Ask the Pastor 128
What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Whenever the subject of “gifts” is brought up there is a broad view of what is meant by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. There are those who believe that these gifts are supernatural which gives a person the ability to heal or to speak in other languages. What the Bible teaches is much different from the glitzy, showman like gifts that we see on TV etc. There are four passages in the Bible that refer to the gifts which are found in Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4 and I Peter 4. The most extensive reading on the subject is found in I Corinthians 12 which begins at verse 12 which teaches first of all, that we are all one body in Christ, that though we are many members, all the members are one body. The body of Christ is the figure used to speak to the universal nature of the Church. The word church is most often used to speak to the local gatherings of that body. We read that we have been baptized by one Spirit into one body. To baptize is to submerge, we have been submerged through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to become one body. The verb tense tells us that this is a past act that has an ongoing application. The Holy Spirit came to earth at the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and from then on, all who believe are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and are made a part of that one body at the time of their believing. When the Holy Spirit comes into us, He comes with a gift or gifts which complement our inherit abilities to serve the rest of the body. If we were to combine the four passages mentioned above we would find that there are 20 gifts listed as follows: Teaching, Ministry, Exhortation, Giving, Ruling, Showing mercy, Governing, Evangelist, Pastor, Helps, Apostles, Prophets, Word of knowledge, Word of Wisdom, Gift of Faith, Gift of healing, Gift of miracles, Gift of discernment, Gift of tongues, Interpretation of tongues. All these are given as a service to other members of the body to edify and to build them up. None are given, to make someone wealthy and famous.
Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at firstname.lastname@example.org and read the answer here in this article.