Gifts for All Believers
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians chapters 12,13 and 14 Romans 12:3-8 Ephesians 4 1 John 4:1 Acts 2:4-6, 7-18; 3:6-8; 4:30; 5:1-10; 6:10; 10:47-48; 15:7-22 James 5:14 Jude 1:20 1 Peter 4:10
The activity of Holy Spirit in the life of each believer is expressed through God’s gifts “Now to each, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7)
In Romans 12:6-8 and Ephesians 4 we find other gifts given by God. These explain the way in which particular gifts can equip Christians to fulfil the particular ministries among the local body of believers.
The re-appearance of Spiritual gifts in mainline non-Pentecostal denominations during the 1970’s caused growth in numbers, and, in many places, a change in the style of worship and even church Government.
Much of this turned out to be for the good, but, alas, the devil soon appeared in his disguise as a sincere believer demonstrating false gifting and leading innocent believers astray. True Christians are warned in Scripture not believe every spiritual experience, sign or expression they encounter. The Bible encourages us to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
In 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, Paul offers his list of the gifts given by Holy Spirit to individuals . One of many useful ways to understand them is to take note of what the Apostle teaches in each case.
1. WISDOM: This gift brings practical insight and guidance directed by the Spirit. The aim is to apply the truth of a promise, command or other directive revealed in God’s Word or, to express the Spirit’s wisdom about a specific situation or problem. (Acts 6:10, 15:13-22)
2. KNOWLEDGE: A revelation about people or circumstances which is often important for a person’s spiritual development. Bible teachers often emphasize the close link between this gift and prophesy, (Acts 5:1-10, 10:47-48, 15:7-11)
3. FAITH: Every believer has exercised faith when receiving Christ as their Saviour and Lord, but, in 1 Corinthians 13:2, Paul is speaking of exceptional faith that enables a believer to trust God for extraordinary things.
4. HEALING: Whilst on earth Jesus regularly exercised a ministry of healing physical illnesses by miraculous power. The gift of healing continued to be evident in the early church, (Acts 3:6-8, 4:30). Today, we continue to pray for the sick, and church members will often ask the Elders to pray in accordance with James 5:14-15. The outcome of these prayers will, in all honesty, vary, but God is always in charge. Even those who Jesus healed and raised from the dead, died again a normal physical death. In Heaven, where there is no sickness or suffering, there is one healing for us all, and believers will know the completion of our salvation.
5. THE MIRACULOUS: These are acts of Supernatural power that change the course of nature. An example would be Moses leading the people through the Red Sea.
6. PROPHECY: The gift of Prophesy mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12, is a periodic manifestation of God’s Spirit available to every believer (Acts 2:17-18). Prophecy delivers a message or revelation directly from God under the prompting of Holy Spirit. There are examples of this throughout the Old and New Testaments.
7. DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN SPIRITS: This gift is a special ability to discern and judge prophecy and to distinguish whether or not the message is from God. (1 Corinthians 14:29)
8. SPEAKING IN TONGUES: Tongues may be an unlearned language (Acts 2:4-6), or a language unknown on earth (1 Corinthians 13:1). On the day of Pentecost, it caused quite a stir when those who had gathered from foreign lands heard the gospel proclaimed in their own languages. When a tongue is manifest during a service of worship, it is important that it is accompanied by an interpretation enabling everyone to understand. (1 Corinthians 14:2-3; Jude 1:20).
9. INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES: Continuing from above, we can see that this gift enables everyone present to be encouraged and built up in the Lord. Without interpretation of a tongue, those gathered will be left without understanding.
This list is not exhaustive. 1 Peter 4:10, and Romans 12:3-8 reveal other gifts that will bless the gathered church and there is so much much more I could write about the wonderful gifts of God for all believers.
Have you asked your Heavenly Father to grant you gifts that will enable you to bless others?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your manifold gifts You bestow upon all believers. Forgive me when I have misused your gifts, or failed to bless others by remaining silent when You prompted me to speak. May I never seek glory for myself when manifesting Your gifts, but always turn them into glory for You, the Giver. Above all, help me to grow fruit which will enable me to use your gifts wisely and for the common good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.