Talents and gifts

A Talent, is the ability to do something very well.  It is a God-given gift that one receives for his or her own use and benefit.  People typically already know what these are. 1Cor 12:31 "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way." 

 First, let's look at gifts given by the spirit to every beleiver, ( Isaiah 11:2-3): 


  • Wisdom :  Also,the gift of wisdom, widely accepted as the ability to put information to use. We see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the whole image of God. We see God as our Father and other people with dignity. 
  • Understanding:  In understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live. The gift of understanding perfects a person's speculative reason in the apprehension of truth. It is the gift whereby self-evident principles are known according to Thomas Aquinas.
  • Counsel (Right Judgment): With the gift of counsel/right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus. The gift of truth that allows the person to respond prudently, and happily to believe our Christ the Lord
  • Fortitude (Courage): With the gift of fortitude/courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death. The gift of courage allows people the firmness of mind that is required both in doing good and in enduring evil, especially with regard to goods or evils that are difficult, just like Joan of Arc did.
  • Knowledge: With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God. When you accumulate enough facts, the amount reaches a critical mass and becomes Knowledge.
  • Reverence: With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. REverence is the gift whereby, at the Holy Spirit's instigation, we pay worship and duty to God as our Father, Aquinas writes.
  • Wonder and Awe:  With the gift of fear of the Lord we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. This gift is described by Aquinas as a fear of separating oneself from God. He describes the gift as a "filial fear," like a child's fear of offending his father, rather than a "servile fear," that is, a fear of punishment. Also known as knowing God is all powerful. 

The gifts listed in Isaiah are given to all who accept Jesus as The Christ. They are resident in your spirits and are yours for the taking, because The Holy Spirit is resident in your spirit. You can ask The Holy Spirit to help you pray them from your spirit into your mind. Pray in your prayer language an he will help you bring them out.

1 Cor12:11 "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will". A Spiritual Gift ( or Charism ) is a special Gift given to Christians by the Holy Spirit to empower them to act as God’s channels of love and presence to build up the Body of Christ, the Church. If one cannot get enough of what he or she is good at and all the honor and glory go back to God, then that person needs to research this as his or her Spiritual Gift.The Holy Spirit will either open a person’s spirit to receive your words, or He will set up circumstances that bring a particular thought or incident to the front of their minds and then activate the anointing on you to give you words or actions that speaks directly to what He has set up in their minds. My heart, (spirit) gets light and I get joyful for no reason. Pay attention to that! That is The Spirit activating in you. Make a note of what happens next because you are about to operate in a Gift. Gifts of the Spirit do not necessarily depend on natural talents and aptitudes or developed skills, Although God gave you those, too. A gift of the Spirit is something that God gives for the purpose of building up others.

The gift may create special responsibilities (as for, say, a prophet or a priest), but usually the responsibility is for the godly exercise of the gift.

Whenever there is talk of spiritual gifts, there are several things to keep in mind:

·         The overall context of 'spiritual' gifts is that all that exists is a gift from God, but some are called out by Scripture for our special attention.

·         they are given to be used.

·         anyone who receives a spiritual gift is responsible for how the gift is used.

·        they are to be used in a way which builds up the believing community as a whole and each member in it, as an expression of God's love.

When done in this manner, the Spirit will produce from it the fruit of the Spirit, a Christ-like content of character. God wants you to be involved in every step of your own growth, so that it is not just God's but also truly yours. In like manner, the Spirit wants you involved in finding out what you're being gifted to do. And there may be more than one gift at any one time - the gifts often come as they are needed, because they're there for the sake of other people, and the situation may call for more than one gift at a time. Don’t impose expectations or patterns on a free act of the Spirit. Just go and live in the gift(s). It’s a good thing to try out. Try each of the Gifts listed see how it fits and feels. Ask yourself:

·        “How did I feel when I used my Gift for others?

·        Did I thank God for my Gift?

·        Am I energized and excited when I can participate in ministries that use my Gifts?

·        Is it an all around positive and uplifting experience?

