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Spiritual gifts were an indispensable part of the early church’s life and ministry. God intends for these gifts to continue until Christ returns (1Cor.1:7). The Holy Spirit continues to show himself through various manifestations (phanerosis) in the local church. These various manifestations are listed in the scriptures as gifts (charismata), ministries (diakonia), and operations (energemata) (1Cor.12). All believers do not have the same gift(s) or office (Rom.12:3-8). The Holy Spirit allocates spiritual gifts to every believer as He determines best (1Cor.12:8-11), yet believers are encouraged to earnestly desire the “greater gifts” (1Cor.12:31).
Though given to individual believers, spiritual gift(s) are to be employed for the common good of all (1Cor.12:7). Even the greatest gifts, when employed without love, are considered as nothing in God’s economy (1Cor.13:1-3).
The Gifts of the Spirit…
A spiritual gift (pneumatika, charismata) is a special attribute or ability given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the Body of Christ, according to God’s grace, for use in the context of ministering first to the saints and secondly to the world, in order to bring glory to God. A person’s individual calling and his or her gifts are closely related.
The key Bible passages dealing with the subject of spiritual gifts are Romans 12:6-8, 1Cor.12:8-10, 28; and Ephesians 4:11. In addition to these three passages there are a number of other verses which speak of spiritual gifts as well. From all these taken together we may discern at least 21 different spiritual gifts and 4 distinct church offices. (Different traditions number these gifts and offices differently. Some treat the gifts and offices as a single entity).
Romans 12:6-8 (7)
Prophecy (inspired utterance, possibly anointed preaching)
Wisdom (wise advice or wise use of knowledge)
In addition, 5 other New Testament passages mention 4 spiritual gifts and 1 additional
To Be Continued...
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