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Spiritual Gifts


Dr. Grant C Richison


















Interpretation of Gifts





Interpretation of tongues






Showing Mercy





Interpretation of Tongues




  1. A natural talent, ability or aptitude.


    Talent   Gift
  Source Birth, Techniques and methods God, the Holy Spirit
  Time Natural Birth, education New Birth
  Nature Natural   Spiritual
  Purpose Instruct, inspie, , entertain   Edify Saints


However, talents (speaking, art, music) may be avenues through which the Holy Spirit will use a person’s

A Christian should develop his talents. The Holy Spirit may choose to use them. (A person may encourage ((gift)) others through his singing ((talent).)

But the possession of a natural talent does not mean that God will choose to use (e.g. great voice but no gift to encourage)

A person without natural talent may have a spiritual gift.

Spiritual gifts work in the spiritual realm; natural talents work in the natural realm.

Only Christians possess spiritual gifts (1 Co 14:16, 23, 24).

Caution: spiritual gifts can be counterfeited by Satan.

  1. Not Christian roles.
  2. Not the same a “fruit of the Spirit.”


FRUIT                                                                   GIFT

-singular                                                              -plural

-attitudes                                                             -activities

-spirituality                                                           -ministry

-purpose: fellowship with God                             -edify believers

-all believers can possess                                   -do not have same gifts

-result: controlled by Spirit                                   -sovereign bestowal

-the end                                                                -the means

-character                                                             -service

Two women out of fellowship had previously exercised their gifts (Php 4:2,3)

Though the Corinthians excelled in gifts, their church was riddled with problems (1 Co 1:7). Possession of a gift is not the same as spirituality.

4. Not a call to a given kind of ministry

5. Not an office.

(a) Offices pertain more to the person, but a gift is an endowment upon the person.

(b) A person with an office should have a gift that corresponds to that office.

(c) It is possible to have a gift without the office (S.S. teacher).

 6. Not a ministry.

(a) A ministry is a sphere in which a gift is exercised; it is an outlet for the employment of a gift, an area of service.

(b) The gift remains the same, but his ministries may change.

  7. Not a place of service.


1. Definition:

A spiritual gift is a special supernatural ability, enablement, or capacity to do the work of God in edifying the body of Christ.

Source: God the Holy Spirit

Essence: a special ability to do something for God

Purpose: to build up the body or the church.

Recipients: the church

2. A “Spiritual gift” is from two Greek words:

PNEUMATIKOS= literally, “Spiritualities

CHARISMA= literally, a grace gift.

CHARIS= grace

CHARIS is not a person with a charming personality.

CHARIS is used 17 times in the New Testament with 3 separate uses:

Salvation (Ro 5:15, 16; 6:23)

A general gift of grace or love (Ro 1:11; 1 Co 1:11; 7:7)

A special endowment of spiritual ability for service. (Ro 11:13; 12:6; 1 Co 1:7; 12:4, 9, 28, 30, 31; 1 Ti 4:14; 2 Ti 1:6; 1 Pe 4:10)

3. It is the ability to function effectively in ministry (1 Co 12:4). A spiritual gift is a “manifestation of the Spirit” (1 Co 12:7)

4. A gift is given sovereignly by the Holy Spirit (1 Co 12:11, 18, 28; He 12:4)

5. Every believer has at least one gift (1 Co 12:7; 1 Pe 4:10)

6. A gift is given by grace and not by any merit or effort (1 Co 12:6)

7. A gift is not a ready-made ability to perform but a capacity that must be developed (e.g., youth work is not a gift)



(or, why should I attend church)

Gifts are not for self-edification but for others (12: 7)

Purpose= for the edification and spiritual growth of the church.

This is the practical test for any gift in the church.

The possession and use of spiritual gifts are inseparably bound up with the functioning church. All gifts must be related to the church~ both universal and local.

The corporate use of gifts is to build up the entire body (not merely in church buildings, 1 Cor. 12:7; Eph 4:12 – omit commas= not 3 purposes; but gifts train servants that they may do the Master’s work, which will then result in the maturing of the church). cf. 1 Co 14:12, 26; I Cor. 12.

Edification is the purpose, particularly in the area of the specific aim in the giving of the gift.

Unity is the context.

Love is the controlling principle.

What about 1 Corinthians 14:4?

