The Gifts That Keep on Giving
Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing.
(1 Corinthians 12:1-9)
The spiritual gifts given to each person by the Holy Spirit are special abilities that are to be used to minister to the needs of the body of believers. This passage is not an exhaustive list of spiritual gifts; there are many others (see Romans 12; Ephesians 4; 1 Peter 4:10-11 for more examples). Some people have more than one gift, and one gift is not superior to another. All spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit, and their purpose is to build up Christ’s body, the church.
Instead of building up and unifying the Corinthian church, the issue of spiritual gifts was splitting it. Spiritual gifts had become symbols of spiritual power, causing rivalries because some people thought they were more “spiritual” than others because of their gifts. This was a terrible misuse of spiritual gifts because their purpose is always to help the church function more effectively, not to divide it. In the same way we can be divisive if we insist on using our gifts our own way without being sensitive to others. We must never use spiritual gifts as a means of manipulating others or serving our own self-interest.
What is/are your spiritual gift(s)? A spiritual gift is usually confirmed by someone else. What has someone told you about the way God works through you? If you aren’t sure what your gift might be, talk with your pastor. Also, there are tests you can find on the Internet to help you discern.