I hope that you have already read “spiritual gifts part 1” before reading this teaching that describes the spiritual gifts. We see the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10.
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.”
We are able to divide these spiritual gifts into the following categories.
1) Speaking Gifts: prophesy, tongues & interpretation of tongues.
2) Knowledge Gifts: message of wisdom, message of knowledge & distinguishing between spirits.
3) Power Gifts: faith, healing & miraculous powers.
Let us now define each one of these gifts. It is important that we can recognize these gifts so that we can identify them in us and in the church or body of Christ.
Let us begin with the speaking gifts.
The first one is the gift of prophecy. One who has the gift of prophecy is given the supernatural ability to speak about the future. Yet, prophecy is more than predicting the future. One who has the gift of prophecy speaks a message from God that is for a specific person or group of people. It is not a sermon or teaching, but a direct Word from God and speaks into a specific situation. It does not come from the speakers mind, but directly from the Holy Spirit. In other word, it is a revelation of the Lord directed at a person or group of people. We have endless examples of this in the Bible, especially among the historic and prophetic books of the Bible. There is a difference between having the gift of prophecy and being a prophet. They both have the gift of prophecy, but one fulfills the role of a prophet. The prophet is a leader in the church even as a pastor is a leader in the church. The prophet is one of the elders of the church. While anyone in the congregation can have the gift of prophecy as the Holy Spirit sees fit.
The second gift we will look at is the gift of tongues. In Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-46; & Acts 19:1-6, we see that when someone received the baptism of the Holy Spirit they spoke in tongues. In a previous study that I did on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I spoke about speaking in tongues. Therefore, I am not going to go into all the details of what this is and why it is given. I will simply say that speaking in tongues is when the Holy Spirit enables us to speak in another language that we never learned or understand. The language could be an earthly language or a heavenly language. It does not originate with us. In other words, it does not come from our mind. (I Corinthians 14:14) The context of I Corinthians is talking about someone that the Holy Spirit uses to give messages in the church in a tongue, not known to the speaker and most of the time not known by the listeners either. All who are baptized in the Holy Spirit should speak in tongues as a prayer language, but not all receive the gift of tongues for the purpose of giving a message of God. For those who may question whether tongues is for today, keep in mind that if you reject tongues, you must logically reject all the spiritual gifts spoken of in Corinthians. I among many others believe all these gifts are for today, and they are greatly needed.
The third gift is the interpretation of tongues. The interpretation of tongues is a supernatural ability the Holy Spirit gives a person to interpret the message in tongues that was given in a public setting for the purpose of building up the body of believers. The one who gives the interpretation of the message in tongues does not know the language. He hears it with his ears, but does not understand it with his or her mind. Yet, with the Holy Spirit’s enabling, he communicates the message in the language that the people understand. We must be clear that it is an interpretation, not a translation of what was spoken in another tongue. In other words, the interpreter message could be longer or shorter than what was spoken in tongues.
In our next teaching, we will explain the knowledge gifts. I encourage you to seek God and ask Him to baptize you in the power of His Holy Spirit that you may move in God’s spiritual gifts. They are very much needed in the body of Christ.