Spiritual Gifts

Leverage your grace, anointing and spiritual gifts to impact the Kingdom.

What are Spiritual Gifts?

Spiritual Gifts are a grace and anointing that is given to each person through the Holy Spirit. They are designed like an ability to be a point of leverage for each believer. Their purpose is for building and encouraging people. You use your gift to impact the life of another person. They are ONLY experienced at the highest level when shared.


A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other – 1 Corinthians 12:7

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another – 1 Peter 4:10

spiritual gifts

Introduction to the Spiritual Gifts

As Christians, we go through life learning all that we can about Jesus christ, the bible and the Holy Spirit. One of the biggest topics on this journey is learning what God has given us things like grace, forgiveness and joy.

We also learn that God has given us a spiritual gift, from the same spirit. In most cases He has given us more than one, He has given us different kinds all from the same spirit…His spirit.

The church body needs all of us to get an understanding of each spiritual gift and to share them with one another. The spiritual gifts god has created are manifest as the Holy Spirit distributes them to us. Some are inherited through the father (motivational gifts), some are given from the Son (the Ministry Gifts in Ephesians) and some are activated through the Holy Spirit (the manifestation gifts in Corinthians)

25 spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Scripture

Most Christians are familiar with the nine gifts of the Spirit that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12:4-10. But did you know there are many more? Though the exact number is debatable, here are at least 25 spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit gave to the early church—and continues to give today.

  1. Word of wisdom (1 Cor. 12:8; Luke 6:9)
  2. Word of knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8; Luke 18:22)
  3. Faith (1 Cor. 12:9; Acts 3:6)
  4. Gifts of healing (1 Cor. 12:9, 28; Acts 28:1-10)
  5. Working of miracles (1 Cor. 12:10; Acts 6:8)
  6. Prophecy (1 Cor. 12:10; 1 Thess. 5:20-21; Eph. 4:11)
  7. Discerning of spirits (1 Cor. 12:10; Luke 8:29)
  8. Tongues (1 Cor. 12:10; Acts 19:6)
  9. Interpretation of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10; 14:13-33)
  10. Helping (1 Cor. 12:28)
  11. Administration (1 Cor. 12:28; Acts 6:2-3)
  12. Ministry/service (Rom. 12:7; 2 Tim. 1:16-18)
  13. Teaching (Rom. 12:7; Eph. 4:11-14)
  14. Encouragement (Rom. 12:8; Heb. 10:24-25)
  15. Giving (Rom. 12:8; 1 Cor. 13:3; Acts 4:32-35)
  16. Leadership (Rom. 12:8; Acts 13:12)
  17. Mercy (Rom. 12:8; Luke 5:12-13)
  18. Apostleship (Eph. 4:11)
  19. Evangelism (Eph. 4:11; 2 Tim. 4:5)
  20. Pastoral guidance (Eph. 4:11)
  21. Grace (Rom. 12:6; Eph. 3:7; 4:7; 1 Pet. 4:10-11)
  22. Willingness to face martyrdom (1 Cor. 13:3)
  23. Intercession (Rom. 8:26-27)
  24. Hospitality (1 Pet. 4:9)
  25. Celibacy (1 Cor. 7:8)

The Bible talks about ‘spiritual gifts’ in several passages. These passages describe:

  • The gifts of the Father – the motivational (or redemptive) gifts – in Romans 12:3-7
  • The gifts of the Son – the ministry gifts – in Ephesians 4:11
  • The gifts of the Spirit – the manifestation gifts – in 1 Corinthians 12:1-12, 28

The Gifts of the Son (Ministry Gifts)

A study of the word ‘gifts’ in Ephesians 4 teaches us that these gifts of the Son are actually people. Jesus gives them to His church to help equip the people in the church for the work of service for the building up of the body of Christ. The ministry gifts serve to reveal the plan of God. They are characteristic of a full-time office or calling, rather than a gift that can function in and through any believer. Here is a five-finger illustration that outlines each office:

Apostle

Apostle – An apostle establishes and builds churches; he’s a church planter. An apostle may function in many or all of the ministry gifts. He is the “thumb,” the strongest of all of the fingers, able to touch every finger.