Paul is using this verse to depreciate tongues

Verse 4 speaks of the by-product, not the purpose, of exercising the gift. The by-product of using any gift for God will be self-edification



To equip believers, Eph 4:11-12

To edify the whole church, Eph 4:12, 16

To establish believers in the faith, Ro 1:11

To encourage believers, Ro 1:12

To enlarge the church, Eph 4:16

To exalt Christ, 1 Pe 4:11



1, Not obtained by:


-Acquired abilities

-Spirituality (It does take cooperation, however)

2. All three members of the Godhead are involved:

God the Father, Ro 12:3

God the Son, Eph 4:7-11

God the Holy Spirit, 1 Co 12:9,11,18, 28

3. God gives each individual a spiritual gift.

4. Each Christian has at least one spiritual gift.

6. They may have more than one

7. Each believer does not have all the gifts.

8. Every gift is essential to the proper functions of the body of Christ, 1 Co 12:14-18

9. Every believer is viewed as having various capacities for service.108. Gifts are distributed on the basis of Grace, Eph 4:7,8; 1 Co 12:4-6, 11

10. Gifts are not distributed on the basis of maturity (1 Co 1:7). The Corinthians were not mature.

11. Gifts are not given on the basis of education.

12. Gifts are not given on the basis of prayer.

13. Gifts are given on the basis of grace, Ro 12:3



  1. Once I discover what my gift is, I will be mightily used of God.
  2. Using my gift means I am spiritual – 1 Cor. 1:7; 3:3
  3. Once I discover my gift, I am no longer responsible to minister in other areas.
  4. God gave me my gift for my personal edification. cf. 1 Co 12:7; 4:12
  5. Gifts cannot be used without the filling of the Spirit, 1 Co 1:7; 13:1-3
  6. Gifts cause pride and division in the church, Eph. 4:1-6
  7. God has placed special emphasis on the gift of tongues as unique. cf. 1 Co 12
  8. God gives some people better gifts than me. cf. Rom. 12:3, 6, 7
  9. I have a better gift than others.














*MINISTRATION (helps) (and hospitality)


*GOVERNMENT (administration)



  1. Prophecy and teaching are the only gifts to appear in all 3 lists.
  2. Apostleship, ministration (helps) and government (ruling) are found in 2 lists.
  3. Thirteen gifts are mentioned in only 1 list.
  4. These 18 gifts are probably not exhaustive but merely suggestive.
  5. However, all gifts probably can be classified under these 18 gifts.
  6. Three additional gifts may be possible

Martyrdom, 1 Co 13:3

Celibacy, 1 Co 7:7

Missionary, Eph 4:11; Acts 13:1-4; 14:4, 21-28

      7. The sign gifts are not mentioned anywhere but in Corinthians. The purpose of the sign gifts are to authenticate a relationship to the Apostles, 2 Co 12:12; He 2:3,4

      8. Gifts are not classified according to sex except by omission.

      9. Ephesians gives only 4 gifts:

Ephesians written to the universal church (circular letter). The gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor-teachers were given for the benefit of the church at large.

     10. Romans and Corinthians—the local church is in view

     11. Why are there different lists?

Romans= emphasizes the inter-relationship of the member of the body of Christ and their spheres of service to one another.

Corinthians= gives hierarchical ranking of gifts, 1 Co 12:28; 14:1-5

Ephesians= the four gifts here are for equipping believers

     12. Many gifts are in the sphere of clear-cut commands.

All are commanded to witness, but some have the gift of evangelism.

Though commands cover most areas of gifts, they do not pertain to sign gifts.

     13. Sufficient gifts have been bestowed by the Holy Spirit to meet every need of the local church.

     14. The church cannot prosper until those gifts needed are functioning in their place.

     15. Some gifts are not permanent:

Some gifts were designed to confirm the message of the New Testament authors. That was their purpose, He 2:3,4

Three gifts are explicitly stated as transitory, 1 Co 13:8-13

Ephesians 2:20= apostles and prophets were foundational gifts.

Miracle workers were rare in the Old Testament. There were only two periods of miracles: 1) Moses and 2) Elijah/Elisha

The gift of apostleship was definitely limited, Acts 1:21, 22

The primary purpose of sign gifts was to point toward confirmation of New Testament authors.




Jesus Christ, Hebrews 3:1

Twelve apostles, Mt. 10:2; 19:28; Acts 1:15-26; 21:14

Apostolic office and authority, Eph 2:20; 2 12:12; Acts 8:14-18; 11:1-4; 15:1-6, 22-29

Apostolic gift, Eph. 4:11; Acts 13:1-4; 14:4, 21-28.


Recognized by the local church who does the sending, Acts 13:1-4; 14:4.

Recognized by other leaders, 1 1:1; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6.

Calling and desire come from God, Galatians 1:1, 15-2:10.


