Spiritual Gifts: In Scripture…. and FAQs
Hello, welcome to the Change The Vibe Blog. In today’s post we are going to learn about spiritual gifts. What is a Spiritual Gift? How do we determine if we have one or not? What if the Lord did not bless you with a spiritual gift? But then again, what if he did and you just don’t know what it is?
These are questions that most of us have had at one point or another and we probably didn’t get the answers we were looking for. Well today you’ve come to the right place. We are going to take a moment and walk-through what a Spiritual Gift is and what the scripture says about them. We will also discuss the difference between a spiritual gift and a human talent and some common confusion between the two. Lets dive right in.
Spiritual Gifts: In Scripture……
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 and 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 but 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, 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.
Sometime we have a tendency to impose our own belief in human abilities and talents as a spiritual gift; however, that may be misplaced and could lead us down the path of a distorted view of self and spirit. If you are confused about how to discern a spiritual gift from a human talent or skill then I have included a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section below just for you. Ready, lets get to it.
Spiritual Gifts – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is a Spiritual Gift?
A: A spiritual gift is a God-given ability, distributed to individuals by the Holy Spirit that allows him or her to work through their lives to help God and the church execute his mission on earth.
Q: What is the difference between spiritual gifts and natural talents?
A: Natural talents are physical abilities to do specific things. Some natural talents might be musical ability, carpentry, mechanical aptitude, and artistic skills. Spiritual gifts are spiritual abilities for the purposes of building the church. Natural talents are often the means through which spiritual gifts can be used. For example, a vocalist may have the spiritual gift of evangelism being expressed through the vehicle of musical talent.
Q: Are spiritual gifts the best sign of spirituality?
A: No. Christ-like maturity is primarily indicated by the manifestation of the Fruit of the Spirit, not by the presence of spiritual gifts (Galatians 5:22-23). God may choose to shine forth in a spiritually immature person. However, that does not make the person spiritual. A spiritual person may say excitedly, “I got the gift of tongues last night and now I’m spiritual!”. But Jesus said, “For by their fruit you shall know them.” (Matthew 7:16). Satan can imitate and counterfeit a spiritual gift, but the Fruit of the Spirit comes directly from God.
Q: Does every believer have a gift?
A: Yes. Every believer has at least one gift (1 Corinthians 12:6-7, 11). All believers are to evaluate themselves in terms of their God-given gifts (Romans 12:3).
Q: How many gifts are there? What are they?
A: According to 1 Corinthians 12:8-8, 28-29; Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11; and 1 Corinthians 7:7, there are at least 22 spiritual gifts. They are as follows:
Apostles; Prophets; Pastor-Teacher; Evangelists; Prophecy; Teaching; Wisdom; Knowledge; Faith; Miraculous Powers; Healing; Distinguishing between spirits; Speaking in Tongues; Interpretation of Tongues; Helps; Service; Administration; Encouragement; Giving; Leadership; Mercy and Celibacy.
Q: When does the believer receive his/her gift?
A: There is no clear-cut Biblical teaching as to when the believer receives his/her gift. However, it seems that the gift comes with the Giver and is bestowed at conversion (2 Timothy 1:6)
Q: Can a believer have any gift he or she wants?
A: No. (1 Corinthians 12:29-31). The Holy Spirit gives out gifts as He sees fit. (1 Corinthians 12:7, 8-9,11).
Q: Do spiritual gifts come ready to operate?
A: No. It often takes times for gifts to mature and develop into their full effectiveness. Spiritual gifts come “in the rough.” Every believer is obligated to mature his/her gifts. Each Christian should have an opportunity to use his/her gifts interdependently with others. (Romans 12:4-6).
Q: If a person doesn’t have the gift of evangelism, is he/she excused from trying to win people to Christ?
A: Of course not… the absence of gifts does not take precedence over clear-cut biblical demands. For example, we are all commanded to give via our tithes. We are all commanded to share the gospel with others whether we have the gift of evangelism or not.
Q: Can spiritual gifts be lost?
A: Yes. Gifts which are not used or developed can apparently be lost. Jesus’ parable of the talents illustrates the danger of neglecting the gift that the Holy Spirit has bestowed. To do so means censorship and rebuke by the Master Himself (Matthew 25:14-30).
Q: Can Spiritual Gifts be misused?
A: Yes. For example, Paul described the use and misuse of the gift of tongues in the Corinthians church (1 Corinthians 14). Paul taught that speaking in tongues without someone in attendance with the gift of interpretation will only bring confusion to the church family and ridicule from unbelievers.
I pray that these FAQs can bring you some clarity about Spiritual Gifts and how to differentiate them from human talents. Leave a comment below and tell me what you think. What is your spiritual gift? Are you using your gift through your current talent? If not, what is stopping you?