Understanding Spiritual Gifts!
Scripture reading for August 19th: 1st Corinthians 12:1-26
The Corinthians evidently loved the spiritual gifts. But the problem was that they were ignorant of these gifts and how to properly use them to build up the body of Christ. Many had come from pagan backgrounds. Paul stressed that only those who could confess “Jesus is Lord” were speaking by the Holy Spirit.
All true spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit through relationship with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit gives to each person a manifestation of the Spirit to help in the function of Christ’s body, the church. (1st Corinthians 12:7) Paul listed the gifts as follows: “To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. (1st Corinthians 12:8-10)
We might look at these nine gifts in groups of three’s. Three gifts reveal something from God’s mind. The message of wisdom and message of knowledge reveal hidden information to help individuals or the body of Christ understand hidden truth and how to apply it successfully. The discerning of spirits reveals what spirit is behind something in order to protect or give insight for ministry to an individual or situation.
Three gifts release power into the believer’s life. The gift of faith enables a person to supernaturally believe God for impossible things. The gift of miraculous powers works with faith to enable miracles to confirm God’s word and presence when ministering. The gift of healing brings God’s power to heal sickness and disease, even raise people from death!
Three other gifts are speaking gifts. Prophecy is the ability to speak God’s mind and word into a person’s life or proclaim God’s will and word in a ministry setting. The gift of tongues is the ability to speak in an unknown tongue in a public setting. This must always be interpreted! The gift of interpretation enables the person to successfully interpret the unknown tongue.
All the gifts are given by the Holy Spirit as He wills. They are for the edification of Christ’s body. We are not to be ignorant of His gifts!