Let’s begin by looking at some of the most common perceptions expressed by people when asked, “Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit still active today?”
Many common perceptions and beliefs about spiritual gifts are:
- The gifts of the Spirit ceased with the Apostles!
- Miracles don’t happen anymore today!
- God doesn’t speak like that. That’s your own voice in your head, not God’s.
But where do our beliefs come from?
A person’s doctrinal beliefs mostly depends on what Christian upbringing or background they’ve come from, or what style of denominational or non-denominational church they attend. And then of course, we must also account for the perception of even non-believers.
Whether the Holy Spirit operates as described in the Bible or not has created huge debates and heated discussions for years. However, no matter what your belief system is, I am going to show you through Scripture that these gifts are for us today and are alive and well!
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are Still Active Today
Yes, you can shoot me down in flames and can tell me all your thoughts and scriptures to say otherwise, but knowing and seeing all the incredible things God has done in my own life and that of others, I cannot deny the fact that the power of the Holy Spirit amongst us today is totally real. Scripture attests to it too. He is not just some mythical, spiritual vapor. He is not even just a theological topic being for debate. The Holy Spirit is a person and a part of the Godhead who lives in us and is with us here on Earth.
Let’s See What Jesus Says About It
Jesus told His disciples that when He went to His Father, He would not leave them comfortless. He said He would send back “the Comforter, the Spirit of truth” so that He could lead and guide His believers into all understanding (John 14:16-17; John 16:13). And in John 17:20, Jesus prayed that what He was praying for His disciples would not be for them alone, “but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.”
That includes us!
And with the Holy Spirit comes His gifts!
How Many Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are There?
Since we know that the Holy Spirit was sent to be with believers down through the ages (including us), and that with the Holy Spirit comes His gifts, how many gifts are there? Well, if we are just examining gifts and not the different ministries or activities outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:4-5 (NJKV), then there are nine gifts.
For any readers who are more theologically based, then as you know there are other scriptures that outline certain gifts of and to the Body of Christ, and these are found in Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 and Ephesians 4:11.
However, I would like to concentrate on the nine gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit for now.
The Nine Gifts of the Spirit
We can see these nine gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (NKJV):
“7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 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. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
These gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed below:
- Word of wisdom
- Word of knowledge
- Gift of faith
- Gifts of healing
- Working of miracles
- Discerning of spirits
- Interpretation of tongues
The Different Types of Gifts
The gifts listed above can be broken down into 3 specific areas or categories that manifest when ministering to others:
- Utterance or the spoken gifts – Prophecy, tongues, and interpretation of tongues
- Revelatory gifts – Word of wisdom, word of knowledge, discerning of spirits
- Power gifts – Gift of faith, gift of healings, working of miracles
Are They Given to Everyone?
The gifts of the Spirit are given to everyone for the benefit of others. We can all operate in the gifts. We can see this from the verses we just read above:
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” and “the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” – 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11
Can I share something really important with you though?
It’s All About Love
All the gifts of the Spirit are born out from God’s love to be shared with others. Freely we receive and freely we give! Nothing more, nothing less. It’s all about manifesting Jesus and pointing people back to Christ. We are ministering and revealing to them the “Giver of the Gifts.”
Remember, it’s not about us trying to force or abuse the gifts for our glory or to manipulate people. If this were the case, then it would not be born out of love. It’s important to remember why the Holy Spirit provides the gift we need while ministering the goodness and love of God to others.
What is the Best Spiritual Gift?
I always ask this question when teaching and training leaders and churches in the gifts: What is the best gift?
Hey, I know in Scripture what it says about desiring the best gifts and especially that you may prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1); however, to me, the best gifts are the ones that minister to what the other person needs in a specific moment. Doesn’t it say to pursue love first? Again, the gifts will follow and flow from the love of God we have been given for others.
Til Next Time…
In my next blog post I will start to unpack the three chapters of the gifts from 1 Corinthians Chapters 12 through 14, plus breaking down the gifts within their three areas detailed above. I will also share personal experiences with evidence of how the gifts operated and what makes His gifts flow and manifest. We will also talk about what can hinder the gifts of the Spirit within the body of Christ and in our everyday surroundings.