1 Timothy 4:8

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

New International Version


There are gifts that are defined as spiritual gifts. What is written in 1 Corinthians 12 is not an exhaustive list of spiritual gifts. There are also gifts that are not necessarily defined as spiritual gifts yet in their nature may pass for talents or natural gifts yet when they are used in the edification of the body of Christ they pass for gifts. Some gifts operate as an office. One thing that is true about them is that they are given for the common good and the edification of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:7). They are distributed by the Holy Spirit as he desires (1 Corinthians 12:11). Not everyone has a particular gift or all the many and different gifts (1 Corinthians 12:26-30). The Bible encourages us to seek greater gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4). That means some gifts are less in greatness than others. It is important that we remember that a gift is something that is given. Why this one or that one has this or that particular gift depends on the kindness and generosity of the giver. Some gifts can be nurtured.

Some gifts can be made better by practice. A person may have the gift of singing or playing an instrument or preaching. The gift can be enhanced by reading and understanding more about the gift as well practicing.

ome people believe that some gifts ceased with the passing of the first apostles and with the completion of the canon of scripture and that we should not expect them these days. Some people believe that all the spiritual gifts are operational today and we should expect their manifestations whenever we come together as the body of Christ. Both positions use their Bible as their base. I believe that there is a healthy biblical balance we can strike between the two positions.

 WISDOM Corinthians 12:8  ~ This gift is the ability to speak words of wisdom in a very difficult or complex situation that provides a solution or calmness or direction. This is a very useful gift in conflict resolution, counselling and leadership. James 1:5; 3:13-18.

 MESSAGE OF KNOWLEDGE v8  ~This gift is the ability to speak a message of knowledge for a situation that has no prior knowledge of.

 FAITH v9  ~ This gift is the ability to believe God for great things to happen in a situation that is not necessarily favourable. There is a clear difference though between faith, foolishness and presumption. The biblical definition of faith is that it is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. This faith should not be confused with saving faith as in believing or trusting God for your eternal salvation.

 HEALING v9  ~ This gift is the ability to heal people that are sick physically and psychologically without using conventional medicine but rather through prayer. While it can be acknowledged that faith is an important ingredient for healing it needs to be said that it is not necessarily the faith of the one who is being prayed for or the faith of the one who does the praying. It is the grace of God at work in every healing that takes place. It must be said that there is no conflict in having faith to heal you and the taking of medication. The taking of any medication is not a negation of one’s faith. The same can be said of surgery. God may use any method to heal. We must also remember that all healing comes from God.

 MIRACULOUS POWERS v10  ~ This gift is the ability to do miraculous powers. A miracle by definition is something that defies the rules of nature and science. Miracles by definition are unusual happenings and are therefore uncommon and rare.

 PROPHECY v10  ~ The gift of prophecy is the ability to speak on behalf of God to an individual or a group of people. Prophecy can either be forth telling or foretelling. Forth telling is the ability to speak into a situation or to speak to a person or a group of people about what God is saying in any given situation. Foretelling is the ability to say that something or some event will take place in the future. In the Bible we see prophets speaking to kings and subjects as well as God’s people. The Bible says we should not despise prophecy but we should always test prophecy so that we know that it is truly from God. The Bible offers ways of verifying what is uttered as prophecy or not. Since God cannot contradict himself it means that one cannot say he has prophesied when his utterances contradict the Bible. Prophecy must be subjected to the spirit of other prophets. In other words, godly people must agree in their spirits that what has been uttered is really from God. If a prophet’s utterance which is a foretelling, does not come to pass such a prophet is a false one.It needs to be said that the primary and common means that God is using to communicate his will these days is through his word the Bible. It does mean then that we should not expect its occurrence as a regular thing that must happen in the church. At a time in the Old Testament and in the New Testament before the complete can of the scripture was available prophets under the inspiration of God spoke his word. That does not mean that God cannot use someone to speak his will outside the Bible. God can and he does. But as previously said it must line up with the truth of the word of God. It must be acknowledged although we do not often refer to preaching as prophesying but actually it is. It is also true that the only time someone can say with absolute authority that he is speaking God’s word is when he is rightly handling the word of truth from the Bible. But we must always test even then.

 DISTINGUISHING OF SPIRITS v10  ~ This gift is the ability to tell between manifestations that can be confused to be the spirit of God and that which is demonic. It is the ability to know whether something is human or divine. Sometimes the gift is applied in telling between false teaching and the truth.

 TONGUES v10  ~ The gift of tongues is the ability to speak in another language, known and unknown supernaturally as the spirit gives utterance. The Bible refers to tongues of men and of angels Some people having noted that they do not see members speaking in tongues have entertained the thought that the Church not believe in speaking in tongues and does not allow people to speak in tongues in the church. Actually the contrary is true. It is not true that the Church does not forbid the speaking of tongues. The Bible says we should not despise speaking in tongues. Rather we feel the regulation of the gift must be in line with the scriptures. According to 1 Corinthians 12, the Bible says. We believe then that the speaking in tongues as a gift cannot be commanded or demanded. Commanding such a gift or demanding it places undue pressure on people and some have resorted to manufacturing tongues in order to be accepted. Yet others feel guilty that because they are not spiritual enough or because of some sin they are failing to receive the baptism of the Spirit.

 INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES v10  ~ This gift is the ability to interpret what has been spoken in an unknown tongue into a language that can be commonly understood by those present so that they understand what God is saying.


To obey the Greatest Commandment and to fulfil the Great Commission.
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