What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Shyju Mathew

"Experience the Word of God, in the power of the Spirit."

February 15, 2012

This entry is part 19 of 30 in the series Featured Bible Study: 30 Christian Basics

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‘Gifts of the Holy Spirit’ is one of the highly debated issues in the Christian world today. However how much ever one may argue or debate, let us understand the truth that the God of the Bible is still the Lord of the universe and the Jesus of the apostles is still the Lord over the church, and the Spirit that equipped and empowered the Apostles still equips and empowers those that surrender to Him. And like Paul said our preaching should not just be a use of plausible word of wisdom but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. (1 Cor 2:4). That is why the devil fights the use of these gifts inside the church and outside.

What is a Gift of the Holy Spirit?

The gift of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural ability given to an ordinary human being through the infilling and the empowering of the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill his/her functionality within the church. Paul explains it very beautifully in 1 Cor 12, where he mentions how a person with these gifts are like different parts of the body that have different functions but all are part of the same body–the Church and empowered by the same agent–the Holy Spirit and serving the same Lord Jesus who is the head of the Church.

Gifts Not Talents

Many a time we confuse between our God-given talents and the Spirit empowered gifts. God has blessed us with many natural abilities and resources like singing or organizing or networking or a great intelligence which are talents and He expects us to be good stewards of these talents as mentioned in Matthew 25:14-30. However gifts are supernatural and are much above and greater than our natural capabilities. You discover a talent at anytime during your life, but you receive a gift through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Gifts vs Fruits

This has been the greatest challenge with many ministers and churches alike. There are many who focus on gifts and thus ignore the fruits that fuel and sustain the character of the minister and the ministry. And then there are others who emphasize on the fruits and completely ignore the importance of the use of gifts which is equally foolish. What is the use of a very healthy body that doesn’t talk, walk or work? That’s the state of a church that ignores gifts. You know the tree by its fruits, but it is the gifts that keep edifying the church and pushing into forward direction.

The Purpose of the Gifts

Why do we need the gifts of the Holy Spirit? While some of the gifts are for the edification of an individual believer or a church as a whole, others are a sign for the unbelievers that God is alive and present in that place. (1 Cor 12:7, 1 Cor 14:22-24). However none of these gifts are for personal gains or marketing purposes. That is the abuse of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Please understand that the gifts of God are irrevocable. (Rom 11:29) Even if you abuse the gift, God might not necessarily take away the gift, but it could cost us our destiny in God like Moses couldn’t lead the people into Canaan. Hence we ought to be extremely careful as to how to, and where to use these gifts.

Here, are few of gifts of the Holy Spirit that are mentioned in different places in scripture. Each of the gift is very essential and integral part of the church. In fact some of the gifts are a full time calling of some ministers, this we will discuss later in detail in, “The Five Offices of the Church”.

The mentions of gifts in the scriptures

“All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills.” (1 Cor 12:11)

In conclusion, it is not really enough that we be baptized by the Holy Spirit, but it is essential that we be endowed by the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we can be of benefit to the body of Christ. Let us earnestly desire for these gifts and its your hunger that the Lord will fill.

Have you had questions about the gifts of Holy Spirit? If yes please discuss them in the comments below, How has the Lord used your spiritual gifts for the edification of another believer or your church? We would love to hear about it!

Next in the series:  All You Need to Know About Speaking in Tongues


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