Biblical References to Spiritual Gifts

The Isaiahian Gifts                                                    Isaiah 11:2-3

Not lacking in any Spiritual Gift                              1 Cor 1:7

Spiritual Gifts                                                              1 Cor 12:4-11, 28-30

One body, many parts                                              1 Cor 12:12-31

Gifts that differ                                                            Rom 12:6-8 ;
                                                                                        Eph 4:11-12, 16

Using our Gifts                                                            1 Pt 4:10

“Do not neglect the Gift you have…….”            1 Tm 4:11-16

Other Gifts

The 5 Fold Ministry

The 9 Spiritual Gifts

Romans 12:6-8

Ephesians 4:11

1 Corinthians 12:1-14

  • Prophecy
  • Ministry
  • Teaching
  • Exhortation
  • Giving
  • Leading
  • Showing mercy (compassion)
  • Apostolic
  • Prophetic
  • Evangelical
  • Pastoral
  • Teaching
  • Wisdom
  • Knowledge
  • Discerning various spirits
  • Speaking in tongues
  • Interpretation of tongues
  • Prophecy
  • Faith
  • Working of miracles
  • Healing

Some people maintain that the short list of Spiritual gifts identified in I Cor 12:27-30 is a list drawn from the top three and is more a summary as Paul's discourse concludes and he speaks in general terms to all Christians who share in the variety of the three sets of Gifts.


The Roman Gifts


The Romans category lists Spiritual gifts which are given by God (as identified in I Corinthians 12:6). The passage in Romans 12 is a little more obscure in its identification of the Giver, yet the context of the passage and the verse (I Cor. 12:6) will support the Giver as being God the Father.Unlike the Ephesians 4 category, these gifts are not administrative nor are they callings (Rom. 12). They are given to all for service of the Body of Christ and considered operational gifts. (I Cor. 12:6) These particular gifts have not been restricted to the Body like the other two categories, but have been given for all people. As per I Cor. 12:6: "And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all." The word "all" being the same as Rom. 3:23, "All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God" and Jesus Christ died and rose for "all."

Prophecy: The God-given ability to receive a message from God to edify, exhort and comfort the Body of Christ or a believer. To speak the Truth as moved by the Holy Spirit. Most prophesying statements do not contain predictions about the future.

Teaching: Someone able to understand the more difficult things of God and explain them in a way that is easy to understand and live by in daily life, ( this is not to be confused with the Office of Teacher who is granted a wider range of talents and Gifts to include such things as Topic selection and study layout, material selections, media presentation...etc.)  

Service: The God-given ability to do for others whatever needs to be done. Divine ability to carry the burdens or tasks of others without seeking notice or earthly reward.

Exhortation: the ability to motivate Christians to do the works of Christ.

Giving: being blessed by God with resources or time and being able to give them where and when they are needed with a cheerful heart.

Leadership: God-given insight into when something needs to be done, who can do it, how it can be completed, and how to lead those people to get it accomplished. Those that have this tend to have a draw about them that attracts others into watching what they do.

Mercy: A heart to care for and encourage, those who are not able to care for themselves and whom no one else would care for. Knowing who to help and when to help.

The Ephesians category is somewhat different in its application and its nature. The Gifts of this category are identified as Gifts given by the Son to the Body of Christ. Verse 8 implies that these Gifts are part of the benefits of the resurrection which are directly associated with the works of the Son of God. Verses 12 and 13 state that they are given for the Body of Christ and its edification. I Cor. 12:5 tell us that the Gifts are Gifts of Administrations. They can be termed administrative or ministry positions within the Body that are instituted by the Lord by a particular calling. This view is supported by Rom. 11:29, which says "The Gifts and Callings of the LORD are without repentance." Jesus  therefore calls individuals to take on administrative positions or roles (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers) within the Body for the edification of all.

Offices of The Five Fold Ministry:

Apostle: One sent by God with a holy mission to fulfill; and the strong powers and Spiritual gifts to fulfill the mission -- (known by the fruit of the Spirit overflowing). Apostolic ministry involves laying the foundation of a new church. In the case of Paul and Barnabas, we see this expressed in 'Church planting' by preaching the Gospel in new areas. Apostles in Scripture worked in teams. An apostolic team shared a 'measure of rule' in churches started through their ministry in regions where they are the first to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. (II Corinthians 10.)

            Note: An Apostle has no authority in a church that they did not start. The Sanhedrin (Pastor) holds that authority in a church and can elect to not admit an apostle into their church.

Prophet: One who speaks, or communicates a message, authoritatively, as moved by the Holy Spirit Himself -- (known by their good fruit). They are also known to see visions of the past, present, or future at God's discretion for his glory or to teach.

Evangelist: Someone who desires that all should come to know the truth that God loves everyone so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life, die, and rise again for their redemption. There are too many ways to list them but  whatever can be used to glorify God can be used as a gift (in other words those that are craftsmen can be evangelists just as easily as a singer).

            Note: A Talent is frequently used to this end. As long as the Evangelist glorifies the Lord.

Pastor: A word that means 'shepherd.' Pastors are gifted to lead, guide, and set an example for other Christians.

Teacher: Someone able to understand the more difficult things of God and explain them in a way that is easy to understand and live by in daily life. The Office of Teacher is different from the Gift of teaching in that the minister has access to more talents to perform a wider ranges of activities necessary to the fulfilling of his office.

