The Gift Of Apostleship
The spiritual gift of apostleship is sometimes confused with the office of Apostle. The office of Apostle was held by a limited number of men chosen by Jesus, including the twelve disciples and Paul . The requirements for the office of Apostle included being a faithful eyewitness of Jesus ministry and His resurrection , and being called by Jesus Himself . The Apostles were given authority by Jesus to do many different things to establish the church, including writing Scripture and performing miracles .
There are no more that hold the office of Apostle today, but the gift of apostleship continues in a different sense. Jesus gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers at His ascension , and these represent a distinct category of apostles. They do not have the authority to write Scripture as the original Apostles did. They also have a different purpose in the sense of establishing the church the foundation has already been set.
Q: How Many Spiritual Gifts Might A Christian Ultimately Be Given
A: It is clear that no Christian has every spiritual gift . And no one spiritual gift is given by God to every believer. But there is nothing in Scripture that explicitly says how many gifts a person may receive. Paul himself clearly had the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, teaching, healing, word of knowledge, speaking in tongues, working of miracles, evangelism, and exhortation. But in the case of every believer, we must remember that it is the will of the Holy Spirit who determines which gifts are given to whom .
Kinds Of Spiritual Gifts
There are three kinds of spiritual gifts. These gifts are not something we possess they are Gods supernatural ability showing up in our lives in various ways. The Bible calls it a manifestation.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
There are ministry gifts, manifestation gifts, and motivational gifts. All believers take part in these gifts in various ways.
Lets look at each of them separately.
Don’t Miss: Does The Bible Say No Tattoos
The Gift Of Prophecy The 9 Gifts Of The Holy Spirit
This next gift may just be the greatest of the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit. The reason I say this is because the apostle Paul, in the second verse above, purposely singles out this gift when telling you to seek after the spiritual gifts.
He says in this verse to desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
With him purposely singling out the gift of prophecy in comparison to the rest of the 9 gifts in this verse, I believe that this may be a tell to us that the gift of prophecy may be the greatest of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit.
And when you think about exactly what this gift is all about, I believe that he may be right on the money.
The gift of prophecy is when you get a direct Word from the Lord to usually give to someone else. And when I say a direct word, I mean the message from the Lord that will be given to you will literally be word for word.
When you get one of these, you need to try and either write or type all of it out if you are in a place to be able to do so.
I do not believe there is anything greater than to be able to receive a direct, clear, prophetic Word from the Lord to be able to give to someone else in order to help edify and build them up, or to help them out with something specific they may be dealing with, with you being theactual messenger of that prophetic word to that someone.
As such, they all need to be recorded and written down if at all possible.
However, there will be times that you will not be able to record it.
Can Spiritual Gifts Be Misused
Yes! For example, Paul described the use and misuse of the gift of tongues in the Corinthian church . For example, Paul taught that speaking in tongues without someone in attendance with the gift of interpretation will only bring confusion to the church family and ridicule from unbelievers.
Accordingly, when I was pastoring, in order to curtail the misuse of the gift of tongues in our church worship services, we encouraged people to use the gifts of tongues and interpreting tongues only in private settings. To use them in a worship service when most of the folks have no idea whats going on is to invite great misunderstanding and confusion.
When we were laying down the guidelines for the use of the gift of tongues in our worship services our Christian education pastor said, Ive got a great idea. If some woman stands up in the midst of a worship service and begins speaking in tongues, Ill wait until shes finished. Then, I will say to the crowd, I have the gift of interpreting tongues and this sweet lady has just donated her house to the building fund.
Don’t Miss: What Does The Bible Say About Eating Fat
Iv Next Steps In Research
DellaVecchio and Winstons seven scale instrument along with McPhersons study of the gift profile of police officers are two excellent bases upon which to build the next steps in research. There is a need for many more studies such as McPhersons in which specific groups of employees complete the Romans 12 gift test and we look for patterns of the gift profiles. This would require that participants are fully engaged and satisfied with their current jobs and perhaps asking for participation from professional organizations or from fraternal organizations. There is no limit of these studies since there are so many profiles that could be examined.
