Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Today we’re doing the third part of a four part series on the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at the wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit!

Jesus Christ, through God’s Holy Spirit, gives us spiritual gifts that can be used to further the kingdom of Jesus! And what wonderful gifts they are.

These gifts can be divided into three groups:
Knowing, Doing, and Speaking.
Watch for them as we study through these verses.

    1 Corinthians 12:7-10 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

Wisdom– The Holy Spirit giving a believer supernatural wisdom to know God’s word or to solve a problem. The Apostle Paul was given this gift as we see in Acts 9:22 right after he became a believer: “But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.” Paul was given a supernatural understanding of the Scriptures.
(A “knowing” gift)

Knowledge– The Holy Spirit revealing to a believer specific facts about a situation or a need, known only to God for His purposes to edify, confirm, heal, or direct believers.
At the time of his conversion, Paul was told how much he would need to suffer for the sake of Christ.
(A “knowing” gift)

    Acts 9:15-16 “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

Faith– This gift allows a believer to trust that God will provide for a need when it doesn’t seem possible for the need to be met in our own power or by natural means.
(A “doing” gift)

    Acts 14:8-10 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked.

Healing– God uses the believer to supernaturally minister various forms of healing to whomever God wills.
Peter was given this gift in Acts for the glory of God and to further His kingdom.
(A “doing” gift)

    Acts 9:32-35 Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda. There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately. So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

Miracles– This is God’s power at work when it can’t be explained by the laws of nature.
Take a look at this miracle that again furthers God’s kingdom.
(A “doing” gift)

    Acts 16:24-33 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.

Prophecy– This gift empowers a believer to speak the truth of God in a way that people can understand and take it to heart and is meant to encourage, build up, and comfort the Church and convict unbelievers to repentance. We see prophets in the early church.
(A “speaking” gift)

    Acts 11:27-30 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Discerning– “Discerning of spirits” enables the believer with this gift to tell the difference between what is of God and His Holy Spirit and what is not. Paul was given discernment and taught that to us.
(A “doing” gift)

    1 Corinthians 1:14-16 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Tongues– The gift of tongues can be a language that we know or it can be the language of angels.
(A “speaking” gift)

    1 Cor. 13:1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”

When a believer has this gift, he/she is speaking to God and not to men. If the believer does it just to show other people, they are not edifying God but themselves.

    1 Cor 14:2, 4 “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.”

This gift was also given in Acts.

    Acts 10:44-46 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.

Interpretation of Tongues– This gift reveals the meaning of the words spoken to God in an unknown language. Interpretation is used following a message in tongues when given in a church meeting where others need to know what was said to understand and be edified.
(A “speaking” gift)

There are more gifts of God’s Holy Spirit. Let’s look at them.

    Romans 12:6-8 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Ministry– Paul was given the gift of ministry, as were Peter and Timothy.
(A “doing” gift)

Teaching– Similar to the ministry gift, this gift was given to the same three disciples – Paul, Timothy, and Peter.
(A “speaking” gift)

Exhortation– This is encouragement “of… Christians, comforting the sick or feeble, counseling the discouraged, and strengthening the backslider (from Melugin at calvarybbc.org). A wonderful example of exhortation is Barnabas all through the book of Acts. He exhorted and encouraged Paul, the early church believers, and Mark. From Melugin: “Through his salvaging of Mark, Barnabas got us a writer of one of the four Gospels. Through his developing of Paul, we have a writer of 13 of the New Testament books. Barnabas never wrote a book that found its way into the scriptures, but encouraged two men who wrote 14 out of the 27 New Testament volumes.”
(A “speaking” gift)

Giving– This gift of the Holy Spirit is the use of time/money/resources for the kingdom of God. In addition to exhortation, Barnabas was a wonderful example of a believer that gave of himself. He used he time and talents to help the early church, but he also gave financially to them.
(A “doing” gift)

    Acts 4:33-37 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Leadership– This believer can plan, organize, and manage. The book of Acts is loaded with great examples of leadership, and is a great study on Christian leadership and church leadership. One fine example is Stephen and the 6 others that were chosen to lead the food relief efforts.
(A “doing” gift)

    Acts 6:1-6 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
    And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.”

Mercy– This gift is one where the believer helps others hurting and in need, and they do in such a way that it strengthens their faith. The example of the leaders above shows they offered mercy to the widows that were in need of food.
(A “doing” gift)

As we see, so many of these gifts overlap into each other and one believer can have generous portions of each gift and lesser portions of others. Isn’t our God amazing?

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