Gifts Of The Holy Spirit
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
by Rev. Cheryl Ann Dyck, Ph.D.
Presented by
Saint Luke Evangelical School Of Biblical Studies
Used by Permission

Bible Text 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (1 Corinthians 12:7-11 KJV)

The above passages provide the foundation for this study on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Before exploring the individual gifts, it is important to emphasize that when the Holy Spirit is in operation, He will proclaim Jesus as Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:3 states “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, if a vocal gift is in operation, the Holy Spirit will say that Jesus is Lord. In fact, any of the gifts will always uplift the lordship of Jesus rather than the lordship of man. The focus will be on Jesus, not man.

In addition, believers can have all of the gifts. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 1:5-7 “That you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” However, this passage must be reviewed along with verse 11 above, because the Spirit will divide the various gifts to every person severally as He will, not as we will, but as He wills.

The gifts can be categorized into three major classifications:

1. Revelation Gifts – word of wisdom, word of knowledge, discerning of spirits
2. Vocal Gifts – tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy
3. Power Gifts – faith, healings, miracles

Word of wisdom is the application of knowledge, knowing what to do. It is possessing the ability by the Holy Spirit to apply the Word of God to a situation. Jesus demonstrated this gift numerous times, for example he used scripture from Exodus to answer questions for the Paharisees in Matthew 22:32.

In addition, there are three forms of wisdom to be demonstrated:

1. Wisdom of man – Ecclesiastes 1:16-18
2. Wisdom of the enemy – 1 Corinthians 2:6
3. Wisdom of God – 1 Corinthians 2:7

Word of Knowledge involves a spoken word that reveals specific information. For example, in Acts 5:3 the Holy Spirit gave information to Peter concerning Ananias. This gift also includes images, visions and similitudes (impressions on your heart and mind from the Spirit). Hosea 12:10 states, “I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets.” The word of knowledge gift pertains to perceiving or knowing something, an instant impression, due to the quickening power of the Spirit.

The third revelation gift is discerning of spirits. This involves the ability to perceive and determine the source of a spiritual manifestation (of God, man or Satan). The purpose of this gift is to protect us and guard us from the enemy. Paul demonstrated this gift in Acts 16:16-19 when he commanded the spirit of divination to leave the fortune-telling slave girl.

The gift of tongues is explored in 1 Corinthians, chapter 14. Speaking in tongues means speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker, as the Spirit gives utterance. Tongues can be classified in two ways, according to function: (1) speaking in other tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and (2) the gift of tongues as mentioned in 1 Corinthians.

Speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance is the manifestation God has given as the definite, indisputable, supernatural witness or sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:4, 10:46, and 19:6). It was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah as the rest and the refreshing in Isaiah 28:11-12, and foretold by Jesus as a supernatural sign that would follow His believers in Mark 16:17, experienced by both Jews and Gentiles.

The gift of different kinds of tongues noted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:10 and concerning which he gave regulations in chapter 14 is given for self-edification (verse 4) and for edification of the church (verses 27-18). In church meetings, the gift of tongues is used to give a public message to be interpreted for the congregation. Not all believers exercise the gift of tongues, which is different in function, administration, and operation from tongues given by God as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There are three primary uses for tongues. First, tongues is used in speaking mysteries to God (see 1 Corinthians 14:2). This refers to a private prayer language to God, a mystery, not a public display (see 1 Corinthians 14:14). Secondly, speaking in tongues is a sign to the unbeliever (see 1 Corinthians 14:21-22). This is a public demonstration of this gift, as in Acts, chapter two. Thirdly, tongues is used for edification of the body of Christ through interpretation (see 1 Corinthians 14:5).

Interpretation of tongues is found in 1 Corinthians 14:5-19 in reference to speaking in tongues in public to edify the church. If a believer speaks in tongues in public, it must be interpreted. “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret,” 1 Corinthians 14:13. Also, Paul states in 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 “If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.” Interpretation is needed so that understanding results and the church is edified. Likewise, if we pray in tongues, we should ask God for interpretation as God uses tongues to speak to His people. Tongues with interpretation is equal to prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:5).

The gift of prophecy is the most important of the vocal gifts. Paul states “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy” in 1 Corinthians 14:1. In verse 5 he states “... for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues.” Prophesy is speaking for God in a known tongue, becoming the mouthpiece of God. The three uses of prophecy are edification, exhortation, and comfort (see verse 3). True prophecy does not condemn or accuse, but rather builds up and stirs up the listeners. Verse 4 states “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.”

The gift of prophesy is not the same as the office of the prophet, which is one of the five fold ministries. All believers can receive the gift of prophecy, as with the other spiritual gifts. However, not all believers are prophets. In the office of the prophet, the believer would be expected to operate in the gift of prophecy in addition to other revelation gifts (word of wisdom, word of knowledge, or discerning of spirits). 1 Corinthians 14:29 states, “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge” and 1 Thessalonians 5:21 states, “Test all things; hold fast to what is good.” It is important to remember that prophecy is always given to edify the church, exhort believers (call them nearer to God) or comfort them.

The gift of faith is the greatest of the three gifts of power. This is a supernatural gifting of faith that can operate in a Spirit-filled person's life over and beyond the faith necessary for salvation. Saving faith and the spiritual gift of faith are the same in essence but different in administration and operation.

The gift of faith is an impartation of the Holy Spirit to a heart for a season and a reason. This gift is the God-given ability to believe Him for the impossible and receive healings and miracles. Also, it is the instantaneous assurance of God's ability to act in a situation. For example, in Matthew 8:1-3, faith for healing was demonstrated by the leper who received his healing from Jesus.

Gifts of healings involve more than one form of healing. For example, there may be physical and/or emotional infirmities. Various forms of healing are noted in Isaiah 61:1-3, “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted... to comfort all who mourn; to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”

Gifts of healings are manifested through one person to another. God performs the healing, but a person is used by Him as a channel to accomplish the healing. In the physical realm, healing may be gradual or instantaneous. Several methods are used for physical healing: (1) anointing with oil (James 5:14), (2) spoken word (Luke 7:1-10) and (3) healing touch (Mark 6:56).

The working of miracles is the third power gift. This gift is the performance of something against the laws of nature. Kenneth Hagin defines a miracle as being a supernatural intervention in the ordinary course of nature operated by the force of the Spirit of God. There are numerous examples of miracles in the Old Testament. For example, in 2 Kings 2:14 Elisha smote the Jordan River with the mantle of Elijah and the waters parted. In the New Testament, Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine in John 2:1-11. He fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fish in John 6:5-14. Jesus walked on the sea (John 6:19) and calmed the stormy sea with a word (Mark 4:39). The working of miracles is accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through a believer resulting in the miracle.

In summary, it should be noted that all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit operate by general faith, and all of the gifts are given to benefit the entire body of Christ.

Copyright 2018