An Explanation of Spiritual Gifts
When you accepted Christ, you not only got saved...you were given something very special from God. You were given a giftedness to serve God in a unique way. God's plan for your life is that you would meet a specific need in the church family, and He has gifted you in a special way to meet that need.
"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
—1 Peter 4:10
If you have trusted Christ, then you have a spiritual gift! Even if you don't know what it is or don't feel particularly gifted in a specific area, the Bible teaches that you do have a special gift that you can use to serve God. And, believe it or not, your gift is vital to the work of God in our church family, otherwise God would not have placed you here.
"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked.”—1 Corinthians 12:18–24
God's Word teaches that as a member of this church family (this body), you are important to His work in this place. He has appointed you a gift and a purpose for being here...and you will greatly enjoy discovering and using that gift for His purposes!
What should you do with this spiritual gift?
First Peter says that God wants you to be a "good steward" of His gift to you! The best way to do that is to begin now discovering, developing, and using your gift to serve the Lord and His church. The great result of using your gift is that the entire church family ministers to each other and to the community. That's the way the church is supposed to work!
What are the Spiritual Gifts?
The gifts can be more carefully explained if you make an appointment. But in a quick survey, here is what the Bible says,
"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness." - Romans 12:6-8
The spiritual gifts may be summarized in this way:
Administration: The gift that enables a believer to visualize the steps involved in reaching a goal and organize people and resources to most effectively accomplish it. I Corinthians 12:28, Luke 14:28-30, Acts 6:1-7, Titus 1:5 (Titus), Genesis 37-50 (Joseph), Exodus 18:13-27 (Jethro), Nehemiah 8 (Nehemiah).
Evangelism: The gift that moves a believer to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost in such a way that they become Jesus’ disciples. Ephesians 4:11, Matthew 28:16-20, Acts 2:36-41, Acts 8:5, 26-40 (Philip).
Exhortation: The gift of encouraging and challenging believers, helping them apply Scripture to their lives and motivating them to be involved in and enthusiastic about the work of the Lord. Romans 12:8, Acts 2:14-41 & 3:1-4:20 (Peter), Acts 4:36 & 11:22-26 (Barnabas), Acts 14:22, I Timothy 4:13-14 (Paul), Hebrews 10:23-25, Proverbs 27:6, Galatians 6:1, I Thess. 2:11-12 (Paul, Silas, and Timothy).
Faith: The gift that gives a believer the eyes to see the Spirit at work and the ability to trust God and His will with extraordinary confidence, even in the face of apparently insurmountable odds, thereby bringing reassurance and hope to the body of Christ.
I Corinthians 12:9, Matthew 17:20, Mark 5:25-34, Mark 11:22-24, Acts 11:22-24 (Barnabas), Acts 27:21-25 (Paul), Romans 4:18-21 (Abraham), Hebrews 11.
Giving: The gift that enables a believer to recognize God’s blessings and use them to contribute to the Lord’s work generously, frequently, and joyfully to benefit others and advance the gospel. Romans 12:8, Mark 12:41-44 (widow), II Corinthians 8:1-7 (Macedonian churches), Genesis 13:2, 9 & 14:14-23 (Abraham), Luke 23:50-53 (Joseph of Arimathea), Acts 9:36-42 (Dorcas), Acts 10:1-31 (Cornelius), Acts 16:14-15, 40 (Lydia), Luke 19:1-10 (Zacchaeus), 2 Chronicles 1-9 (Solomon)
Knowledge: The gift of discovering, learning, analyzing, and clarifying information and new insights with regard to the precious truths of God’s Word.
I Corinthians 12:8, I Corinthians 14:6, Acts 17:11 (Bereans), II Corinthians 11:6 (Paul).
Leadership: The gift that aids the body by casting a vision, directing and inspiring the members to work together in unity to fulfill the goals and purposes of the church. Romans 12:8, Acts 7:10, I Timothy 5:17 (elders), Hebrews 13:7 & 17, Exodus 3:10, 16-18 (Moses), Judges 4-5 (Deborah), I Samuel 16-I Kings 2 (David).
Mercy: The gift that motivates a believer to notice and feel deeply for those in physical, spiritual, or emotional need and embrace them with comfort and hope. Romans 12:8, Matthew 25:35- 40, Luke 10:30-35 (Good Samaritan), Acts 11:28-30 (church in Antioch), Acts 16:33-34 (Philippian jailer), Ruth (Ruth), Jeremiah and Lamentations (Jeremiah), II Timothy 1:15-18 (Onesiphorus).
Perception/Proclamation: The gift of clearly perceiving right and wrong that moves a believer to intercede in prayer, to find meaning in trouble, and to boldly proclaim God’s will to exhort, correct, or comfort. Romans 12:6, I Corinthians 12:10, I Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11, I Corinthians 14:3, Luke 3:2-20 (John the Baptist), Romans-Philemon (Paul).
Serving: The gift of recognizing unmet needs and working gladly, often behind the scenes, to assist people with practical needs and enable ministries to run smoothly and effectively. Romans 12:7, I Corinthians 12:28, Hebrews 6:10, Luke 10:30-42 & John 12:2 (Martha), Acts 9:36, 39 (Dorcas), Romans 16:1-2 (Phoebe), Philippians 2:25 (Epaphroditus), Philemon 10-11 (Onesimus), Exodus 31:1-6 (Bezalel and Oholiab).
Shepherding: The gift of looking out for the long-term spiritual welfare of a group of believers with faith and discernment, providing instruction, comfort, and mentoring. Ephesians 4:11, John 10:1-18 (Jesus), Acts 20:28-31 (Ephesian elders), I Peter 5:1-3 (elders)
Teaching: The gift of instructing believers in the Word of God and communicating truths accurately and clearly, to enable them to grow in knowledge and maturity.
I Corinthians 12:28, Romans 12:7, Ephesians 4:11, Acts 18:24-28 (Apollos, Priscilla, and Aquila), I Cor. 3:6 (Apollos), II Timothy 2:2 (Timothy), John 20:24-28 (Thomas), Gospel of Luke and Acts (Luke).
Wisdom: The gift that gives a believer the ability to sort through information and opinions, applying truth where there is not specific scriptural admonition, in order to discern the best solution for the individual or congregation. I Corinthians 12:8, I Corinthians 2:6-13, Colossians 1:9, James 3:13-18, II Chronicles 1:7-12 (Solomon), Acts 6:8-10 (Stephen).