Prophet

Prophet – Prophet in Greek means to “forth tell” in the sense of speaking for another. A prophet functions as God’s mouthpiece, speaking forth God’s Word. The prophet is the “index finger,” or pointer finger. He points to the future and points out sin.

Evangelist

Evangelist – An evangelist is called to be a witness for Jesus Christ. They works for the local church to bring people into the body of Christ where they can be discipled. They may evangelize through music, drama, preaching, and other creative ways. They are the “middle finger,” the tallest one who stands out in the crowd. Evangelists draw a lot of attention, but they are called to serve the local body.

Pastor

Pastor – The pastor is the shepherd of the people. A true shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The pastor is the “ring finger.” He is married to the church; called to stay, oversee, nurture and guide. He is the main instructor when it comes to overcoming spiritual issues and strongholds.

Teacher

Teacher – The teacher and the pastor are often a shared office, but not always. The teacher lays the foundation and is concerned with detail and accuracy. He delights in research to validate truth. The teacher is the “pinky finger.” Though seemingly small and insignificant, he is designed specifically for digging into tight, dark places, shining light and picking apart the Word of truth.

spiritual gifts in the bible

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Manifestation Gifts)

We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit remain available as a part of God’s plan for His church, they are outlined in the new testament. They are sometimes called God’s “power tools”, God has given them to the body of Christ as valuable helps to accomplish works of ministry. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are gifts that He gives for a specific purpose at the moment in time. He may or may not give the same gift to the same person to use in the future.

They are:

  • Word of wisdom
  • Word of knowledge
  • Faith
  • Gifts of Healings
  • Workings of miracles
  • Prophecy (the gift of prophecy)
  • Discerning of spirits
  • Different kinds of tongues
  • Interpretation of tongues

It should always be remembered that the purpose of all of the gifts is to edify the church, and their distribution within the body is completely dependent upon the discretion of the Holy Spirit. It’s also noted that it is critical for people to know their spiritual gifts and their spiritual purposes for their protection. Our spiritual warfare depends on our anointing and authority. Our anointing and authority comes through our gifts and helps fight the enemy.

The spiritual gifts definitions are a good guide, but it is also important to glean wisdom from others who have more experience with the same gifts that you have. Salvation has a gift of eternal life, the Holy Spirit has the gift of speaking in tongues and also the spirit distributes gifts to God’s people.

The scriptures imply that it’s appropriate to seek specific gifts, however, one’s motive must be for the building up of the church, not for self-gratification. “…since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel” (1 Cor 14:12). There is a difference between spiritual gifts and fruit. Gifts are the Spirit’s manifestation through a vessel, but the fruit is the offspring of one’s spiritual character. Spirituality cannot be measured by gifts, but by fruit (Gal 5:22-24).

Love is the predominant feature of spirituality (1 Cor 13:13), without which, the gifts of the Spirit cannot function effectively (1 Cor 13:1-2). Paul expressed that the church should have a desire for spiritual gifts, but it should follow the foremost pursuit of love. “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts,” (1 Cor 14:1). (Excerpted with permission from the article “Understanding Spiritual Gifts” by Dr. Dale A Robbins)

The Gifts of the Father (Motivational Gifts)

A crucial facet of you living your best life is to know what your motivational/redemptive gift is; that set of giftings is our focus here.

THE SEVEN REDEMPTIVE GIFTS GIVEN BY FATHER GOD by Doug Heck (Excerpted with permission from www.totalchange.org) These gifts are listed in the letter to the Christians in Rome. The passage states that each of these gifts is dealt to each person in differing measures of faith (verse 3). That measure is a specific amount and type of faith that Our Heavenly Father apportions to all people throughout the earth, allotting these gifts as is necessary to fulfill his sovereign will on earth. Each of us has gifts differing according to the grace given us by God in His unsearchable wisdom.


3 – For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith [emphasis mine].

4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,

5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us [emphasis mine], let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;

7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;

8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:3-8

Each person has a primary spiritual gift, a gift from God. That spiritual gifting is put in us at conception, and determines the course of our lives, regardless of whether we become Christians or choose to reject Christ.

