Spiritual Gifts and their Purpose in the Church

In opening this letter let me begin by saying, God has given people both natural abilities and extraordinary gifts to be used in this life. Along the journey of life, we learn to improve on these natural abilities, through schooling and hands on training.

Compiled in this letter, is a brief description of Spiritual Gifts and their purpose in the church. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12 and in Romans chapters 6, 7, 8, and 12, we find recorded several God given gifts. They work together with our natural abilities just as God has given some believers, extraordinary Spiritual Gifts that
DO NOT come naturally. Some call these Gifts, “supernatural Gifts” or as the Bible states as “extraordinary gifts” namely “the Gifts of the Holy Spirit”.

God will give ordinary people, extraordinary gifts, as they consecrate themselves to God and allow the working of the Holy Spirit, to flow freely in their lives. These Gifts are from God and are distributed by the Holy Spirit, to whom He chooses. There must be both an understanding and willingness to become a receiver of the gift from the giver.

As I look back at the morning of January 7, 2019, there was a vivid and unusual dream clearly in my mind. I began to write down the details of the dream and asked God for the meaning of this dream. As the morning progressed, I opened my Bible to the scriptures, as I began to pen the interpretation and revelation of this most unusual dream. It was as though my eyes begin to open, in the reality and purpose of the Gifts of the Spirit.

As the scriptures began to unfold, within the first few days after the dream, there became a fresh meaning of what God, His Son and the Holy Spirit has given to those that believe. God made a plan to keep the church, the believer, moving forward through the various tests, trials and tribulations of life, from faith to faith. God’s plan included “Spiritual Gifts”, especially the nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit that are given from God, distributed and administered by the Holy Spirit, flowing from the believer, aiming to benefit those in the faith; strengthening and encouraging them.

God has equipped the church/ His people with the tools necessary to maintain, provide and care for them until His Son Jesus returns. The tools that God has given to the church are available to all believers.

My question to the church/ the people: Does the church realize that God has provide all that is needed, to care for and maintain His people until His return?

It is time the church; the body of Christ become equipped with the tools and the very power that was sent from on high to fill every believer, flow out of every believer and become the feet, hands, eyes, ears and mouth of Jesus. This can only be accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit and will only be accomplished by a yielded /surrendered people, the church, to God and the Holy Spirit. God has given the church, the spiritual gifts written in the scriptures, for the perfecting of the saints and equipping all believers, to become witnesses of the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ to a lost, hurting and dying generation.

Many Christians are familiar with the nine gifts of the Spirit that Paul describes
in 1 Cor. 12:4-10. These are considered extraordinary in nature, for they are not the natural abilities that we use in our everyday duties, work, etc. But did you know there are many more gifts given to God’s people/ the church?

Though the exact number is debatable, here are at a few spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit gave to the early church—and continues to give today. The first nine Gifts listed below are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are called extraordinary in nature for they are given directly from God through the Holy Spirit and not of our own abilities.

Let’s look into their meaning in relationship to the Church in a condensed version starting with the nine Gifts of the Spirit. The Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit are:

The Word of Wisdom. This is supernatural revelation, or insight into the divine acts as to how God Himself does things. It is the application of divine knowledge according to the will of God. The word of wisdom conveys divine instructions to men, and it may be manifested by dreams, visions, audible voices, angels, or by divine utterance in prophecy and tongues and interpretation. The word of wisdom is revelation concerning things present and future. When any special problem arises that is not covered by God’s written revelation or there are no specific rules to go by, the gift of wisdom should be used in solving the problem. See also (1 Cor. 12:8; Luke 6:9).

The Word of Knowledge. This is supernatural revelation, by the Spirit of certain facts in the mind of God. It may be revelations concerning God’s will, His plan, the secret of others, or their acts, thought, motives and ambitions. This knowledge is revelation that man could not have known of himself, such as the knowledge of creation, the church, and other truths that were hidden from man from eternity. Both the Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge confirms the Word of God. The young and inexperienced may be the recipient of this knowledge as well as the old and experienced, for it does not depend upon natural ability, but upon the direct acts of the Spirit. See (1 Cor. 12:8; Lk 18:22)

The Gift of Faith: is defined as: a supernatural endowment of the Spirit whereby that which God has said, recognized as a settled fact, to be done… regardless of what it is. It is the very backbone of the spiritual gifts into which and from which all the life-cord and nerve-centers of communicating power are centered. Yes…it is the miraculous assurance that guarantees to every man those things, which he has asked of God, according to the promises. In other words, it is the spinal-cord of the body of Christ and the very life of the Church. See also (1 Cor. 12:9; Acts 3:6; Heb.1-3).

The Gift of Healing. This gift of healing is the imparting of power to heal, cure, repair, and make whole the physical body and deliver it from demons and diseases or infirmities. This is a supernatural healing without the use of human aids; medicines or any natural means whatsoever. So much of the main stream of religious belief has been so watered down, that it has become acceptable to believe that Jesus heals through medicines and doctors. This belief is no more scriptural than that He saves from sin through theories and methods of men. The above-stated way is the way of the world, but supernatural healing is God’s way. The supernatural gifts of healing are for today and available to all believers, those that ask and believe by faith will receive. See also (1 Cor. 12:9, 28; Acts 28:1-10).

