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Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

Discussion in 'Bible Study Q & A' started by Meg, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    Since there have been 2 detailed threads in recent months on the speaking in tongues issue, and since the issue of Biblically defined Gifts of the Holy Spirit came up, I thought it might be helpful to post the list I compiled last year, with Scripture references. If I missed anything, someone please add what you know.

    Romans 12:6-8 6
    1 Corinthians 12:4-11 4
    Ephesians 4:7-13 7
    1 Peter 4:10-11 10
    I hope this helps clarify the concept of Giftedness in the Holy Spirit.
  2. SonSeeker

    SonSeeker Well-Known Member

    Thank you for compiling this, Meg.

    Since nearly everyone possesses these traits (not gifts) to a certain extent, how are we to know what our Gift is?

    When I was saved, many of us participated in water baptism, and then we were encouraged to practice speaking in tongues. I wasn't able to, and still can't speak in tongues. But now I'm curious why we weren't encouraged to practice any of the other Gifts.

    I have prayed on learning what my Gift is, as this would give glory to our Lord, but as yet, I do not know what it is. Are there others who don't know their Gift?
  3. Keeplookinup

    Keeplookinup Well-Known Member

    I know my "gift". It is the gift of hospitality. Can't say I really have any other one...THAT one is incredibly strong and I am my happiest when I am utilizing it and very unhappy when I'm not. I do not have the gift of prophecy, speaking in tongues, etc. I know the gift God has placed in me without a doubt. Now...it's just being able to use it the way I feel He wants me to! One of my favorite scriptures is Hebrews 13:2 "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for some have entertained angels unaware". :nod

    I believe if we truly seek to learn and understand our gifting, it will be revealed! :thumbup
  4. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    The dear man who led me to Christ almost certainly carries the gift of evangelism, since it seems to come naturally to him to witness to a lot of people. Many times, when we were talking, he'd tell stories, with great delight, about witnessing to people he worked with over the years, he's really great about that. But when I told him I thought he had that gift, as he too thought he didn't have any obvious gifts, he confessed that of all the people he'd tried to reach, he had almost no success! So I suspect he felt kind of ineffective... I know him, and I strongly disagree. I also think he carries a form of message of knowledge, he knows about as much about the Bible as Matt does, the two men are very similar in that way. I think what the usual operation of the largely misunderstood gifting in the Holy Spirit is, is more an enhancement and directing of what God made each of us in the womb, rather than some supernatural bestowal of something that was never there in the first place. Thats my opinion, anyway.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  5. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

    I don't see the gift of cheeseburgers anywhere in there. :(
  6. Hannah

    Hannah Well-Known Member

    AND Boy can I do with a Cheeseburger right now! :((
  7. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    I originally found the list of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in an article from the Barna Group, last spring. They listed the source chapters and verses, so all I had to do was look it up. The issue at hand was that most Christians didn't think they had any gifts at all. Almost no one thought there was enough value in the generous Gifts such as encouragement, showing mercy, message of wisdom or message of knowledge to "eagerly seek" these Gifts let alone hope to recognize them in themselves. I think this really shows in the current apostasy of the church at large. People think they have to settle for spiritual pain killers, having lost any hope of genuine healing.

    At the time, the question, What then are these Gifts? was so overwhelming I couldn't think of much else. That same question still haunts the quiet recesses of my spirit, as the horror of modern culture destroys some people I know in person, and as the church falls for deceptions of Hindu spiritual practices and muslim religious sleight-of-hand to name a couple. Meanwhile, too many Christians suffer in mostly silent defeat and hidden despair as their marriages stagger or fall and their children turn their backs on the only One who has the real claim to Savior let alone to Lord...