Psychologists term these differences in people as “basic temperaments”, or personality types. Many have studied the soul of man in an attempt to categorize and understand the ways of man. There are many types of assessment tests to help determine what each of us might be.

Father God installs these gifts in us to fulfill His plan of redemption on the earth. When we understand our gifts and function in them under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there is a redemptive result for mankind. Good comes when you operate in these gifts. Good not only for you but also for the many around you.

They are designed not for you, but for you to be a part of a large whole, functioning as a body part.

The Bible talks about “spiritual gifts” in several passages. The motivational – or redemptive – gifts are found in Romans 12. These gifts are given to every person -believer or not – and they are kept throughout a person’s life.

These gifts are sometimes called “motivational” because they describe a fundamental drive – motivation – in each of us: to teach, to encourage, to give, etc.

They are also sometimes called “redemptive” because Father God installs these gifts in us to fulfill His plan of redemption on the earth. When we understand our gift and function in it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there is a redemptive result for mankind.

These gifts are a part of your identity. It is critical that you investigate what part they have in your life.

Good comes when you operate in these gifts. Good not only for you, but also for the many around you. They are designed not for you, but for you to be a part of a large whole, functioning as a body part.

We want you to know what your motivational gift is, to have the pleasure of functioning in it – for your blessing and for ours – and for God’s purposes to be accomplished in the process. The gifts are: Perceiver (or Prophet); Server; Teacher; Exhorter; Giver; Administrator (or Ruler); Compassion Person (or gift of Mercy)

Spiritual Gifts FAQ

What are the Spiritual Gifts and What is their Purpose?

Spiritual gifts, also known as charismata, are special abilities or manifestations given by the Holy Spirit to believers in Christianity. They are mentioned primarily in the New Testament, particularly in the writings of Paul the Apostle, who describes these gifts as part of God’s plan to empower and equip believers to serve the church and fulfill its mission.

The purpose of spiritual gifts is to edify the church, promote unity, and help believers mature in their faith.

A spiritual gift is a treasure and should be developed, explored and used to impact the kingdom and other people’s lives. Each spiritual gift is required to understand and experience the spirit in fullness.

What are the 5 Spiritual Gifts?

This question most commonly refers to the 5 spiritual gifts listed or mentioned by the apostle Paul in Ephesians and they are known as the ministry or office gifts. These gifts are understood to be given by Jesus (God gives motivational gifts, and the Holy Spirit gives Manifestation gifts), and they are part of who we are rather than something we put on.

The idea, however, is still that you need to search it out and discover what you are. Usually, especially with the ministry gifts this is done in collaboration with mentors and leaders inside the community. This isn’t a solo mission.

In Christianity, the five ministry gifts, often referred to as the “five-fold ministry,” are roles within the church that help fulfill its mission and edify the body of believers.

They are derived from Ephesians 4:11-13, where the Apostle Paul explains that Christ has given these roles to help equip and mature believers. The five ministry gifts are:

  1. Apostles: Apostles are individuals who are sent out to establish and oversee the foundation of new churches or ministries. They are responsible for providing spiritual guidance, vision, and direction to church communities, as well as ensuring that the teachings and practices of the church align with the biblical truth. In the early church, the original apostles were Jesus’ closest followers, who were commissioned to spread the gospel and establish the church.
  2. Prophets: Prophets are individuals who receive and communicate God’s messages to the church, often through divinely inspired revelations. They provide insight, guidance, and correction to the church, helping to ensure that it remains aligned with God’s will. Prophets may also have the ability to predict future events or warn the church of impending dangers.
  3. Evangelists: Evangelists are gifted in spreading the gospel and winning new converts to Christianity. They have a passion for reaching the lost and often travel to different communities or regions to preach the gospel. Evangelists are skilled in presenting the Christian message in a way that is both compelling and understandable to those who have not yet heard it.
  4. Pastors: Pastors, also called shepherds or elders, are responsible for the spiritual care and oversight of a local church community. They are often involved in teaching, counselling, and providing guidance to the members of their congregation. A pastor’s primary role is to nurture and care for the spiritual well-being of the church, ensuring that its members grow in their faith and relationship with God.
  5. Teachers: Teachers are individuals who have the gift of effectively explaining and applying biblical truths to the lives of others. They play a vital role in the spiritual growth of the church by helping believers understand and apply the teachings of Scripture. Teachers may lead Bible studies, teach Sunday school classes, or give sermons in the context of their ministry.