The Corinthian Gifts

The Corinthians category are the gifts that are available to everyone and if someone is willing then The Holy Spirit will use them to manifest any one or combination of gifts for a particular moment. When the moment passes, then the anointing for the gifts passes. However there are people who The Holy Spirit has selected to hold these so the anointing never really passes. He will not however, activate the gift if it is being used improperly. ( i.e. Using for self gain...etc). The gifts in the these three verses in I Corinthians 12 could also be described as "The Trinity Gifts" or "Gifts from the Godhead" although these terms are not specifically used in the Bible. However a closer look at each one of the 3 verses above will show that there are three distinct categories identified as Gifts, Operations, Administrations and Manifestation that are given by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This distinction is important as each set of Gifts is different in usage, purpose and origin.

Also known as the "manifestation gifts" or "miraculous gifts." Some limit the term "Spiritual gifts" to just the so-called charismatic gifts. Cessationism claims that these Spiritual gifts eventually ceased to operate (through individuals) early in Christian history. continuationism claims that they still operate today, ( I can testify to the truth of this one because I am getting things that I have NEVER heard before.) They can be transmitted through the laying on of hands.

  • word of wisdom / message of wisdom, 1 Cor 12:8
  • word of knowledge / message of knowledge, 1 Cor 12:8
  • faith, 1 Cor 12:9
  • gifts of healing, 1 Cor 12:9, 12:28
  • miracles / miraculous powers, 1 Cor 12:10, 12:28
  • prophecy / prophesying / prophets, 1 Cor 12:10, 1 Cor 12:28, Rom 12:6, Eph 4:11
  • discernment of spirits / distinguishing of spirits, 1 Cor 12:10
  • speaking in tongues / varieties of tongues / speaking in different known languages (unknown to the speaker), 1 Cor 12:10
  • interpretation of tongues, 1 Cor 12:10

"Speaking in tongues" and "interpretation of tongues" are sometimes viewed as one Spiritual gift, "tongues" since this is clearly what the word refers to (based on the Acts 2 event). Also, the nine gifts in 1 Cor 12 are sometimes divided into three categories, "gifts of knowledge" (wisdom, knowledge, discernment), "gifts of speech" (tongues, interpretation, prophecy), and "gifts of power" (faith, healing, miracles).

Gifts of the Holy Spirit are clearly distinguished from the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Jesus predicted the occurrence of false gifts, particularly in the end time (Matthew 24:24, 7:22,23). Hence while Spiritual gifts are very important for a Christian, the fruit of the Spirit is a better test of the genuineness of a person.

The Corinthian Gifts  

WORD of wisdom: A message, concept, or bit of wisdom that God reveals supernaturally to the recipient. It may or may not be shared with others. Don't confuse the Gift of wisdom, ( understanding of the natural world) with the supernatural Word of Wisdom, ( information the gifted person has no way to know.)

WORD of knowledge: A message, concept, or bit of knowledge that God reveals supernaturally to the recipient. It may or may not be shared with others. People with this ability tend to be able to understand scripture in a way that others simply cannot, (again, not to be confused with the Gift of Knowledge, a supernatural source of information that the gifted person has no way to know otherwise.)

Ability to distinguish between spirits: The God-given ability to know what is from God and what is not from Him. The Divine ability to see evil spirits or influence and bring God's power (Jesus' blood) and God's love (Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection) in its place in an easier way then those that cannot. People with this ability are also known to be able to tell truth from lie, as well as see God's power in people and places.

Tongues: A gift from God and the ability to speak another language not known by the believer speaking it. The Spiritual gift to speak another language not known by the believer speaking it. "So then tongues are for a sign, not for the believer but the unbeliever". Tongues are not therefore a means of building up the body of Christ. Paul, in speaking of tongues (known languages) as aiding the church, only refers to the gift as a conduit of the blessing of prophesy in 1 Corinthians 14:6.

 Interpretation of tongues: The God-given ability to make tongues a clear message to all who are present to edify, exhort and comfort the Body of Christ.

Prophecy: The God-given ability to receive a message from God to edify, exhort and comfort the Body of Christ or a believer. To speak the Truth as moved by the Holy Spirit. Most prophesying statements do not contain predictions about the future.

Faith: Knowing what you hope for, having a conviction about things you cannot see, trusting God, believing God’s Word, and obeying Him. (Hebrews 11) People with this tend to have an unshakable faith in God, they may doubt themselves but they never doubt God.

Working of miracles: The ability to perform supernatural acts by God the Holy Spirit.

Gifts of healings: The God-given ability to bring or release healing to a person in their body, emotions, or soul.

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