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Gifts of the Spirit

            Today we are going to take a look at the gifts of the Spirit. As Paul was instructing the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 we see that at the very beginning he says that he does not want the people to be ignorant. He wanted the people to learn about the gifts and understand them. Without the Holy Ghost no man can really understand the gifts nor be able to say they really can understand about the Lord and Paul wanted only the best for the people. He wanted the people to understand that while several people may have the same gift they might be used in different ways depending upon the person’s calling. So let us begin with the first mentioned and we will work our way through them.

            The first gift mentioned is the word of wisdom. Probably the one person most people think of when one thinks of the gift of the word of wisdom is Solomon. Wisdom however is a gift that should be desired by everyone in all the callings. Each one of the callings has a use for wisdom in them.
            The second gift mentioned is the word of knowledge. This is something that is often misunderstood. The word of knowledge is not being full of the word of God and having much knowledge as many believe. Instead it is a gift that allows one to know things that only through God could they have known. God will give someone a bit of knowledge concerning someone and that is the word of knowledge. Most often it is associated with and can even be confused with the word of wisdom, however if one has the gift of the word of knowledge then they certainly should have the word of wisdom gift as well. This is because one needs to know when to speak out the knowledge that God has given them. Offices that you might find the gift of knowledge operating in include apostle, prophet and pastor. By reviewing these offices and their duties you will be able to see why you would expect to see it in operation there.
            Faith is the third one mentioned. Everyone has a measure of faith that they receive as a Christian. To have the gift of faith means there is no doubt when one is led to do something. This is faith far above and beyond regular faith. This gift is expected to be found in apostles, prophets, pastors, and those who have the calling of miracles and diversities of tongues. The first four it is pretty obvious why but many might think why diversities of tongues? It would take a lot of faith to be able to go before a crowd in a foreign land where you do not know the language without a translator. This is the type thing that shows what the gift of faith truly is.
The fourth gift mentioned is gift of healings. This has nothing to do with the person being healed and their level of faith. It is a gift that is most often found in the office of a pastor. One who has the gift of healings can heal someone without the person being healed having faith. The healings from this gift are not necessarily of a physical nature but one who has this gift also has the ability to heal mentally and emotionally those who are in need as well. It is practiced indiscriminately regardless of whether the person being healed is a Christian or not.
Working of miracles does have some similarities to the gifts of healings in some aspects; however one thing to remember is with the gift of miracles it is all about pointing to the power of God. This is something that is instantaneous and makes people stop and say “how did that happen?”  It is something that cannot be explained away by natural means. The only calling or office this would really be a necessity in is the calling of worker of miracles.
The gift of prophecy is the knowledge and foretelling of something that will happen in the future. It is a direct word of God. It may be made known to one who has this gift through a dream, vision or simply a word from God. The only office or calling where this is an absolute necessity is the office and calling of a prophet however it would be very useful in the office and calling of the apostle.
Discerning of spirits is the ability to be able to see at will the spirits and hearts of those who around you. One who has the gift of discernment will know immediately whether someone is right with God, whether there is a demon present, or if there is something there that needs dealt with. Discerning of spirits are necessary for the  offices of apostle, pastor, teacher, bishop and deacon for various reasons and this is a case where it would be used in different ways depending upon the calling. 
The gift of divers kinds of tongues is an ability to learn languages very easily or speak the language without prior knowledge. Someone whose calling is diversities of tongues would find this essential. Evangelists/missionaries would also find this gift extremely helpful if not necessary. It is important to be able to not only speak the language but also be able to speak and understand the meanings of the language.
Interpretation of tongues is the final gift that is mentioned. This is something that is not commonly seen in operation. It is the ability to understand another language with ease even though you may not speak it. Occasionally it is seen in operation in the church where a prophecy will go forth in an unknown language and one will receive the interpretation and give it forth. Other times it is seen when one understands a message in a language that is not their native tongue. This gift would also be found in the calling of diversities of tongues.
We hope these explanations have been useful in helping to understand what the gifts are and how they operate. As you look back over this series of lessons ask yourself the following questions.
Do I know what my calling is?
Should I be holding an office in the church with my calling?
What gifts should be operating in my life?
What gifts are operating in my life?
Do I have the gifts in my life that line up with my calling? Why or why not?
What do I need to working on strengthening?
Have a blessed day.
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