Here are a few things I have learned along the way about spiritual gifts that I thought would be helpful on your faith journey.
In a study done by Barna, they polled various believers about their spiritual gifts and they discovered some mentioned things like- Discipleship or music which aren’t specifically mentioned in the Bible as spiritual gifts. Which pointed to the possibility that some believers do not know much about spiritual gifts.
We are going to look at what the Word of God says to know what gifts are actually mentioned as spiritual gifts. Below are some of the places where spiritual gifts are mentioned in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 12: wisdom, knowledge, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, teaching, helping, administration
Romans 12: Prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy
Ephesians 4: apostleship, prophecy, evangelism, pastoring, teaching
1 Peter 4: speaking, service
A simple definition of Spiritual gifts is that they are given to us by God as a way to express our faith as we help others.
5 Things I learned about Spiritual Gifts
- All of God’s children are given a spiritual gift. (1 Cor. 12:7, 1 Pt 4:10-11) In God’s grace, spiritual gifts are given to all believers and they can’t be earned. Freely given so no one can boast. (Romans 12:3)
- There is a difference between our talents and our spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts rely on the Holy Spirit and have a purpose greater than ourselves. When we are not relying on Him then we are simply executing our talents or works in our own strength. Spiritual gifts are manifested in us as we rely on and submit to Him. Our spiritual gifts are used to strengthen others.
- Our spiritual gifts are gifts the Holy Spirit has given us and they are meant to be given away for the edification and growth, to equip the body of Christ, and unite the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:12-13
“Therefore, no matter what abilities we have, if we are not relying on God and not aiming to help others rely on him, then our ability is not a “spiritual gift.” It is not “spiritual” because the Holy Spirit is not flowing through it from faith to faith.” J. Piper
- We are not exempted from doing something simply because we do not have that spiritual gift. Many of the gifts mentioned above are things God has called all believers to do regardless if the Holy Spirit has given you this gift or not. But when given a particular gift you will discover that you will find yourself doing that thing more frequently.
- You don’t need to know your spiritual gift before you use it. The reality is we don’t obtain spiritual gifts like we do when we order a meal. You don’t say, “I want the gift of wisdom and leadership.” And then it’s given to you. They are manifested as we walk in the Spirit and help others. As we help others we discover how the Lord has gifted us.
I love how John Piper puts it,
So the basic problem is becoming the kind of person who wakes up in the morning, thanks God for our great salvation, and then says, “Lord, O how I want to strengthen people’s faith today. Grant that at the end of this day somebody will be more confident of your promises and more joyful in your grace because I crossed his path.” The reason I say becoming this kind of person is more basic than finding out your spiritual gift is that when you become this kind of person, the Holy Spirit will not let your longings go to waste. He will help you find ways to strengthen the faith of others, and that will be the discovery of your gifts.
Jump in and serve where the Lord opens doors. Don’t wait to “figure out” your gift. God has called us to use our gifts and as we serve Him we discover how His spirit is working.
Spiritual Gifts Test Resources
Spiritual gifts tests are simply tools to guide us they are not an end-all. The best way to discover your gifts is by serving where God has you and as you minister to others you get feedback from others around you and it’s confirmed along the way.
S.H.A.P.E Test – is an assessment that looks at your overall passions, wiring and spiritual gifts. (free)
Spiritual Gifts Survey– (free)
I’ll leave you with these words that remind us of the deep satisfying joy we get from using our gifts. “For from him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36). And there is nothing more thrilling, more joyful, more meaningful, more satisfying than to find our niche in the eternal unfolding of God’s glory.” John Piper