For the past five weeks, we have been getting to know who the Holy Spirit is through the Word of God. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit is the author of Scripture, our Guide, our Advocate, our Comforter, our Counselor, the convicter of sin, the indweller of believers, the revealer of Truth, our Teacher, and more. Isn’t it amazing how much God chooses to reveal to us about Himself in His Word? If we would but take the time to cherish it, oh the wonders we would uncover about Him, His love, and His heart for us!
One of my most frequent prayers over the past 12 months has sounded something like this:
“Holy Spirit, reveal Yourself to me how You want me to know You.”
Simple enough. But don’t miss the surrender in those words.
It’s too easy for us to get into ruts in our relationship with the Lord, only pursuing Him in certain ways, and only expecting Him to show up in certain ways. God is so much bigger than the boxes we try to put Him in, though. The more I’ve studied about the Holy Spirit, the more I’ve been convicted to keep praying those words.
“Holy Spirit, reveal Yourself to me how You want me to know You.”
One of the many ways the Lord has answered this prayer of mine is by reminding me of what my spiritual gifts are and how He desires for me to use them for His glory and for the building up of His Church. Did you know that? Did you know that every single believer in Jesus Christ has been given spiritual gifts? If you are in Christ, not only has God given you the Holy Spirit to dwell in you, but the Spirit has also given you gifts to be used to build up the body of Christ.
So, what are they? How do you know what gifts you have been given? To cover all of this in one blog post is tough, so I’m going to whet your appetite with as much information as I can and pray that you will continue digging into God’s Word for the rest. Let’s start with a list of the gifts and where they are found in Scripture.
There are four main passages in the New Testament that list the spiritual gifts: Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and 28-30, Ephesians 4:11, and 1 Peter 4:9-11. A really fun exercise for you to do on your own is to look up each passage and make a list of each gift that is listed in each passage. You’ll always learn more when you do the work yourself!
Below, I’ve listed out each of the Spiritual Gifts found in the above passages and included a brief description of each. Most of this information is from Lifeway.com:
Leadership – Leadership aids the body by leading and directing members to accomplish the goals and purposes of the church. Leadership motivates people to work together in unity toward common goals (Rom. 12:8).
Administration – Persons with the gift of administration lead the body by steering others to remain on task. Administration enables the body to organize according to God-given purposes and long-term goals (1 Cor. 12:28).
Teaching – Teaching is instructing members in the truths and doctrines of God’s Word for the purposes of building up, unifying, and maturing the body (1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:7; Eph. 4:11).
Knowledge – The gift of knowledge manifests itself in teaching and training in discipleship. It is the God-given ability to learn, know, and explain the precious truths of God’s Word. A word of knowledge is a Spirit-revealed truth (1 Cor. 12:28).
Wisdom – Wisdom is the gift that discerns the work of the Holy Spirit in the body and applies His teachings and actions to the needs of the body (1 Cor. 12:28).
Prophecy – The gift of prophecy is proclaiming the Word of God boldly. This builds up the body and leads to conviction of sin. Prophecy manifests itself in preaching and teaching (1 Cor. 12:10; Rom. 12:6).
Discernment – Discernment aids the body by recognizing the true intentions of those within or related to the body. Discernment tests the message and actions of others for the protection and well-being of the body (1 Cor. 12:10).
Exhortation – Possessors of this gift encourage members to be involved in and enthusiastic about the work of the Lord. Members with this gift are good counselors and motivate others to service. Exhortation exhibits itself in preaching, teaching, and ministry (Rom. 12:8).
Shepherding – The gift of shepherding is manifested in persons who look out for the spiritual welfare of others. Although pastors, like shepherds, do care for members of the church, this gift is not limited to a pastor or staff member (Eph. 4:11).
Faith – Faith trusts God to work beyond the human capabilities of the people. Believers with this gift encourage others to trust in God in the face of apparently insurmountable odds (1 Cor. 12:9).
Evangelism – God gifts his church with evangelists to lead others to Christ effectively and enthusiastically. This gift builds up the body by adding new members to its fellowship (Eph. 4:11).
Apostleship – The church sends apostles from the body to plant churches or be missionaries. Apostles motivate the body to look beyond its walls in order to carry out the Great Commission (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11).
Service/Helps – Those with the gift of service/helps recognize practical needs in the body and joyfully give assistance to meeting those needs. Christians with this gift do not mind working behind the scenes (1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:7).
Mercy – Cheerful acts of compassion characterize those with the gift of mercy. Persons with this gift aid the body by empathizing with hurting members. They keep the body healthy and unified by keeping others aware of the needs within the church (Rom. 12:8).
Giving – Members with the gift of giving give freely and joyfully to the work and mission of the body. Cheerfulness and liberality are characteristics of individuals with this gift (Rom. 12:8).
Hospitality – Those with this gift have the ability to make visitors, guests, and strangers feel at ease. They often use their home to entertain guests. Persons with this gift integrate new members into the body (1 Pet. 4:9).
Healing – supernatural ability to produce miraculous healing (1 Cor. 12:9, 28)
Miracles – performing supernatural events that could only be attributed to the power of God (1 Cor. 12:28)
Speaking in tongues – the divine ability to speak in languages previously unknown to the speaker and/or a personal, divine prayer language (1 Cor. 12:10, 28)
Interpretation of tongues – the supernatural ability to interpret a tongue not known to the interpreter (1 Cor. 12:10)
After reading through this list and their descriptions, are there any that resonate with you? Do you see how God has used you and continues to use you in any of these ways? God has gifted you with an expression of His Spirit. Ask Him to reveal it to you. Ask Him to show you what gifts He has given you and how He wants you to use them to build up the body of Christ. You play an important role.
If you want to dive deeper into this conversation, here is a Spiritual Gifts test that you can take to help you know and understand how the Spirit has gifted you to serve the body of Christ.