We believe in the present day operation of the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, as recorded in 1 Cor 12. We also believe in the ministry gifts of Christ, as recorded in Eph 4:11-13.
It is amazing how difficult some jobs are without the proper tools. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to cut a piece of timber if you didn’t have a saw? Spiritual gifts are the tools that God has given us to enable us to be more effective in accomplishing the task of working with Him to build His church. They are not an optional extra for the ultra special people, but a divine gift to all believers that dares to open themselves up to the power of God working through them.
I. THE NINE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 1 COR 12:8-10
1. The Word of Wisdom
A revelation of God’s infinite wisdom. It will be the solution to the problem at hand.
2. The Word of Knowledge
A revelation of a portion of God’s knowledge that would otherwise have been impossible for that person to know.
Illustration:Acts 5:1-11 Peter received knowledge about what Anannis and Sapphira had done.
4:17-18 Jesus knew the history of the woman of Samaria.
This gift enables the person to have perfect confidence that God will bring to pass that which is spoken or desired. There is no room for doubt, but an overwhelming confidence that God will do what He said He would do.
Illustration: Acts 3:4-8 Peter had absolute faith that the lame man would walk.
John 10:12-14 Joshua had absolute faith that the sun would stand still.
4. Gifts of Healing
The supernatural enabling to see sickness cured.
Illustration:Acts 5: 15-16 Peter and the apostles saw many people healed.
Luke 6:19 Jesus healed all who sought Him.
5. Working of Miracles
Divine intervention to accomplish something that could not have been accomplished by natural means.
(Healing is God speeding up the process that would naturally occur. Miracles are God intervening and doing something that would not naturally occur.)
Illustration: Matt 14:17-21 Feeding the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.
John 6:15-21 Jesus walking of water.
A divinely inspired utterance that edifies exhorts and comforts. (It can declare what will happen in the future but doesn’t necessarily have to be predictive in nature in order to be a prophecy).
Illustration: Acts 21; 9 Philip’s daughters who prophesied.
1 Cor 14:1-40 Paul’s teaching on prophecy.
7. Discerning of Spirits
To see beyond the outward appearance and have a revelation that discerns the nature of the spirit which is at work. This gift discerns whether it is a human spirit, a demonic spirit, a godly spirit or the Holy Spirit.
Illustration Acts 8:18-28 Peter discerning the spirit in Simon.
Acts 16:16-18 Paul discerned the demonic spirit in the young lady.
8. Different Kinds of Tongues
A divinely inspired utterance given in a language that has not been learnt by the speaker. Once interpreted this gift is similar to prophecy.
Illustration:Acts 2:7-12 The disciples spoke messages in tongues to people at Pentecost.
1 Cor 14:27-28 Paul’s teaching.
9. Interpretation of Tongues.
Interpretation of a message in tongues by divine inspiration and is given in the language of the speaker. The purpose is to edify the church.
Illustration: 1 Cor 14:5 Paul’s teaching.
II. PAUL’S INSTRUCTION ON PROPHECY AND TONGUES
1. Everyone ought to desire to prophesy and operate in the spiritual gifts.
1 Cor 14:1 “Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
2. Everyone can prophesy
1 Cor 14:31 “For you can all prophesy one by one.”
3. The test of prophecy is whether or not it edifies, exhorts and comforts.
1Cor 14:3 “But he who prophesies speak edification and exhortation and comfort to man.”
1 Cor 14:4b “…he who prophesies edifies the church.”
4. Those who are inspired to prophesy are in control of the timing, the words used, the emotion and the way it is presented.
1 Cor 14:32 “And the spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”
5. Those who prophesy must be willing to have the accuracy of their prophecy judged by others in authority.
1 Cor 14:29 “Let two or three prophets speak and let the others judge.”
6. There are 2 types of tongues.
1. A message to God that is not directed to man (Personal tongues). 1 Cor 14:2 “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to man but to God, for no one understands him…”
2. A message to men that is inspired by God (Public Tongues).
1 Cor 14:21 “… with men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people.”
8. Public Tongues when interpreted are for the edification of the church.
1 Cor 14:5, “I wish you all spoke with tongues… that the church may receive edification.”
Note: Once the two types of tongues are understood then it is clearer to see why the public use of tongues is a gift that not all believers use. It is one of the nine gifts and is motivated by the will of the Holy Spirit. However the private use of tongues is for personal edification. Every believer needs to be built up. Every believer needs to pray in the spirit. Classical Pentecostals believe that the ability to speak in “personal” tongues is not necessarily one of the nine gifts of the spirit but the initial evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
III. THE MINISTRY GIFTS OF CHRIST
Ephesians 4:11 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.”
Definition: One that is authorised and sent forth as a messenger to carry out an official duty on the sender’s behalf.
Duties: To establish churches. To govern churches. To raise up ministries. To pilot a Christian movement. To equip Christians for service.
Illustration: Acts 2:42-47 The establishing of the New Testament under the apostles leadership.
Acts 19:1-20 Paul establishes a Christian movement throughout Asia while based at Ephesus.
Definition: One who speaks divinely inspired messages and has a role of leadership within the church. They are able to foresee future events and have an ability to discern the signs of the times. (Just because one operates in the gift of prophecy doesn’t necessarily mean that one is a prophet.)
Duties: Keep a church on an even keel. Have foresight in making sure the church is keeping on course. Motivates spiritual zeal, equips the Christians for the work of the ministry. Exhorts, encourages and comforts.
Illustrations:Acts 11:28-29 Agabus foresaw a great famine coming and prepared the church to send relief to the churches in Judea.
Acts 15:32 Judas and Silas were used of God to exhort and strengthen the church.
Definition: One who declares the good news about Christ.
Duties: To keep the church zealous with a passion to reach the lost. To equip Christians to declare the good news about Jesus to those who don’t know Him.
Illustration:Acts 8;4-8 Philip takes God’s word to Samaria and sees a revival (Acts 21:8 calls him an evangelist).
Romans 10:14-15 Paul describes an evangelist.
Definition: One who cares, tends, feeds and leads a group of Christians into their God-given destiny. A shepherd.
Duties: To encourage people in the faith. To lead a congregation of Christians. To equip Christians to serve. To correct those who go astray. To declare God’s truth. To teach God’s Truth.
Illustration:1 Peter 5:1-5 Peter’s description of a good shepherd (pastor).
1 Tim 4:6-16 Paul’s description of a good minister (pastor).
Definition: One who instructs. One who turns the lights on. One who makes difficult things easy to understand. One who leads others into understanding.
Duties: To know God’s word. To love God’s word. To impart God’s word. To impart to Christians a love for God’s word. To make God’s word practical and applicable in a daily Christian walk.
Illustration:2 Tim 1:11 Paul was a teacher to the Gentiles.
3:2 Jesus was a teacher sent from God.
God’s gifts are given to the church to equip us to be able to impact the world. It is important that we not only recognise the validity of these gifts, but also constantly seek to promote and utilise their use within the church. These gifts are not meant to be ornaments placed into the churches display box, but tools on the church floor constantly used, constantly appreciated, constantly worked and constantly producing what God intended them to produce: – AN EFFECTIVE, PROGESSIVE, ADVANCING CHURCH FOR HIS GLORY!