Summary: The message explores the gifts of the spirit for the purpose of helping others use their gifts.
The Holy Spirit - Part 5
Definitions of the Spiritual Gifts
Spiritual gifts included service gifts, speaking gifts, and signifying gifts. While various theologians and teachers differ on how to precisely classify and name these gifts, the following generally captures the gist of the different gifts.
The lists offer a brief definition of each of the spiritual gifts in scripture. I realize that some would say that there are no longer any needs for some of these gifts. As a pastor I have always been apprehensive about changing God’s Word to suit my denominational slant. I merely offer the scriptural gift and a possible usage in today’s church.
Service gifts are the muscle and tendons that enable the body of Christ to function on a daily basis. These gifts are low profile and the person using the gift often desires that others receive the credit. Without these gifts most churches would be unable to carry out the ministry of Christ for any length of time.
"If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." I Peter 4:11
Mercy: Special ability to show sympathy to the suffering saints. Meals to the sick, hospital visits, phone calls and visits to the hurting. Service: Special ability to joyfully serve behind the scenes. Set up chairs ushering, assist leaders.
Hospitality: Special desire to offer home, food, and lodging. Host missionaries, Bible studies, singles to dinner.
Giving: Special desire and financial ability to give above and beyond a tithe. Generosity toward youth mission trips, deacon fund offerings, para-church ministries, a suit for the pastor.
Administration: Special ability to orchestrate program details. Committee work, volunteer for church office, conference supervision.
Leadership: Special ability to preside or govern wisely. Board of Christian ministries. Visible roles, elders, deacons, committee chairs, coordinate nursery programs, fund-raising for building.
Faith: Vision for new projects that need doing and perseverance to see them through. Building programs, new ministries.
Discernment: Ability to detect error. Meet with teachers who may be teaching incorrectly, letters to the editor.
Speaking gifts are designed to build up and edify the church. They are the gifts Paul speaks about in I Corinthians 14 where he says he would rather speak 5 words intelligibly. These are the "high" profile gifts of the church. Anyone with a speaking gift must be always alert to ground themselves in scripture so as to always preach and teach the Word.
"If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God." I Peter 4:11
"It was he who have some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up." Ephesians 4:11-12
Knowledge: Spiritual ability to search and acquire Scriptural truth. Academic pursuits, writing, teaching.
Wisdom: Special insight into applications of knowledge. Counseling, teaching, discussion group leader, accountability groups, friendship.
Preaching: Special ability to rightly proclaim and expound God’s truth. preachers, lay preachers.
Teaching: Special ability to explain Scripture in edifying ways. Sunday School teachers, Bible studies, home groups, children, and youth programs.
Evangelism: Special ability to clearly present the gospel to non-believers. Monday night church visitation program, share faith with contacts on job, sponsor outreach events.
Apostleship: Special ability to begin new works. Missionaries, church planters, Christian service organizations.
Shepherding: Unique ability to care for a flock of believers over the long haul. Pastors, elders, nursery program.
Encouragement: Special skill to inspire, encourage, and comfort. Being a friend, counseling, writing letters.
Signifying gifts are the ones in constant dispute. While I am inclined to ignore these I will include them because these are in scripture. They are designed exclusively to bring glory to God alone. If glory or focus is on the individual who is using the gift it can be concluded that it is being used incorrectly. When Jesus healed the cripple and blind the reason He gave was to bring glory to the Father.
Tongues: Spiritual ability to speak in a language foreign to speaker. (Acts 2) There is the unintelligible speaking between the speaker’s spirit and God. To be used in your closet according to I Corinthians 14.
Interpretation of Tongues: Spiritual ability to interpret the message of one speaking in tongues.
Miracles: Spiritual ability to actuate the supernatural intervention of God in ways beyond His ordinary working through the laws of nature.
Healing: Spiritual agency of God in curing illness and disease and restoring to health supernaturally.
I am sure this list could be debated but it is a compilation of many scholars including Dr. Patrick Morley, Dr. James Harvey and a long list of books concerning spiritual gifts. Use this list to determine what the Spirit has given you and get busy in the church.