Reminder: This is a part of the on-going teaching of Biblical Doctrines that our Preacher teaches at our church on Wednesday nights. I must reiterate how blessed I am to be a part of a church, especially in these evil times, that teaches and preaches God’s truths not only on Sunday morning and evening, but we still get that much needed “shot in the arm” every Wednesday night. I feel no need to hunger and look elsewhere to be fed of the LORD. Thank you Preacher for being such a strong man of God and living a life of obedience to only Him!
V. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
A. Definition: Gift – a supernatural ability given by Christ through the Holy Spirit to the believer at the moment of salvation.
A talent is a natural ability a person is born with – Genesis 4:19-22 “And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.”
A talent may be in the area of music, speech, organization, etc. But no natural talent, however great it may be, can be used to glorify God until sanctioned by the Holy Spirit – Exodus 31:2-5 “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.”
Some talents are rejected by God as useless to the Lord’s work, and should be discarded by the Christian as dung – Philippians 3:4-9 “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” EXAMPLE: A bartender gets saved. His “talent” is mixing drinks. God does not want that talent. It should be crucified. It does not serve nor glorify the Lord to serve alcohol to others. It is my (Anna) belief that alcohol is of the devil, as I have seen it destroy many lives and testimonies for Jesus. God will give him another gift.
B. Extent of Spiritual Gifts
1. Each Believer possesses at least one Spiritual Gift – 1 Corinthians 7:7 “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.” 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11 “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal…But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” 1 Peter 4:10 “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
But no believer possesses all the gifts – 1 Corinthians 12:29,30 “Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?”
2. Types of Gifts
a. Revelation gifts – Some gifts were given to the early church as a means of “revealing” truth. This was before the Bible was completed, (they did not have the New Testament) so God confirmed the preaching with signs – Mark 16:20 “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen”
These revelatory gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11:
1. Word of Wisdom
2. Word of Knowledge – Acts 11:28 “And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.”
5. Miracle Working
7. Discerning of Spirits
9. Interpretation of tongues – 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 tells us that these revelatory gifts shall fail, cease, and vanish away when that which is perfect (the Bible) is come. “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” “Fail” means “to be rendered entirely useless or idle, to abolish.” Particularly mentioned are prophecy, word of knowledge, tongues and, obviously, interpretation of tongues.
As there are some who are deceived regarding the gift and interpretation of tongues, I feel the need to share what God’s Word teaches on the subjects. I believe this Scripture speaks for itself:
1 Corinthians 14 – “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the LORD. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.”
b. Edification Gifts are used for “the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12) See also Ephesians 4:8, 11. These gifts are used to form the positions in the church, which are:
1. Apostles – “one sent” – Missionaries – 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11
2. Prophets/Preachers – 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11
3. Teachers – 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11
4. Evangelists – Ephesians 4:11
5. Deacons – 1 Timothy 3:10-13
6. Elders – Bishops or Pastors – Acts 14:23, 15:22, 23; 16; 4; 1 Timothy 5:17, Titus 1:5 and 1 Peter 5:1-5
c. Ministerial Gifts should be used to build up others and to improve the church. These gifts are:
1. Faith – 1 Corinthians 12:9 and 13:2 – Some have great mountain-moving faith.
2. Helps – 1 Corinthians 12:28 – This is probably the most prominent gift.
3. Governments – Romans 12:8 and 1 Corinthians 12:28 – The gift of ruling and organizing
4. Ministering – Romans 12:7 – Being a nurse to others’ needs; a servant.
5. Exhortation – Romans 12:8 – Encouraging and warning others. “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.”
6. Giving – Romans 12:8 – “Over and above” givers.
7. Mercy – Romans 12:8 – The ability to show compassion and care.
8. Any talent that is sanctioned by the Holy Spirit to be used by the Lord to build His Church. As in the case of Bezaleel in Exodus 31:2-5 “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.”
3. The Abuse of Spiritual Gifts
a. Neglect – 1 Timothy 4:14 “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 2 Timothy 1:6 “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.”
b. Using the gift without love – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
c. Using the gift to put self in front of others – 1 Corinthians 14:4, 12, 16, 26 “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church…Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church…Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?…How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.”
Note: After having taken a test by our Preacher, God has revealed my spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit as prophet and mercy. What a combination. The prophet in me compels me to do what I do on this blog and in my life.
God Bless! Anna