4 “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.”
CLASSIFICATIONS OF GIFTS
Dr Grant C Richison
- Discourse of Wisdom
- Discourse of Knowledge
- Translation of Tongues
- Translation of Tongues
- Showing mercy
CATEGORIES OF CLASSIFICATION
- PROPHECY and TEACHING are the only gifts to appear in all three biblical lists (Ro 12; Ep 4; 1 Co 12).
- We find APOSTLESHIP, HELPS, and GOVERNMENT (ruling) gifts in two lists.
- The New Testament mentions 13 GIFTS in only one list.
- The gifts listed in Romans, Ephesians, and 1 Corinthians are probably not exhaustive but merely suggestive.
- We can probably classify all gifts under the listed gifts.
- Three possible additional gifts:
- Martyrdom, 1 Co 13:3
- Celibacy, 1 Co 7:7
- Missionary, Ep 4:11; Ac 13:1-4; 14:4, 21-1
- The New Testament does not list sign gifts anywhere except in Corinthians. He 2:3,4 and 2 Co 12:12 indicate that the purpose of sign gifts was to authenticate the apostles.
- Gifts are not classified according to sex except by omission.
- Ephesians gives only four gifts:
· Paul wrote Ephesians to the universal church (circular letter). The gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor-teacher were given for the benefit of the church at large.
· The local church is in view in Romans and Corinthians.
- Why different lists?
· ROMANS: emphasizes the inter-relationship of the members of the body of Christ and their sphere of service one to another.
· CORINTHIANS: gives hierarchical ranking of gifts, 1 Co 12:28; 14:1-5.
· EPHESIANS: four gifts are for the edification of the universal church.
- Many gifts are in the sphere of clear-cut commands:
· God commands everyone to witness but He gives some the gift of evangelism.
· Though commands cover most areas of gifts, they do not pertain to sign gifts.
- Sufficient gifts have been bestowed by the Holy Spirit to meet every need of any local church.
- The church cannot prosper until the gifts needed are functioning in their place.
- Some gifts are not permanent:
· God designed some gifs to confirm the message of the New Testament authors; that was their purpose, He 2:3,4.
· Three gifts are explicitly stated as transitory gifts, 1 Co 13:8-13.
· Apostleship and prophecy are foundational gifts, Ep2:20.
· Miracle-worker gifts were rare in the Old Testament. They existed in only two periods: (1) Moses and (2) Elijah and Elisha.
· Church history indicates the cessation of a number of gifts immediately after the first century.
· The gift of apostleship was definitely limited to the writing of the New Testament, Ac 1:21-22.
· The primary purpose of sign gifts was to point towards confirmation of New Testament authority, 1 Co 14:20-22.
The importance of sign gifts was that they authenticated the New Testament as the Word of God.
When you read the Bible, do you read it as if God speaks to you?
1 Th 2: 13For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.