Gifts of the Holy Spirit

All gifts of the Holy Spirit have the same source and all are equally valid.[1] No one is to be exalted about the others, since all are useful in the Church. Whatever God does in and through us, he does for the good of His Bride, the Church.[2] There is a variety of needs in a variety of places; therefore a variety of gifts that have been given as God has chosen to give them.[3] Some gifts easily unify Christians (such as helps, giving, and encouragement) while others can cause tension (such as prophecy, healing[4], and tongues[5]) if not received with maturity. The Church of God Reformation Movement believes that every gift mentioned in Scripture is still active and necessary for work in God’s Kingdom. We are not cessationist or dispensational in our view of the Holy Spirit’s work among the Body of Christ.

There are five lists of gifts of the Spirit in the New Testament.[6] These lists give us a total of twenty identifiable gifts that God has given us to advance his Kingdom.[7] However, we must be careful to remember that the indwelling Holy Spirit, himself is the greatest gift. Otherwise our focus shifts to the gift rather than the glorious Giver of good gifts. We must also be careful not to think these lists are complete. Of the five NT lists, no two are alike and one is left to wonder how many more Paul would have listed if he had written about them in one more place. One gets the impression that the Holy Spirit simply qualifies and empowers each person to do the task at hand, where it might be. The Holy Spirit can do in and through us just what is needed, even if it is something which has never been done before.[8]


[1] 1 Corinthians 12:12,27

[2] 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

[3] 1 Peter 4:10-11

[4] Divine healing is something that all believers can and should pray for. However, that does not mean they have the gift of healing.

[5] We do not place an emphasis on speaking in tongues as the “primary” sign of a Spirit-filled life or endorse the freedom for persons to speak in tongues at their own discretion in public worship.

[6] Romans 12:4-6, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 12:28-30, Ephesians 4:11-12

[7] The total number depends on whether we count them in the original Greek, where we find 20, or in one of the common English versions, which may give more or less.

[8] This thought is expanded brilliantly in Kenneth E. Jones’ Theology of Holiness and Love, Reformation Publishers 1989.

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One thought on “Gifts of the Holy Spirit

  1. Rusty, I love how you closed this out.

    If you had more time and space, I’d love to see how you tease out gifts versus talents. I’ve seen in some places “gift lists” that include things I would consider to be talents.

    Also, you might consider the issue surrounding “how do you know” which gift(s) you have. My personal take on this is you know by the fruit rather than by the “tests”.

    Great stuff. Thanks for letting me be a part of this journey with you.

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