spiritual gifts



Spiritual gifts are enablements or capacities God gives to individuals. We all benefit from the common grace of God; that is, we can all serve, encourage, give, or show mercy.  But the Bible is clear that God, through the Holy Spirit, gives an extra portion of certain gifts to individuals. Because these gifts are freely given, they cannot be earned. The fact that one person has a particular gift and another does not is never a measure of holiness or deservedness. The gifts are given to unify the church, as Paul makes clear in 1 Corinthians 12.  There is one body (the church), but there are many parts (individuals). Because God has given everyone a gift, we can all participate in His Kingdom.  Though the gifts are given to us, they are intended for the benefit of others.  Gifts are for the entire church more than simply to individuals who receive them. As 1 Corinthians 14 notes, the gifts are meant to build up, encourage, and comfort those around us.

What follows is a list of gifts compiled from the Bible. Some of them are well known; some may surprise you.  Remember: you are gifted.

Prophecy (boldly proclaiming God’s mind and purpose) 1 Corinthians 12, 14; Micah 3:8

Serving (a wide variety of ministries that “make the dust fly”)  1 Peter 4; 1 Corinthians 12:5

Teaching  (explaining God’s truth) Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4

Working  (bringing energy to a project) 1 Corinthians 12:6

Exhortation (motivational skills; encouragement)  Romans 12

Giving (joyful, sacrificial generosity) Romans 12

Mercy (compassion)  Romans 12

Intercession (prayer) Romans 8:26, 27

Wisdom  (knowledge rightly applied to situations) James 1:5; Numbers 27

Words of Wisdom (giving insightful, practical knowledge)  1 Corinthians 12

Words of Knowledge (giving insight into doctrine/spiritual truth)  1 Corinthians 12

Faith (unwavering commitment) 1 Corinthians 12

Healing (miraculous interventions for sickness) 1 Corinthians 12

Miracles  (supernatural acts)1 Corinthians 12

Discerning spirits (insight into the “spirit” of a situation)  1 Corinthians 12

Tongues (gifted in human or heavenly languages)  1 Corinthians 12, 14

Interpretation of Tongues - (translating those languages) 1 Corinthians 12, 14

Apostle (unique to the founding of the church)  1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4

Leadership (church planters and church sustainers)  Romans 12

Pastor (“shepherds” who guide and lead)  Ephesians 4

Evangelist/Missionary (boldness in sharing the gospel) Acts 1:8; 5:32; 26:22; 1 John 5:6; Ephesians 4

Helps (helping/serving the poor and downtrodden) 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Timothy 3:8-13; Romans 16:1-4; 12

Administration (the ability to give oversight) 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Samuel 11 and 16

Celibacy (refraining from sex with purity) 1 Corinthians 7:7

Marriage  (committing to a covenant with integrity) 1 Corinthians 7:7

Hospitality (openness and friendliness)  1 Peter 4:9-10

Craftsmanship (building, construction) Exodus 31:3; 35:30-35

The Arts (music, poetry, prose, painting...)  Exodus 31:2-6;  Exodus 35:25-26; Psalm 150:3-5 Luke 1:1-3

Voluntary Poverty (forgoing wealth without envy or jealousy) 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Business Sense (reward from hard work and investment) Ecclesiastes 3,5

Courage (as seen in Gideon) Judges 6

Strength (as seen in Samson)  Judges 13

Architectural Engineering  (planning; constructing; building) 1 Chronicles 28