Gifts of the Spirit. So, there I was sitting in front of a table full of adults leading a discussion on the Holy Spirit. I was teaching them on the gifts of the Spirit, a 23-year-old teaching a group over twice his age and they were hearing about these gifts as if for the first time. It was then I realized what an unknown quantity we like to maintain in the ghost-like member of the Trinity.
We don’t like ghosts. I think we get nervous trying to tell people about a being that is ever-present, always working, but totally invisible. It’s hard to get into depth about the only member of the Trinity not covered in detail in the Bible. Therefore, we shy away from teaching about gifts from this mystical component to God. However, as a Christian, we are granted His presence in our lives for the duration. Given the amount of contact we have with this being, it’s imperative we understand Him a little better through His gifts.
ADMINISTRATION: 1 Cor. 12:28 – to steer the body toward the accomplishment of God-given goals and directives by planning, organizing, and supervising others (Greek Word: kubernesis – to steer, guide, helmsmen)
APOSTLE: Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:28 – to be sent forth to new frontiers with the gospel, providing leadership over church bodies and maintaining authority over spiritual matters pertaining to the church (Greek Word: apostolos – ‘apo’=from ‘stello’=send; one sent forth)
DISCERNMENT: 1 Cor. 12:10 – to clearly distinguish truth from error by judging whether the behavior or teaching is from God, Satan, human error, or human power
EVANGELISM: Eph. 4:11 – to be a messenger of the good news of the Gospel (Greek Word: euaggelistes – preacher of gospel; eu=well, angelos=message – messenger of good)
EXHORTATION: Rom. 12:8 – to come along side of someone with words of encouragement, comfort, consolation, and counsel to help them be all God wants them to be (Greek Word: paraklesis – calling to one’s side)
FAITH: 1 Cor. 12:8-10 – to be firmly persuaded of God’s power and promises to accomplish His will and purpose and to display such a confidence in Him and His Word that circumstances and obstacles do not shake that conviction
GIVING: Rom. 12:8 – to share what material resources you have with liberality and cheerfulness without thought of return
HEALING: 1 Cor. 12:9,28,30 – to be used as a means through which God makes people whole either physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually
HELPS: 1 Cor. 12:28 – to render support or assistance to others in the body so as to free them up for ministry
HOSPITALITY: 1 Pet. 4:9,10 – to warmly welcome people, even strangers, into one’s home or church as a means of serving those in need of food or lodging (Greek Word: philoxenos – love of strangers; ‘philos’=love; ‘xenos’=stranger)
KNOWLEDGE: 1 Cor. 12:8 – to seek to learn as much about the Bible as possible through the gathering of much information and the analyzing of that data
LEADERSHIP: Rom. 12:8 – to stand before the people in such a way as to attend to the direction of the body with such care and diligence so as to motivate others to get involved in the accomplishment of these goals
MARTYRDOM: 1 Cor. 13:3 – to give over one’s life to suffer or to be put to death for the cause of Christ
MERCY: Rom. 12:8 – to be sensitive toward those who are suffering, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, so as to feel genuine sympathy with their misery, speaking words of compassion but moreso caring for them with deeds of love to help alleviate their distress
MIRACLES: 1 Cor. 12:10,28 – to be enabled by God to perform mighty deeds which witnesses acknowledge to be of supernatural origin and means
MISSIONARY: Eph. 3:6-8 – to be able to minister in another culture
PASTOR: Eph. 4:11 – to be responsible for spiritually caring for, protecting, guiding, and feeding a group of believers entrusted to one’s care
PROPHECY: Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:10; Eph. 4:11 – to speak forth the message of God to His people (Greek Word: prophetes – the forth-telling of the will of God; ‘pro’=forth; ‘phemi’=to speak)
SERVICE: Rom. 12:7 – to identify undone tasks in God’s work, however menial, and use available resources to get the job done (Greek Word: diakonia – deacon, attendant ‘diako’=to run errands)
TEACHING: Rom. 12:7; 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11 – to instruct others in the Bible in a logical, systematic way so as to communicate pertinent information for true understanding and growth
TONGUES: 1 Cor. 12:10; 14:27-28 – to speak in a language not previously learned so unbelievers can hear God’s message in their own language or the body be edified
INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES: 1 Cor. 12:10; 14:27,28 – to translate the message of someone who has spoken in tongues
VOLUNTARY POVERTY: 1 Cor. 13:3 – to purposely live an impoverished lifestyle to serve and aid others with your material resources
WISDOM: 1 Cor. 12:8 – to apply knowledge to life in such a way as to make spiritual truths quite relevant and practical in proper decision-making and daily life situations
Take a few minutes. Read through that list, Christians, and see if any of those fit you. Then, go ask those closest to you to tell you which they see in you. Don’t worry, this post will still be here when you get back.
Use it! You’ve been given so that you can use your gifting to give to others. If we’re not utilizing our gifts in a way intended (this means with forethought intention) to glorify and serve God, then we’re wasting our gifts. If the first time you try goes poorly, remember that your gifts, like any other skill or ability take time to cultivate. Just because you’ve been given a gift from the Holy Spirit doesn’t make you Superman or mean you’ll know how to use it. Let it be awkward and clunky at first. There’s learning that needs to take place in the process.
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the Holy Spirit. I ask you to reconcile yourself to that fact and grow comfortable leaving a little room for mystery here. We first must come to terms with the fact that He has given each of us a set of gifts and it’s up to us to discover what they are, use them and cultivate them in our lives. Otherwise, we’re wasting a precious gift from God. The world can’t wait any longer. Today, we all need to begin serving God (better for some, for the first time for others) with our gifts of the Spirit.