The 9 Spiritual Gifts Explained

There seems to be lots of different information about spiritual gifts in the Christian world, so it can be confusing, especially if some of the ideas conflict. We’ll explore spiritual gifts and their purposes in this article. But before we get started, I highly recommend that you read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.

Spiritual Gifts Come From God

The Spirit of God gives “special abilities” to us (1 Corinthians 12:1). Just like salvation and grace, we do not earn this gift. It’s just that – a gift.

We must be careful to remember that these special abilities are not for our manipulation or benefit; spiritual gifts are from God and for God’s purposes. We cannot take credit for anything the Spirit of God does through us while operating in our gift.

Different Gifts, Same Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 makes it clear that the same Spirit operates differently in us all, just as we have different talents. Therefore, we should not judge how God is working in someone else nor should we compare ourselves with others. The Holy Spirit works in us to serve God and others with our gifts, and the Body of Christ (the church) benefits from us operating in diverse ways.

Spiritual Gifts are for Helping Others

The purpose of God giving us spiritual gifts is clear: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (1 Corinthians 12:7).

We are not given spiritual gifts so we can feel good about ourselves; we are not given spiritual gifts so we can look good to others; we are not given spiritual gifts to manipulate or get our own way. God gives us spiritual gifts so we can help each other! It’s that simple. And it’s genius on God’s part.

None of us are good at everything (which helps us maintain a more balanced view of ourselves). We need each other’s strengths when we are weak, and others need our strengths when they are weak. This creates a healthy dependency on and appreciation for our fellow brothers and sisters. It’s truly a beautiful thing when we use our spiritual gifts to help and encourage others; in fact, God planned it that way.

A Closer Look at Each Gift

There are many ways to categorize the 9 gifts described in 1 Corinthians 12, but we will divide them up for the sake of understanding like this:

Revelation Gifts

The revelation gifts include Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, and Discerning of Spirits. These gifts reveal what is unknown or hidden in order to bring understanding or explain God’s intentions or desires.

Word of Wisdom: Individuals with this gift have the ability to make wise decisions and to advise others similarly. This wisdom isn’t just from trial and error in their own lives but through supernatural understanding from God. They see clearly through confusing circumstances and direct themselves and others toward God’s will and direction, closely adhering to the Word of God, of course.

Word of Knowledge: People with this gift have a deep understanding of the will and ways of God, personally and through scripture. Supernaturally, they can discern truths about spiritual matters in order to teach or direct the church. Sometimes God gives a word of knowledge about a particular situation or person in order to protect, warn, or guide.

Discerning of Spirits: This gift is also referred to “distinguishing between spirits.” People with this gift have the ability to discern whether a situation, person, or event is good or evil, right or wrong, heavenly or demonic. This gift is important because it can help protect God’s people and lead them in the right direction.

Power Gifts

The power gifts include Faith, Gifts of Healings, and Working of Miracles. These gifts visibly demonstrate God’s power.

Faith: This gift is different than faith unto salvation (which all believers enjoy). The gift of faith involves the supernatural ability to believe and trust God in extenuating circumstances for extraordinary results. This gift of faith often brings about incredible miracles and is closely related to the other Power Gifts.

Gifts of Healings: God works through a person with this gift to heal and restore people’s bodies, minds, and emotions. This person has a level of faith to believe God for healing in any situation and is willing to try even non-conventional methods if God leads.

Working of Miracles: A person with this gift can be used by God to do any type of creative miracle from using physical strength to move a car to regenerating a body part to affecting the weather. There is no limit to what God can do, and the person with this spiritual gift has the faith to believe God for anything.

Speaking Gifts

The speaking gifts include Speaking in Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, and Prophecy. God uses these gifts to audibly communicate with us.

Speaking in Tongues: Speaking in tongues is a gift that is a sign to unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:22). A person with this gift will supernaturally speak in an unknown language and get the attention of everyone nearby. If this gift is used in a corporate setting, the message in tongues must be interpreted.

Interpretation of Tongues: A person with the gift of interpreting tongues has a supernatural ability to understand and explain to others the message given in tongues. The result is that God is glorified and the church is edified.

Prophecy: Believers with the gift of prophecy don’t necessarily tell the future as much as they build up, encourage, and redirect the church body. They help the church understand the heart and desires of God and urge the church to wholeheartedly pursue God and holiness.

This was a very brief and general description of the 9 Spiritual Gifts discussed in 1 Corinthians 12; if you’re interested in learning what your Spiritual Gift is, there are online assessments that can help you discover it.

