The Holy Spirit: Lists Of Spiritual Gifts & 7 Steps To Knowing Yours
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Today, our focus turns to the New Testament's descriptions and enumerations of spiritual gifts. Specifically, the apostle Paul presents two lists in his letters. The first is outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and 28:
For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues... And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. — 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28.
The second is found in Romans 12:6-8:
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. — Romans 12:6-8
Thus, we have a compilation of 17 gifts from these two passages. While other lists extend beyond, including up to 21 gifts, for this teaching, we'll focus solely on the gifts delineated in these two scriptures. These gifts can be categorized into three groups: Speaking Gifts, Supporting Gifts, and Supernatural Gifts.
- Words of wisdom.
- Words of knowledge.
- Interpretation of tongues.
Here are some notes I want to emphasize about these two lists:
They are not exhaustive. Paul's intention was not to provide a comprehensive catalog but to offer guidance to the believers in Corinth and Rome regarding common expressions of gifts within the community. This is evident in other gifts mentioned in the New Testament, such as evangelism, shepherding, apostleship, hospitality, martyrdom, and celibacy.
They do group into general categories. While Paul did not categorize the gifts, I've organized them into themes to assist in identifying potential areas where individuals may possess a gift. These themes—speaking, supporting, and supernatural—serve as a guide.
They mature with time. The longer we walk with the Spirit, the more apparent our gift will become. Your gift may fall into one of these categories and lists. But over time, you watch it work through you, and you will understand it more intimately. I have found this true, and Paul would say the same. For example, I have the gift of teaching. But I have learned over time the Spirit wants to use this gift through me in the body of Christ in some specific ways. That is, "speaking to men by discerning the scripture and teaching it in a timeless, applicable, and challenging manner so that men can be the spiritual leaders God wants them to be. I do this by writing and speaking to teach men so they can become the men God wants them to be." It took me a long time to understand this and live in the red-hot center of this gift. And today, and every day, I watch as the Spirit leads me to use this gift more and more for his kingdom and purposes.
You will see more of the supernatural effect of your gift over time. The longer you walk with the Spirit, the more you will see the supernatural impact of your gift. For example, take my teaching gift. For me, at first, teaching was just teaching. And I used to focus a lot of my time on honing my teaching skills. But I don't do that anymore because I learned some fundamental principles of teaching and apply them repeatedly. Instead, today, I listen much more to what the Spirit wants me to say based on the Scripture. And I listen more to the effect it has on others. I tune my eyes and ears more to this when the Spirit stirs in me. And then, when I teach, I look for the Spirit's effect on the believing community. Because of this, I see more of the supernatural nature of the teaching gift given to me today. This is precisely what I want you to know. And this is what Paul hopes the church in Corinth and Rome will also know.
So let me repeat what I said today in clearly defined and applicable steps that you can take to know your gift:
- Identify The Category of Gift: Recognize the general category of your spiritual gift as you walk with the Holy Spirit.
- Identify The Specific Gift: Identify the unique spiritual gift the Holy Spirit has given to you. Name it.
- Develop Skills That Compliment This Gift: Cultivate foundational skills that align with and support its use.
- Share Your Gift With Believers: Regularly use your spiritual gift within the community of believers.
- Grow In Spiritual Awareness: Deepen your spiritual insight and awareness regarding how your gift operates.
- Look For Supernatural Effects: Observe and anticipate the supernatural outcomes of your gift.
- Honor God And Walk Humbly: As you steward this gift, give glory to God, recognizing it is a gift entrusted to you for His purposes.
- Reflecting on the list of spiritual gifts provided in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and Romans 12:6-8, which specific gift resonates with you the most, and how can you use it to serve and build up the body of believers around you?
- Consider the journey of understanding and maturing in your spiritual gift. How has your perception of your gift evolved over time, and what steps can you take to further develop and nurture it for the greater glory of God's kingdom?
DO THIS: Try the seven steps above.
PRAY THIS: Father, grant me the wisdom and courage to fully embrace and utilize the unique spiritual gift You've bestowed upon me, so that I may contribute to the growth and unity of your church. May Your guidance empower me to serve others selflessly and bring glory to Your name.
PLAY THIS: Walk By Your Spirit.
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