The Work Of The Holy Spirit Series
Part 4 – “An Introduction To The Gifts Of The Spirit”
Submitted by Dave White – Central Florida District Coordinator
1 Corinthians 12:1-14
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries (administrations), but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities (operations), but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
Don’t Be Ignorant Of Spiritual Gifts
By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth to not be ignorant of Spiritual Gifts. The word ignorant is translated from the Greek language from a word that means Not to know (through lack of information or intelligence); by implication, to ignore (through disinclination).
Disinclination: A feeling of not wanting to do something; a tendency to avoid a particular activity.
When believers are uninformed or misinformed about the gifts of the Spirit they will not embrace them. Anything you are not sure of will be ignored and even opposed.
We Must Develop Our Knowledge Of These Nine Gifts Of The Spirit So They Are Embraced And Welcomed In Our Midst.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:
If God said that He did not want the church at Corinth to be ignorant of Spiritual Gifts, then it stands to reason He does not want the church today to be ignorant of them either. However, a gross ignorance does exist of these things. There are those who have no idea how and why these Spiritual Gifts operate and are used. There are those who have no idea even of their existence.
Many Have Been Taught These Gifts
Have Been Done Away With.
Others know something about them but are extremely limited in their understanding of these gifts. First of all we must make the following statements very clear regarding Spiritual Gifts.
The Gifts Of The Spirit Will Always Glorify Jesus!
The Gifts Of The Spirit Will Always Draw Attention To His Lordship And That He Is The Source Of All Power Being Manifested With The Work Of The Holy Spirit.
Jesus is Lord!
Paul said this to the Corinthians…
1 Corinthians 12:2
2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
These people had previously worshipped idols. A dumb idol refers to a god, and idol, (man – made) that cannot speak, it is dumb.
Paul writes even though you were carried away into error by these dumb idols, you were actually led by something. That something was not a statue made by man, it was the demonic spirit behind it. They were involved in all types of pagan rituals. Because of their background that was empowered by demonic spirits, there were things, traditions, which had to be worked out of their lives. That is called sanctification. We all must undergo this process; it is not instantaneous.
1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:
7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
When you were born again you were at that moment as saved as saved could get.
Question: Did God have to work some things out of you when you were born again?
Question: Were there things that you did that over a period of time you saw the need to let go of and surrender those things to Jesus?
That is the work of sanctification. The church at Corinth had its share of problems. These people would say things that were out of order. Their words were out of line with the things of God. Church history tells us these people would come into the assembly of the saints and when the Holy Spirit began to move they would yield to the wrong spirit and shout out things that were wrong.
That is why verse 3 of 1 Corinthians 12 says…
3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
When the gifts were in operation and people would declare “Jesus is Lord”, some of them would rise up and declare “Jesus is cursed”! Paul said that when the Holy Spirit is in operation He will make Jesus Lord.
If an utterance gift, that is, a vocal gift — prophecy, divers kinds of tongues, or the interpretation of tongues — is in manifestation, then, of course, it will be clear by what is said that Jesus is Lord.
If the other gifts are in manifestation, they will always uplift the Lordship of Jesus, not the lordship of some man or demonic spirit.
You can be sure that if someone is operating in what appears to be one of the vocal gifts, and calls Jesus accursed or speaks against Him in any way, then he’s not speaking by the Holy Spirit.
The last part of verse 3 says that “no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit”.
Paul was saying that if someone is speaking by the right spirit — by the Holy Spirit — then what he says will exalt the Name of Jesus.
Gifts, Administrations And Operations
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
The gifts of the Spirit are just that; gifts. No individual owns a particular gift of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who administers the gifts and chooses the operation of the gift.
The gifts of the Spirit are given to the church to bring the blessings of God to people.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:7 But the MANIFESTATION of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Notice Paul was calling the gifts of the Spirit manifestations. And he said, “. . . the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Cor. 12:7).
Definition – An uncovering, laying bare, revealing, revelation (W E Vines Expository Dictionary)
These manifestations would cause every man to profit withal. Paul was making the distinction here that “gifts” of the Spirit aren’t gifts in the sense that the believer owns and operates the gift whenever he wants to. The gift of the Holy Spirit when you were baptized in the Holy Spirit is the gift that remains. The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost, manifested through individual believers, are as the Spirit of God wills. The gifts of the Spirit aren’t just given for the individual, but they are given in order to profit the whole local assembly or local body of believers.
The Nine Gifts Categorized
1 Corinthians 12:8
8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,….
Paul goes on to list nine manifestations or gifts of the Spirit. The nine manifestations or gifts of the Holy Spirit are generally divided as follows:
Three Revelation Gifts: Spiritual Gifts That Reveal Something: The word of wisdom- The word of knowledge- The discerning of spirits
Three Power Gifts: Spiritual Gifts That Do Something:
The gift of faith- The working of miracles -The gifts of healings
Three Utterance Or Inspirational Gifts: Spiritual Gifts That Say Something: Prophecy- Different kinds of tongues- Interpretation of tongues
Very often these gifts work together, as tongues and interpretation work together. Many times the gift of faith will manifest along with working of miracles or gifts of healings.
There are times where the gift of the word of knowledge will be in operation and one will speak out a condition in someone that needs to be healed. Then several gifts can be in operation at the same time. The gift of the word of knowledge announces the situation, it says something, then the gift of faith can rise up within you, and the gifts of healings or working of miracles will do something.
Since the gifts of the Spirit are given for everyone to profit from it, the person receiving is the recipient of these gifts and the gift of faith can rise up in the one receiving as well.
Furthermore, for example, sometimes what we call prophecy is actually a word of wisdom that is being given forth. It is not really the simple gift of prophecy at all because the simple gift of prophecy has no revelation; that is, no foretelling or element of prediction with it. The simple gift of prophecy brings edification, exhortation and comfort (1 Cor. 14:3).
The word of wisdom does have an element of foretelling because it speaks of future things. These gifts are listed in the order of their importance. Of the three gifts of revelation, the word of wisdom is the best gift because it brings supernatural revelation of the plan and purpose of God.
Of the three gifts of power, the gift of faith is the best gift because it is the supernatural ability to work a miracle.
Of the three gifts of utterance, the gift of prophecy is the best gift because it is complete in and of itself and it brings edification, encouragement, and comfort to the Body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:31…But earnestly desire the best gifts.
These studies have been adapted from The Holy Spirit and His Gifts Bible Study Course by Kenneth Hagin.