UNDERSTANDING THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We are on the verge of the greatest outpouring of the power of God that the earth has ever seen. Consequently God does not want His people to be ignorant about spiritual things and in particular about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In general there are 3 categories of gifting in the Church: the body of Christ:
1 Vocational gifts
2 Spiritual gifts
3 Ministry gifts
It is important to state that in general every gift of God is administered by the Holy Spirit, and is actually a divine enablement contained in a measure of life and power or ability of God to enable the recipient perform a specific task or function.
In category 2 we have what we call the gifts of the Holy Spirit as listed in 1 Cor. 12: 7-10.
We shall briefly describe these 3 categories of gifting.
Vocational gifts are natural talents that can be activated at will. The Holy Spirit then anoints that talent to be used in the service of the Lord. For example Bezaleel’s talent as a craftsman was used in building the tabernacle of Moses. (Ex.35: 30-35; 36: 1,2)
Spiritual Gifts or the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are temporary anointings initiated by the Holy Spirit as He wills and not by faith, though faith, through prayer, plays a role in activating them by creating a conducive atmosphere in which we will be more sensitive to yield to the Holy Spirit if and when He initiates any gift.
Ministry Gifts are anointings that enable saints to function in the offices of the Apostle, Prophet, Teacher, Pastor and Evangelist. These anointings are given by the Holy Spirit to an individual when he or she is called to a particular office. They can be initiated and developed through faith, prayer and exercise of the preaching and teaching of the Word that is relevant to the particular office (See 1 Cor. 12:28-29, Eph. 4:11).
What distinguishes the gifts of the Holy from the other 2 categories is that while faith, prayer and exercise can initiate them, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are initiated spontaneously by the Holy Spirit and not by the saint. Furthermore the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are spectacular: they will get your attention when in operation.
The operation of the vocational and ministry gifts are not usually spectacular except when embellished or complemented by the gifts of the Spirit, neither are they usually spontaneous because you usually prepare to deliberately exercise them by faith, prayer and study. The operation of the vocational gifts and ministry gifts are supernatural but not necessarily spectacular.
So the two outstanding characteristics of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are that they are spontaneous and spectacular.
We will now examine the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We find a listing of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (KJV): Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another (special) 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: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
There are nine of them categorized in 3 groups as follows:
1. Revelation Gifts
They reveal something when in manifestation. The word of wisdom, word of knowledge and the discernings of spirits, which gives the ability to see, hear or smell into the spiritual realm by a special divine grace.
2. Power Gifts
These when ministered by the Spirit, accomplish a task. They are the gift of (special) faith, the workings of miracles and the gifts of healings.
3. Utterance or Vocal Gifts
These are the gifts of prophecy, diverse kinds of tongues and interpretations of tongues, which say something when in operation.
The way in which a particular gift of the Holy Spirit operates in the life of one Christian may differ from another because there are diversities of operation (1 Cor. 12:6). However, every manifestation of the Holy Spirit will bring profit and edification to the body of Christ, and will be done in due order (1Cor.12:7; 14: 12, 26 & 40).
In our article next week, we will continue to look in more detail at the gifts of the Holy Spirit.