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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Could You Explain the Gifts of the Spirit?

In I Corinthians 12, Paul speaks of nine charismata, which we call gifts, or enablements, of the Spirit. All of these come about by the Holy Spirit, who manifests Himself in the lives of those who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

An analogy would be a house wired for 200 amps of electricity, which could run an iron, a stove, a heater, a hot water heater, a woodworking shop, and any number of other electrical appliances. They all draw from the same power source. In the believer, the Holy Spirit is the source of power, and He can manifest Himself in healings, miracles, revelations, or utterances.

There are nine manifestations, or gifts, of the Spirit, which can be divided into three groups of three.

The first group consists of the manifestations of revelation. The word of wisdom has to do with knowing about the future or have supernatural wisdom regarding a present situation, such as in Luke 12:11-12 and Acts 6:8-10. The word of knowledge is discerning something that is not available to the senses. The third gift in the group is the discerning of spirits, which has to do with seeing the invisible world of human spirits, angels, devils, and the appearance of Jesus Himself.

The second group involves works of power, including miracles, gifts of healing, and the working of faith. The gift of miracles includes doing such things as stilling storms, restoring limbs, and raising the dead. The gifts of healing are for the healing of various diseases. The working of faith is essentially for defense and protection or for the accomplishment of some extraordinary task far beyond the ability of an individual.

The third group has to do with utterance, which includes bringing messages in tongues in an assembly, being able to interpret those messages, and proclaiming prophecy. Prophecy is for exhortation, edification, and comfort; people speak a direct word from God, such as, "Thus says the Lord, 'I am in your midst to help you and encourage you.'"

These, then, are the nine gifts of the Spirit, and they are all available to those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson. 

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