Spiritual Gifts in the New Testament – Basic Truths

Updated: Dec 14, 2019

There are about 21 spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament. Why do we need them? Because Jesus is no longer here bodily. We are His body – – His mouth, His hands, His feet, ….

I. What & Where They Are: A. Rom. 12:6-8 Prophecy – the supernatural ability to hear and speak direct words or messages from God for an individual or group of people.


Service/serving – the supernatural ability to work hard, often behind the scenes, doing things often that others do not want to do; helping meet needs and accomplish projects with gladness and joy.

Teaching – the supernatural ability to communicate truth clearly and effectively whether to an individual or a group of people


Exhortation – the supernatural ability to practically help and motivate an individual or group of people to fulfill the will of God


Giving – the supernatural ability to give one’s finances and material possessions liberally to meet needs and help the church fulfill its mission


Leading – the supernatural ability to effectively lead a group of people forward over time to accomplish its calling and mission


Mercy – the supernatural ability to forgive people and be long suffering with them – seeing beyond their failures and sins to their potential in Christ

B. I Cor. 12:8-10 Word of wisdom – The supernatural ability to receive divine wisdom from God in a moment for a specific need or problem and apply it to that situation


Word of knowledge – The supernatural ability to receive some knowledge or insight from God about a person that no one could know otherwise to meet a need or solve a problem – often to heal a sickness, disease or condition


Faith – the supernatural ability to believe God for great things and to attempt great things without faltering in unbelief or doubt


Gifts of healing – the supernatural ability to be used by God in a very significant way to heal sicknesses, diseases and injuries.


Effecting of miracles – the supernatural ability to be used by God to bring about the unthinkable and seemingly impossible.


Distinguishing of spirits – the supernatural ability to figure out or discern whether something is of God or of the devil/demons; to figure out demonic roots to sicknesses and situations

Various kinds of tongues – the supernatural ability to deliver a message from God through an unknown (to the speaker) tongue or language typically spontaneously in a gathering of believers


Interpretation of tongues – the supernatural ability to interpret such a message in the language of the hearers so there is understanding and edification


C. Eph. 4:11 & I Cor. 12: 28 Apostles – the supernatural gift and calling to both start new ministries and oversee existing ministries (and ministers) – equipping them to build a solid Christ centered kingdom focused foundation


Prophets – the supernatural gift and calling to receive and deliver direct messages from God to an individual, a government leader, a church, etc., and equip the body of Christ to do the same.


Evangelists – the supernatural gift and calling to effectively lead people to Christ and equip others do the same


Pastors – the supernatural gift and calling to shepherd the sheep, equipping them to know and follow Christ.


Teachers – the supernatural gift and calling to teach truth to God’s people – equipping them to know it and live it out in society, and to avoid the lies and false doctrines of the evil one.


Administration – the supernatural ability to organize and to manage the details of a given mission or organization in a very efficient manner.


II. What They Are For: A. Common Good – I Cor. 12:7 “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”


B. The Equipping of the Saints – Eph. 4:12 “for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”


C. The Building up of the Body of Christ – I Cor. 14:5,12,26; Eph. 4:12


D. Serving one another – I Peter 4:10


E. The glory of God – I Peter 4:11


F. The Conviction of Sinners – I Cor. 14:24,25


G. Unify the Body – Eph. 4:12f


III. What to Do About Them: A. We are to Earnestly Desire them – I Cor. 12:31; 14:1


B. We are to Employ or Use them – I Peter 4:10


C. Be Good Stewards of Them – I Peter 4:10; Matt. 25:14-30


IV. How Long They Will Be Given: Eph. 4:13 (until Jesus returns)


V. Myths/Misconceptions A. “The fruit of the Spirit is more important than the gifts.” Answer: Both are important. (see I Peter 4:7-11) B. “We only receive one gift.” Answer: No scripture explicitly says that. But we are commanded to earnestly desire “gifts” = plural. I Cor. 12:31


C. “I cannot be expected to do certain things because I do not have the gift.” Answer: Even though we may not have certain gifts, we are commanded to do many of the things that gifts enable some to do with greater effectiveness (e.g. evangelism, healing, teaching, etc.)


V. How Grow in Them: A. Get Closer to the Giver = Holy Spirit – I Cor. 12:11 “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” Ask Him for more understanding, more faith, more power, more anointing, …. Luke 11:13


B. Allow/ask those with authority and anointings to lay hands on you and pray for you


C. Don’t limit the exercise of gifts to officially scheduled church meetings

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