One sent by the local church, Acts 13:3-4

Lays foundation, Romans 15:20; 2 Cor. 10:16.

Adapts to other cultures, 1 9:19-22.

Seen the risen Christ Acts 1:2,3; 1 15:8.

Special authority, Ephesians 2:20.

Chosen directly by Jesus or the Holy Spirit, Mt. 10:1; Acts 9:6,15; 13:2; 22:10,14,15; Ro. 1:3

Relation to Kingdom – Heralds, Mt. 10:5,6.

Two-fold use:

The apostles per se

Technical use



Greek word:


Pro= before; phemi =to speak

Means to declare openly


In various cognates – over 200 times of scripture, the gift, a person, a pro­clamation, prediction, a process or act of ministry.


The capacity both to receive inspired information and to speak it forth~ Foretelling is incidental.

Illustrations of the gift:

Ex 7:1; 1 Sa 3:19-20; Acts 21:8-9; 11:2728; (21:10-11); 15:27-32; 1 Co 14:3,4; Eph 2:20; 1 Th 5:20.


  1. It makes the Word of God relevant to special needs.
  2. It ranks among the highest gifts. (1 Co 12:28; Ch. 14}
  3. Basic idea — proclamation
  4. All are not prophets (1 Co 12:29), yet all may prophesy (14:31), and some have the special gift (1 Co 12:19; Ro 12:6).
  5. Prophecy as new revelation passed away with the completion of the New Testament (1 Co 13:8-10).
  6. Ministers by bringing edification, exhorta­tion and comfort (1 Co 14:3)
  7. Prophecy can minister to the unsaved (14:24).
  8. Prophecy is mentioned in 1 Co 12 and Ro 12.
  9. Prophecy has one qualification. – “According to the proportion of his faith,” Ro 12:60

“Proportion” – analogia, English~ analogy

meaning= agreement and equality or right relation;

point—don’t go beyond what God has given

A definite article before “faith” indicates the reference is to the entire Word of God, not the ability to believe.



The Greek word for “Evangelism” is the word GU and ANGELOS = good message.

Word “evangelism” does not occur in Bible.

Word “evangelists” occurs 3 times:

Acts 21:8; Eph. 4:11; 1 Ti 4:5.


The capacity to communicate the gospel in relevant terms to unbelievers so that conversions result.


A consuming passion for souls.

A clear understanding of the gospel.

Presents the gospel clearly.

All believers should share the gospel cf. 1 Ti 4:5.

The gift may be public or private.



Billy Graham

Bill Bright.

D.L. Moody

Billy Sunday

Percy Crawford

Jack Wyrtzen


Philip (Ac 21:8); cf. Acts 8:26-40; 6:5-7

He baptized converts, Acts 8:12-13, 38

He was a deacon, Acts 6:5-7



The only dual gift

Not 2 gifts

But 1 gift with 2 dimensions – Eph. 4: 11 (Greek)

The word “pastor” occurs only once in the English N.T. – Eph. 4:11

Derived from the Greek verb to shepherd

Word translated “shepherd” in John 10:11,14; He 13:30; 1 Pe 2:25; 5:4.

The nature of the gift

Feed and nourish in the Word of God, John 21:16; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2

To guide (staff/rod) Psalm 23

Guard against false teaching – Acts 20: 28-31



Greek word: ho didaskon

210 times in various forms:


DIDAKTIKOSAbility (1 Tim. 3:2; 2 ‘l’i 2:24)


DIDASKALOS – the teacher (Eph 4:11. 2 Cor. 12~381139)

 DIDASKO – the process

DIDASKALIA – the content

Not – the gifted man (Ephesians 4~11; 1 Co. 12:18-29; Acts 13~1)

But – the gift of teaching.


The ability to explain the meaning of God’s truth to others so that there is understanding and application for both believer and non-believer. 1 Ti 1:3-4; Ti 1:9-16


Limited to the teaching of God’s Word.

No reference to the amount of education.

The gift of the teacher and the gifted man (Eph 4:11) are different.



Greek words:

HO PARAKALON —“The one called alongside“.


ask for help;

exhort toward specific application;


Related words:

PARAKLETOS ~ comforter, advocate

PARAMUTHIA – speak to someone by coming close to his side

Two results:

admonish, console.


PARAKALEO = 108 times – beseech

PARAKLESIS = 29 times – consolation

PARAKLETOS = 5 times – comforter, advocate

PARHUTHIA = 6 times – comfort


God – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (10 times)

Paul – Acts 14:21-22; 16:40; 20:1

Judas/Silas – Acts 15:31-32

Peter – 1 Pe 5:1-2

Barnabas – Acts 4:36, 9:21ff.; 11:19-26; 15:36-41; 2 Ti 4:11.


