What Are the Gifts of the Spirit?
Do you know that you are gifted?
Both naturally and spiritually.
You have natural talents and abilities and when you received the Holy Spirit you received Spiritual gifts.
Today we will look at the Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Text: “Each one should use whatever gift they have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”. 1 Peter 4:10
Scripture Readings for today: 1 Peter 4:8-11, Romans 12:1-8, 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Ephesians 4:1-16.
What are the gifts of the Spirit, and how can we tell which one we have?
To find the answer to these questions we need to look into the Bible.
For the Bible explains the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In order to be a fully functioning Christian we need to know and exercise our gifts as provided by God through the Holy Spirit.
As Jesus said in John 8:32; “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”.
To the extent that we are able to grasp the truth, we will move into the freedom that God wants us to enjoy.
To the extent that we have to depend on human experiences that change from moment to moment, we will be locked into the bondage of the subjectivism of human experience.
Thus we want to get our teeth into something solid in God’s Word.
Four passages in the New Testament deal specifically with the gifts of the Spirit; Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-6 and 1 Peter 4:10-11.
We will focus today’s study on these four passages, moving from one to the other as we find the answers to the questions, “What are the gifts of the Spirit, and how can we tell which one we have?”
First: What are the gifts of the Spirit?
Please note that in each of these passages there is a superiority of the fruit of the spirit over the gifts of the Spirit.
For instance, 1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply.”
Love is the first fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22.
Each of these passages emphasizes the necessity of having the fruit of the Spirit in order to have the proper attitude for demonstrating the gifts of the Spirit.
If you ever get that turned around, you are in trouble.
Then Peter gave one of the most obvious avenues for displaying the gifts of the Spirit, namely “Offer hospitality to one another” 1 Peter 4:9.
In 1 Peter 4:10 we find the same thoughts as Paul had in an entire chapter, so let’s look at it more closely.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others”
The gifts are for the body of believers, not for an individual to show how close to God they are.
Also each person in the body of Christ possesses gifts for the edification of the whole body of believers.
There is not a special class of people in the body who are the gifted ones.
This is a theme throughout the all of the four passages.
Note that the tense is past.
You have received, not that you will or might receive.
Who has received the gifts of the Holy Spirit,? Everyone!
The gifts are not something that you are seeking for they have already been provided.
Paul did state that we should “eagerly desire” the gifts of the Spirit, “especially prophecy”.
Does anyone here today desire the gift of prophecy?
Remember it will not be for yourself but for the building up of the body of Christ.
Today we shy away from this gift.
So if everyone has gifts then each of us has a gift or gifts and we should be using them to build up the body of Christ.
Just as we received natural talents when we were born, we received our gifts of the Spirit when we were spiritually born again.
Our Spiritual gifts need developing just as our natural talents need developing.
Some people never use all of the natural ability and some people never use their Spiritual gifts.
We need to take seriously our abilities and our Spiritual gifts and develop them.
As Peter said, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received”.
Note that it is called a gift.
A gift is not something you earn, a gift is free to the recipient.
Therefore your particular gift of the Spirit is given to you free, just as salvation was.
You did not receive a gift of the Spirit because of your spiritual standing or you deep prayer life.
Thus you cannot boast or be prideful about it.
Look at it as a tool given by God to be used on behalf of the whole body of Christ.
They are to be used to serve others.
We are to be faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
We are not to wish for a gift someone else has but we are to minister with the gifts God has given us.
We are to operate within the area of our gifts.
God does not expect you to minister in an area in which He has not gifted you.
If God has made you a foot in the body of Christ then be a foot; if a hand be a hand.
Know that there is an area in which you are gifted and find it, operate in it, and bless others by it.
All gifts are to serve others.
For the gifts of the Spirit are not given to be used for oneself, but for ministering to others.
We are merely stewards of God’s gifts; we do not own them.
A time will come when all stewards must give an account to God for how they used their gifts of the Spirit.
The parables of the talents are this accounting.
Paul lists seven gifts of the Spirit in Romans 12:6-8.
Prophecy: the giving of a message from God to a group of people. It is forth telling not fore telling.
A prophet points the way back to God.
Ministry: the God-given ability to show Christ’s love in practical service to others.
Teaching: The message of Christ not only needs to be proclaimed; it also needs to be explained.
Exhortation: Teaching is normally done with a group; exhortation is normally done on a one-to-one basis, as a counselor would do. It is a source of encouragement.
Giving: When practiced God increases his blessing so they can have more with which to practice this gift.
Ruling: It is occupying a place of leadership. It is the gift of leadership.
Showing Mercy: This is forgiving with cheerfulness.
First Corinthians 12:8-10 mentions eight more gifts of the Spirit.
Wisdom: wisdom that comes from communion with God.
Knowledge: Gnosis-practical thinking. Practical application of wisdom.
Faith: the kind of faith that accomplishes great things for God.
Healing: The power to cure diseases by means of medicines, procedures and faith in God.
Working of miracles: A supernatural power given to some to do great deeds.
Discerning of spirits: This is the gift of the protector in the church. This gifts keeps people from following phonies. It is the ability to discern a false spirit from a true spirit.
Kinds of tongues: The supernatural gift of speaking in another language without having been learned.
Interpretation of tongues: the ability to translate into the language of the listeners what the speaker was saying in another language.
How can you tell which gift you have?
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
Since there are many gifts of the Spirit, how can we know which gift we have so we can begin to use and develop it?
1 Corinthians 12:11 says the Holy Spirit apportions to each one individually as he wills.
Four steps are suggested by Dr. Earl Radmacher.
Preparation: God is the source, know him and know that he wants you to operate within your gifts.
Your position: recognize your positioning in the body of Christ. You are an important member of the body of Christ and the body needs your gift.
Your practice: find your gift by using what you think it is and see if you are right, if not try another until you find your gift.
Your participation: Remember that you are participating along with others. You are not in isolation but in relation with others. Together all are building up the body of believers.
Three questions to ask:
Do I enjoy my gift? Does it bring happiness and satisfaction to me? Am I comfortable doing this? God wants us to operate in our gifts comfortably.
Do others enjoy my doing it? Is it supported and encouraged by the body of believers.
Does God bless my doing it? When operating in your Spiritual gifts you will feel blessed and supported by God.
You are gifted by the Holy Spirit.
Your gift is your gift and the body needs for it to be used for their edification.
We must respect each other's gifts for they are all needed to have a healthy body of believers.
“Each one should use whatever gift they have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”. 1 Peter 4:10.
Claim it, use it and let all be blessed by it.