So what are these gifts…
In the Scriptures there are lists of these gifts…
These are not exhaustive and there are similarities…
1 Cor 12:28
Kinds of healing
Tongues / languages
Pastor / teacher
1 Cor 12: 8-10
word of wisdom
word of knowledge
gifts of healing
interpretation of tongue
1 Cor 7:7
1 Peter 4:11
Whoever speaks (covering several gifts)
Whoever renders service (several gifts)
In the lists above we can see there is an amazing variety of gifts.
Some gifts are similar 1 Cor 12: 28 administration would have elements involved in Rom 12: 8 leadership. Similarly Serving Rom 12: 6 and Helps 1 Cor 12: 28.
Surely serving could take many forms as could helps depending upon the situation. These gifts can take different expressions also depending upon the person they are given through.
Some throughout history have tried to categorize gifts e.g.
Prophetic ( teaching, prophecy, wisdom etc)
Priestly ( mercy, care, intercession)
Kingly ( administration, governance, leadership)
Knowledge (wisdom, discerning spirits and words)
Power ( healing, miracles, faith)
Speech (tongues, interpretation, prophecy)
There should be a warning here as it is tempting to give elevation and preeminence to certain gifts. There is a very real danger of the gift bearer becoming proud or elevated above the gift giver…
It should suffice to say that there is an enormous variety of gifts given by God the Spirit for the building up of His church.
Does everyone have a gift…
1 Cor 12: 11 certainly points to everyone who is included in the body of Christ as having a gift apportioned to them. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good… 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
How do I know what my gift is…
Rom 12:6-8 and 1 Peter 4:10 give us a picture of the body of christ actively serving one another… 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
We can begin by asking what are the needs and opportunities to serve and minister in the church we are part of. Specifically how can be build up the body of Christ. the picture of the church under the headship of Christ is Eph 4:15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
I have found this survey helpful over the years…
Finding Your gift survey… Spiritual gifts discovery.
NB** Within the context of this survey often the two most prominent answers / gifts displayed are more likely to be skills and or talents e.g. Teachers having teaching gift and nurses having mercy or service.
I have found that when you get down to the 3rd and 4th most prominent gifts we get into the area of the unexpected the area of faith and of the spirits power not our skills.
Can gifts vary in strength…
1 Cor 12:11 uses the word apportions (meters / measures out) this gives and indication of some variance…
Rom 12:6 Tells us these gifts from the Spirt vary according to the grace given to us and the measure of faith given as well…Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
Gifts can be more or less strongly developed in individuals, gift strength is not dependent upon age or Christian maturity… gifts need to be exercised and maintained they can be developed in individuals over time…
1 Tim 4:14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.
2 Tim 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,
So lets summarize:
We all have gifts (1 Cor 12: 1; 4-7& 11)
There is a vast variety of gifts (1 Cor 12; Eph 4; Rom 12)
These God given gifts are for others, the body, one another (1 Cor 14; Eph 4)
These gifts need to be developed, maintained and active in the body. ( 1 Tim 4; 2 Tim 1)
“Do not be satisfied with God’s calling or His gifts in your life. Be satisfied with Jesus Christ Himself.” ― Brother Yun,
“In the New Testament, we don’t find our gift through self-examination and introspection and then find ways to express it. Instead, we love one another, serve one another, help one another, and in so doing we see how God has equipped us to do so.” ― Russell D. Moore,
“God will not give me humility, or patience, or holiness, or love as separate investments of His grace. He has given only one gift to meet our need, His Son Christ Jesus.” ― Watchman Nee,
“God never loses sight of the treasure which He has placed in our earthen vessels.” ― Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
““God never loses sight of the treasure which He has placed in our earthen vessels.” ― Charles Haddon Spurgeon,”