Romans 12:8 participle and noun

Participle: process

Noun: content/subject

Done with God’s Word.

1 Ti 6:2; 1 Th 4:18; 1 Ti 4:13; He 13:22; Ti 1:9; Ro 15:4

Point-~ bring about positive results.

1 Th 5:14; 2 Th 3:12; 1 Ti 2:1; 2 Pe 5:1-2, etc.

Not limited to any particular problem or need

It may be 1) prospective; or 2) retrospective.

Does not imply bombastic approach.


A supernatural ability to help.


The ability to draw close to individuals in the time of need, counselling them accurately with the Word of God and persuading them to take courage in the face of something they must do or assuring them to take comfort because of who God is.


GIFT OF WISDOM – 1 Cor. 12:8

Greek word: logos sophias

Ability to master the problems of life; emphasis on skill rather than knowledge.

Only here.

The Greek word “wisdom” -occurs 75 times in N. T.


The ability to have insight into people and situations that is not obvious to the average person, combined with an understanding of what to do and how to do it.


Characteristics of true wisdom in James 3:13-18

cf. Proverbs and Ecclesiastes 

A speaking gift primarily –to communicate wisdom.

This is the correct use of knowledge.

It develops a Christian system of. values

Practical understanding.


Jesus is called the “Wisdom of God” 1 Co 1:24, 30

Wisdom to write scripture 2 Pe 3:15-16

Wisdom — a product of God’s power Ge 44~16, 39; 1 Co 2:3-8

Characteristics of James 3:13-18

Practical Application – Proverbs and Ecclesiastes

All believers can have a measure of James 1:5-8

A speaking gift primarily.


Ability to bring solutions to difficult problems (Genesis 41; 1 Kings 3).

Scripture makes us wise. 2 Ti 3:15

Wisdom given to those in Proverbs 2:6-7.




1 Corinthians 12:8-11, 29, 30.

Sovereignly bestowed – 12:8.

Select individuals -1 Co12:8-11, 29, 30 (Greek)

Other temporary gifts:





Interpretation of tongues

1 Cor. 13:8 says in Greek that tongues will come to an absolute cessation (PAUO) in and of themselves (middle voice) at one point (aorist tense). Verses 9-13 drop “tongues” and continues “prophecy” and “knowledge” as the two gifts that will continue until the closing of the canon (or the coming of Christ). Looking at history substantiates this there is no allusion or hint of the Apostolic Fathers practicing the gift of tongues.

Purpose – sign to Israel of a change of dispensation.

Tongues were an authentication of God’s message in the interval between the beginning of Christianity in Acts 2 and the writing of the New Testament. cf. Acts 2:22 and He 2:3-4 (Since the canon is closed it is sufficient to simply quote it to authenticate one’s message.)

History of doctrine

Irenaeus, A.D. 130-195~ was influenced by Montanus (A.D. 126-180), who was a heretic & claimed to speak in tongues. The only clear statement regarding tongues in the post-Apostolic church is Eusebius’ description of the activity of Montanus.

Chrysostom (A.D. 347-407): ” … the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur, but now no longer take place.”

There was no speaking in tongues among evangelicals until approximately 1875. 1901 was when the so-called modern tongues movement began.

An argument from silence?

Fathers wrote to and from churches where the gift had been practiced. Ignatius (disciple of the Apostle John) said nothing about tongues.

Wide geographical coverage of the Apostolic Fathers made their silence significant.

They covered every major area of doctrine.

Purpose of Apostolic writings would have included tongues if they were extant.


Nothing more than known languages of that day.

“Tongue” means “language.”

No evidence of incoherent, incomprehensible babbling in the Bible,

Acts 2:4-11: Compare verse 6 dialectos with 5:9 and 7:9. They spoke in dialects as well as foreign languages.

Mark 16:17 – kainos = new kind of language in the speaker.

Acts 10:46 – not different from Acts 2.

Acts 19:6 – ibid.

Acts and First Corinthians use term in same way.

1 Co 12:10, 28 – genos = family, race, families of languages.

1 Co 13:1 – “tongues of angels” – third class condition indicates hypothesis, not reality.

“Unknown” – 1 Co 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 27 (inserted by translators).


1 Co 14:21-22

Verse 21 quotes Isaiah 28:11

The quotation refers to the Assyrian invasion of Israel and speaking Aramaic.

