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Gifts Of The Spirit

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God qualifies the called, He does not call the qualified.

This statement best summarizes the difference between gifts and talents. The gifts are supernatural abilities given by God to do His work.

Talents And Education. Talents are our best abilities that we have nurtured through practice, personality, genetics, education and interest.
Unfortunately, the gifts have become synonymous with education. While God can use our talents, they can get in the way of God communicating with us because we must rely on our internal abilities not on the external leading of God.
Often, God's methods appear very foolish, even self-destructive. But this is because we judge by our talents, common sense and common thinking.
It is the gifted that will recognize the purpose of God or have the faith to go forward, not the educated. Common thinking demands that we take the terrorist approach to attacking our problems - big, spectacular, massive appeal, recognition, and memorable. But the foolishness of God relies on the simple means and the dependent child and patience.

The gifts must be a separate phenomenon from talent and a superior human mind because it must be clear to the recipient that these abilities are not of human origin.

The Fruit Of The Spirit. The gifts are also not the fruit. The fruit are permanent traits that help us to share the very nature of God. These are love, joy, peace and mercy.
The gifts are used to help the church in the present. They are temporary abilities needed while we have to battle evil. Some are administrative gifts which help the church run more efficiently. Others are gifts of evangelism which bring others to God. Others are gifts of community which help us to bond together.
Because the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts according to His will and the needs of the church at the present moment, you might find a different set of gifts predominating at different points in time.

The Body Of Christ
Gift Text Problem Solved
Church Planting (Creating The Garden)
Apostle Foot Ephesians 4: 11;
1 Corinthians 12:28
Lead many churches
Evangelist Ephesians 4: 11 Lead the unknown
Missionary Acts 22: 21; Romans 1: 5 Multi-cultural ministry
Martyr Bone 1 Corinthians 13: 3 Lead by example
Strength, Courage Muscle Judges 14: 5-6, Acts 9: 28; 14:3;18:26 Boldness, Courage
Community Building (Feeding and Growing the Church)
Pastor Mouth

Ear
Ephesians 4: 11 Lead the known
Teacher Exodus 35:34; Ephesians 4: 11; 1 Corinthians 12: 28 Explain spiritual realities
Music 1 Chronicles 25 Singing about God
Administration Hand1 Corinthians 12: 28 Organize
Helps 1 Corinthians 12: 28 Fill in the gap
Serving Romans 12: 7 Needs of the church
Arts and Crafts Exodus 35: 31-35 Creative with objects
Voluntary Poverty Hand1 Corinthians 13: 3 Devote personal resources
Scribe 2 Peter 1: 21; 2 Chronicles 34: 13 Write about God
Celibacy 1 Corinthians 7: 7-8; Jeremiah 16: 1-2 Devote Time
Hospitality Heart 1 Peter 4: 9; Matthew 25: 35 Entertain strangers
Mercy Matthew 25: 34-40; Romans 12: 7 Help the undeserved
Intercession James 5: 14-16 Talking to God
Encouragement Hebrews 3: 13; Isaiah 11: 2 Lifting others
Giving 2 Corinthians 9: 7; Exodus 25: 2; Romans 12: 8 Devote money
Guidance (Training and Pruning the Branches)
Faith Brain1 Corinthians 12: 9 Know and believe in the power of God
Wisdom 1 Corinthians 12: 8; Isaiah 11: 2; Exodus 28: 3 Know what is best
Knowledge 1 Corinthians 12: 8; Isaiah 11: 2; Exodus 35:34 Know truth
Distinguish spirits Eye

Ear
1 Corinthians 12: 10 Recognize deception
Prophecy 1 Corinthians 12: 10, 28
Ephesians 4: 11
Know the future. Speaks for God
Seer Joel 2: 28 Sees the future
Watchman Ezekiel 3: 17; Isaiah 56:10-12; Revelation 14:6-12; 18:4 Warns the people
Proof of God (Display the Flowers and Advertise the Garden)
Tongues Mouth1 Corinthians 12: 10, 28 Communications
Interpret tongues 1 Corinthians 12: 10, 30 Understanding languages
Interpret dreams see Daniel 2; Genesis 41 Interpret prophecy dreams
Healing Hand1 Corinthians 12: 9, 28 End disease and pain
Miracles 1 Corinthians 12: 10, 28 Control nature
Exorcism Luke 9: 49 Demon possession
Teleport FeetActs 8: 38-40; Ezekiel 3 Supernatural travel
Fruit of the Spirit Fruit John 15: 8; 17: 22-23. Galatians 5: 22 - 23 Love, unity

The Structure Of The Church
We must recognize the real structure of the church in order to work effectively and win this battle.

