“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-16
For each of us, God has a purpose and a plan. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are born again – we become new creatures in Christ. While God refines us and clears away all the dross, we gradually become the men and women we God always intended for us to be. Each of us is a unique creation, but only through the NEW BIRTH can we fully realize our full potential.
We all have talents and spiritual gifts. A talent is a natural ability each of us has. Example: Michael Jordan is a very talented basketball player but he stinks at baseball. One person may be gifted to sing-another to create sculpture or design skyscrapers. Talents may be natural or developed through practice/repetition.
Spiritual gifts however are talents and abilities harnessed and channeled for the purpose of bringing glory to God the Father by building up and strengthening the body of Christ. This is an extension of the ministry of Jesus.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18,19
As reported in Acts 10:38: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him ”
We can participate in the ministry of Jesus in several ways. First, we can proclaim the Gospel of God to a world that is spiritually dead and headed for everlasting ruin. Second, we can be a blessing to those suffering from sickness, poverty, and ignorance. Finally, the spiritual gifts are intended for the sake of our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ.
Most Spiritual gifts assessment surveys list twenty-two (22) gifts given by God to the church. These gifts are gleaned from the following scripture:
- Ephesians 4:11-16
- Romans 12:3-8
- 1 Corinthians 12,13, 14
- 1 Peter 4:7-11
For more details on a specific gift, just point to or click on the gift you are interested in.
I acknowledge that my list of Spiritual gifts perhaps leaves much to be desired. I regret if I included some gifts I should not have included or omitted some gifts I should not have omitted. Consider the gift listed as “Apostle.” Some would argue that there are no apostles today. There were only the 14 men (I am including Judas Iscariot, Matthias, and Paul) fulfilling the requirements outlined by Peter in Acts 1:15-26. I agree, but scripture also refers to Barnabas, Andronicus, and Junia were also called apostles (Acts 14:14), (Romans 16:7). The Greek work for Apostle is Apostolos (Strong’s 652) when can mean “messenger”, “envoy”, and “emissary.” No one living today can meet Peter’s conditions for the office of Apostle. Indeed, the absence today of Holy Spirit baptized, miracle-working Apostles after the pattern of the original 14 is obvious. It is equally obvious however, that there are men and women who function as “messengers” to day. These modern-day apostles build and strengthen churches. They pioneer the preaching of the gospel in foreign lands. Irrefutably, there are men and women who can say with Paul:
“Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” 1 Corinthians 9:16 NIV
Spiritual Gifts Assessment
Now an example of a Spiritual gift I chose not to include: Tongues. I found four reasons not to include tongues on my list of spiritual gifts for Christians today.
Paul clearly defined the role of tongues to be as a witness to unbelievers. (1 Corinthians 14: 22). Tongues is not included in other lists of gifts meant for the edification of the church (Ephesians 4:11-16 Romans 12:3-81, 1 Peter 4:7-11) Paul says that this gift should not to be exercised without the accompanying gift of interpretation of tongues.
Likewise, the gift of interpretation is useless if there is no one with the gift of speaking in tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:13-39)
Finally, for the church (and for unbelievers!), tongues must yield to a greater gift, prophecy. (1 Corinthians 14:22-23)
Definition of 22 Spiritual Gifts
Apostle: A Greek word meaning ‘sent one’; an Apostle is gifted by the Spirit to extend the Gospel to new territories. The modern equivalent is the missionary. Apostles start new congregations and establish them on firm doctrinal foundations. They are a resource to both new and established congregations. See Acts 12:1-5, Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:28
Prophet: A prophet is anointed to speak ‘What thus saith the LORD’. God’s Spirit gives the prophet the ability to know and relate to others the mind and counsel of God. He or she is a source of encouragement, warning, and edification to the church. See 1 Corinthians 14:1-5, Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:10; Eph. 4:11
Evangelist: A special gift of the Spirit enabling a particular Christians to share the Gospel (Good News) with unbelievers with accuracy and power and leading the unbeliever to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus. See Acts 8:26-40,Eph. 4:11
Pastor: A Spiritual gift giving a person the ability and heart to care for the sheep of God. Pastors have the responsibility to feed, counsel, protect, and nurture the church. See 1 Peter 5:1-11
Teacher: A gift of the Spirit enabling a person to take the truths of Scripture and communicate them to others in ways they understand and apply to their lives. See Hebrews 5:12-14
Music: A Spiritual gift enabling a person to praise God through song and/or instrumental music. A gifted musician can raise the level and quality of the praise of the whole congregation. See 1 Corinthians 14:26
Exhortation: It is the Special enabling a Christians help their brother or sister by comforting, counseling, encouraging, and uplifting them. See Acts 11:23-24
Wisdom: A Spiritual gift enabling one to make a wise decision in difficult situations. Such a gifted person is able to know what God’s will in a particular situation. See James 3:13-17.
Knowledge: A Spiritual gift enabling one to provide facts, biblical doctrine, and Spiritual truths to others at opportune times. God gives them the heart to study scripture at a deeper level than others. See Ephesians 3 :14-19
Serving: A person gifted to serve is always eager to find a need and fill it. A server looks for ways to serve and meet the needs of others. See Galatians 6:1-2
Helps: A person with this gift is ‘burdened’ to ease the burdens of others. God gifts them with ability to see how they can make to work of others easer and more effective. See Acts 6:2-4
Leadership: A Spiritual gift enabling certain Christians to set the focus, direction, pace, of a ministry. They motivate by example and people willingly follow them to accomplish God’s work. See Hebrews 13:7, Rom. 12:8
Administration: A Spiritual gifted enabling a person to get things done the right way. A gifted administrator has solid knowledge of the goals, and resources of the ministry he is involved with and is able to formulate a working plan to get the work See Acts 15:12-21, 1 Cor. 12:28
Giving: A special gift of God enabling one to give ‘hilariously’ of ones finances and other resources to the Lord or his people. See 2 Corinthians 8:1-5, Rom. 12:8
Mercy: The Spirit gifts some to be especially sensitive to the physically, spiritual, and emotional suffering of others and gives them the insight and patience to help those so suffering. See Luke 10:30-37
Discernment: God enables some with the genuine ability to discern spirits – to know whether something is from God, from Satan, or from the flesh. See Acts 5:3-
Faith: A Spiritual gift to some which gives them steadfast, unmovable, unshakable confidence in the promises, purposes, and power of God. This faith is infectious and encourages God’s people to move in new directions. Rom. 12:8 See Hebrews 11
Hospitality: A special gift of the Spirit enabling certain Christians to willingly open their lives, homes, and churches to others outside of their church or circle of acquaintances. See Genesis 18:1-15
Craftsmanship: A Spiritual gift enabling some Christians to use their hands to build, create works of art, or produce items of quality and utility to build up the Kingdom, further the ministry, and bless others. See Exodus 28:3-4, Acts 9:36-39; 20:33-35
Intercession: God enables some Christians to stand in the gap for others by praying to God on their behalf. See 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13
Healing: A Spiritual gift enabling one to channel the power of God to heal those suffering physically, emotionally, and spiritually. See James 5:13-16
Missionary: A Spiritual gift enabling the possessor to witness to and serve people of different cultures, races, and nationalities in the name of Jesus. See 1 Corinthians 9:19-23