    Is there time, in these final hours to recover this lost Treasure? Is there time to lay to rest the things that divide us and seek the Lord with all our hearts? Is there a way to separate the emergent church from their terrible delusion and turn the heart of the church back to the Cross? I think there may be a yes answer here, and I think part of the answer is to eagerly seek the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, not to prophecy judgement nor to attempt to teach something new, but to seek the Love that heals, the hope that unites, the value for one another that defeats accusations and declares that Jesus Christ is Worthy and that He is Right in what He asks of us. I think these things are the greatest final Hope we have in these final hours.
  8. SonSeeker

    SonSeeker Well-Known Member

    Thanks Meg, for your response. Your opinion certainly makes sense, as it seems we all possess most of these traits, though not the degree that they could called a Gift. I'm praying for God's enlightenment of what He desires for me, and how I can best serve Him in this matter.
  9. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    Without the Holy Spirit to complete the potential, the greatest of talents, gifts, abilities are without direction and therefore without value.

    I've been questioning myself all day, was I right, am I sure that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are more enhancement of whats already there, not something miraculously bestowed from without... I kind of started to get this impression working with J. He had submitted his intelligence to the study of the Word Of God until he had absolutely mastered it, then used that mastery in the service of God in his evangelistic efforts. Every time I read 1 Corinthians 12:7, I thought about how J would switch from work business to Scripture in an instant when I would hit him with a question, not just once, but again and again. It really was amazing, I'd catch him in passing when he clearly had a lot on his mind, ask a question, and many times he'd stop, switch in an instant from factory business to Bible business and come up with an answer rooted in Scripture.

    Then my own gift for words began to manifest after something like 2 or 3 years of prayer. I knew I was making important breakthroughs in getting to know Jesus Christ on His terms, and I wanted badly to share my words with someone who had a good stage presence; at the time I was thinking something like sermon writing or something along those lines. I knew I'm a pretty good writer, but not much to look at, and I know that people need to see someone they can relate to or they won't listen. The purchase of the computer took me by surprise, I never thought I'd own one of these again. Then late summer of 2008, I started wanting a computer. This seemed strange to me so I prayed about it for about 3 weeks, priced internet service and prayed some more. When I was sure it was God's will, I went through with it...

    When I came online, I hoped to finally find answers to my most difficult and serious questions. To my surprise, at the first forum I joined, Christian Life set up by Charisma, instead of me asking someone wiser questions, I found a number of people asking about the sort of things I had already worked through, such as the Holy Spirit being very strong some times and almost not being able to sense Him at other times. I knew how unnerving that could be, and was able to tell a dear brother that this is evidently normal, and it didn't mean God was mad at us. There were other discussions on various topics, and although I didn't consider myself qualified, and indeed I was pretty intimidated at times, I found myself teaching... As this new -- ministry, I guess, developed, I noticed that when I engaged people's questions and concerns that I became aware of as I explored the online landscape and prayed over these things, that the words just flowed sometimes, and that i was expressing a wisdom that I couldn't claim credit for. Indeed, as this process matured, and as I wrote searching essays on deep concerns, I could feel the Holy Spirit ignite in my heart, helping me put thoughts and prayers to words in a partnership I was, at times, very keenly aware of. The first time this was that strong, it lasted for over a week as I wrote a series on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit; I really felt it when it was over too, felt like I had been dropped on my head or something! The second time something like that happened really strongly, the let down was much softer.

    I don't fully understand these things, and I dearly wish I did, but so far no one else seems to well understand them either. I have never felt led to write about things outside Scripture or to point to practices like contemplative prayers, mantras, meditation or the like, what I have done is something more like deep prayer expressed as I pour out my heart in the things I write. If you look at my old threads, a pattern will clearly show that I usually post stuff like that in the morning hours. Thats because I read Scripture and pray in the morning hours as I drink my coffee, and my morning prayers have nearly always been strongest, probably because I am praying as I wake up rather than praying myself to sleep, although I do read Scripture pray at bedtime as well.

