What are the Spiritual Gifts and Where are they talked about in the Bible?



Pastor Joel Lindsey

In a recent sermon this fall, our Pastor Joel Lindsey here at Grace Church summarized three key benefits of the Christian life. Here is what he said: 1) God has dealt with our past and forgiven our sins. 2) God has given what we need to live in the present. (We have the Holy Spirit who empowers us in so many ways. One way is to give us Spiritual Gifts), and 3) God has given us security and hope for the future by rewarding us with eternal life in heaven. God deals with the  whole human timetable!

God gives us some tools for the present to build His church.

The intention of Spiritual Gifts is stated in Ephesians: to prepare imagesGod’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11)

How do we know which gifts are ours?  Jerry Tapp, in his book, God’s Daily Classroom, says this. “Don’t know your spiritual gift(s)? There are many books and tests available to help you identify your spiritual gift(s). After identification of your gift, then just as important is using your spiritual gift.” Every Christian has one or more! That’s exciting.
8693224For example, “Understanding Spiritual Gifts”, by Kay Arthur, helps you to sort out what might be your gift. Check it out.

We all have different gifts, according to God’s grace. (Romans 12:6) Now that you know you have a spiritual gift or two or three, be careful of spiritual pride, thinking that your gift is superior. The Corinthian believers had many wonderful gifts but instead of using what God gave them, they were arguing over which gifts were more important. Typical of us humans. We let pride get in the way, don’t we? (1 Corinthians 1:7) Reminds me of the disciples asking Jesus who He thought was the best of them!


23 Spiritual Gifts listed

 So there are twenty-three different spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4. Lets’ go through them together.

Romans 12:6-8  Paul lists seven spiritual gifts here: 1) Prophesying (here this means preaching the Word– see 1 Corinthians 14:1-3)  2)  Serving 3)  Teaching 4)  Encouraging 5)  Generous giving 6)  Leadership-governing diligently 7)  Showing mercy-doing it cheerfully.

1 Corinthians 12:8-11  Paul lists nine spiritual gifts here :1) having wisdom 2)having knowledge 3) having super faith 4) ability to heal 5) having miraculous powers 6) prophecy 7) having the ability to distinguish between spirits (discernment) 8) speaking in different kinds of tongues 9) ability to interpret people who are speaking in tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:28  Paul lists two other spiritual gifts:1) teaching (already mentioned in Romans 12:7) 2) helping others 3) administrating.

Ephesians 4:11  Paul lists four other spiritual gifts: Jesus gave some to be: 1) apostles (historical), 2) some to be prophets– predicting the future 3) some to be evangelists, and 4) some to be pastors (shepherds) and 5) teachers (already mentioned).

Biblical-Hospitality1 Peter 4:9-11 Paul lists one other unique spiritual gift: 1) hospitality, but others: 2) Speaking (encompasses many gifts) 3) Serving (encompasses many gifts)

So the Speaking gifts are: prophecy (preaching, and completely different telling the future), evangelism, pastoring (shepherding), teaching, encouragement, knowledge, wisdom, tongues, and interpreting tongues.  The Serving gifts are: service, administrating, giving generously, helping with a humble attitude, leadership, showing mercy, faith without measure, discernment between good and evil spirits, performing miracles, and healing.

Now that we know what they are and where they are in the Bible, in the next blog we will discuss the individual gifts in more detail.

When we finish the topic of spiritual gifts, we will next be focusing on Evangelism.

About Dr. Robert

I am married to Janet and we have four children. I am active in Grace church in Racine, Wisconsin and serve there in leadership and teaching . I have been an internist for 30 years and keep busy by taking care of a full load of patients. On the side, I like to write, coach, mentor, spend time with my family just hangin' out, and help take care of our three dogs; two Golden retrievers named Reagen and Finley and a Bernese named Sadie'.
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2 Responses to What are the Spiritual Gifts and Where are they talked about in the Bible?

  1. Keith Heapes says:

    Hi Dr. Gullberg,
    I have some observations about what you said concerning the intent of spiritual gifts in this post. In the text you cited, Ephesians 1:11, Paul identifies five gifted individual groups (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) who God has given to the church. In verse 12, he describes why: “. . . for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;”

    It would seem that these verses are describing a specific God-appointed and spiritually gifted group of individuals who are responsible to prepare spiritually gifted saints to serve in such a godly way that the body of Christ continues to mature, becoming more and more like Christ Jesus.

    I may be wrong, but aren’t all members of the body of Christ gifted by the Holy Spirit when they are regenerated and placed into the body of Christ? I think that is what Paul is getting at when he writes the following to those at the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 12:4-11): “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” (1 Cor. 12, verse 11)

    I have a couple of other questions, but I’ll save those for some other time.

    • Dr. Robert says:

      I agree with you completely.

      There are those, however, who believe that the “leaders’ of the church are separately and uniquely gifted to “do their thing” , apart from the body.


      I think Paul is saying that even in the higher up leadership of a church, each are uniquely gifted with HIS gifts. Some are better for pastoring (shepherding), and some are better exhorters of the Word (preachers). Some are better teachers than preachers. Don’t you agree? Some preachers are better teachers but they are mistaken? about their ability of preach. Sometimes, others can point us to what spiritual gifts that we have.

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