As we learned in the previous post, the Holy Spirit was given to us to empower us to walk out the Christian life and to give us boldness to be witnesses of Christ. One of the ways that the Spirit accomplishes this is through the gifts that He imparts to us. 1 Corinthians 12 lists nine specific gifts of the Holy Spirit:
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 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 12:7-11 (emphasis added)
These nine gifts, or manifestations, of the Spirit are supernatural abilities that the Holy Spirit empowers us with. They are not natural talents that we can gain by human effort. We do however have to cooperate with the Spirit for them to flow in our lives; the Holy Spirit will not force us to operate in one of His gifts. We must yield to Him and allow Him to flow through us.
For the sake of remembrance, the gifts are often broken down into three categories:
1.) Word of Wisdom: this is when the Holy Spirit gives you a specific piece of wisdom or direction for a situation. This wisdom from heaven might be the key to solving a problem or directing somebody in the right way.
2.) Word of Knowledge: this is when the Holy Spirit gives supernatural information that could not have otherwise been known. I have often seen this work together with healing; a word of knowledge is given for a specific disease or body part, and then the Lord moves in healing the person who has the particular need. God uses words of knowledge to let people know that He knows everything about them!
3.) Discerning of Spirits: this gift gives a person insight into the spiritual realm. When operating in this gift, there is the supernatural ability to discern the presence of the Holy Spirit, angels, and demons.
1.) Healing: this is when God moves through you to heal someone else supernaturally. Yes, Jesus is still in the healing business today! He wants to heal sicknesses and disease just like when He walked the earth.
2.) Miracles: this is a gift of operating in various signs and wonders. Examples from Scripture would be when Jesus turned the water into wine and walked on water. Even today, God is doing many miracles.
3.) Faith: this is when the Holy Spirit gives you a certainty as to what He is about to do. Sometimes when I pray for the sick, God will give me a supernatural faith to know what He is about to do so that I can pray with absolute faith. That is the gift of faith in action.
1.) Prophecy: this is when the Holy Spirit gives you prophetic words to speak that edify, encourage, and comfort others. Often times, a prophetic word will carry with it a revelation of God’s destiny for the person receiving the word.
2.) Tongues: the gift of tongues is when the Holy Spirit gives you a language that you did not learn naturally. In private, it is used to intercede, worship, and give thanks. In corporate worship, it is spoken aloud to the whole congregation and accompanied by an interpretation.
3.) Interpretation of Tongues: sometimes in a worship service God will speak through the gift of tongues and interpretation. A person will be prompted to speak out loud a message in tongues, and then he or someone else will receive an interpretation of the message and speak it for all to be encouraged by.
The Bible tells us that we should earnestly desire spiritual gifts. We must seek God to be filled with His Spirit and ask that His gifts flow through us. The gifts of the Spirit are for the benefit of others, that God may demonstrate His love and power to them. For too long we have been satisfied to go through our church experience without the gifts of the Spirit operating. Let us welcome the full manifestation of the Spirit in our lives and in our churches!