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What Are Spiritual Gifts? The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Explained

In the Symbol of Faith, the Church proclaims the Holy Spirit “the maker of life… through whom all things were made”. The cosmos emerges at the end of God’s downward movement, as the work of the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. What Are Spiritual Gifts? 

Spiritual gifts are the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and complement the physical abilities of those who are part of the Church with “supernatural” abilities which are called spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit has given gifts common to all humanity, but he also gives gifts specific to each human being. The gifts that the Spirit has given to all mankind are universal, as distinct from the particular gifts that the Spirit gives to each person individually. 

The warmth of God’s love, transmitted by the wings of the Spirit Dove, brought everything into existence. Man himself, the priest and crown of creation, is the peasantry breathed by the breath of the Spirit of God, and only through this breath becomes a “living soul”, “in the image and likeness of God” the Triune God. The universal gifts were given once and for all for the salvation of all men, whereas the personal gifts are given to each person individually and remain with the man if he cooperates with grace and does not bury the talents received, like the lazy servant.

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, you are part of the body (family) of Christ. The Bible says: “You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is his member” (1 Corinthians 12:27). Each member of God’s family is special. He or she has received at least one spiritual gift. It is not a natural talent, such as the ability to play an instrument or be a performance athlete, but it is a spiritual gift. 

Some of the spiritual gifts that God gives are:

  • helpfulness
  • generosity
  • mercy
  • the gift of teaching others or leading

Sometimes we are sad, discouraged, or have health problems. As members of the body of Christ, we need to work together and care for one another. We can use our spiritual gifts in many ways to meet each other’s needs.

Read also: How to live a good Christian life? Here’s how to do it

How can you acquire the gifts of the Spirit?

Although the Bible teaches that spiritual gifts are skills and knowledge that God gives to believers through the Holy Spirit for the edification of the Church and the glorification of God, in the Corinthian Church it seems that this ministry had become a kind of status that distinguished Christians from one another.

Jesus said that it is by faith that one can acquire the gifts of the Spirit, and by faith, you can do enormously great things, even what seems inconceivable from a human point of view. “Because of your little faith,” Jesus told them. “Truly I say to you, if you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you would say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move; nothing would fail you. (Matthew 17:20)

Among the many gifts of the Holy Spirit, there is also the gift of miracles. This gift is a supernatural demonstration of God’s power by which the laws of nature are changed, suspended, or controlled. So at the heart of what we call “miracles” is the power of God working through His Spirit, through, and for His Church.

Read more: How to avoid sin? Guideline to do it

What is the purpose of the Gift of Wonders?

The New Testament shows that the miracles predicted by Jesus did indeed take place in the lives of the apostles and the new community of believers. This gift was also very common among the churches. After Jesus’ ascension, the Holy Spirit poured out upon his ministers the gift of miracles to glorify Jesus and confirm the preaching of the Gospel.

The purpose of miracles is to glorify God and the Lord Jesus Christ and to convince unbelievers. They thus testify to the greatness, wisdom, goodness, and power of God and confirm the Word He sends through His messengers.

The Gospels and Acts provide evidence of the many miracles performed by Jesus and his disciples.  With the help of miracles, men, women, families, cities and even entire regions believed and received the Word of God.

3 Effects of gifts in the Church

1. God gives miracles and signs
Hebrews 2:4 – while God was strengthening their testimony with signs, powers, and manifold wonders, and with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, dispensed according to His will!

2. When the Lord’s signs no longer come, the people perish
Prov. 29:18a – When there is no divine revelation, the people are unrestrained (perish, wither – another translation);…

3. The name of the Lord offers deliverance
What effects do they have on the life of the Church? From the N.T.: when people had personal problems God used the gift of speaking wisdom and knowledge to bring them a solution; when there were problems and misunderstandings in the Church; exposes lies; exposes sin; helps us to distinguish false prophets; false teaching; false teachers; helps us to believe that impossible situations become possible; people rise healthy in the name of the Lord whatever sickness they suffer from, their helplessness; miracles; people to rise from the dead.

Read more: Why does God make us wait?

What happens to man through the Holy Spirit?

Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Church enters into time as the Kingdom opens to the heavenly heavens. Thus, the Church itself is the gift of the Spirit, for it hosts Him both as Gift and Giver.

Through the Spirit, a man discovers Him and receives God as Father: “You have received the Spirit of infallibility, through whom we cry: Avva! Father!” (Rom. 8:15-16). It is also through the Spirit that we discover Jesus as Lord: “No one can say: Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (I Cor. 12:3).

The Church is the gift of the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit may then be the gift of the Church. According to St. Irenaeus of Lyons, “where the Church is, there is also the Spirit of God, and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church and all His grace”. This means that the Church is the gift of the presence of the Spirit and the whole Trinity. It is the topos par excellence of the presence and work of the Spirit as the Spirit of communion. The hierarchy and synods of the Church are also gifts of the Spirit.

Key Verse related to The Spiritual Gifts

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”

 Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

What Are Spiritual Gifts?

Read also: Elohim. Is Elohim the name for the God of the Israelites?

