The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The phrase “gifts of the Holy Spirit” is regularly used to translate two Greek words, charismata and pneumatika. Both words are derived from the familiar words, charis that means, “grace” and pneuma, which means “Spirit”. Both have similar senses—charisma meaning “expression of grace,” pneumatikon meaning “expression of Spirit”. Their range of application, however, is somewhat different. Charisma denotes God’s saving action in Christ (Rom 5:15–16) and the gift of eternal life (6:23).

A spiritual gift is any event, word, or action that embodies and expresses God’s grace. The lists of gifts mentioned are neither definitive nor exhaustive, simply typical manifestations of the Spirit. The degree of overlap between these various lists shows that Paul was not concerned to specify a precisely defined catalogue; he simply selected a number of activities and utterances through which he saw the grace of God manifesting itself in the churches.

What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

The Gifts of the Spirit are special abilities provided by the Holy Spirit to Christians for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. The lists of spiritual gifts are in
1 Corinthians 12:8-10: “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues”. Other lists appear in Ephesians 4:7-13 and Romans 12:3-8.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are simply God enabling believers to do what He has called them to do. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue”. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are part of everything we need to fulfil His purposes for our lives.

Categories: Theology

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