It breaks my heart that the spiritual gifts don't seem to be taught or emphasized much throughout Christendom these days. Their utilization is critical for the Church to function properly in society.
Paul taught, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us... let [us] use [them] in proportion to [our] faith," Romans 12:6. The spiritual gifts are found in three separate passages in the New Testament (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; and Ephesians 4). The lists are not exactly identical. Some overlapping occurs. According to 1 Corinthians 12:6, God the Father pours in the power, Jesus the Son assigns the ministry, and God the Holy Spirit gives out the gifts as He deems necessary for the proper functioning of the church body.
The gifts may be organized in several ways. We will use the most common grouping.
Establishing Gifts (Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:29): Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, and Pastor-Teachers. These gifts are used primarily for planting and growing churches.
Supporting Gifts (Romans 12:6-8): Prophecy, Service, Teaching, Encouragement, Giving, Administration/Leadership, and Mercy. These gifts are used primarily to organize and administrate the church so that it may best carry out its responsibilities.
Ministry Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 1 Corinthians 12:27-31): Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophecy, Helps, Administration, Leadership, Distinguishing Spirits, Speaking in Tongues, and Interpreting Tongues. These are the tools that the Holy Spirit utilizes for the ongoing ministry of the church.
It goes without saying that congregations are spiritually impotent when the members do not freely and responsibly allow the Holy Spirit to manifest God's ministry and power through the gifts He has given. Here are a few guidelines on how to identify and unwrap your spiritual gift(s).
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