Gifts of the Spirit Topical Study

Preaching and Worship Resources about Gifts of the Spirit

"Gifts of the Spirit" is a New Testament phrase referring to the range of differing abilities the Spirit enables in believers. Unlike the fruit of the Spirit common to every believer, gifts differ from person to person. Paul's well-known analogy of the body in 1 Corinthians 12 captures this dynamic perfectly: For a body to function, it needs eyes and ears, hands and feet, lungs and kidneys. God apportions different gifts for different people so that together any given congregation can function. If every single person had the same gift, it would be like one giant eye instead of a multifaceted functioning body. No one, therefore, should be envious of another's gift or despising of his or her own gift. They all are needed. Among the gifts noted in the New Testament are preaching, teaching, prophesying, hospitality, healing, speaking in tongues and interpreting tongues, wisdom, discernment and evangelism. By extension, today we would say that any ability that enables the church to fulfill its mission is a gift of the Spirit. These gifts can include administration, musical gifts, organization, reaching out to the lonely or the ability to pray for long hours at a time for the church and the world. All of these may be seen as the Spirit's incessant effort to build up the body of Christ to full health and maturity in Christ.

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Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.