The 5 Gifts of the Holy Spirit

We should not forget that God promotes those He can trust. Jesus said, “He who is faithful in the least of these things is faithful in great things, and he who is unjust in the least of these things is unjust in great things.”

1. The gift of healing

The gift of healing has to do with sick people being healed. It is often defined as a spontaneous supernatural endowment to heal physically ill people and I see no reason why we would doubt this. In the previous chapter, we looked at an example of the manifestation of the gift of healing in the healing of the paralytic at the bath of Bethesda (see John 5:2-17).

2. The gift of faith and the working of miracles

The gift of faith and the gift of performing miracles seem to be quite similar. Having both gifts, an anointed person simultaneously receives the faith to do impossible things. The difference between the two is usually described as follows: With the gift of faith, the person anointed by the Spirit is given the faith to receive a miracle for himself, while with the gift of working miracles he is given the faith to work miracles for someone else.

3. The gift of distinguishing the spirits

The gift of distinguishing spirits is often defined as a supernatural ability to see or otherwise discern what is happening in the spiritual world.

4. Gift of Prophecy

The gift of prophecy is the spontaneous supernatural ability to be inspired by the Spirit to speak in a language known to the speaker. Prophecy can begin with the phrase “Thus said the Lord.” This gift is not to be confused with preaching or teaching. 

5. The gift of speaking in various languages and translating them

The gift of speaking in various tongues is the spontaneous supernatural ability to speak in a language unknown to the speaker. This gift should normally be accompanied by the gift of tongues translation, which is the spontaneous supernatural ability to interpret what has been said in an unknown language.

What is the purpose of spiritual gifts?

The gifts are not given to us for ourselves, but for the edification of others (see also 1 Corinthians 14:12,26), for the spiritual good of the whole church, and its edification.

Spiritual gifts were given to serve others, not for personal good. They are not abilities given to us to satisfy our taste for the sensational, nor are they an antidote for boredom. We often think of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as being given to us for the fulfillment of our spiritual needs or to strengthen us in our walk with God. If this were so, then at their center would be the Christian and not Christ, we would be us, not God.

When we put God back at the center of our understanding of spiritual gifts, we restore the gifts to the purposes for which they were given: the building up and unity of the church (Ephesians 4:12-16), the fulfillment of its mission (Ephesians 4:11,12), and the glory of God (1 Peter 4:10,11).

Primary Takeaways

  • But the fruits of the Spirit, which are gifts graciously increased through the work of sanctification of man, are enumerated by the Holy Apostle Paul: “And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control, and peace” (Gal. 5:22).
  • The innumerable and diverse gifts of the Holy Spirit are the blossoming of divine grace in the soul, its appropriation, and personalization in the believing worker. The gifts of the Spirit are, therefore, the fruits of man’s concrete collaboration with divine grace, talents multiplied in the ardor and sweat of the day. 
  • Following the prophet Isaiah (11:2-3), the Church speaks of seven gifts of the Spirit. Taking them from the Lord Christ (“from my own will he take”), the Spirit indwells them: “And the Spirit of God will rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and wisdom, the Spirit of knowledge and good faith. And the spirit of the fear of God shall fill Him.” According to St Maximus the Confessor, through the gift of fear we cease to sin, and through the gift of patience, we begin the work of virtue. The other gifts lead us to enlightenment.

Conclusion

As the Holy Spirit wove the body of Jesus in Mary’s womb, so during each Mass, the Church faithfully asks for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the bread and wine, that they may become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ: “Now we ask you, Father, to send your Spirit upon these gifts…”

The hand that appears above the dove represents God, who intervenes in history to fulfill his plan of salvation. And then the Father sends the Holy Spirit. So this representation in the keystone of the apse reminds us of that of the Annunciation on the main door. We often look at spiritual gifts as skills and talents.

Thanks for always being here for us, we need you. Thank you for showing us the right path. Thank you for being our inspiration. Play the following Quizlet about The Spiritual Gifts. Take care of yourself!

Quizlet about The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Spiritual Gifts

1 / 10

Who invented the Holy Spirit?

2 / 10

When did Jesus talked about The Holy Spirit?

3 / 10

Is mercy a spiritual gift?

4 / 10

Spiritual gifts are the gifts and _____ of the Holy Spirit.

5 / 10

How many spiritual gifts really exist?

6 / 10

Did Nicodemus had the holy Spirit inside him?

7 / 10

What happened after Matthew received the Holy Spirit?

8 / 10

What did Jesus say his house should be called?

9 / 10

In what town or city did Jesus say a prophet would be without honor?

10 / 10

Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world and preach the good news. Who or what did he say would accompany them?

Your score is

The average score is 60%

0%

Bibliography

  • Turner, M. (1985). Spiritual Gifts Then and Now. Vox Evangelica15, 7-64.
  • White, E. G. H. (2008). Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1 (Vol. 1). Review and Herald Pub Assoc.
  • Storms, S. (2013). The beginner’s guide to spiritual gifts. Baker Books.
  • Ellis, E. E. (1974). ‘Spiritual’Gifts in the Pauline Community. New Testament Studies20(2), 128-144.
  • Carter, H. (1968). Spiritual gifts and their operation. Gospel Publishing House.