    I never had the impression that God wanted me to be someone else; in fact, I told Him on no uncertain terms that He could easily find someone else who could serve Him a lot better than I ever will, but He wouldn't have that from me. Instead He'd say things like "You feel like you're worthless but you're not". I've had a good deal of practice at losing arguments with the Lord... But what I'm getting at, is He chooses any of us as we are, and He seems to build on who we are, enhancing and refining the individuals each of us are, rather than saying something was missing and He needs to -- repair a deficiency, I guess... Love doesn't say "You're inadequate, I need to fix you" love says "I see something special in you, here, let Me show you..." (Please don't anybody take that to mean that we can never do anything wrong. Correction and conviction of the Holy Spirit is another topic entirely.)

    That, I guess is my testimony, it certainly is my experience. No one got to tell God how we wanted to look like, what we wanted to be good at, who we wanted our parents to be, we have no control over any of that. I think Jesus Christ looks at whats special about us and builds on that, and that's at least part of what Love really means... Thus, I honestly believe that the large part of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are a love song from God to us, with us harmonizing with God by serving Him in our giftedness.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  10. Hannah

    Hannah Well-Known Member


    Thanks for sharing so openly with us here. I appreciate you take the time to think things through prayerfully and your posts are often so engaging in that they really make me think again over topics I have reserached and studied in the past and have put in the "too hard" box. I might not get all the answers I am looking for here on Earth (before the Rpture) but as you have said I have over the years gotten some better understanding in parts of the Bible that I find difficult. Gifts are one of those topics I drift in and out of trying to get it to all make SENSE to me.

    I have been encouraged by your posts in this thread.

    Thanks :hug
  11. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    Thank you Hannah, it really matters to me to try to encourage and strengthen my sisters and brothers in Christ. Matt keeps telling me to stop trying to figure everything out, but I can't seem to help it. I too pray deeply, trying to make sense of these things. This brings to mind the first strong impression I had of the Lord when I began this journey... Unbelievers, which is what I was when I began, think they know all about who and what God should be, especially Jesus Christ. Since in the West, everybody's heard of Him, we tend to think we know all about Him or we should know all about Him. The fact is more like we don't, so we need to ask, and we need to permit Him the freedom of individuality to answer in His own way. Then we need to be able to accept that His answer won't necessarily line up with our preconceived notions.

    I think some people who have been going to church for decades think they are past the point of new discovery. I also think people tend to misinterpret which aspects of Scripture apply to everyone and which parts allow for individuality, in fact I think often the two areas are gotten backwards. People like to think that grace and forgiveness apply to me and not thee, while gifts and callings should apply to thee because it applies to me. I think thats a symptom of what Ravi Zacharias describes as a lack of critical thinking, let alone critically examined prayer (as in critically examining yourself and praying for God's truth to sort things out).

    Hannah, you, for example struggle with ongoing health problems. I can see where you could perceive that as a limitation, an affliction and a disadvantage. But what if it is a calling to bring the testimony of Jesus Christ to healthcare settings as a fellow sufferer, being asked by the Lord to bring hope and encouragement to others who are feeling very discourages and hopeless? It hurts to have some healthy person tell you how much you have to look forward to when you know its not going to be that simple. But it looks a lot different when someone who is a fellow patient speaks hope into the evidently hopeless.

    So, dear sister, be of strong heart and bold faith, I think Jesus Christ is asking something difficult of you entirely because He thinks you've got what it takes to handle His business in a healthcare setting. That takes a certain kind of strength, and I think He sees and greatly values these qualities in you and your husband. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are by no means always simple easy things. Some of these Gifts are so crushingly heavy that it takes the Son Of God to hold you up while you stagger along with them... :hug
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  12. Zeblade

    Zeblade Member

    When it comes to gifts we have to think out side the box of man and let God be God. Tongues, IF it is written "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" If you have ASKED then God is not a man that He should lie. We should not be moved by what we see, feel. If you asked you have it period. Yes there are some gifts we can have yet if we are open and obey, listen and pray our Father will use them all through us if the need is there.

    You can always tell if its of God. It always lifts up, helps, never hurts or find faults, always leads to Jesus. Iit matters not who you are, where you are. Just ASK! Just believe. He loves to give and give and give. Man teaches us to take. God teaches us to GIVE!. And now that you asked dont wait for some FEELING, God does not move by feelings. Feelings come and go are up and down. Go by FAITH! You asked he will give.