Verse 22 is the only statement in the entire Word of God about the purpose of tongues

“Therefore,” hoste, preposition of ultimate purpose or result (v.22).

“For a sign” – idiom for purpose (cf. 1 Co 1:22).

The purpose of tongues is not for believers but unbelievers—“but for them that believe not”

The second “them” has a article before it (Greek)

This is a classic article of previous reference (a reference to v.21).

So, tongues are for unbelieving Jews in the transition period before the closing of the canon.

Every occurrence of tongues in Acts Jews are present cf. 2:4; 10:26; 19:6


Reception of the Holy Spirit in Acts – no two accounts are the same:

                                                      Acts 2    8    10    19

1. Sound of wind X      
2. Tongues df fire X      
3. Speaking in tongues X   X X
4.. Laying on of hands   X   X
5. Received after salvation X X   X
6. Spirit received at moment of salvation     X  
7. What doing when received:        
    Praying/listening to wind X      
    Praying   X    
    Listening to sermon     X  
    Paul finished explaining       X


Tongues in ActsJews present in all cases.

Acts 2 – Pentecost

Purpose – to convince unsaved Jews that the N.T. economy is in effect.

Pentecost signifies the coming of the Spirit from heaven to permanently indwell believers and take up residence in the church, cf. John 14:16: 16:7,8,I3;·Acts 1:8.

Pentecost is an unrepeated/unrepeatable event.

Pentecost is the advent of the H.S.

Pentecost marks first historical occurrence of the baptism of the Spirit (Acts 1:5; 2:4; 11:14-16; 1 12:13; Eph 1:22-23).

Pentecost, therefore, represents the beginning of a new economy.

Tongues in Acts 2 were a witness to events of the inaugurating of a new age.

Acts 8 – The Samarian situation

This marks the giving of the Spirit to the Samaritans, not a “Samaritan Pentecost” for:

Pentecost is unrepeatable.

Spirit cannot be given, received and deposited again.

The Samaritan event represents expansion, not birth.

It was their entrance into the blessings of the gift.

It was their “receiving the spirit” (Acts 8:15, 17).

Samaria indicates the entering of another ethnic group into the blessings of the gift.

No tongues here

Acts 10 – Cornelius’ conversion represents the giving of the Spirit to the Gentiles,

No “Gentile Pentecost”

Represents the entrance into blessings of that age, not the inauguration of the age itself.

Cornelius’ conversion marks the giving of the gift of the Spirit to the Gentiles. This introduces Gentiles to N.T. salvation (Acts 10:47)

Tongues at Caesarea were a witness that the new-age had been fully introduced with the admission of the Gentiles to gospel privilege.

Tongues at Caesarea were a sign to the Jews that the gift of the Spirit poured upon the Gentiles.

The Spirit was poured out upon the Gentiles was in every respect equivalent to the gift poured out upon them at Pentecost.

The unclean Gentiles were given a “like gift” (Acts 11:17).

This was a witness to Peter and the 6 Jewish witnesses.

Also, it was a witness to the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem to whom Peter was to he called in question, Acts 11:1-18.

This need at Caesarea was supplied by tongues, Acts 10:46.

Peter and his Jewish friends were immediately persuaded that God had granted to the Gentiles the same salvation, Acts 11:17 (equal in every sense).

Acts 19 – Conversion of the disciples of John.

The Ephesian disciples were Jews or Jewish proselytes who knew nothing of the giving of the H.S.

The 12 men represent individuals within the Jewish racial category, Acts 19:7.

They were disciples of John the Baptist from over 20 years before, Acts 18:25; 19:3.

They did not have the Gospel of grace presented to them up to this point. Therefore, they were not N.T. believers but only disciples of John the Baptist, 18:24-19:7.

Also, they were well taught in the Scriptures by Apollos (Acts 18:24-26) but ignorant of Pentecost.

Therefore, these disciples were representatives of many Jews and Jewish proselytes in the transitional period between the O.T. and the age of grace.

Tongues at Ephesus were a sign to the Jews that salvation was now possible for their race only on the basis of faith in Christ’s redemption ministered to them by an out-poured Spirit.


Must edify (1 Co 14:23-26; cf., 5, 12).

Must have an interpreter (1 Co 14:27-28 – only one per service).

Number and order:

No more than three in one service.

One at a time, 1 Co 14:27.

Women not allowed to speak in assembly, 1 Co 14:34.

 Evaluation of the modern phenomena


Stress on knowing God experientially.

Desire to get back to the biblical concept of spirituality.

Desire to obey fully the Word of God.

Place an emphasis upon the person and work of the Holy Spirit.


 Use experience as the criterion for truth.

