The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:10-12) are special abilities and powers given to believers by the Lord for the service of the church. They are intended to operate for the purpose of bringing the church into unity and in a fit condition to meet the Lord (Ephesians 4:12–15).
These supernatural manifestations confirmed the faith of the early believers, who did not have the historical evidence of the power of Christianity that believers have today. At that time, Bibles, consisting of only the Old Testament, were rare. To meet these needs, supernatural gifts were generously bestowed on the early church.
The gifts of the Spirit were not confined to New Testament times. Many had them in the Old Testament. These gifts were also provided for the church when Jesus ascended to heaven. And it is God’s will and plan that His church shall be empowered by these gifts till He comes again (Ephesians 4:8, 11–13).
Paul lists the gifts of the Spirit: “for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:8-11).
These gifts are natural talents that the Spirit grants to the believers to utilize them for the glory of God. All such spiritual talents are “gifts of grace” given according to the will and purpose of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, those that get them should not to be proud for the source of their increasing strength and influence is God.
Paul was called to be an apostle (Romans 12:3). Other believers were appointed to be prophets, teachers, workers of miracles, healers of the sick, etc. (1 Corinthians 12:28). By God’s grace, the believers in the churches were given a variety of spiritual powers in order to meet the many different needs and to preach the gospel to the world.
It should be noted that the gifts of the Spirit are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). The gifts of the Spirit are grants of divine power on the believers to bring about the perfection of His church. The fruits of the Spirit are qualities of character that appear in church members who yield themselves to the influence of the Holy Spirit and are moved by His love (1 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5:22, 23).
In His service,