The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit
In Part 1 we considered the gift of God the Father- Jesus Christ (see John 3:16).
In Part 2 we considered the ascension gifts of God the Son (see Ephesians 4:8-13).
Now in Part 3a we begin to consider the nine gifts of God the Holy Spirit.
Our keynote passage is found in 1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit.
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to other divers’ kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Please notice in verse 7 the gifts are given to every man to profit the body of Christ.
These gifts are not just speaking about natural talents, e.g. the gift of tongues means that someone is good at foreign languages. This cannot be referring to the spiritual gift of tongues since there are many unbelievers who are gifted at languages!
There are nine gifts of Holy Spirit are described here and these can be conveniently divided into three groups for study purposes.
1. The verbal gifts; tongues, interpretation, and prophecy.
2. The inspirational gifts;(God shows us something we otherwise could not know) word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discernment of spirits.
3. The power gifts (demonstrating the power of God); healings, miracles, and faith.
Although the power gifts may be the most spectacular of the gifts the emphasis of the bible is on the verbal gifts with over half the Scripture about the gifts devoted to these. 1 Cor 14 teaches solely about the verbal gifts. There is not a whole chapter devoted to either the inspirational or the power gifts. We are also taught to desire the gift of prophecy above all others! In the early church we find that the verbal gifts were the gifts most manifested in the church. If we follow the example the Corinthian church there should be tongues, interpretation, and prophecy at every church meeting! Interestingly the other six gifts tend to be used more in personal ministry with occasional manifestations in the church meetings.
The verbal gifts are often the gifts that open us up to begin to move in the other six gifts. In some ways they are easier to move in since these gifts are under our control i.e., we can either speak or keep silent! Regular use of the verbal gifts keeps us open and ready to operate in the other six gifts when the Holy Spirit gives them to us. They help us to recognise the voice or leading of the Holy Spirit.
The gift of tongues is especially useful to us in that we can use it for our personal edification anywhere, doing the ironing, in the car and we can use it without speaking out! For those of us who can speak in tongues it should be a daily exercise so that in addition to our personal benefit we are ready to give a tongue at church if the Spirit wills.
Next time in the Gifts of the Godhead Part 3b we focus on the verbal gifts of the Holy Spirit.