Spiritual Gifts

When we received Christ as our Savior not only were our sins forgiven, and our eternity assured. No, the Bible tells us also that each one received spiritual gifts Ephesians 4:7,8 says, But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivityy captive, and gave gifts unto men. So we see that Christ provided for each of us a spiritual gift to use in the local body.

What is a spiritual gift though? I Corinthians 12:1,4,11 state, Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  The two key words here are “spiritual” and “gifts”; pneumatika and charismata (the plural forms of pneumatikon and charisma). Pneumatica derives from Pneuma which means spirit, and is generally used of the Holy Spirit. Also charismata derives from charis which means grace. These plural forms both denote a working out or expression thus an expression of the Spirit, and an expression of grace. So simply put each Christian receives giftedness or graces which are an expression of the gracious working of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ.

So a gift is just a work of grace in our Christian lives that enables us to do that which we would not or could not naturally do. Basically a gift then is supernatural. This scripture plainly tells us that we will not receive all the gifts, but that the Spirit will divide them according to His will. What are these supernatural charismata then? The Bible has several lists of various gifts that God dispenses to us. These listings of gifts are in several of Paul’s epistles though it could be argued that other writers mention quite a few other gifts.

The differences of the Pauline gift lists suggest that they are comprehensive, but rather an outline of the major graces of the Holy Spirit. For instance Wiersbe says, “Since the listing in Romans is not identical with the listing in 1 Corinthians, we may assume that Paul was not attempting to exhaust the subject in either passage. While the gifts named are adequate for the ministry of the church, God is not limited to these lists. He may give other gifts as He pleases.”

How ever various gifts are named in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10 and 28, and also in Ephesians 4:11 and Romans 12:6–8.  They are listed in Romans as: prophecy, ministry, exhortation, teaching, giving, ruling, mercy. In Corinthians as: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Finally in Ephesians Paul list more vocational type gifts or callings: apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers.