(It’s recommend you go through the Diversity in the Body of Christ lesson prior to this one.)
Beliefs and emphasis on spiritual gifts vary greatly between different groups of believers: some place little emphasis on them and others place great emphasis on them. Where are you on this spectrum? Do you believe you know what your spiritual gift(s) is/are? If so, which one(s)?
Summary: God has blessed every believer in Christ with at least one spiritual gift that empowers them to build up the Body of Christ (1 Peter 4:10-11). What follows is a list of many of the spiritual gifts, New Testament references and a brief and very general definition. Each gift is followed by a few questions you can use to process whether this gift may be one of yours or someone you know.
Administration (1 Corinthians 12:28) With this gift the Holy Spirit enables certain Christians to organize, direct, and implement plans to lead others in the various ministries of the body of Christ. Those with this gift help others accomplish their goals.
Apostleship (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11) This gift is not to be confused with the office of an Apostle, which was held by Jesus’ original disciples. Those with the spiritual gift of apostleship start new ministries, go into places where the gospel has not been preached, reach across cultures to establish churches in challenging environments and raise up and develop leaders.
Discernment (1 Corinthians 12:10) The person with the gift of discernment will be able to know with assurance whether certain behavior or teachings claimed to be of God are in reality divine, human or satanic. They can discern when something is not of God.
Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11) Those with the gift of evangelism are given the unique ability by the Holy Spirit to clearly and effectively communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ to others. They are burdened in their hearts for the lost and will go out of their way to share the truth with them. They also have a passion to equip others to share their faith.
Exhortation/Encouragement (Romans 12:8) The Spirit of God gives this gift to people in the church to strengthen and encourage those who are wavering in their faith. Those with the gift of exhortation can uplift and motivate others as well as challenge and rebuke them in order to foster spiritual growth and action.
Faith (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) The Holy Spirit distributes the gift of faith to some to encourage and build up believers in their confidence in God. Those with this gift expect God to move and are not surprised when He answers a prayer or performs a miracle.
Giving (Romans 12:8) Those with this spiritual gift love to share with others out of whatever God has given them, and they do so generously and cheerfully. They are typically very hospitable and will seek out opportunities to help others.
Helps (1 Corinthians 12:28) This spiritual gift is given to some believers to fill the many gaps in ministry, and to meet the needs of others who are then able to begin using their spiritual gifts to build up the Body of Christ.
Knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8) The Holy Spirit gives this spiritual gift to some believers to communicate Biblical knowledge and understanding to others. The person with this gift is usually well-versed in the Scriptures and can retain the truth and communicate it at the appropriate times. They enjoy examining topics with careful detail.
Leadership (Romans 12:8) Those with the gift of leadership care for God’s people and lead them into deeper relationship with Christ and one another. They base their success on how well they help others succeed and grow in their relationships with God. They are visionaries who inspire others to accomplish goals.
Mercy (Romans 12:8) Those with this gift have a great compassion for the suffering and troubles of others and will seek to help relieve their suffering. This is not just a feeling of pity, but it is action, coming alongside someone to help them feel encouraged and ease their suffering.
Pastor/Teacher (Ephesians 4:11) Pastors are called and gifted to care for the spiritual well-being of a local body of God’s people. Those with this spiritual gift teach, guide, protect, and lead other believers in the mission that God has for His church, namely the Great Commission.
Service (Romans 12:7) The gift of service is the ability to joyfully do tasks that are necessary but behind the scenes. They can make use of available resources and work hard to meet the needs of the body and help accomplish desired goals. This gift serves the Body of Christ and frees up others to use their gifts to build up the Body of Christ.
Teaching (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11) Those with this gift can teach, instruct, instill doctrine, explain, and expound God’s Word. Those with the spiritual gift of teaching love to study the Word of God, and they experience great joy and satisfaction in seeing others learn and apply the truth of God’s Word to their lives.
Wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8) Those with the spiritual gift of wisdom speak to specific situations with great understanding and a biblical perspective. Their goal is to guide believers toward lives of holiness and worship. They are able to apply the Bible to a person’s specific circumstance.
Note: Unlike the gifts just discussed, the spiritual gifts of healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles and prophecy are debated among Christians. Some believe they are given to believers today while others believe they are not. Cru holds no position as to whether these gifts are or aren’t active today.
Our sincere desire is that no matter what someone is persuaded to believe about any spiritual gift, their views and practices wouldn’t cause division among Christians. For example, to learn about Cru’s guidelines on speaking in tongues read the article Theological Perspective on the Holy Spirit.
Discuss: Select one person at a time, and have everyone else in the group share what they think this person’s spiritual gift(s) might be and why.
Bonus: Another way to better understand what your spiritual gift(s) might be is to take an online assessment. Try this one and discuss it.
Since we last met, what happened as a result of expressing Christ’s love to others?
How can you, or we, express Christ’s love to others this week?
Here are a few ideas:
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