In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 teach us about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Each of us are given gifts to help build up believers, to draw lost people to Jesus Christ and to glorify God. We desire and expect to see these gifts in operation in our everyday life.
What are these gifts?
Message of Wisdom – When a Christian has wisdom in a situation that is beyond normal human wisdom and comes from heaven. God gave Joseph heavenly wisdom (on the spot) to know how to strategically plan for the coming seven years of famine in Egypt (Genesis 40:33-36).
Message of Knowledge – When God tells a Christian something about you that they CAN’T know except through God. This often helps identify and connect you to the Christian before a gift of healing, miracle or prophecy is given. God gave Nathan a word of knowledge about King David’s adultery in 2 Samuel 12. Peter had a word of knowledge about Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11.
Faith – We can have faith for all manner of things but the Gift of Faith is for the totally impossible, like Noah and the flood (Genesis 6-8) when there hadn’t even been rain on the earth let alone a flood before or Gideon defeating an army of 120,000 with just 300 men (Judges 6-8). Christians are given extra faith for different needs, for instance one believer has the faith to raise money for the church, another for calling a prayer meeting for one million people to attend, another for helping orphans or the homeless.
Healing – To those the Holy Spirit has given the gift of healing to, almost every time they pray for healing for someone that person gets healed. A modern day example is farmer evangelist Angus Buchan. A classic Bible example is Acts 3:1-10 where Peter and John healed the lame man sitting at the temple gate.
Miracles – Miracles of provision, direction, people to help, gifts of babies to the infertile, visions, raising the dead and more should happen in the normal life of a believer. Examples include Dorcas restored to life in Acts 9:38-43, Peter’s vision to preach to the Gentiles in Acts 10:9-30, Paul and Silas released from prison in Acts 16:16-40.
Prophecy – Prophecy is a knowledge about the future that only God can give. It should be encouraging, hopefully and display God’s love to the receiver. Acts 27 is time where Paul told a 276 people in a severe storm that yes they would be shipwrecked but none would die or be injured. This prophecy came true and glorified God.
Discernment of Spirits – There are both heavenly and demonic spirits in this world. It isn’t always easy to tell if and when one of these spirits is behind a situation. A heavenly spirit can bring peace or gentleness into a situation, a demonic spirit may bring tension or greed. Acts 8:9-24 tells of a man motivated by a demonic spirit and how Peter, through his Holy Spirit gift, discerned he had an evil spirit and dealt with it and led the man to repentance and belief in Jesus.
Speaking in Different Tongues – We see in Acts 2:1-15 that on the Day of Pentecost, when the disciples where filled with the Holy Spirit they started to speak in languages they had never learned (different tongues). Throughout Acts when Christians were filled with the Holy Spirit this was evidenced by speaking in languages they never learnt.
Interpretation of Tongues – When God sends a message in Tongues to his church, He also sends an interpretation, like in Acts 2. Often the message is said in a language one person in the meeting understands but the speaker and the interpreter don’t. In a church service Ps Richard lead there was a visitor who had studied Latin. When a poorly educated church member brought a message in pure Latin it blew him away that Jesus loved the visitor so much he would speak to him in only a language he understood. This is the power of tongues and interpretation.