    Lol if ALL good things come from GOD. Where do you think that desire for what ever gift (anything) you want came from? And we cant fool Him. He knows our heart. I have learned to take God at His word. I could care less if man comes along and says "nope wont work, its gone, Gods not a candy machine, etc". The reason it works is the desire is not for self but for others and no other reason.

    I love these words to this song " your desire is the confirmation that the destination is there. God wouldn't put it in your spirit if it wasn't going some where, so set your sights on the promises and don't be scared. Your desire is the confirmation that the destination is there." ALL means ALL, ALL good things come from GOD! When that verse just JUMPS out.. YES thats the KING OF KINGS talking to YOU!.. WOW!

    If you where ever you are at work, home, stuck in a bed, prison, hospital .... it dont matter to GOD! Just take Him at His word! Believe if He said it then He will do it. Just believe. And ASK! "When you pray for things, you don't get them because you want them for the wrong reason-for your own pleasure." So to the one.. just confess our sins, get up, dust your self off and keep going. This is what we all do :)
  13. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Well-Known Member

    Amen, Zeblade.
  14. myinnuendo999

    myinnuendo999 Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much meg for being such an encouraging sister in the Lord and I'm so encouraged to see how Jesus is using you also:thumbup
  15. cathysue

    cathysue Active Member

    Thank you for your elegantly written testimony. I will have to read some of your other post, It was inspiring. You are a very good writer. One trait I do not have.
  16. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    To Zeblade, fantastic post. I particularly thank the Lord for moving you to post these words, which, combined with the events of the last two days, confirm the hopes and plans I have been praying about:

    To Myinnuendo and CathySue, thank you for your kind encouragement. This journey in Christ has been so challenging, rewarding and stretching... Yo see Jesus Christ so misunderstood and misrepresented just devastates me, and it was when I began to discover the real Jesus Christ that the years of prayer which led to all this began in earnest. I think the most effective way to discover your own gifts is to strongly desire top be able to represent the truth about Him for all to see and comprehend -- if they have the courage to accept the truth, as many atheists don't seem to. But unbelief isn't what matters, truth is.
  17. GlennO

    GlennO Well-Known Member

    Meg said:
    If this of whom you speak:
    The Barna Group - Organic Church
    You can do better, much better.

    Meg said:
    I gather from the topic, you are speaking of spiritual gifts bestowed upon a Believer by the Holy Spirit. There might be something at the links below to unpack. As you have shared, you well understand the hazard of centering prayer, mantras and the emptying of one's self or previously dabbled in the occult.



    Spiritual Gifts

    zeblade said:
    I wholeheartedly agree with Zeblade, so I will not dilute his truth with more words of mine other than to say these gifts are not intellectually apprehended. He gives severally according to His will and such gifts may run counter to your natural talents and abilities. Indeed, things you may think are strengths may end up being obstructions. In all, HE gets the glory!

    I am unfamiliar with the gift of words, :scratch:

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  18. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    To Glenn, the inspiration for the What Then Are These Gifts wasn't the Organic Church piece Barna did. In fact, the Organic Church was written after the results of the poll I saw. I have the entire original essay series I wrote on my hard drive, and the following is part of it. I have been needing to rewrite some of the original material, as the original was full of anger and bitterness from in-person experiences I am still fighting to resolve somehow. The following is from last spring, written after I severely injured my right hip in a fall that hurt me worse than I realized at first. To this day, I think the 22 days of agony last April and May were very much of the same effect as a severe fast. This essay was written in the Holy Spirit after some very deeply troubled prayers; it was originally written over a spread of about 2 weeks. Please, no one here take this as meant against any of you here at RF or anyone connected to RR. The impressions that worried me so deeply were based on people I had encountered face to face during the first 5 years I was a Christian and trying, unsuccessfully, to find a church which seemed deeply dedicated to the Lord.

