Ignorance is not bliss, but it is a choice. The Apostle Paul exhorted the church at Corinth NOT to be ignorant of the gifts of the spirit. He went on to explain what they were and why we all, as the Body of Christ, need to value these gifts and embrace their workings in our lives. Two thousand years later, much of the Church is still choosing to be ignorant of these gifts, missing out on the fullness of the Christian walk intended to be ours. Meditate on these scriptures and study this lesson… more importantly, DON’T BE IGNORANT!!
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led…There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” ~1 Corinthians 12:1-12 NKJV
The Nine Gifts Of The Spirit can be divided into 3 categories: to know supernaturally, to speak supernaturally, and to act supernaturally.
To Know Supernaturally
1. The Word Of Wisdom
The Bible does not talk about the gift of wisdom, but rather the “Word Of Wisdom”.
The Word Of Wisdom is a supernatural manifestation of the Spirit, and exists on a plane far above natural wisdom. Sometimes an answer we need will not come by human wisdom, but God gives a specific Word Of Wisdom at a particular time for a particular situation.
The Word Of Wisdom implies a thought or utterance through a direct operation of the Holy Spirit at a given moment rather than an abiding deposit of supernatural wisdom.
The church has a constant need for wise leadership. Problems will occur, and delicate situations arise among the most spiritual believers. The Word Of Wisdom can be vital in meeting these needs.
Examples of the Word Of Wisdom.
* The Apostles deal with the controversy over the daily assistance to widows. (Acts 6:1-7)
* Paul’s insight and advice concerning his shipwreck. (Acts 27:10, 31, 34)
2. The Word Of Knowledge
Every Christian must endeavor to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord” (II Peter 3:18). The Word Of Knowledge is a portion of supernaturally imparted knowledge to meet a particular need. The Bible does not speak of a gift of knowledge, but rather the “Word Of Knowledge”.
All knowledge ultimately rests with the Lord, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). It is therefore reasonable to believe that God can impart any part of the divine knowledge at any time, as He wills.
The Word Of Knowledge includes facts from God about people, places, things, and events that a person could not possibly know unless God revealed them to him.
An example of the Word Of Knowledge
* Peter’s supernatural knowledge of the secret sin of Ananias and Sapphira. (Acts 5:1-10)
3. Discerning Of Spirits
The Bible does not state that there is a gift of discernment, but rather it speaks of “Discerning Of Spirits”. The Discerning Of Spirits is the ability on a particular occasion to ascertain whether a spirit or an action is of God, of the devil, or of the human nature.
I John 4:1 admonishes us to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God”. The purpose of this gift is to detect what is true and what is false.
The gift of Discerning Of Spirits is not only defensive in the sense that once an evil spirit is detected as operating through some human channel, that channel can then be delivered through the power of the name of Jesus Christ.
Examples of Discerning Of Spirits
* Peter’s denunciation of Simon the sorcerer based upon discernment of the intent of his heart. (Acts 8:23)
* Paul’s rebuke of a spirit possessing a girl at Philipi. (Acts 16:16-18)
To Act Supernaturally
The “Spiritual Gift Of Faith” is to be distinguished from saving faith or the daily faith without which it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
The Gift Of Faith is a measure of faith above the faith that all of us have as children of God. It is a special faith imparted to us by the Holy Spirit of God, as are the other gifts of the Spirit, to meet a particular need. The Gift Of Faith surpasses all reason, looks impossibilities in the face, and turns them into miracles.
Examples of the Gift Of Faith
* The faith of Peter and Paul for the lame man. (Acts 9:40)
* Paul’s supernatural faith during his shipwreck. (Acts 27:25)
5. Working Of Miracles
The Working Of Miracles is a suprenatural release of God’s power through a person’s life to effect an immediate, supernatural event. It is a sign or wonder that humans cannot explain by an appeal to “natural laws”. It can be a miraculous “coincidence” effected by God when we pray.
Examples of Working Of Miracles
* Raising of Dorcas back to life. (Acts 9:40)
* Raising of Eutychus back to life. (Acts 20:10)
* Miracles in Paul’s ministry at Ephesus. (Acts 19:11-12)
6. Gifts Of Healing
The Gifts Of Healing are plural. They refer to special healings of various types performed by God. All believers in the Lord Jesus Christ can lay hands upon the sick for their recovery. (Mark 16:18), and all elders in the church can anoint with oil for healing (James 5:14) Nevertheless, it appears that on certain occasions God operates in a special way to heal miraculously.
When the Gifts Of Healing are in operation, God removes the cause of the disease or affliction and healing ensues.
Some of the many examples
* Acts 5:16
* Acts 8:7
* Acts 9:33-34
To Speak Supernaturally
In general, Prophecy is an anointed utterance from God. It can consist of foretelling or forthtelling. The Gift Of Prophecy is a specific message from God to the hearers in their own language.
True Prophecy will always be in harmony with God’s Word. Prophecy will never replace the Bible or diminish its worth. Prophecy must always agree with the Bible.
A prophet may prophesy, but not everyone who exercises the Gift Of Prophecy fulfills the office or ministry of a prophet. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
The Gift Of Prophecy brings edification, exhortation, and comfort to the church (I Corinthians 14:3-5). Prophesying does not serve them that believe not, but serves them which do believe (I Corinthians 14:22). Prophecy does not replace or supercede doctrinal teaching or spiritual leadership.
Speaking with tongues means speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker. There are different kinds of tongues.
The Bible reveals four different purposes or uses of speaking with tongues.
* The first use is the initial evidence when someone is baptized with the Holy Ghost
(Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:6).
* The second use is addressing the church, coupled with interpretation (I Corinthians 14:28)
* The third use is tongues for intercession (Romans 8:14)
*The fourth use is speaking to God in personal prayer (I Corinthians 14:2, 14, 15). The believer can speak in tongues in private devotion or in corporate worship when everyone is praying individually. In such a case there is no need for interpretation (I Corinthians 14:28).
9. Interpretation Of Tongues
By this gift a person does not merly translate but interprets the meaning of a message in tongues for the church. When a person brings a message to the church through the Gift Of Tongues, The Gift Of The Interpretation Of Tongues is used to edify the church (I Corinthians 14:12). “Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret” (I Corinthians 14:13).
If there is no interpreter, the one speaking in the unknown tongue should keep silence in the church, although he can continue to pray in tongues personally (I Corinthians 14:28).
These gifts can be a tremendous blessing in the life of the believer and in the working of the local church. Of course, without proper direction and accountability, a lot of Christians get really flaky and weird when they try to manifest the gifts of the spirit apart from Holy Ghost. It is important to have accountability to spiritual authority and your fellow believers. After all, it’s always good to have someone around to keep you from being ignorant AND stupid!!