Defining Spiritual Gifts

A spiritual gift is a God-given ability that functions through a member of the body of Christ for the benefit of the entire body to the glory of God. These gifts are given according to God’s will, based on God’s grace and for God’s glory (Romans 12:3,6;1 Corinthians 12:6; 15:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-10; I Peter 4:11-12).

According to 1 Peter 4:11, spiritual gifts are divided functionally based on two categories – verbal and service. Spiritual gifts may also be divided according to duration: temporary or permanent.

Spiritual gifts must not be confused with places of service or special ministries. For example, there is nothing listed as a spiritual gift for youth work or music ministry. Although we ought to give glory to God for all areas of service and talent, we must recognize spiritual the gifts specifically listed in the Scriptures.

                           Five lists of spiritual gifts

Romans 12:6-8                                        1 Corinthians 12:6-10

Prophesying                                                Message of wisdom

Serving                                                         Message of knowledge

Teaching                                                       Faith

Encouraging                                                  Healing

Giving                                                             Miracles

Leading                                                           Prophecy

Showing mercy                                               Distinguishing between spirits


Interpretation of tongues

1 Corinthians 12:28                                    Ephesians 4:11

Apostleship                                                    Apostleship

Prophesying                                                   Prophesying

Teaching                                                          Evangelizing

Miracles                                                           Pastor-teacher


Helping                                                            1 Peter 4:11           

Administration                                                 Speaking

Tongues                                                            Serving

Some of the gifts overlap with one another. The five lists together present eighteen individual gifts for discussion.

              Functional division of spiritual gifts

Speaking                                                            Serving

1. Prophesying                                                1. Giving

2. Teaching                                                      2. Administration

3. Apostleship                                                  3. Mercy

4. Evangelism                                                   4. Faith

5. Pastor-Teacher                                             5. Healing

6. Exhortation                                                  6. Miracles

7. Tongues                                                        7. Helping

8. Interpretation of tongues

9. Distinguishing of spirits

10. Message of wisdom

11. Message of knowledge

                 Durative division of spiritual gifts

Temporary                                                            Permanent

1. Apostleship                                                      1. Teaching

2. Prophesying                                                     2. Faith

3. Distinguishing of spirits                                  3. Helps

4. Message of wisdom                                         4. Exhortation

5. Message of knowledge                                    5. Administration

6. Miracles                                                            6. Giving

7. Healing                                                             7. Mercy

8. Tongues                                                            8. Pastor-teacher

9. Interpretation of tongues                               9. Evangelism

The durative division will be used for the purpose of this study.

Steve Cornell

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in Church, Church growth, Church Leadership, Church membership, Holy Spirit, Spiritual gifts, Spiritual growth, Spiritual inventory, Spiritual transformation. Bookmark the permalink.

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