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Just what are the 9 Spiritual Gifts?

9 Spiritual Gifts Top BannerMost Christians know that 1 Corinthians chapter 12 contains a list of Holy Spirit manifestations, but just what are the 9 spiritual gifts?

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Here is the passage in question: ‘Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,  to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines’.

However, we don’t find definitions of these manifestations anywhere in the Bible. So what exactly are they? Let’s take just the first two as examples – the gifts of Wisdom and Knowledge.

Definitions of the Gifts

When I was a new believer, my pastor taught that the gift of knowledge consisted of supernaturally given knowledge that the recipient would not normally have – information imparted directly by the Holy Spirit. He then linked the gift of Wisdom to Knowledge and defined it as a realisation, imparted by the Holy Spirit as to how to apply the gift of knowledge. But how did my teachers, and I come to this understanding?

Other teachers have different understandings of these gifts. For instance, one of my favourite theologians, the late J. Rodman Williams, states that ‘a word of wisdom is in some way an explication of the mystery of God that centres in Jesus Christ.’ He defines a word of knowledge as ‘an inspired word of teaching or instruction that occurs within the context of the gathered community’. Dr Wayne Grudem moves even further away from a directly supernatural understanding when he writes that a word of wisdom is simply ‘the ability to speak a wise word in various situations’. He describes a word of knowledge as ‘the ability to speak with knowledge about a situation’.

So, who is closer to the truth and how do we know for ourselves? I explore this question in my soon to be released book ‘The 9 Spiritual Gifts & How to Find your Ministry’, but I will tell you more about that just before it’s released… watch this space!

The importance of the matter

It is important for us to understand what the spiritual gifts are, because:

  • This affects how we appreciate them. Are they manifestations of the Holy Spirit through the ministry of a believer and therefore directly supernatural in origin and presentation? Or are they expressions of our human giftedness, leading, and experience enhanced perhaps by the gracious help of the Holy Spirit?
  • It affects how we respond to them. Do we act only when the Holy Spirit directly motivates us to do so, or do we operate in the gifts as a normal part of our Christian life and ministry?

And to make matters worse …

If it wasn’t confusing enough, we also have to contend with the occult counterfeits of the Spiritual Gifts.

Paul starts his discussion of what he calls ‘spiritual matters’ with the words; ‘About matters of the spirit: brothers, I do not want you to be unaware. You know how, when you were pagans, you were led to dumb idols—being led astray’. (1 Corinthians 12:1-2)

This seems a strange and enigmatic way of introducing the subject, unless one realises that many of the Christians in Corinth had been saved out of occult pagan teachings and practices. These occult phenomenon included things such as spiritual healing, prophecy, and tongues. Paul tells them, and us, not to be ignorant of this fact and thus become confused by the pagan counterfeits of the Gifts.

However, there are three things that I pick up in his warning that help me identify the nature of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
  1. Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 12:3 by identifying the key differentiator between true and counterfeit gifts – True gifts centre on Jesus and give Him glory.
  2. He writes of ‘speaking by the Spirit of God’ and this points to supernatural utterances rather than normal purely human interactions.
  3. Paul is concerned that believers might mistake the counterfeit for the real and this must surely mean that the real and the counterfeit appear to be very similar. In the occult world, both then and now, the ‘gifts’ are seen as direct manifestations of the ‘gods’.

Still to come

In my next post I want to deal briefly with the correlation between ‘anointing’ of the Spirit and the ‘gifts’ of the Spirit. I also intend to write about the correlation between manifestations of the Holy Spirit and ministries in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual manifestations are usually a feature of church revivals, so, in the meantime, why don’t you read my FREE book ‘The 12 Key Aspects of Revival’ – just click on the picture below or copy and paste the following link to your browser – https://truthistheword.com/revival-book-complimentary-access/

 

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TruthTalks Spiritual Gifts

TruthTalks: What are Spiritual Gifts and do we have them or give them?

TruthTalks Spiritual Gifts

What are Spiritual Gifts and do we have them, or give them?

In this and subsequent TruthTalks, I am looking at some of the underlying issues that make the subject important yet problematic to some.

