Today we are going to look at the definition of nine more spiritual gifts and look at some of the confirmatory spiritual gifts that were given to the early apostles. As you read through the definitions think about whether you have that particular gift or if you can think of someone you know who has it. Part 1 gave an overview of spiritual gifts and Part 2 identified 10 previous gifts.
Knowledge is the gift to understand correctly and to communicate clearly the great truths God has hidden in his Word.
Leadership is the gift to influence others towards a specific goal in order to build up God’s kingdom.
Showing Mercy is the gift to come to the aid of suffering people and alleviate distress.
Music (Vocal) is the gift of being able to skillfully sing praises to God.
Shepherding is the gift of being able to assume an ongoing personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of another Christian or group of Christians.
Writing is the gift to inform, encourage, instruct, or entertain readers clearly, effectively, and concisely with the written word.
Wisdom is the gift to relate and apply the truths of the Word to specific needs and problems in life.
Music (Instrumental) is the gift to play skillfully a musical instrument in praise of God and especially in the corporate worship service.
Teaching is the gift to clearly explain and effectively apply the truths of God’s Word so that others may learn and profit.
Miracles are the gift given to certain members of the Body of Christ to perform powerful acts that alter the course of nature, such acts serving to authenticate them and their message as being from God.
Healing is the gift given to certain members of the Body of Christ to serve as intermediaries through whom it pleases God to cure illness and restore health apart from the use of “natural” means and to attest to them and their message being from God.
Here is a quote from Pastor David J. Valleskey’s study on Spiritual Gifts:
“At three crucial times in history the Lord granted to his Church the gifts of miracles and healing—at the time of Moses, of Elijah, and of Jesus and his apostles. These gifts were confirmatory in nature, appearing on the biblical scene during periods of prophecy and/or new revelation. With the completion of the Scriptures, therefore, we would expect a cessation of these gifts. While not ruling out the fact that our Lord is free to do as he pleases yet today, the evidence indicates that these gifts have ceased to be given to individuals. Christians today, however, should not neglect to call upon the Lord in every need with the confidence that with God all things, even the miraculous, still are possible.”
Speaking in Tongues is the gift to speak in another real language, but one not known by the speaker.
Interpretation of Tongues is the gift to interpret the words of a person with the gift of speaking in tongues without having study the language.
We see the gifts of speaking in tongues outlined in Acts 2:1-13; 10:44-47; 19:1-7; 1 Corinthians 14. They are confirmatory gifts given to the apostles at Pentecost. In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul strongly encourages prophecy (v.1) but does not forbid tongues, properly used, for worship. Verse 12 suggests that “Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in the gifts that build up the church.” Generally speaking, but not limiting God, tongues are not used and evident in the Lutheran Church today.
Other Gifts Not Listed
There is not just one clearly defined list of spiritual gifts in the Bible. (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 1 Corinthians 12:28) Often you will find different church bodies use different lists. Two of the gifts not listed on the Valleskey assessment, but of which I have spent time researching are prophesy (reveal a new truth from God- Acts 2:17-18; Romans 12:6) and discernment. (The ability to distinguish truth from untruths- Malachi 3:18; Psalm 119:125; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Phil1:10) Numerous verses are listed that indicate these are both needed gifts that are still available to believers today.
Some final thoughts…
None of us is complete in and of ourselves. In an “I”-world I think this is important for us to recognize. None of us possess all of the gifts. All believers possess at least one gift, many have multiple gifts. When we work from our area of giftedness we are most effective. We need to surround ourselves with others who have the gifts that we are lacking in order to make us complete. Often we gravitate toward people who are like us, when in fact, we need those who are different.
So what gifts have you recognized in yourself? In others? How do you think spiritual gifts fit in with the work of the church?