Now Playing: Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Day 5

Before Jesus ascended to the Father, He commissioned His followers to take the gospel message “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). He told them He would send the Holy Spirit to give them spiritual gifts—supernatural abilities to empower them to be effective witnesses. A spiritual gift (different from a natural talent) is freely given by the Holy Spirit to enable effective ministry (Mark 16:17, 18, 20). When we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit (see article on p. 838), we also receive an ability to operate in the manifestations of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. Although we call them spiritual gifts, the apostle Paul referred to these blessings for believers as manifestations, which can also be translated from the Greek word charismata as “spiritual endowments” or “spirituals.” These spirituals are distributed to believers as the Holy Spirit wills.

Scripture lists nine spirituals or manifestations in 1 Corinthians 12. Three involve utterance or speaking, three involve revelation, and three involve supernatural power. The three utterance spirituals include speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy. According to the apostle Paul, when someone speaks in an unknown tongue (language) in a church congregation, that message must be interpreted (another supernatural gift) by someone who receives the interpretation from God. An interpreted message in tongues brings encouragement to the church and is not to be confused with the per- sonal prayer language of tongues for self- edification (1 Cor. 14:18). The gift of prophecy, also an utterance spiritual gift, is an inspired message from God in a known language to build up the church.

The revelatory manifestations or gifts include the word of wisdom, an endowment of supernatural wisdom for a specific situation or understanding about the future; the word of knowledge, a gift of supernatural knowledge about a person or situation that is not known through the natural senses; and the discerning of spirits, a supernatural discernment as to whether the Holy Spirit, the human spirit, or a demonic spirit (and its specific nature) is at work in a situation.

The power gifts or manifestation include the gift of faith, gifts of healings, and the working of miracles. (You can read more about each of these gifts in other articles in this Bible.)
As every good thing from God, each of these nine gifts is received by faith and manifests in our lives as the Holy Spirit wills. These spiri- tuals are not possessed by us (as mantles are) but manifest through our lives in various situations to edify, exhort, and comfort people (1 Cor. 14:3). They should be welcomed and expected in our lives (1 Cor. 14:1). Paul gave us guidelines for proper use of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12–14.

Over the last century, through the Azusa Street Revival, the Charismatic Renewal, and other moves of the Spirit, God has been restoring the use of all the spiritual gifts to the church. Let’s receive and practice all the gifts—the spirituals—God has for us today, so we can reach the nations of the earth with the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ.

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