In this podcast, I speak about the common misconception that Spiritual Gifts are supernatural abilities permanently conferred upon Christians. I argue that the key text of 1 Corinthians 12 points rather to The Holy Spirit temporarily entrusting gifts of healing, prophecy, and so on to believers to deliver to those in need of the gift.

You can listen to or download this TruthTalk by clicking on the play button below.

 

Revival Revisited
Get the book now by going to https://truthistheword.com/revival-book-complimentary-access/

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New Book – The 9 Essentials of Building your Life in Christ: Christian Foundations

New E-Book heading

I have just published a book on Amazon Kindle called ‘The 9 Essentials of Building your Life in Christ: Christian Foundations’. You can purchase it HERE or if you want a free pdf of the book then just click HERE and go straight to the opt-in page.

The book is part of the Christian QuickReads collection specifically designed for those who prefer reading something around the 100-page length, rather than a longer and more comprehensive volume.

Why this book

When, at the age of 30, I was born again into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, a Christian friend gave me a set of lessons by Derek Prince called the Foundations Series. They helped me to understand some of the basic teachings of my new faith, but they also puzzled me a little. Dr Prince had built his series around Hebrews 6:1-3 and his six booklets were respectively titled Repentance, Faith, Baptisms, Laying on of Hands, Resurrection, and Judgement. Even then, as a brand new believer, I wondered why these six were more important than subjects like the Bible, Prayer and Worship, the Church, and so on.

My own experience as a new believer highlighted the need for something short and simple. However, something that covered the actual foundations of the Christian Faith and not teachings based on what I later realised are the foundational doctrines of Judaism (Hebrews 6:1-3) and not Christianity.

Of course, there have been many other foundational teaching books since Derek Prince’s, but they all seem to fall short of the mark in one way or another.  So, when I became a pastor of a local church at the age of 40, I took on the task of writing something for the new believers around me.

What the book is about

I listed what I thought were the foundations of the Christian Faith. Here are the 9 that I came up with:

  1. Salvation – including covenant, repentance, new birth, Fact, Faith, and Feelings, water baptism, assurance, being filled by the Holy Spirit, and obedient living.
  2. The Bible – including Inspiration, what translation to use, how to study the Bible, and what Jesus said and did as the key to understanding scripture.
  3. The Kingdom of God and Spiritual Warfare
  4. The Stewardship of Time, Money, and Talents
  5. Prayer and Worship
  6. Ministering in the Power of the Holy Spirit
  7. Fellowship and the Church
  8. Witnessing and Making Disciples
  9. The Christian Family

Who the book is for

It is obvious from what I have already written that I designed the book primarily for new believers. However, two other groups could benefit from it:

Christian Leaders – Men and women planting new congregations or considering a teaching series for their church could find it useful as an outline and seedbed for further research and development.

Mature Christians – It has always surprised me just how many folk who have been Christians for a long while have such a sketchy idea of the basics of their Faith. A prayerful read through ‘The 9 Essentials of Building your Life in Christ’ would prove very helpful to them.

In the near future, I will be publishing further books in the Christian QuickReads series. If you would like to be notified when these appear, then just click HERE and subscribe to truthistheword.com.

 

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Revival… Again

I have called this article Revival… Again firstly, because we need another Holy Spirit revival at this time, but also because I have written on this topic before.

In fact, I have written about it so many times that I have gathered the latest series into a book titled ‘The 12 Key Aspects of Revival’. This is part of a series of short books I am currently publishing as ‘Christian QuickReads’.

You can find it on Amazon Kindle selling for about R65.00 BUT I want to make it available for FREE to everyone who reads my Truth is The Word posts… so that would be you!

There are no strings attached to this offer and all you have to do is click the banner at the top of this post and then select the ‘Click to start download’ button and the .pdf version will automatically download.

If for any reason, the link doesn’t work then just copy and paste the following into your web browser. https://wp.me/P6gBUI-2gZ

Over the next several months, I will be publishing the following additional Christian QuickReads, so keep an eye out for them.

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.