Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Spiritual Gifts Series

Last week in my Sunday School Class I began the new semester topic of Spiritual Gifts. I'd like to summarize the material as a FAQ (frequently asked questions). Much of my material is adapted from Peter Wagner's book, "Your Spiritual Gifts can help your church grow."

What are Spiritual Gifts?

Spiritual Gift: a special power God gives to Christians through the Holy Spirit to help others and glorify God.

things to note about this definition:

  • a special power: a spiritual gift is nothing less than the power of God
  • God gives: this power is a gift from God which we must discover
  • to Christians: every Christian has one or more spiritual gifts
  • through the Holy Spirit: the Holy Spirit lives inside each Christian and provides access to this power
  • to help others: each gift is designed to benefit others
  • and bring glory to God: the ultimate purpose of the gifts is to enhance our ability to bring glory to God.
How many Spiritual Gifts are there?

There is no definitive list, although there are several partial lists in the Bible. Every book on Spiritual Gifts comes up with a few differences. I prefer to use Wagner's list of 27 gifts. I have arranged them as:

Governmental (to prepare God's people for works of service): apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher

Public (gifts that tend to get noticed by others):
exhortation, leadership, healing, miracles, tongues, interpretation of tongues, exorcism, missionary, martyrdom

Private (gifts that tend not to be noticed by others):
administration, service, giving, mercy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, discerning spirits, helps, celibacy, voluntary poverty, hospitality, intercession

I could include others such as arts and worship leading, but I'll delay that to another day.


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