The Gift of Miracles. What is a miracle?
A miracle is a supernatural intervention in the ordinary course of nature for a specific purpose and time. It is worked by faith. When God sets aside His laws or suspends the laws of nature, this action is a miracle. God is not bound by natural laws of His own making; else this limitation would reduce Him to the plane of a creature and do away with His sovereignty.

All of the gifts of the Spirit are in one sense miraculous, “supernatural”, but the use of the word “miracle” for this gift, or the working of miracles is used to display God’s power and magnificence. In the Young’s Concordance the Greek word “miracle” here is called “powers”. That is to say, the working of miracles is called the working of powers. In the Greek concordance, this same word “miracles” means, “explosions of almightiness.” It means impelling, staggering wonders and astonishment. In other words, “the working of impelling, staggering wonders or astonishments, or the outworking of explosions of almightiness.” See also (1 Cor. 12:10; Acts 6:8).

The Gift of Prophecy. Prophecy in the New Testament translated in the Greek means “divinely inspired and anointed utterance.” The gift of prophecy is entirely supernatural. Speaking with other tongues is supernatural utterance in other tongues. Prophecy is supernatural utterance in a known tongue. It is a manifestation of the Spirit of God, not of the human mind. Through prophecy, God speaks to men through the organs of men. When man was created and placed in the Garden of Eden, God conversed with him directly. Sin broke the communion. There remains a deep longing in the human spirit for direct communication with his Creator. This basic need of man is supplied in a measure through the operation of the gift of prophecy as it is manifested in the New Testament church. In the Old Testament days, one inquired of the Lord through a priest. In the present dispensation, all believers are part of a royal priesthood, and may individually approach the Lord. See also (1 Cor. 12:10; 1 Thess. 5:20-21; Eph. 4:11)

Discerning of the Spirit. This gift completes the gifts of revelation in the realm of knowledge. The gift of discernment is limited in scope to a single class of objects – spirits. That is in the spiritual realm only. This is supernatural revelation, or insight into the realm of spirits to detect them and read even the thoughts of the mind. Its purpose is to give an insight into the spirit realm and reveal the kind of spirit working in and through a person, and to make known thoughts and motives. Discernment of things outside the spirit realm is the work of wisdom and knowledge. The power to discover the faults of others is not a work of true discernment, for no supernatural power is necessary to do this… as stated in Matt. 7:1, 15-20, judging others is not to be part of the Christian life. We are not to condone sin; pointing out sin is not judging as long as we do not do it in a condemning way, love has to be in everything we do. (1 Cor. 12:10; Luke 8:29).

The Gift of Divers Kinds of Tongues. Simply put, the gift of tongues is supernatural utterance by the Holy Spirit through a believer in a language, which the believer has never learned. That is to say, tongues (unknown languages) to the speaker, but known somewhere in the universe. The word “unknown” in
1 Cor. 14 is in italics, and that means it is not in the original Greek. For there are many hundreds of languages and dialects in the world, and many do not sound like a real language. This gift is one of the three main ones (the vocal gifts) to be used in the meetings of believers. This gift has nothing to do with the mind or intellect as far as the understanding is concerned. For it is simply the Spirit employing the vocal organs and other facilities of speech. Yes, man’s will and spirit are active and in perfect accord with God, who is the one directly speaking through the man by the Spirit; the miracle of utterance in unknown languages speaking spiritual mysteries unknown to the individual, which we cannot understand. See also (1 Cor. 12:10; 14:13-33 Acts 19:6; Acts 2:1-21; 10:44-48; 19;1-7; Rom. 8:26-27; 1 Cor. 12:10).

The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues. This gift is the only one that is dependent upon another, because it is useless unless there are tongues to interpret. It is the same in principle and operation as the tongues, only it is the interpretation of the tongues that are spoken as stated in 1 Cor. 14:5 I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened. As stated above Paul’s instructions to the Church concerning the Gift of Interpretation… Speaking in other tongues is not permitted in the public assembly when there is no interpreter. Tongues with interpretation, is acceptable and is equal to prophecy. Most of what has been said on the gift of Prophecy applies to the gift of interpretation. For the two are very similar except that the speaking in tongues always precedes an interpretation.

Because of their similarity, the question arises, “What is the purpose of the gift of interpretation and why not have it all prophecy in the assembly?”

Here are some reasons:
1) Without the gift of interpretation there would be no speaking in other tongues
in a public congregation, for the speaker is told to be silent unless there is an interpreter present. The speaker in other tongues is a sign “to them that believe NOT”.

2) Another reason for the manifestation of the gift of tongues is that it alerts the congregation as to when the Holy Ghost is about to speak. It gives the people time to get into a reverent attitude of prayer to receive before the giving of the message.
3) To the person that is new to this type of manifestation, the effect is greatly enhanced when a message is spoken in an unknown tongue and then skillfully interpreted. It is also an excellent demonstration of two or more members of the Body of Christ working together.