Too much prominence given to tongues:

1 Co14 = de-emphasize and restrain use,

Last in roster of gifts (12:20-23).

Romans 12 and Ephesians 4 omit the gift.

Unsound doctrine

Confusion of baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit


 -Once for all

Positional, standing, forensic

– Non-experiential

-No command


-Received at salvation



-Experiential, state, condition



-Received at application of forensic truth to experience

  1. Confuses receiving the spirit and baptism.
  2. Makes baptism subsequent to salvation.
  3. Confuses sanctification with second work of grace.
  4. Some border on psychopathic.
  5. Sublimation for doctrine.
  6. Spiritual pride.
  7. Substitutes sight for faith.
  8. Shortcut to maturity
  9. Spiritual toy.
  10. Divisive.
  11. Invites demon possession and influence.
  12. Focuses attention on Holy Spirit too much (John 15:26; 16:13-14).
  13. Not a test of salvation.
  14. Not a test of spirituality.
  15. Self-psychosis, deception and artificial.


Three possible explanations

Fake it

Demon influence




Artificial simulated ~- Simulated counterfeit

Satanic counterfeit


Catharsis of the psychic

Manifestation of the sub-conscious

Regression from reality

Subconscious memory


Meaning = brings the believer into organic union with Christ. “The Christ” (1 Co 12: 12)

The ground oneness in Christ. “One” (1 Co 12:12-26)

Agent of the baptism – the Holy Spirit (1 Co 12:13).

EN= Agency

Mt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5, 11:16

No second “spiritual baptism”

Universal (1 Co 12:13; 6:3; Ga. 3:26-27) “One Body”

Baptism akes possible the “filling”. “Drink into one spirit” (1 Co 12:13). cf. aorist                                 ·

Leads to Galatian legalism

Leads to Colossian heresy

Col. 2: 9- 10, Baptism completed




ENERGEMATA DUNAMEON = “workings of miracles “

Translated: power, mighty deed, might, strength, etc.

Root: able to do


Miracles of Jesus, Luke 4:36; Acts ·2:22

Power to save, Romans 1:16

Human strength, Matthew 25:15

Power in Jesus, Mark 5:30

Power of Holy Spirit, Acts 1:8

Miracles of apostles, Acts 3:12; Acts 2:4; 2 Corinthians 12:12

Strength of sin. 1 Corinthians 15:56

Power of angels and demons, 2 Thes. 1:7


A display of God’s power with a view of authenticating the apostolic or prophetic gift.

Classified as the first of the lesser gifts.

“Then” (EPEITA) — order is deliberate, 1 Corinthians 12:28

In 2 Corinthians 12:12 it is grouped with other signs as the “signs of an apostle”.

Gift of miracles ceased at end of apostolic age.



Gift of serving (Ro 12:7)

Greek term:

DIAKONOS and related words (word “deacon” comes from this term)

Any act of service

100 times in various forms in the N.T.


The capacity to perform any task or responsibility with joy which benefits others and meets practical and material needs.


The use of any spiritual gift is called “serving” (1 Pe 4:40-11)

This gift involves humility and sacrifice (Lu 22:22-27)

There is an office of “servant” as well as the gift of “serving” (1 Ti 3:8-13, i.e., the deacon)

The idea of serving meals or waiting on tables appears to be the most frequent use of the term both in biblical and extra-biblical material (cf. Acts 6:2)



(a) Exodus 18:22; Numbers 11:17

“Bear the burden with you” (LXX)

(b) John, Mark, Acts 13~5.

(c) Timothy and Erastus, Acts 19;22.

(d) Paul — full team of helpers, Romans 16:3f; Col. 4:7f.; Acts 20:1-5

(e) Epaphroditus, Php 2;25.


(a) Secretaries in Sunday School; work on building; tape ministry; ;transportation;; sound room; nursery; records; bookkeeping; ushering; short-term missionaries.

(b) Wilbur Chapman.


1 Corinthians 12:28

Greek term:


Noun= occurs once (12:28), Hapax

Verb= occurs three times (Acts 20:35; Luke 10:40; Ro 8:26)

Root= to receive in the stead of (take a burden to oneself that is someone else’s).


The ability to bring immediate support and help to someone in the performing of a task in order to relieve his burden and responsibilities


The desire to relieve someone of heavy burdens and responsibilities.

The “help” could be in the area of financial support (Acts 20:35), organizational ( 18:22) or any area which brings support to someone else.

This is the plasma in the lifeblood of our churches.

There is no office or authority in view.

