A series of open boxes with light eminating from them

 


Spiritual Gifts an introduction:

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of ministries and the same LORD. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effect of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

We can see from the list above that there are nine spiritual gifts listed in this passage of scripture. The rest of this website is dedicated to the gift of prophecy, this section deals with the remaining gifts. Use the list at the bottom of the page to select a gift.

 

It is important to seek the gifts

The spiritual gifts are not earned, they are freely given by God, to those who are serious about asking for them. This was demonstrated beautifully to me when I revisited a family in Albania to teach in the church there. On previous visits I had taken the pastor's children a gift. Soon after I arrived their 6 year old boy asked "Can I have my present now?" I was a little taken aback but loved giving it to him and watching him play with it. This is how we should be asking for God's gifts.

“But earnestly desire the greater gifts.” 1 Corinthians 12:31

“Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts.” 1 Corinthians 14:1

The Greek for “earnestly desire” is zeloo (2206) and could be translated as zealously / jealously lust after! James makes it clear that a passive stance will not bring results regarding spiritual things.

“You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2

Neither will a wrong motive:

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3


The use of the spiritual gifts does not point to spiritual maturity

The people functioning in the gifts are not more gifted than others, or more righteous. They have simply asked God with the right attitude of wanting to bless others.

“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:7

When a person receives one of the gifts, it is theirs for life.

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29

 

Gifts often come through the laying on of hands and sometimes need stirring up

God does not take any of His gifts back, but if you don’t use them you can become rusty and like Timothy, may need to stir the gift up again.

“For this reason I remind you to kindle (329) afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6

The word kindle comes from a three word combination which includes 2226 zoon living creature, from zoos (alive) and 4442 pur which means fire. In other words, start a fire under your gift to purify it and bring it back to life.

 

Love must be at the centre of the spiritual gifts

Between the two main passages that deal with the spiritual gifts in the New Testament lies the passage on love in 1 Corinthians 13. This passage is normally used during the marriage ceremony to illustrate the type of love that a married couple will need in order to enjoy the blessings and survive the trials of married life. The original aim of the passage was to show the kind of love needed to function properly in the spiritual gifts.

A red rose lying on top of a bible open to 1 Corinthians 13

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
For now we see in a mirror dinly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”


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