Reflections on the Gifts of the Spirit
- Summary: This website and others have much teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In this message my hope is to help you sharpen your understanding of them and to equip you for use in these supernatural gifts by the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 12:1, 7-11 categorizes the nine listed gifts of the Holy Spirit. The early Church believers, like those today, were powerfully used in these gifts after they received their "Pentecost" — the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
- •• Three of these gifts REVEAL something (gifts of revelation) — “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit...  to another discerning of spirits...” (vss. 8,10, KJV).
•• Three of them SAY something (gifts of utterance, or speaking) — “...to another prophecy... to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues” (vs. 10).
•• Three of them DO something (gifts of power) — “...to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles...” (vss. 9,10).
Romans 11:29 For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
Acts 2:4 ...they began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
- •• We don’t own the gifts. They belong to God. All we do is flow with the Spirit, and He flows through us. We yield our body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, to Him for His use and His purposes.
1 Corinthians 12:11,31; 14:1 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines....  Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.... [14:1] Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit...
- •• The gifts are distributed as the Holy Spirit wills, not as we will. This is a major key to operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit: It’s as He, the Holy Spirit, determines.
•• Our part is make ourselves available to be a vessel through which God’s power can flow in the form of the nine manifestations, or gifts, of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to use you as such a vessel.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6, KJV Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
Romans 12:6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
- •• Remember that there are differences, diversities, and variety in the spiritual gifts. How God chooses to use one believer will not necessarily be how He chooses to use another believer.
•• God does not move the same way all the time. He made each of us unique. When the Spirit of God flows through you, the gift comes through with your personality behind it, your nature, your individuality, and yet with the full empowerment of the Holy Spirit who imparts these gifts to us.
- • A case in point would be the books of the Bible! There are 66 inspired books (39 Old Testament, 27 New Testament) and approximately 40 different human authors used by God to write these books. There is a remarkable variety of styles, vocabulary, topics, etc., all under the unifying and infallible inspiration of the one Holy Spirit. [Note: I am not suggesting that any of us will write another book of the Bible! I’m simply illustrating how the one Holy Spirit uses people in diverse ways.]
The spiritual gifts operate out of:
1. FAITH — Romans 12:6 “...prophesy in accordance with your faith.”
2. LOVE — 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit...”
3. ANOINTING — Acts 10:38 “...how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
- •• Loving people and desiring to see them be healed, blessed, and touched by the love of God — that is something that causes the gifts to operate. The more you love people, the more strongly the gifts will begin to operate through you.
•• And the manifestation of the spiritual gifts works by the anointing — that awesome presence of God, in the person of His Holy Spirit, that will come and begin to touch people. 1 John 2:20, KJV, says, “Ye have an unction [anointing] from the Holy One.” As the old saying goes, you can’t function without the unction! At least not as effectively as we would hope.
1 Corinthians 2:12-14, KJV Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
- •• Always try to be sensitive to the Spirit of God. Don’t try to work the gifts with your head. The gifts don’t proceed from the intellectual realm; they operate in the spiritual realm. The “natural man”, the apostle Paul says, is incapable of apprehending the things of God. Why? — “...because they are spiritually discerned”. If you try to intellectualize the things of the Holy Spirit, you will consistently fail to be used effectively by Him.
John 5:19-20 Jesus said, ”I don’t do anything unless I first see my Father do it.”
- •• This is an important key to being used by God:
- • Listen for what God wishes to say through His Spirit, and then say that. A few Holy-Spirit inspired words will have far more effect than entire speeches given off the top of our heads. In a word, as James 1:19 says, “Be swift to hear, slow to speak.”
• Don’t just crash around blindly “doing” for the Lord. Jesus didn’t! He looked to His Father first to see what God the Father wished done, and that’s what Jesus did.
Jude 20, KJV But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost...
- •• You must stir yourself up for the gifts of the Spirit to begin to operate in you. You can’t be in a spiritual stupor and expect God to move through you! “Praying in the Holy Ghost,” Scripture study, worship — these are the type of things that will build you up and make you sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
•• King David “encouraged himself in the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:6, KJV). The more edified you are, the more you can edify others. The more exhorted you are, the more you can exhort others. The more comforted you are, the more you can comfort others. The more joyful you are in the Lord, the more joy you can bring to others.... If you’re full of the Spirit of God, the anointing of God will flow forth from you. It will happen automatically and naturally — actually, supernaturally! Walking in the supernatural can become a consistent part of your life, for the blessing of others.
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©2013, 2015, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.