Studies are needed in which the Romans 12 gift test is used to screen candidates for jobs and then measure the fit compared to groups of people in which the Romans 12 gift test screen was not used for selection. Here again, there is no limit to the number of these studies since there are so many jobs and so many profiles. The more studies that are done the stronger the discriminate and content validity will be. Convergent validity could be determined if studies were done comparing/correlating scores on the Romans 12 gift test and Strongs Vocational Interest Battery test.
1 Frederick W. Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management .
2 C. Peter Wagner, Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow , 40. 3 James F. Stitzinger, Spiritual Gifts: Definitions and Kinds,The Masters Seminary Journal 14, no. 2 : 149-150.
Various Gifts Within The Church
Besides the gift of eternal life that all believers receive, there are gifts that differ. Not every individual believer receives the same gifts. The apostle Paul explains:
As in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith if service, in our serving the one who teaches, in his teaching the one who exhorts, in his exhortation the one who contributes, in generosity the one who leads, with zeal the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, he addresses the same subject:
These lists are not exclusive. For example, in 1 Corinthians 7:7, Paul also mentions being married or single as gifts from God.
Recommended Reading: Bible Verses About Verbal Abuse
Spiritual Gifts Strengthen Faith In Others
If you were reading through the New Testament, the first place you would run into the term spiritual gift is Romans 1:11, 12. Lets look at this text together. Writing to the church at Rome, Paul says, I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each others faith, both yours and mine. The translation impart to you some spiritual gift is misleading because it sounds like Paul wants to help them have a gift, but the text actually means that he wants to give them the benefit of his gifts. I long to see you, that I may use my gifts to strengthen you.
The first and most obvious thing we learn from this text is that spiritual gifts are for strengthening others. This, of course, does not mean that the person who has a spiritual gift gets no joy or benefit from it. But it does suggest that gifts are given to be given. They are not given to be hoarded. I desire to share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you. What does strengthen mean? Hes not referring to bodily strength but strength of faith. The same word is used in 1 Thessalonians 3:2, where Paul says,
Spiritual gifts are for strengthening others.
We sent Timothy, our brother and servant in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen you in your faith and to exhort you that no one be moved by these afflictions.
What Does The Bible Say About Spiritual Gifts
Scripture shares that God has given gifts to each of us. We are called to use those gifts to share His love and the message of God. By using the gifts given to us, we are helping others with their relationship with God and we, too, are drawing closer to Him.
The gifts from God are not earned, they are given by Him .
Scripture shares that we are not to boast about our gifts. Our actions will not earn spiritual gifts from God. They are not rewards. They are gifts from the Father. Therefore, we do not boast about actions taken to share our spiritual gifts. We are called to share the love of Christ, not place ourselves on a pedestal. The glory goes to God, not us.
Will we know how to use our spiritual gifts the moment we receive them? Just as we strengthen our faith and walk with the Lord through studying Scripture, sharing conversation with God, and worshipping Him, our gifts may strengthen as we use them.
If there is a time when you dont know what your spiritual gift is or how to use the gift youve been given, go to God. Pray and ask for His guidance in sharing the gift.
Perhaps there may be a crisis where you need to use your gift. Pray and ask God how to best share your spiritual gift so He will be glorified, and you will be able to help someone in need.
God is ready to help us whenever we reach out to Him.
Also Check: Without Ceasing Definition
Take A Spiritual Gifts Test
There are quite a few spiritual gift assessments available online, such as:
Yet, while a spiritual gifts assessment can be a good tool for beginning spiritual gifts discernment, dont forget to use discernment and pay attention to the guidance of the Holy Spirit!
Taking a spiritual gifts test is only the first step.
Limited By The Will Of The Agents
As stated, Christ and the Spirit are the Agents who give gifts. People can and do have a part in developing them, but the ultimate source of all spiritual gifts is God. He knows best what is needed by the body of Christ and what best fits each believer for service. Understanding that would keep us from complaining that we are not like someone else and would motivate us to use to the fullest the gifts God has given each of us.
Don’t Miss: Is The Bible Infallible And Inerrant
How Many Spiritual Gifts Are There
The Bible talks about 9 spiritual gifts. These are:
St. Paul talks about these gifts when he is writing an epistle to the church in Corinth. He says while the gifts are many, they all come from the one spirit .