4) It is not uncommon for someone present, when a message is given or spoken in the unknown tongue, to recognize the language spoken as his own native language. Such an occurrence usually leaves a very deep impression upon the person, as did on the day of Pentecost. The gift of tongues and the accompanying interpretation, given under a strong anointing, usually results in great edification and blessing to the listeners.

The purpose of the gift of interpretation of tongues is to make tongues clear to the church. Remember, it is the interpretation of tongues, not the translation of them. Interpretation is the rendering of the sense and meaning of tongues, while translation is the rendering from one language into another by the exact words and phrases. At times the interpretation may seem briefer or larger than the tongues spoken. In other words, interpretation is the summing up by the Holy Spirit what was said in the unknown language…it may come word by word or
a summary of the tongue, however the Holy Spirit wants to relay his own words.
See also (1 Cor. 12:10; 14:13-33)

The Offices of the Fivefold Ministries, found in the Church as stated in Ephesians 4:11-12 AMP and TLB Bible translations:

  • Some of us have been given special ability as APOSTLES – (special messengers);
  • to others he has given the gift of being able to preach well, PROPHETS (inspired preachers / expounders;
  • some have special ability in winning people to Christ,EVANGELISTS(preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), helping them to trust him as their Savior;
  • still others have a gift for caring for God’s people as PASTORS (shepherds of His flock) leading (Pastoral guidance; and
  • TEACHERS, teaching them in the ways of God. His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church), to a position of strength and maturity.

Listing of other Gifts found in the Church: These gifting’s may correlate with our own natural God given abilities and talents. God will enhance our natural abilities for the use in His Kingdom, for strengthening, encouraging and building up the body of Christ.

Helping (1 Cor. 12:28)
Administration (1 Cor. 12:27-28; Acts 6:2-3)
Ministry/service (Eph. 4:11-12, 12:7; 2 Tim. 1:16-18)
Encouragement (Rom. 12:8; Heb. 10:24-25)
Giving (Rom. 12:8; 1 Cor. 13:3; Acts 4:32-35)
Leadership (Rom. 12:8; Acts 13:12)
Mercy (Rom. 12:8; Luke 5:12-13)
Grace (Rom. 12:6; Eph. 3:7; 4:7; 1 Pet. 4:10-11)
Intercession (Rom. 8:26-27)
Hospitality (1 Pet. 4:9)
Celibacy (1 Cor. 7:8)

Several passages show the purpose of spiritual gifts to be effective in the Body of Christ: 1 Cor. 12:7 – “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” Eph. 4:12 – “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”

  • 1 Peter 4:10-11 (AMP) As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]. Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).

When properly exercised, spiritual gifts will contribute to the overall health and growth of the church, the people as stated in Ephesians 4:16 which is written in the context of spiritual gifting: From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. We as believers will be strengthened, encouraged and equipped for all that God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit has in store for us.

As a believer these spiritual gifts are for you. Let’s look into more Bible scriptures on this topic. These gifts are available and given to believers within the church. Apostle Paul has written extensively on this subject which, we must not, cannot, over look in the Word of God. If we are to see the body of Christ / the church grow and be productive in the growth of the kingdom of God than it is of the utmost importance not to overlook these spiritual gifts/ tools given by God and distributed by the Holy Spirit.

As I ponder over the various translations and scriptures for the meaning and purpose of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as stated in1 Corinthians chapter 12; I have come to the conclusion that it was and is God’s plan to have a continual relationship with mankind. These gifts are available to the believer and will help bring us into a closer relationship with God for the purpose to build up the body of Christ, (the Christians) the church. These gifts flowing from God and distributing from the Holy Spirit, are not given to you to hoard for yourself but to be used to strengthen others in the faith.

The same Greek word for strengthen, in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12, is the same word used in 1 Thessalonians 3:2, where Paul says, “spiritual gifts are for strengthening (encouraging) others ” in the faith. It is clear that the gifts were given by God, distributed and administered through the Holy Spirit and is an ability given, to express our faith that of strengthening and encouraging those spiritually in the faith.

Again let me state, that the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit cannot be and are not expressed as with natural abilities. These gifts were called “extraordinary Spiritual Gifts” for a reason. Another way of looking at these “Special Gifts”, they are strictly manifested to help others that are relying on God, to rely on God and if not used for this purpose, than these gifts are in the natural and not in the spiritual.

Are you ready, hungry and desiring to be filled, with this power from on high? Are you ready to open your will, to the will of God? Are you willing to say not my will, but yours God? It is through a willing mind and heart through faith, that anyone can be saved; likewise, it is through a willing mind and heart through faith, that we receive anything from God. Are you willing to receive from God?

If the answer is yes, begin to open your heart, yield and surrender to God and the Holy Spirit. Desire to be filled with all that God and the Holy Spirit has for you. As a believer these spiritual gifts are for you, now, today.

In conclusion, I would like to say; I Thank God for these spiritual (extraordinary) Gifts of the Holy Spirit, flowing from His Spirit, aiming to benefit all believers, going from faith to faith. Be encouraged believers, God’s love goes beyond our own understanding.

Love in Christ Jesus,
Paul Lundmark

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