Recently there has been an increase of interest in spiritual gifts bestowed upon Christians. This ministry of the Holy Spirit has often been misunderstood and misinterpreted. Questions often arise and equipping the saints with answers becomes critical. When questioned, believers must be prepared to respond with a correct, loving and biblical answer. Dedicated study and attentive analysis reveals, identifies, and illuminates the spiritual gifts.
Spiritual gifts are capabilities sovereignly dispersed by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:11 [KJV]) to believers (1 Pet. 4:10) fulfilling their place in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:7-13) to perform particular ministries or services. These abilities divide into two categories, sign and serving gifts. Sign gifts, existed in the first century until the apostles had died, and confirmed apostolic revelation. They showed the Jews that temple worship and sacrifice were no longer required, confirmed the message was from God, and recognized the prophets and apostles as the foundation of the church. Serving gifts, still present today, build up the body of Christ and help evangelize the world. Serving gifts further subdivide into enabling gifts, available to all Christians, and task gifts used for specialized service to God. Enabling gifts include faith, knowledge, wisdom and discernment. Task gifts are specific commissions such as prophecy, teaching, evangelism, and ministering.
Where spiritual gifts are abilities used in service to God, the Fruit of the Sprit is an expression of a believer’s character. These manifestations should be evident in the lives of believers showing the maturity of that follower. Found in characteristics including love, joy, peace...
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... earth. Paul continues to say prophecies fail (katargeō) but tongues cease (pauō) (1 Cor. 13:8) indicating by the time prophecies stop tongues would have already ended. Simply, tongues ceased because there was no need to verify the message was from God once the Scripture was given.
In conclusion, the Bible exhibits clear evidence that believers possess divinely distributed abilities. Each gift allows for the edification and encouragement of the church but without proper understanding those gifts may become confused or even misused. By careful investigation and review of Scripture, the modern Christian can understand the biblical truth about the power exhibited through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Elwell, Walter A., ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. 2nd ed. Baker Reference Library. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2001.
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