Many modern theologians, like Marcus Borg and John Shelby Spong, consider Christ to be a Spirit Person, someone full of Gods Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was given to the church on the Day of Pentecost, according to Acts chapter 2, where St. Peter was addressing the crowd who had come to celebrate the festival of Pentecost in Jerusalem.
Love As The Highest Gift
After listing various spiritual gifts, the apostle Paul says: Earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way . This more excellent way is explained in the next chapter: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing . So, all spiritual gifts should be accompanied by brotherly love. Loving one another is something every believer should strive to perfect, irrespective of the gifts he does or does not have.
Recommended Reading: Bible Against Race Mixing
What Is The Difference Between Spiritual Gifts And Natural Talents
Natural talents are physical abilities to do special things. Some natural talents might be musical ability, carpentry, mechanical aptitude, and artistic skills. Spiritual gifts are spiritual abilities to do certain things. Natural talents are often the vehicle through which spiritual gifts can be used. For example, a Christian vocalist may have the spiritual gift of evangelism being expressed through the vehicle of musical talent.
Different Kinds Of Tongues The 9 Gifts Of The Holy Spirit
The gift of tongues is simply the Holy Spirit giving you the supernatural ability to speak in a foreign tongue that you have no knowledge or ability to speak out on your own.
There are two types of tongues He can give you. One is a tongue of this earth. For instance, if your native language is English, then He can give you the ability to speak in Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish.
The other type of tongue that He can give you is a tongue direct from heaven, a heavenly language that is not of this earth. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that there are tongues of angels.
But in either event, it will be a foreign language that you will not be able to speak out on your own, and only the Holy Spirits supernatural transmission of this language out of your spirit will give you the ability to be able to speak this language out.
And whatever tongue the Holy Spirit will give you, you will be able to use it 24/7, whenever you want. It will be your own personal, private, prayer language between you and the Lord.
The only problem with this gift is that for the most part, you will never know or understand what you are praying about when you go into this gift.
The Bible tells us that we will be speaking out mysteries, and only God the Father and the Holy Spirit will be knowing exactly what the prayer will be about on any given occasion when you are actually doing it.
Since the Holy Spirit is God and Lord Himself, this means He can perfectly see into the future.
Read Also: Why Is The Bible Not In Chronological Order
Different Perspectives On Spiritual Gifts
While most believers agree that spiritual gifts exist, there are different views about whether all the gifts we see in the Bible are still given to Christians today.
Some people believe that the Holy Spirit gave certain gifts only for a short period after Christ returned to heaven. They believe the purpose of these gifts was to reveal Gods glory and validate the message the early followers of Jesus were preaching. This was necessary because believers did not have the Bible as we do today since the New Testament had not been written yet.
Others believe that all spiritual gifts are still being given to believers today and are still being used to reveal God and draw others to Him. They believe that all the gifts are given to the church, which is what we call all followers of Christ everywhere . Each persons gift and all work together to advance Gods kingdom.
The Specific Gifts Recorded In Scripture
There are several lists of spiritual gifts found in the New Testament. While there is some similarity within these lists, there are at least twenty unique gifts identified, and there is no doubt there are more as they express this varied grace of God.9
1 Corinthians 12: Apostleship, teaching, miracles, healing, helps, administration, tongues/interpretation, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, prophecy, distinguishing spirits
1 Peter 4:11: Speaking gifts, serving gifts
While a person is given a gift or gifts when they come to faith, the Scripture indicates that other gifts may be granted over time. All gifts are given based on Gods sovereign plan10, our desire for them11, our commitment to use them12, and our spiritual walk, which keeps us from quenching the work of the Spirit in our lives.13 It is important that every Christian discover and develop the spiritual gifts God has given them. These gifts enrich both the believer and the body because through their use the believer is satisfied14 the body of Christ is edified15, and the Lord is glorified.16
There is also a group of gifts often referred to as sign gifts. While all gifts are a supernatural manifestation of the Spirit, these gifts defy human explanation or replication and graphically remind people that God is powerfully present and at work.
There are three views concerning the viability of these sign gifts in our day.
” rel=”nofollow”> www.Bible.org)
You May Like: We Are Born Sinners