The Gifts.
The gifts are given so that we can accomplish the will of God stated in the great commission
And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and look, I am with you always, even to the end of the age". (Matthew 28: 18-20)

Gifts of the Spirit Sowing The Seed.
God has sown the Seed. We are all seedlings in the garden of God. Everyone has been given a measure of faith. This is the seed planted in everyone so that we can respond as He calls the whole world.
... as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Romans 12: 3)
The first and most important seed is the gift of Christ.
The Father Sends The Son. Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. (John 14: 10)
The Son Sends The Spirit. I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever. (John 14: 16)
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. (John 16: 7)
And the Spirit gives us gifts. But the Spirit and the gifts are only given to those who obey Him.
... And so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him. (Acts 5: 32)

Gifts of the Spirit Church Planting Gifts.
The ability to reach new people by going outside your culture. This is a ministry to the unbeliever. Seedlings from the garden are planted in other places to establish new groups of believers.

Gifts of the Spirit Church Building Gifts.
The ability to orderly manage the church and to lead the members to accomplish the will of God. This is a ministry to the believer. Through knowledge of God, we bring the water of life and the light of God to make the seeds grow in a special garden until it produces trees of righteousness with fruit. They repeat the cycle by going out to plant and build new churches.

Gifts of the Spirit Guidance Gifts.
The ability to understand what God wants and why. These gifts bring the church back to the right path through knowledge and warnings. This is the person who pulls the weeds and does the pruning and brings fertilizer.
When I first wrote this lesson for the web site I was aware that I had many church building gifts. As far as I knew, I did not have any guidance gifts except for an extraordinary faith and trust that made me bold. Three years later, I have all of these gifts. Since these gifts are difficult to prove to the public, they become a "proof of God" gift to the recipient. The guidance gifts prepare the church for their exposure to the world, because they direct the planting and building.

Gifts of the Spirit Other Gifts And Abilities.
The list in the New Testament by no means covers all the abilities of the Holy Spirit. We can find many other gifts in the Bible. Some people do not recognize these as gifts because they are outside the traditional lists in Ephesians and 1 Corinthians. But I recognized some of these abilities in me as extraordinary supernatural abilities, not just as talents. So I searched the Old Testament for examples.

Gifts of the Spirit Proof Of God Gifts.
The ability to instantly control the physical and spiritual worlds and time in a public manner. While the guidance gifts are mainly in the head and mind of the person, these gifts are on public display. But they need other prerequisite gifts or are a special subset of other gifts. These gifts are like the fruit and the flower that opens to attract others around them to come to the garden. They are meant to call the world to God so that they no longer have an excuse to deny God.

Gifts of the Spirit Permanent Gifts.
There are certain gifts that are permanent because they are God's way of fulfilling the covenant.

Covet The Gifts.
The sin of covetousness is to want what is not yours or can never be yours. But the Bible tells us to covet or "earnestly desire" the best gifts. This means that although the Holy Spirit gives the gifts to whoever He wants, they are ours.
But earnestly desire the greater gifts ... (1 Corinthians 12: 31)
Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14: 1)

The Role Of Faith.
Many fake healers, temporary healings and fake healings thrive because the "lack of faith" on the part of the sick is blamed for the failure of the healing. What role does faith have in exercising these gifts?

Acquiring And Transferring The Gifts.
When the bar of faith is set low, so that we can blame "lack of faith" for our failures, any abuses can occur. So gift-mongering is becoming a business.

The Miracle Worker
The primary purpose of the gift is as a sign to the unbeliever, to give glory and honor to God and bring the unbeliever to faith. Since it is the Holy Spirit who executes the miracle, the miracle worker can be separated by distance from the miracle, but cannot be separated by time. The miracle must occur at the moment it is promised and the witnesses must know that this is an act of God. Therefore, the miracle must be dramatic enough and not so drawn out that it can be disconnected from the miracle worker so that credit can be given to medicine, doctors, vegetables, potions, spontaneous healing or other gods.

