How The Gifts Are Described
The second truth I want us to learn relates to how these gifts are described. What are these gifts? In 1 Corinthians 12:4, we read, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” It’s the Holy Spirit who gives different gifts to the church. “And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.” That is, everything is not always done the same way, but it’s the Lord who’s doing it. “And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” What does that mean?
This means that God gave you a spiritual gift not for your own enjoyment, but for your employment. Your spiritual gift is to bless the church, not to bless you. It is a tool, not a toy.
Then Paul says in I Corinthians 12:8, “For by one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom…” What is the word of wisdom? That is supernatural insight into the mind of God. He’s not talking about common sense here; he’s talking about uncommon sense. People who have a word of wisdom make wonderful counselors. “…to another the word of knowledge…” This differs from wisdom in that it is the supernatural ability to know the things of God and apply the things of God. Knowledge puts wisdom to practical use, and there are people who have the gift of wisdom. Some will have the gift of knowledge. Some have these gifts combined and they make wonderful leaders and counselors.
In verse 9: “To another faith by the same Spirit…” Now all believers have faith or they could not be called a believer. You could not be saved without faith. However, some people have a supernatural gift of faith. It’s described in the next chapter as mountain-moving faith. Thank God for these kinds of people. They are the visionaries. They are the pioneers. They are the people who are able to think big, to believe God for the big things.
And then, “…another gifts of healing by the same Spirit.” In the Greek language, this is literally plural – gifts of healings. There are healings for the body, soul, and mind: physical healing, psychological healing, spiritual healing, healing for the Spirit.
Next, Paul says, “To another the working of miracles…” We cannot deny that God is a God of might and miracle.
Then we read, “…to another prophecy...” The word prophecy means the ability to foretell and forth tell. Primarily not to foretell the future, but, to tell forth the will of God in a particular matter. We don’t have to guess about what the gift of prophecy is because in the I Corinthians 14:3, we read, “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification…” What does edification mean? That means to build people up. An edifice is a building. “…and exhortation…” What is exhortation? That is to encourage, to fire people up, to exhort, and to cheer.
And then, “…to comfort.” What does comfort mean? That means to hold up and shore up people. A prophet is somebody who builds up, fires up, and shores up the people of God. Every church ought to pray that God will give prophets to the church, spokesmen who can speak for God. Maybe that is your gift, the gift of prophecy. Maybe God uses you to speak God’s Word.
Next, “…to another the discerning of spirits…” What does this mean? There are a lot of wild and wicked, spirits in the world today.
Furthermore, “…to another diverse kinds of tongues….” The word tongues here simply means languages, the ability to speak a language that you have never learned in school to praise God. When someone speaks in tongues in the worship service, the Lord desires for this speech to be interpreted. God gives a person supernaturally the gift of interpretation.
In Romans chapter 12:6 we read, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy…Or ministry, let us minister…” Now what is ministry? That’s acts of service.
Next, Paul mentions teaching. If you have the gift of teaching, then you should be teaching! Teach a class or a group!
He then mentions the gift of exhortation. What is the gift of exhortation? Gifted musicians who have not only vocal ability, but the ability to move your heart often have the gift of exhortation.
He also mentions the gift of “giving.” What is this? That’s the the supernatural ability to make and give money sacrificially and wisely.
Then he mentions the gift of “ruling.” We need people who can head up committees. We need leaders can administrate and lead people forward in various ministries.
Last, Paul highlights the gift of “mercy.” These are people who do hospital visitation. These are people who serve in benevolence. We all have a role in the goal and part in God’s heart!
As we enter into the Holiday Season, let’s be reminded of the gifts of grace that have been given to us. Just as we were given natural gifts when we were born, we were given supernatural gifts when were born again!
Until The Last Person Has Heard,