    2 Corinthians 7:1
    1Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

    Scripture speaks of the gifts Of The Holy Spirit, in various places and various ways. My understanding of the Greek word, Charisma, refers to a gift given by someone of high status to someone of lower status. I don't think Jesus does these things lightly. I think He gives what He gives and does what He does for really important reasons. So what then are these Gifts, and how should we think of them, hope for them, seek to experience them...

    For reference and consideration, here's the list... And for those who knew, this is because of the Barna poll among other worries that trouble my heart...

    Romans 12:6-8 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

    1 Corinthians 12:4-11 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
    7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

    Ephesians 4:7-13 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." 9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

    1 Peter 4:10-11 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. Meg

    The following is from the original Barna Group Report. I'm going to post the link, but its already broken in my Favorites stash, so I can't guarantee how long the link will be valid.

    "Which Gifts People Claim

    The survey asked people who said they were Christian and who claimed to have heard of spiritual gifts to identify which gifts they believe God has granted to them. The most commonly claimed gifts were teaching (9%), service (8%) and faith (7%). Those were followed by encouragement (4%), healing (4%), knowledge (4%), and tongues (3%). The gift of leadership was mentioned by just 2%.

    There were significant differences in the answers provided by evangelicals, non-evangelical born agains and notional Christians. Evangelicals were more likely than people from the other faith segments to say that they had gifts of teaching (28%), service (12%), encouragement (10%), and administration (7%). The non-evangelical born again segment was the group most likely to claim the gifts of faith (10%) and hospitality (3%). Notional Christians were most notable for having the largest percentage who said they had no gift at all (37%, compared to 16% of evangelicals and 24% of non-evangelical born agains).

    Examining the data for all born again Christians (i.e., evangelical and non-evangelical combined) over the past 13 years shows several change patterns:

    The percentage that claims to have the gift of encouragement has grown steadily from 2% in 1995 to 6% today.
    Since 1995, the proportion of born again adults claiming the gift of evangelism dropped from 4% to 1%.
    Those who do not know what their gift is rose from 8% in 2000 to 13% today. "


    These results worry me, especially the parts about encouragement and leadership. I have deep thoughts about these things, and I was really hoping that other people do too... Please be patient with me here, I've been suffering from a severe arthritis event, and am just now starting to feel better. If anyone's been praying for me, thank you; God's provision has been with me in several ways as I dealt with all this

    When I first saw the Barna report, my heart was very troubled. Here is the first reason:

    "The stagnation of evangelism relates to many factors, but one of those is probably the fact that just 1% of Christian adults (self-described or born again) claims the gift of evangelism. While the Bible never suggests that one must possess this gift in order to share the gospel, the depressed proportion of believers who identify with that gift reflects the stalled growth of the Christian body in America."

    "Since 1995, the proportion of born again adults claiming the gift of evangelism dropped from 4% to 1%."

    Just 1% considers themselves "gifted" in evangelism! I have known only 2 people in the 9 years I have lived in this church-saturated area who seem to make an effort to win the lost for Jesus Christ. Yet everyone is quite vocal about the misbehavior of the unbelievers!

    Here's what Barna was told when it comes to Encouragement"

    "The percentage that claims to have the gift of encouragement has grown steadily from 2% in 1995 to 6% today."

    The replies to the question of encouragement are even more disturbing. If no one feels any special motivation to encourage each other in building up their faith, how can we possibly expect our Churches to have any stability, let alone credibility!

    What then are these Gifts??? Are they handouts? Are they something we are free to take or leave? Or are they precious tools, bought at the shockingly high cost of the Son Of God Who sweat blood in His determination to win the right to pour out the precious Holy Spirit on all flesh!!! How can we possibly expect to win anything for Jesus Christ if we are unable to use the Tools He has given us to work with???
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  19. GlennO

    GlennO Well-Known Member

  20. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Well-Known Member

    Barna's got it backward. You grow a church from the inside out. Come to think of it, Barna hasn't got it at all.

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