Gifts of the Holy Spirit

By: Donna J. Kazenske

There is much discussion today regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some believe the gifts are for today, while others believe they passed away with the apostles. Who is right? What does the Bible say about this issue?

The word of God should always have the final say in the life of a believer. People may say one thing, but the Lord's words are the "right thing". We must take heed lest we be deceived by the winds of false doctrine and prophetic utterance that are beginning to blow throughout the body of Christ. Some winds are destructive. The wind of the Holy Spirit will bring life and refreshing to God's people.

Many have gone to churches and heard a watered down gospel message preached to them from the pulpit. Many have believed a lie from those who have placed themselves in leadership positions. The Lord didn't place them there, because He never called them to be pastor. They are self appointed leaders.

Just because someone is a pastor does not mean they are "of God". We must be very careful. I have been in churches where the pastor is not even saved! We must cry out to the Lord for the gift of discerning of spirits to be manifested in our lives so we may know those who labor among us. The Bible says we must be careful for even the very elect of God can and will be deceived.

I believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for the church today. We would be a powerless church if the gifts were not in operation. The Lord Jesus himself operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. Everywhere He went, He performed healings and miracles. We must follow in the footsteps of our Lord and become more like Him.

1 Cor. 12:1-12 - Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 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. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

Paul says, "I don't want you to be ignorant..." He didn't want the believers to be uninformed or misinformed regarding the gifts. He wanted them to have wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the gifts so they could minister effectively for the kingdom. The Corinthian church was abusing and misusing the gifts. This brought a lot of unnecessary confusion to the believers. Paul addressed this issue in his letters to the Corinthians.

Verse 4 says, There are "diversitites" of gifts or differences of gifts. All the gifts are different, but they all operate and function by the same Spirit.

Paul goes on to say, "the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one..." The Lord doesn't believe in leaving anyone out of the picture. He desires to manifest His gifts through "each one". A few verses down, Paul says, the Spirit distributes to "each one" individually as He wills. He gives His gifts to whomever He chooses. The Lord is not a respecter of persons. He may choose to use a new believer to minister healing to a Pastor or leader in the church. He may use an uneducated street person that always sits in the back row to prophesy words of encouragement to the body on a Sunday morning. The Lord chooses whom He wills.

When the gifts operate and function properly within the church, the whole body is edified. It profits everyone.

  • The Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

    1) The Word of Wisdom
    2) The Word of Knowledge
    3) Gift of Faith
    4) Gifts of Healings
    5) Working of Miracles
    6) Prophecy
    7) Discerning of spirits
    8) Tongues
    9) Interpretation of Tongues

  • There must be a balance between the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.

    The fruit of the Spirit is for character and holiness. The gifts of the Spirit are for power.

    Have you ever known those in the church who indulge themselves in sin on Saturday night and prophesy in the church on Sunday morning? Their lifestyle does not line up with the will of God for their lives. Why does the Lord still use them? Shouldn't they lose the gift?

    The gifts and callings of God are without repentance (meaning they are irreversible, unrevokable), there is no guarantee that the men and women using them will be faithful and honorable to these gifts. The Lord will deal with these individuals. He will judge their sin. We must pray for them.

    If we want the gifts to flow freely through us, we must allow the fruit of the Spirit to be manifested in our lives. We must learn to "walk in love". Without love we will only sound like a clanging cymbal.

    1 Cor. 13:1 - Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

    If the fruit of the Spirit is not present in your life and you prophesy in church on Sunday morning, your words will sound like a clanging cymbal to the congregation.

    We must be in tune with the Holy Spirit. We must not bring reproach to the Lord by the way we live our lives outside the church walls. We must "get right" with the Lord. If we won't repent of sin, we are deceiving ourselves. Many have been playing church, but God is going to judge the sin that is rampant in our midst. God hates sin. Sin separates us from the Lord.

    The church of Jesus Christ is one body. As one body, we must stop division and strife and work together as a team. We must not all be going in different directions, but we must learn to flow in the direction of the Holy Spirit. A river flows one way. Part of it doesn't flow upstream and another part of it flow downstream. The church must flow together as one. The Lord is calling for unity in the body of Christ. He will be able to move mightily in our midst when we unify ourselves together with Him. Too many in the church want to do their own thing instead of doing God's thing. We must learn how to "die" to ourselves and live for Him.

    In case some of us haven't realized it yet, we need one another. We cannot afford to be on an island separate from the body. None of us have arrived. None of us know it all. We only know in part. When we all come together and give what God has given to us, the picture begins to come together. The church will be able to see more clearly the plan of God that is being set before them. We must cry out for unity in the body of Christ. We must hunger and thirst for righteousness. A holy standard must be raised in the church. If we don't raise the standard of holiness, who will?

    The nine gifts of the Spirit can be divided into three groups.

    The purpose of the gifts is that they be a sign pointing to Jesus Christ. The gifts should NEVER be used to draw attention to ourselves or our ministry.

    The gifts of the Spirit are the ministry of Holy Spirit.

    What are some things that hold us back from operating in the gifts?

    One thing that holds us back is fear. This is probably the main one. Fear always hinders us from stepping out into the fulness of what God has for us. Fear will cause us to fail. Fear causes us to be disobedient. Fear is the opposite of faith.

    How do we combat fear?

    1) Combat fear with faith.
    2) Face your fear.

    John 14:12 - Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."

    We cannot do the "greater works" without the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives. We must press on to know Him more and hunger for all that He has for us. We cannot afford to pick and choose which gifts we want operating in our lives. We must allow the Holy Spirit to distribute His gifts according to His will.

    Please read the other teachings on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit on this site.

    If this teaching has been a blessing to you, we'd love to hear from you.