Spiritual gifts survey - what are the different spiritual gifts the Bible mentions?

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Question: "Spiritual gifts survey - what are the different spiritual gifts the Bible mentions?"

In God’s great gift of salvation, we have a number of benefits and responsibilities. Most Christians are quick to point out the personal benefits we receive with our salvation, but we are a little slower to focus on the responsibilities that come with it. When people speak of spiritual gifts, the focus is often on questions like, “Do you know what your spiritual gift is?” or “Have you taken a spiritual gifts assessment?” While the knowledge of one’s gifting can be beneficial, we often lose sight of God’s design in these matters. Yes, the particular gifts of the Spirit are benefits to each believer, but they come with great responsibilities.

Before we survey the spiritual gifts, we will look at two Greek words used to describe the gifts of the Spirit: pneumatika refers to their source, the Holy Spirit (pneuma) of God; and charismata refers to the fact that they are granted as an act of God’s grace (charis). Since the spiritual gifts are given by grace, they are not based on our worthiness or personal abilities but on God’s sovereign choice. Since they are given by the Spirit of God, the gifts are a part of the new life granted to us in Christ and may be drastically different from our perceived capabilities or desires prior to salvation. A brief examination of three key texts (Romans 12:6–8; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11; 1 Peter 4:10–11) will show us God’s design regarding His gifts.

One of the first things that becomes clear in these passages is the diversity of the gifts. Paul’s survey of spiritual gifts in Romans 12 includes different gifts than what are found in 1 Corinthians 12. And when Peter spoke of the spiritual gifts in 1 Peter 4:10–11, he didn’t even bother specifying them but rather listed broad categories of the types of gifts God gives. Among the gifts listed in the Bible are prophecy, ministry, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, teaching, exhorting, giving, ruling, showing mercy, speaking in languages, and interpreting languages. Whatever the specific use of each gift was, they each fit together as the parts of the body work together to make a functional whole (Romans 12:5).

In putting together a complete survey of the spiritual gifts, one must attempt to quantify and define the gifts. Romans 12 lists at least seven gifts, and 1 Corinthians 12 lists nine. There is some overlap in these lists, and there are certainly indications that there are more gifts than are itemized.

Here is a brief spiritual gifts survey from Dr. Larry Gilbert (modified from “How Many Spiritual Gifts Are There?”):

1. Miraculous Gifts
• Apostle (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11)
• Tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 30)
• Interpretation (1 Corinthians 12:10, 30)
• Miracles (1 Corinthians 12:10, 28)
• Healing (1 Corinthians 12:9, 28)

2. Enabling Gifts
• Faith (1 Corinthians 12:9)
• Discernment (1 Corinthians 12:10)
• Wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8)
• Knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8)

3. Team Gifts
• Evangelism: passionately leading others to the saving knowledge of Christ (Ephesians 4:11)
• Prophecy: boldly and fearlessly proclaiming God’s truth (Romans 12:6; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28)
• Teaching: making clear the truth of God’s Word with simplicity and accuracy (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28)
• Exhortation: motivating others to action, application, and purpose (Romans 12:8)
• Shepherding: overseeing, training, feeding, coaching/leading (Ephesians 4:11)
• Serving: providing practical help both physically and spiritually (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28)
• Mercy-showing: identifying with and comforting those in need (Romans 12:8)
• Giving: releasing material resources to further the work of the Church (Romans 12:8)
• Administration: organizing, administering, promoting, leading (Romans 12:8; 1 Corinthians 12:28)

In 1 Peter 4:9–11, Peter gives us two groups of Team Gifts:

1. “Speaking” gifts. Those who have the speaking gifts are Evangelists, Prophets, Teachers, Exhorters, and Shepherds.

2. “Ministering” gifts, or support gifts. Ministers are not kings but “king-makers.” These people are happy to work behind the scenes supporting the ones who have the speaking gifts. Ministering gifts include Shepherds, Mercy-Showers, Servers, Givers, and Administrators.

The Bible says we are given spiritual gifts for a purpose. In Romans 12:8 we are told to use the various gifts according to the character of God and His revealed will “with simplicity . . . with diligence . . . with cheerfulness.” In 1 Corinthians 12:25 we are told that these gifts were given “so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.” In 1 Peter 4:11 the purpose of the gifts is “that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

Recommended Resource: The Spirit-Filled Life: Discovering the Joy of Surrendering to the Holy Spirit by Charles Stanley

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Related Topics:

How do I know what my spiritual gift is?

Is there a biblical spiritual gifts list?

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