This gift is not for helping the poor, sick, aged, orphans and widows (which is the gift of showing mercy), but for lending a hand to release other workers in their spiritual ministries.

This is done in such a way as to encourage those who are being helped.



Exodus 18:22; Numbers 11:17 “Bear the burden with you” (LXX).

John Mark, Acts 13:5

Timothy and Erastus, Acts 19:22

Paul –full team of helpers. cf. Ro 16:3ff; Co 4:7ff; Acts 20:1-5


Secretaries in Sunday School; work on buildings; tape ministry; sound room, transportation; ushering; short-term missionaries.

Wilbur Chapman.




Literally= love of strangers/guests;

Usage: Ro 12:13; 1 Ti 3:2; Ti 1:8; He 13:2; 1 Pe 4:9.


Capacity to entertain guests in your home with joy and effectiveness.


  Lydia, Acts 16:15; jailor, v.34.
  Gaius, (3 John 5-8, 10, Diotrephes)  
  Romans 16:23
  Abraham, Genesis 18:1-8
  Hebrews 13:2
  Corrie Ten Boom


Evidence of unhypocritical love, Ro. 12:9,13

A qualification of a Bishop, 1 Ti. 3;2; Ti.1:8

Easy to neglect, He 11:2

Do it without complaint, 1 Pe 4:9.


Macedonian believers (2 Co 8:1-5)

Church of Philippi (Php 4:15-19)

Mary (John 12:3-8)

Dr. Henry Jessup

R.G. LeTourneau

Albert Archibald


Romans 12:8

Greek term


Root = to give with, share, impart

with simplicity” — EN HAPLOTETI

in singleness,” lit. – without folds (no ulterior motives like public show)

5 times in New Testament: Luke 3:11; Ro. 1:11; 12:8; Eph 4:28; 1 Th 2:8.


The ability to give whether your resources spiritual or material with joy and eagerness without any motives that would benefit self.


Motive should be single 

Gift should be characterized by great joy (2 Co 9:7).

Two characteristics:

has resources

delights in sharing

This involves more than money.

Gift not reserved for the wealthy. (2 Co 8; Php 4:10-16)


Macedonian believers (2 Co 8:1-5)

Church at Philippi (Php 4:15-19)

Mary (John 12:3-8)

Henry Jessup

R.G LeTourneau

Albert Archibald


Gift of Administration – 1 Corinthians 12:28

Greek term:


Verbto steer a ship, to pilot

Nouncaptain~ helmsman, Acts 27:11; Rev. 18:17

This involves organization and administration

English= cybernetic

Four times in the Old Testament: Pr 12~5; 23~34; Ezek 27:8,27,28


The ability to give direction on behalf of others that results in the efficient operation and accomplishment of goals.


Responsible for decision making and direction;

It brings a church toward a goal;

Administration is also both science and an art;

This involves making plans for the future;

An important gift for the “storms” of group movements.

This gift is concerned with the course and cargo of the ship (church) – steer safely through the rocks to the port



Greek term:

PROISTAMENOS  = the one ruling.

Literally= to stand before, or one who is set over others, to preside (emphasis personal care).

Eight times in the New Testament: Ro 12:8; 1 Th 5:12; 1 Ti 3:4-5,12; 5:12,13,17; Ti 3:8,14


The ability to lead others in meaningful endeavors that demonstrates personal care to meet their needs and encourage their growth.


Basic meaning: not give orders but meet needs. (Titus 3:14)

Five out of eight usages the word “well” is attached. Every father must exercise leadership, but the one with the gift must have success.

One qualification — “with diligence” EN SPOUDEhaste, speed. He is marked by a quick response to the need.

While elders are to expercise this responsibility (1 Ti 5:1-17) and it is a qualification of the gifted man (1 Ti 3:4-5), yet it is not automatic that they possess the spiritual gift. Those who have the gift are not necessarily elders because of it, either. There is a differ­ence between the office and the gift.

cf , HEGEOMAI — to go before (He 13:7, 17, 24)

Priesthood of believers should not be pushed to the extreme of not having leaders.

Biblical leadership is not demagogic or dictatorial. Cf. Diotrephes.

This involves all phases of leadership.

Good leadership prevents disorders (1 Co 14:26-40; 1 Th 5:12) and makes harmony. cf. He 13:17.



Greek term:


To have mercy, sympathy (empathy), compassion, pity.

Over 60 times and primarily of God’s mercy in salvation.

Related words:

OLKTIROS = to be merciful, compassionate (synonym)

SPLANCHNON = to have passion or emotion.

SUMPATHEO = to suffer with.