Proving The Gifts.
There has been an explosion in claims about the gifts, yet the secular nightly news is silent on the phenomena. Is there a conspiracy to suppress the proof of God miracles by a liberal, godless media? Does it make sense that even the suffering wicked would deliberately ignore and squelch such a miraculous event? Why does the media ignore this manifestation of the Spirit? Or, why do we not aggressively seek to show proof of the power of God?

The threshold of proof is so easy, why do we avoid it?
It is because the bar of faith is set so low because the efforts are ours? So we have much more failures than successes which are worse than drug companies, and so much randomness about who will be healed that we do not set up real scientific proofs because they will fail. Consequently, all we have are the cheap versions of unverified and unverifiable proofs accepted by the gullible Christian groupies on Christian networks limping from one healing crusade to another.

Physical Manifestations Of An Encounter With God.
Sometimes, one who has an encounter with God has an accompanying physical manifestation that represents His throne.

Miracles As Advanced Science.
While critics prefer to claim that the miracles were a fraud and a hoax or myths or the mad ravings of stupid people, some of these miracles could be understood by advanced science just as current science and technology would seem like impossible witchcraft only 400 years ago.

Your Response.
God expects all Christians to work for His cause and tell others about His plan of salvation. He helps us by sending us the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is not given to every human being. But every Christian receives this gift either at baptism or when the commitment to God is made.
While God can use the talent and abilities that you have acquired through study and experience, they are not gifts. Sometimes God gives you gifts that enhance your talent. At other times, your gift may be improved by formal training. But actually, it is most likely that your gift improves your formal training. This is only because it gives you confidence that you are doing work that others recognize as valuable.

But in my experience, all the gifts that God ever gave me were totally opposite of my own abilities. It is as if God is demonstrating to me that what I do is His work, not mine. I can take no credit for the work because I am constantly aware that this ability did not come from within me.
It also appears that as you faithfully use the gifts that you have been given, that He will eventually add more. I have a mixed bag of many gifts so I can comment on some of the surprising aspects.
When you have a gift you will know it. Most do not come with a declaration from God and the attending fire and thunder. But you will know that something wonderful and strange has happened and you may even be tempted to think that something is wrong because it slightly alters your reality. Some gifts appear to be on a continuum. You must receive one before the other. Also, other gifts are clearly helped by other unrelated gifts. While a person with the gift of knowledge may not be a prophet, a prophet must have some of the gift of knowledge. A martyr must first have the gifts of faith and courage. An exorcist must have faith, discernment and intercession. While celibacy is not a prerequisite to any gift, it certainly helps if you can devote the time.

The Greatest Evangelistic Team With The Greatest Message.
I believe in the ability of God to do anything. So, although the vast majority of the church seems to be preoccupied with success in this world. It is still possible for God to reach the entire world in one year by using a team of two or three people with the support of the local church, satellite and internet technology. This team could preach the great message about the love of God and His desire for humans to live. The hospitality of the local church could support the team and the new members by helping during and after the crusades.
Satellite technology would broadcast the services live and taped within the region. Internet technology could be used as a low cost distribution network and to teach with the Holy Spirit guiding the reader.
With the ability to teleport and the gift of tongues, this evangelistic team could minister in six time zones in one day. They could cover all nations in one year with a one week crusade preaching about the love of God. They could cover all nations in fifty days with a one day crusade. With a worldwide event that compels all nations and news media to capture the event, they could reach the entire world in one day. Now imagine a team of 144,000 filled with the Holy Spirit.
Using the curiosity and publicity generated by the sign gifts (healing, raising the dead and other miracles), the secular media would be begging to air these services at no cost.
Zechariah 12: 9-10 promises that God would pour out His Spirit in a spectacular way at the end of time so that Israel will be converted in one day. This is all Israel, Christians and Jews.
That day will be soon.
The Greatest Works. Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father. (John 14: 12)

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7: 14) Time: 80 minutes
Print: 14 pages
Copyright   Updated : March 28, 2006. 2009
Credits: The Holy Spirit and personal experience.
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)
I recommend the book "Practical Spiritual Gifts" by James W. Zackrison, Pacific Press Publishing Association (1996)