The five-fold ministry is designed to work together, with each spiritual gift of role complementing and supporting the others. Each of these ministry gifts contributes to the overall health and growth of the church, equipping believers for service and helping them mature in their faith.

What are the 7 Spiritual Gifts in Romans 12?

We have a full article dedicated to the motivational gifts in Romans 12. These gifts are interesting because they are the least understood and usually the least applied. Their importance however cannot be understated as they literally motivate and drive us in and through decisions, relationships and activities. Here is the list with a short description. If you are looking for more jump over to our Romans 12 Gifts article.

In Romans 12:6-8, the Apostle Paul lists seven spiritual gifts that believers may possess. These gifts, given by the Holy Spirit, are meant to be used in service to the church and for the common good.

Here is each sprirtual gift mentioned in Romans 12, 7 in total:

  1. Prophecy: The ability to receive and proclaim God’s message to others. Those with the gift of prophecy are called to speak the truth, often providing guidance, encouragement, or correction to the church.
  2. Serving (or Ministry): The gift of serving involves assisting others, meeting practical needs, and supporting the work of the church. Those with this gift are often drawn to roles that involve caring for others, organizing events, or providing logistical support.
  3. Teaching: The gift of teaching is the ability to effectively explain and apply biblical truths to the lives of others. Teachers play a vital role in the spiritual growth of the church by helping believers understand and apply the teachings of Scripture.
  4. Exhortation (or Encouragement): The gift of exhortation involves offering comfort, support, and motivation to others in their spiritual journey. Those with this gift have a unique ability to inspire, challenge, and uplift others, helping them persevere through difficult times and grow in their faith.
  5. Giving: The gift of giving refers to a strong desire and ability to contribute generously to the needs of others and support the work of the church. Those with this gift often have a heart for generosity and a commitment to stewarding their resources well for the benefit of others.
  6. Leadership (or Administration): The gift of leadership is the ability to guide, direct, and influence others in a way that promotes the growth and unity of the church. Those with this gift are often skilled at organizing, planning, and making decisions that benefit the church and its mission.
  7. Mercy: The gift of mercy involves showing empathy, compassion, and forgiveness to others. Those with this gift have a special ability to alleviate suffering, offer comfort, and demonstrate God’s love to those in need.

These spiritual gifts, along with others mentioned in different parts of the New Testament, are given to believers to help build up the church and promote spiritual growth. Believers are encouraged to identify and develop their spiritual gifts and use them in service to God and others.

small group discovering their spiritual gifts

Are there Spiritual Gifts Tests?

Over the course of history, the Christian Church has tried to develop various ways to figure out what our gift sets are. Each spiritual gift God gives us is described in the new testament in 1 Corinthians, Ephesians 6 and Romans 12. These gifts are a part of God’s grace for us and are also so we can accomplish Kingdom activities here on earth.

The spiritual gifts tests are a good place to start in terms of asking yourself some questions to see where you are at. They will help you with determining some of your temperaments, leanings and anointings. They are, however, just a small piece of the puzzle. Spiritual well being is not just a test you fill out, it is also about living in a community and sharing your life and gifts with others. The gift of prophecy for example is to be shared, not just to be discovered.

Take the tests, and glean what you can, but more importantly surround yourself with people that can help you identify your calling, develop your giftings and share them. The same spirit that lives in you lives in other Christians as well, it is meant to be experienced in community.

Everyone has different gifts it is our supernatural ability used to glorify God. The christian faith is dependant on spiritual growth, all the gifts coming together and each person learning to share their spiritual gift. We need to communicate God’s word on this, but also the actual experience of each persons different gifts in community. Your spiritual gifting is crucial for the body of Christ, each of us has the same spirit, but a different part of it that needs to be shared. This same spirit is was bring us togehter so that we can experience your particular gift, in community.

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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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