There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines,~1 Corinthians 12:4-11.
Before we start talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I want to touch on the purpose of the gifts.
A. To glorify God. The Holy Spirit is continually at work to glorify God. The gifts of the Spirit are given for His glory.
B. To build up the Body of Christ and be a blessing. Most natural or gifts of the world are beneficial for the recipient. We are called to use the gifts of the Spirit to bless one another.
C. Reveal the character of God. There’s so much that can be said here about how God works through His children to demonstrate to the world His character. Read the entire Bible. Every story reveals some aspect of His nature.
What the gifts are not:
1. Proof of spiritual maturity. Gifts are given by the Holy Spirit as He sees fit. Fruit (see last post) is manifest in our lives through abiding, pruning, and relationship with God. Someone can have gifts of the Spirit and be led by their flesh or be spiritually very immature.
“Gifts are free, maturity is costly,”~Bill Johnson.
2. Proof of salvation. This one can be touchy as some teach the gifts are proof of salvation. We are saved by faith, not by our ability to do something (Ephesians 2:8).
3. About us. The gifts are for other people. It’s not about us. It’s about God and others.
4. For sale. There are many verses in the Bible about not using the gifts of God for personal gain. Those who demand money to pray for people or prophesy or share wisdom, I dare not judge, it’s not encouraged in the Bible. Jesus said, “Freely you’ve received, freely give,” Matt 10:8. There’s a difference between accepting an offering or holding a paid office (as pastor, counselor), and demanding people pay you to pray for their sick relative, etc…God hates exploitation, and mistreatment of the poor.
I’ve visited services (long ago) where you had to give an offering to get prayer for a miracle and the person made it seem the more you gave the minister, the more incentive God had to bless or heal you. God is generous. He’s looking to give, not exploit people. Our giving should be motivated by a desire to give, to honor Him, an act of worship, not to get something from God.
5. To embarrass, harass, or condemn people. Jesus used the gifts to help people. He knew the sins of the people around Him, yet He didn’t frequently broadcast their sins for the purpose of humiliation. If the Holy Spirit reveals a persons weaknesses, it’s so we can pray or gently lead to restoration. It’s not so we can gossip, judge, or shame people.
Spiritual discernment (the ability to see good or evil at work in someone’s life) is for the purpose of helping the person, honoring them, building them up, and/or restoring them.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted,~Galatians 6:1.
Now that I’ve touched on the purpose and what they are not. What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
The image is not an exhaustive list. It covers the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. I will break down the gifts in more detail next post.
Be encouraged that every member of Christ’s Body has a role to play and no member is more important than another. If you read the rest of 1 Corinthians 12, it covers unity within the Body of Christ and how EVERY person has a part.