Concise Christian Dictionary of Spiritual Gifts
Cor 12:1 (Wey) It is important, brethren, that you should have clear knowledge on the subject of spiritual gifts.
What follows is excerpted from the Spiritual Gifts Inventory and is included as an expansion of the definition for the Gifts of the Spirit given on Page 2 of the Dictionary of Christian Terminology. The table shows where each of the 20 biblical grace-gifts is mentioned in the bible. Below the table is a brief definition for each spiritual gift.
| Rom. 12:4-8
|| 1 Cor. 12:2-11
|| 1 Cor 12:27-30
|| Eph. 4:7-12|
| Prophecy|| Prophecy|| Prophecy|| Prophecy|
| Serving|| || || |
| Teaching|| || Teaching|| Teaching|
| Exhortation|| || || |
| Giving || || || |
| Leadership|| || || |
| Compassion|| || || |
| || Healing|| Healing|| |
| || Miracles|| Miracles|| |
| || Tongues|| Tongues|| |
| || Interpretation|| Interpretation|| |
| || Wisdom|| || |
| || Knowledge|| || |
| || Faith|| || |
| || Discernment|| || |
| || || Apostleship|| Apostleship|
| || || Helps|| |
| || || Administration|| |
| || || || Evangelism|
| || || || Pastoring|
- Administration is a gift that provides insight into other people's spiritual gifting as well as natural talent, which allows for placing people who want to minister in a particular way together with those who need just this ministry. These are "well connected" advisors in the body. [The Septuagint uses this same word in Prov 24:6 & 11:14.]
- Apostleship is the ability to communicate across cultural barriers and plant churches where there is no knowledge of the gospel. It is usually accompanied with a distinct calling and a miraculous lifestyle. In Greek (apostolos) "a sent one", or "a messenger", a Missionary.
- Compassion transcends both natural human sympathy and normal Christian concern, enabling one to sense in others a wide range of emotions and then provide a supportive ministry of caring and intercessory prayer. Also called the gift of Mercy.
- Discernment is the heightened ability to read or hear a teaching, to encounter a problem, or to consider a proposed course of action, and then determine whether the source behind the teaching, problem, or action is divine, merely human, or satanic. This will be a much needed gift near the End of the Age. [Bible Study on Discernment.]
- Evangelism is a special ability to lead unconverted persons to a saving knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The person with this gift has the wisdom to know when, who, and how to call the rebellious into the Kingdom of God. Evangelists are the spiritual "obstetricians" in the church.
- Exhortation is the gift of being able to encourage others by well timed and wise counsel. This gift builds the Body of Christ by helping new, young and adolescent disciples to turn from sin and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. Also called the gift of Counseling, or the gift of Encouragement.
- Faith as a gift is an extraordinary confidence in God that is unshakable by situations, pain, apparent failure, or ridicule. This gift strengthens the individual and other believers (by example) to endure persecution and wait upon the Lord. [Bible Study on Faith.]
- Giving empowers one in a sensitive way to detect material or financial needs and meet those needs with Spirit inspired generosity. Recipients of help from Christians with this gift have a clear sense that God has provided, not man.
- Healing is a "sign gift" which enables one to function as an instrument of God's healing grace in the lives of hurting people. The gifts of healings (double plural in the Greek text) include miraculous healing of the body, the mind, the emotions, and relationships.
- Helps enables one to assist people in skilled ways that are supernaturally enhanced by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The helped person has the impression that they have been touched by God. Those with this gift should be highly esteemed in the Body.
- Knowledge is an ability to remember Scripture or have it supernatural quickened, or to know a fact or truth about a person or situation revealed directly by the Holy Spirit--sometimes termed a word of knowledge. [Bible Study on Knowledge.]
- Leadership in the Greek is actually "he who provides leadership in giving aid". These go first and lead by example, so that others are motivated to follow. Those with the gift of leadership are quick to identify problems and show by doing how to minister to those in need. [1Cor 11:1, Bible Study on Servant Authority.]
- Miracles is another "sign gift" where the gifted person is able to cast out demons, show a supernatural sign to unbelievers, or perform a public healing--even in a hostile and unsupportive situation--all to the glory of God. Those with this gift will be humble, broken people, full of the fear of God.
- Pastoring is the collective (plural in Greek) ministry of the Elders to "shepherd" an individual or community of Christian believers. This gift is a special passion and empowering to lead people into green pastures, steer others away from danger, fight off predators, and bind up wounds.
- Prophecy is speaking what God wants said with clarity, creativity, and power. It is also called the gift of Preaching. The primary ministry in this gift is not prediction, but in confronting people with the truth about God and man--with conviction and repentance as the result. [Dialog on Prophecy.]
- Serving is a gift which expresses the love of Christ by taking care of lowly or time-consuming tasks to allow others to be more effective ministers. Similar to the gift of Helps, but here the work performed is menial rather than skilled. Those with this gift are the truest and highest leaders in the church, and ought to be recognized as such. [Bible Study on Servanthood.]
- Teaching is the ability to understand and communicate the Christian faith so as to make the truth clear to others. The result of this gift is the equipping and maturing of others in the body of Christ so that they will grow in grace and be more effective disciples.
- Tongues enable some Christians (1 Cor 12:30) to praise God either in another language not learned (Acts 2) or in ecstatic utterance which is not an earthly language (1 Cor 14). In either case, one's prayer is directed to God, not to other people (1 Cor 14:2). [Dialog on Tongues.]
- Interpretation of Tongues is required if speaking in tongues is exercised publicly in a loud voice. This gift allows one to declare to others the intent or meaning of the public ecstatic utterance, so that the entire Body is built up. [Dialog on Interpretation.]
- Wisdom is special illumination that enables one in a specific instance to grasp divine insight regarding a fact, situation, or context. This gift is useful in directing the Body in what to do next; in making God's will known. [Table comparing Wisdom / Knowledge / Understanding.]
Spiritual Gifts Inventory Intro Letter
The gift table and definitions are based in part on K. C. Kinghorn's Gifts of the Spirit, integrated with other commentaries and our expanded studies on each gift.
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