Romans 12 Spiritual Gifts

Last updated on May 14th, 2023 at 10:40 pm

Part of the inheritance that Christians share is the outpouring of spiritual gifts through the Holy Spirit. Our time here on earth is short, but the impact we can have is profound. This impact comes in various shapes and sizes, but almost always involves Holy Spirit and his empowering grace working through us.

There are a number of “gift sets” in the bible (3 to be exact) that pertain to the post-salvation experience of being a follower of Jesus. The salvation inheritance itself involves things like salvation, healing and deliverance. Still, we also have another group of inheritances that provides us with the power to be who we are designed to be.

What are the Romans 12 Spiritual Gifts?

The spiritual gifts listed in Romans chapter 12 are known as the redemptive gifts, the motivational gifts and the gifts of the Father. The Romans 12 spiritual gifts are less about activation and more about discovery. The idea is that there is a measure of each gift that has already been given to each person and our responsibility is to search it out.

The gifts are as follows

  • Prophesying or prophesy
  • Serving
  • Teaching
  • Encouraging
  • Contributing or Generosity
  • Leadership
  • Mercy – Empathy

How do The Motivational Gifts Work?

These gifts listed in Romans are part of the body.

The Roman people that Paul was writing to were raw people, and Paul appealed to them from a natural man’s perspective. This perspective also connects them back to the Father as opposed to the gifts of the son or gifts of the Holy Spirit. God revealed himself in nature, or in the physical world, this made the most sense to the audience.

Because of this, the author of Romans shared the gifts that made sense to that audience. And these gifts were of a natural sense, meaning that they already existed, they just need to be identified.

This identification process is collaborative, but generally speaking, your primary gift is evident. There are also different gift mixes, meaning that some people will have various amounts of different gifts. Some people are quite prominent in one, and some people have more than one.

They are motivational because they are a part of who we are. We are motivated by the internal sense of who we are. Your very nature established by God creates a compass inside of you that leans towards your gifting. When it comes to the motivational gifts they are set, they are inherited, and they are you.

How Do I know what My Motivational Gift Is?

I’ll start by saying that we are not designed to find out in isolation. The Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, but it is also a relational kingdom, and having others as part of the process is critical.

Having said that there are some general questions that you can ask yourself to get an understanding of what you might be. There are also some tests you can take that will give you a general idea.

The way other people help is by confirmation, prophetic understanding and by seeing things that you may not.

Prophetic – This gift is actually in all three of the gift lists. There is the prophet in the Ephesians gifts, the prophetic gift from Corinthians which is from the Holy Spirit to give utterance and the prophetic gift from the Father seen here in Romans.

The Romans’ gift is more connected to who you are which is a person who sees things and has insightful perceptions. These people typically see things in black and white, they don’t like grey. They are motivated to tell the truth in all situations regardless of social tact.

Servant – This gift is seen in someone who is always willing to be a part of helping others, generally without compensation or recognition. They just love helping. They can however become upset if they are not appreciated.

Teacher – These people love to share what God has shown them, or what they have learnt. They also love doing research and finding hidden truths.

Encourager – This spiritual gift is seen in people that are vocal and usually want to lift others up with words of encouragement. They can often overlook the emotional needs of people however and just try to “mind over matter” the situation. Even though they are encouragers or exhorters they can sometimes be unkind.

Giver – Although it’s not only about money, these people do have a natural joy when giving money, and feel like they are created to make money and use it to help others. They also like to rally other people to a cause when they don’t have enough to give. They can become hardened to those that don’t give as much as they do.

Mercy – These people are generally empathetic to other people’s needs, especially emotional and spiritual needs. They help people to heal, and to feel supported. Can be taken advantage of, and will often take other people’s pain when they shouldn’t. God’s gifts are given so that we can understand each other and work together.

Leaders – These people see the big picture and can inspire people to a cause, they see what needs to be done and begin assigning tasks to others. These people can be manipulative and controlling if they are not aware of the methods they use to inspire and motivate.


What is Unique about Romans 12 Spiritual Gifts

God’s gifts are given so that the body of Christ can be full, and so that we can experience Jesus through each other. Each spiritual gift is a representation of Jesus and needs to be experienced.

The gifts outlined in Romans 12 are foundational to who we are as people, they are part of our temperament and makeup. These are not something that is put on through the Holy Spirit like the gifts in Corinthians, these are already in us waiting to be discovered and developed. We lean on these as part of our makeup and part of our contribution to the body of Christ.

What are the 7 Spiritual Gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8

The seven spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12 are prophesy, leadership, mercy, teaching, encouraging, giving and serving. Each of these gifts is from the Father and are motivational for who we are. We are literally motivated to act based on these gifts.

These gifts don’t have the same function, but we all serve God through them by sharing with one another. All the gifts given in the Christian faith are designed to serve Jesus Christ. Individually members serve one another through these gifts, we are one body but many parts, one body but one God. God’s grace is what gives us a motivational gift in the first place and it is by that grace that individuals and the local church are to operate.

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About the author

Lucas is a former worship pastor and Hillsong College graduate (2005). He has spoken at churches, conferences and worship events and loves inspiring people to be more than just a Sunday service-goer. He founded 15 Degrees NE and is one of our leading authors.

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