Spiritual Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:1 

Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.

For a Christian to be most effective in their work for Christ, they should know and be able to use their spiritual gifts.  For a church to be most effective, its members should understand the gifts that they have been given and how they work with the rest of the body of Christ.  Unfortunately, many people are ignorant as to what God has gifted them with.  This hurts both the believer and the church.

We are all part of the body of Christ.  Each one of us is different however.  Some may be eyes, while others are the hands or feet.  One may be the heart and another the ears.  We are meant to be different and yet work together.  If everyone wanted to be eyes, there would be no ears.  If we were all hands, there would be no feet.  Ultimately, if we do not use whatever gifts God gave us, the church suffers because it must make do without an important part, whether it be an eye, an ear, or a foot.

There are four passages in the New Testament that speak of spiritual gifts.  Some places overlap while others provide unique insight into the gifts that God has given.  There are twenty gifts outlined in scripture.  The following chart shows the passage and the gifts mentioned in each one.

Roman 12:4-8 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 Ephesians
Prophecy Prophecy Prophecy Prophecy
Teaching Teaching Teaching
Healing Healing
Miracles Miracles
Tongues Tongues
Interpretation Interpretation
Missionary Missionary

The downloadable Spiritual Gifts test will help you determine what your gifts are and how best to use them.  You can download the test in .doc .wps or .txt files.  If you can’t read any of these files, you can simply go here and print from the web.  For ease of use, we suggest you print the test and take it on paper, then return here to examine what your results mean.

After the Test…

Read the description of each gift

Discover how the gifts can be put to practical use in you church

Why no Tongues?

The issue of speaking in tongues has deliberately been left out of the test for two reasons.  First is its divisive nature in the church over whether the gift is still active today.  Second, if you have the gift of tongues, you already know it and don’t need to take a test to discover it.  For these reasons the gifts of healing, miracles, tongues, and interpretation have been left off of the test.  If you would like to read further on the issue of tongues, please visit our page The Problem with Tongues.

Talents vs. Gifts

(The following section comes from here)

Quibbling over the distinction between gifts and talents has little value in discovering what gifts we have.  It would be odd for God, who made us, not to “build into” some of us natural talents that would later be used as gifts.  On the other hand, neither should we be surprised if the Holy Spirit gives gifts to make up for a lack of natural ability.  The value of understanding the difference between gifts and talents comes after discovering a spiritual gift–in understanding the temptations and pitfalls of obedience if natural talent is present, or absent.

For those with spiritual gifts that intersect with natural talent, there is always the temptation to minister in the power of the flesh.  If this is the situation, we must be careful not to produce “Ishmael’s” with the natural ability God has given us (Gal 4:23).  We must wait upon the Lord to use our natural talent with supernatural results.  Natural talent, after all, won’t last long.  But those who have learned to trust in God and are strong in the Lord will live forever (Luke 8:18).

For those who are gifted in areas where they have no talent, fear of failure can paralyze the spiritual gift.  But if we are obedient to the Spirit’s low-risk promptings, God will confirm the gift in us with power, and our confidence in God will grow into full maturity.  (If pride grows as well, God will let us fall to remind us where the power comes from.)  Those who excel in gifts where they have no talent bring glory to God and remind everyone just how gracious He is.

Bible verses concerning gifts

Rom 12:6  We have different gifts, according to the grace given to us.

1 Cor 1:4-9  I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way…  Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.  He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

1 Cor 12:29-31  Are all apostles?  Are all prophets?  Are all teachers?  Do all work miracles?  Do all have gifts of healing?  Do all speak in tongues?  Do all interpret?  But eagerly desire the greater gifts.

1 Cor 14:12  Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.

Eph 2:21  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

Eph 4:16  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

1 Tim 4:14  Do not neglect your gift…

2 Tim 1:6  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God…

1 Peter 4:10  Each one should use whatever gift he had received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

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