Understanding the Gifts of the Spirit
In today’s world, there’s been much talk, much confusion and in all honesty, considerable abuse of spiritual gifts. Because of that, I’ve decided to do this series on spiritual gifts. As most of you know, I am on a quest for the radical middle. I am not interested in hype or show. I’m also not interested in Christianity as a mere intellectual exercise. I am interested in that type of Christianity that Jesus modeled. Because of this, I’m sure that there will be those in both the charismatic/Pentecostal camps and the more traditional fundamentalist/cessationist camps that will disagree with me, perhaps even strongly disagree. That is OK! I’ve always believed that in essentials we should have unity, and in nonessentials we should have liberty and in all things we should practice a love. So as you’re reading this series on spiritual gifts, please keep that in mind. This is not an issue that should become divisive or problematic.
What are Spiritual Gifts?
There are three major passages in the bible that talks about gifts. Many theologians and bible teachers combine these three passages to make what they call a spiritual gifts list. However I do not believe that this is the proper approach in the understanding what are spiritual gifts. The three Biblical passages concerning gifts are found in Romans chapter 12, first Corinthians chapter 12, and Ephesians chapter 4. Is only in the first Corinthians passage that the term “spiritual gifts” is used. I believe, the reason for this is because the gifts listed in first Corinthians 12 are gifts given by the Holy Spirit whereas the gifts listed in romans 12 are gifts given by God the father, and the gifts given in Ephesians chapter four specifically state that their gifts given by Christ. So this series on spiritual gifts is going to deal specifically with the gifts listed in first Corinthians chapter 12.
The spiritual gifts list.
- The word of wisdom.
- The word of knowledge.
- Extraordinary faith.
- Gifts of healings.
- Working of miracles.
- Discerning of spirits.
- The gift of tongues.
- The interpretation of tongues.
These nine gifts are what I believe to be, the comprehensive list of gifts that are given to us by the Holy Spirit. Now I know that some could argue that since God is a triune God, and that the three persons of the Godhead, are in fact one, that there is no differentiation between the three. I believe however, that each member of the Godhead has different roles and functions to play within the Trinity. That is why I believe this is the comprehensive list of gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit. That is why I believe that this is the correct passage to use when talking about spiritual gifts.
So over the course of the next couple of weeks I will be presenting to you these subjects on spiritual gifts.
- Are spiritual gifts for today?
- The motivation behind spiritual gifts.
- What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- What is the word of wisdom?
- What is the word of knowledge?
- What is extraordinary faith?
- What is gifts of healings?
- What is the working of miracles?
- What is the gift of prophecy?
- What is discerning of spirits?
- What is the gift of tongues?
- What is the proper use of tongues in the church today?
- What is the interpretation of tongues?
I believe that if you will follow along with me in this series on spiritual gifts that you will come to an understanding on what are spiritual gifts, how each gift operates, and the proper use of these gifts today. I believe that you will find out that you can have spiritual gifts operate in your life without looking like a hyper spiritual nut case or throw out Biblical literacy.