Qualifying phrase

EN HILAROTETI = with a cheerful attitude.

HILAROTES = cheerfulness

HILAROS = cheerful

2 Corinthians 9:8

English = “hilarious”


The spirit-guided ability to manifest practlcal9 compassionate9 cheerful love toward members of the church.


A personal, not official, ministry.

Not to be relegated to the comfort of physical distress alone.

More than the stirring of emotions.

Contrast with “helps”

One qualification—“with cheerfulness”

Involves more than caring but sharing.

Sometimes it should be direct, others not.



Dorcus (Acts 9:36-42)

Onesiphorus (2 Ti 1:16,17)



1 Corinthians 12:9

Greek term:


Trust, belief, 550 times.


The ability to see what God wants done and to sustain unwavering confidence that God will do it regardless of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.


All Christians have saving faith but not the gift of faith.

This person is able to see beyond the obstacles or apparent difficulties with confidence that God is going to perform the impossible.

It turns vision into reality.

This faith does not produce the work of God but rather sets the climate in which God chooses to work.

This person ls characterized by utter depend­ence upon God.

It is the unique assurance that something we believe to be in God’s plan will definitely come to pass.



Abraham, Heb. 11~8-19; Ro. 4~18-21

Old Testament, Heb. 11

Stephen, Acts 6:5~8-15; 7:54-60.


Hudson Taylor

George Muller


Adoniram Judson

1973 – N.J. Church

 Joshua and Caleb


All Christians have saving faith, Ephesians 2:8, but only some have the gift.

c.f. 1 Co 13:2 with Mt 17:14-20; 21:18-22 and Ephesians on doing the difficult

Faith is the ability to trust God in different circumstances (Acts 6:5, 8-15; 7;54-60)

Includes special ability to face death, Hebrews 11:32-40.

Includes seeing possibilities.

Ability to see beyond the difficulties or obstacles with confidence in God.

GIFT OF DISCERNMENT – 1 Corinthians 12:10

Greek term:


Root= to judge through.

Used 20 times.

Etymology – from a word which means severing through something to form two distinct parts.

Basic idea= a separation, distinction

Related words (60 more):

DIAKRINO = separate, severe make a distinction, examine, evaluate, discern

ANAKRINO = to distinguish or separate out sons to investigate.

APOKRINO = a judicial sentence.

APOKRISIS = an answer

EPIKRINO = give sentence

synonym= DOKIMAZO – to test, decide (1 John 4:1)


The ability to give an immediate evaluation of what is spoken as to whether it is of God or Satan.


It is given to tell whether the gifts were really of the Holy Spirit.

It is a test of religious leaders as to whether they adhere to God’s Word.

3 levels of discernment:

Natural (possible for ~11)

Spiritual (a growing Christian)

Gifted (i.e. Spiritual untruth)

It was important to the early church because the Canon was not completed (many imposters). cf. 1 Co 14:29; 1 Th 5:19-21


Paul at Philippi (Acts 16:16)

Christ to Peter (Matthew 16~22-23)



  1. Values of knowing your gift:
  It directs us to the will of God.
  It will help set the priorities of your life.
  It will aid self-esteem.
  It will identify areas of training and development

   2, The process:


Desire (drawn toward) 1 Co 14:1, 12; 12:13; 13:1

Exposure to various gifts.

Believe you have at least one gift, 1 Pet. 4:10.

Accept the fact that the Holy Spirit gave you your gift/s, 1 Co 12:7, 11

Be controlled by the Holy Spirit, Eph. 5:18.

List the gifts

Study the gifts themselves.

Analyze yourself subjectively.

Read the four chapters of the Bible which expound the doctrine of spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12; Ro. 12; Eph. 4; 1 Pe 4).

Study gifts as they are worked out in their service.

Develop the gift by action.

Disuse – atrophy.

cf. 1 Ti. 4:14-15, 2 Ti. 4:5.

Faithful utilization of a gift brings increased effectiveness.

Be available at all times to be used and to use the gift/s you believe you have.

Yield yourself

Note the relation of Rom. 12:1-2 to gifts.

It is a matter of love for the Lord.

It is confirmed by ability.

Ability improves and develops with practice.

Capacity is one thing, but execution is another.

Recognition by others

Seek the wisdom and advice of mature believers, He 13:7, 17.

Effectiveness determines whether we should continue to pursue the gift (Ro 1:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:7; 14:12; Eph 4:12).

This measurement is not absolute. cf. G. C. Morgan

It will be accompanied by blessing.

Rom. 15 :29.

Do not exalt the gift, 1 Pet. 4:11.