~ Jennell Houts

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  1. Reply
    Edwin says

    how can I study with you people on the Bible topically

    • Reply
      Adebi Precious says

      Thank you for this message
      I was blessed

      Pls how can I get the online assessment on how to know my spiritual gifts
      Thank you

  2. Reply
    Jonah CHIZOBA says

    Spiritual guidelines

  3. Reply
    Deborah David says

    Thank you! Wow this reallly opened my eyes and gave me more understanding. It answered my questions regarding the Gifts of the Spirit in a very simple & biblical way. Particularly, I love that this was not presented based on personal experiences, beliefs or bias. Instead; it used the Word of God and shed light to it. It really blessed me. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Yamoah Augustine says

      I want to manipulate or manifest with my gifts

  4. Reply
    SINTO MOHAN says

    i need about 9 spiritual gifts’:

  5. Reply
    Suresh arokiaraj. P says

    Praise the Lord
    the message above was very blessed
    thank you

    • Reply
      REV. Ben Imoisili says

      This is spiritually uplifting and expository. I am really blessed

  6. Reply
    Cheryl Mason says

    Different gifts and same Spirit. Each believer has a gift and when the gifts are used correctly it will bring unity to the believers.

  7. Reply
    Thomas Heward says

    God used your article to help put together many dreams I have had from Him showing me working miracles, moving in healing gifts as I exercised prophesy as well as standing on stages with other great men and women of God doing the things they did to bring Revival to America.

  8. Reply
    Tope James says

    Very big thank you . I just discovered one of my spiritual gift. I have a question
    How can I stir up or grow my spiritual gift to work better or perform better to give God glory.

  9. Reply
    Shirley Gue says

    My mission statement: My gifts are: faith, intercession, exhortation, healing, and evangelism. I live to pray and intercede for others, feed God’s Lambs, tend His Flock, and feed His Sheep, to worship our precious three in one God for His constant faithfulness and saving- keeping power, watching God hasten to perform His word in the Earth in answer to fervent, effectual prayers, and testifying to others of His faithfulness and goodness to me so they too can taste of His goodness themselves and will give God all the glory and honor due His name.

  10. Reply
    Daniel Moses says

    lately have been seeing my past dreams come to reality and still when ever i choose to do what i saw i get to hear a voice a very calm voice saying, “HIS TIME IS THE BEST” till now i don’t still understand and i need help in prayers to guide me and help me grow spiritually and am recently finding it hard to trust people and am scared i still have some dreams felt that’s yet to happen and i need answer ;i hope you understand

  11. Reply
    MPHO says

    Thank you so much for such an amazing knowledge and understanding. My knowledge of the gifts of the Holy Spirit has greatly developed. may you be richly blessed, in Jeshua’s Mighty Name

  12. Reply
    Dawn Heald says

    1Cor12&13 special to me…about 45 years ago, ✔️ out a bible from the library, a “librarian” approached me, said she saw I was searching for the truth in the many books I ✔️ out, and had I ever read the bible? Told her not into myths and fairy tales…but have you ever read it? No, but I will, and get back to you…opened to 1Cor12…Ok God, if You exist, manifest yourself, because I can’t do this life thing anymore…Jesus is Lord, and I’ll take this Holy Spirit, and this, this, that…..fell asleep on sofa, was woke by a voice saying, I AM,( only time I heard an audible voice), who are You? To my heart, He said, I Am Compassion. So, yeah, special to me, and then 13? If you don’t have Love, the gifts profit you nothing? Yeah. So want to Love like you love Lord, teach me this Love thing. God’s justice, He gives more to that member which lacks…cool! Back then, when I went to church, not the same Jesus, I knew…confusion, that has changed, though Grace is very old, not new..when I hear Jesus, Grace, preached, makes my heart soar! Like what you said about prophecy, for lifting people up, edification, exhortation, Comfort. Yeah! Way Cool. Anyway, apparently Jesus will talk to anyone who listens, listen to anyone who talks, ha! On a side note, went back to the library to speak to the ” librarian” no one knew who I was talking about..I mean , she took me to her office to talk, I thought I was trouble for something at the time…now I find it suspicious, think she was a plant, haha! And it had to be a woman, as I didn’t trust any man. I don’t think she was a librarian at all…haha! TY for explaining the gifts…Now, Jesus is dealing with this old outsider, outcast, loner, concerning The Body Of Christ, told me just because I don’t feel like a part of His Body…I am…and to stop calling myself the stinky little toe, ha, He said, your My Eyes, recently, to which I replied, well that’s, a better part to be, maybe…I mean, nothing expected from the stinky little toe…so glad for HIS patience, mercy, love, and humour. And not sure why I even commented here, maybe getting toes wet, maybe someone needs to see another aspect of Jesus? I mean, at first, He was my Friend, my only Friend….Hey, didn’t expect to be answered when I said Jesus is Lord, was being a little flippant even, ignorance mixed with hope, didn’t have any, hope, that is, or love, faith, then I was answered.

  13. Reply
    Atobrah Bright Boateng says

    God bless you 🙏❤

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