Notice the words "diversities of activities." We just learned that the gifts in Romans 12 are action gifts. They differ from each other and don't have the same function. These gifts have been given to us by God's grace.

You have been graced with amazing gifts. God wants to use your gifts to serve others. Take the following test and identify what your gifts are. Then discover ways to give them away to minister to the people around you.