Gifts of the Holy Spirit
《The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit》
1. In previous lessons we made frequent reference to the "gift" of the
a. Promised to all who repent and are baptized - Ac 2:38-39
b. Referring to the gift of the Spirit Himself - cf. Jn 7:39; Ac
5:32; Ga 4:6
c. Pertaining to the indwelling of the Spirit in the church and in
the Christian - 1 Co 3:16; 6:19
2. The Bible also speaks of the "gifts" of the Spirit, which is not the
same as the "gift" of the Spirit...
a. "We must distinguish the gift of the Spirit from the gifts of the
Spirit. The gift of the Spirit is the Spirit himself, bestowed by
the Father through the Messiah; the gifts of the Spirit are those
spiritual faculties which the Spirit imparts, 'dividing to each
one severally even as he will' (1 Co 12:11)." - F.F. Bruce,
Commentary on the Book of Acts, p.77
b. "We need, however, to distinguish between 'the gift' of the Holy
Spirit and what Paul called 'the gifts' (ta pneumatika, 1 Co 12:1;
14:1) of that self-same Spirit. 'The gift' is the Spirit himself
given to minister the saving benefits of Christ's redemption to
the believer, while 'the gifts' are those spiritual abilities the
Spirit gives variously to believers 'for the common good' and
sovereignly, 'just as He determines' (1 Co 12:7,11). Peter's
promise of the 'gift of the Holy Spirit' is a logical outcome of
repentance and baptism." - Richard N. Longenecker, Expositors'
Bible Commentary, Vol. 9, p.283
3. In this study, we shall focus our attention on the "gifts" of the
a. What were the gifts?
b. How did people receive the gifts?
c. What was the purpose of the gifts?
d. How long were the gifts to last?
[By reading 1 Co 12:8-11, we can begin to answer the first question...]
I. WHAT WERE THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS?
A. DESCRIBED BY PAUL...
1. "word of wisdom" - ability to speak new revelations of divine
wisdom, cf. 1 Co 2:6-10
2. "word of knowledge" - ability to speak truths already revealed,
e.g., 1 Co 14:6
3. "faith" - not saving faith, but faith to perform miracles, cf.
1 Co 13:2; Mk 11:23
4. "gifts of healing" - ability to heal all kinds of sickness, cf.
5. "the working of miracles" - miracles of extraordinary power,
e.g., Ac 19:11
6. "prophecy" - in this context, inspired disclosure of the
future, e.g., Ac 11:27-28; 21:11
7. "discerning of spirits" - ability to tell whether another
speaks from the Spirit, or from some other source, either human
or demonic, cf. 1 Co 14:29; 1 Ti 4:1; 1 Jn 4:1
8. "kinds of tongues" - ability to speak in various languages,
e.g., Ac 2:4-11; 1 Co 14:18
9. "interpretation of tongues" - ability to interpret languages,
e.g., 1 Co 14:27
-- There may be overlapping in these gifts; I have listed the
descriptions given by Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown in their
B. DELINEATED BY PAUL...
1. These gifts are called "spiritual" (Grk., pneumatikos) - 1 Co
a. Implying that which is of the Spirit, and not natural
b. They all come from the one and same Spirit - 1 Co 12:11
2. They were "manifestations" of the Spirit - 1 Co 12:7
a. Manifest - conspicuous, plain; that which illustrates, or
makes anything seen or known (Barnes)
b. These "spiritual" gifts were visible and audible evidences
of the Spirit's influence
c. Perhaps in contrast to other "gifts" which were not as
noticeable, but expressions of God's gracious "gifts"
nonetheless - cf. Ro 12:3-8; 1 Pe 4:10-11
3. Not all Christians had these "spiritual" gifts; some may have
had no such gift at all
a. E.g., not all could speak in tongues - 1 Co 12:28-30
b. Some were even "ungifted" (NASB) - 1 Co 14:16,23-24
4. Possession of these "spiritual" gifts did not ensure spiritual
a. The brethren at
came short in no gift - 1 Co 1:4-7 Corinth
b. Yet they were noted for being "carnal" and "babes" - 1 Co 3:
5. These "spiritual" gifts could be abused, but also controlled
a. Used for personal benefit, contrary to their purpose (see
below) - 1 Co 14:1-5
b. Used improperly, to the shame of the congregation - 1 Co
c. Used properly, to the edification of all - 1 Co 14:26-32
-- Note: In this lesson we are talking about the "spiritual"
gifts, those gifts that were a miraculous manifestation of the
[The next question we shall examine is...]
II. HOW DID PEOPLE RECEIVE THE GIFTS?
A. FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT HIMSELF...
1. The Holy Spirit distributed the gifts to each one as He
determined - 1 Co 12:11
2. Those with certain roles likely received more gifts; e.g., the
apostles - cf. 1 Co 14:18
3. On special occasions, the Spirit came upon individuals and
imparted gifts directly
a. E.g., the apostles, at Pentecost - cf. Ac 2:1-4
b. E.g., the household of Cornelius, the first Gentiles - cf.
B. THROUGH THE LAYING ON OF HANDS...
1. Definitely through the laying on of the apostles' hands
a. E.g., the Samaritans - cf. Ac 8:14-19
b. E.g., the Ephesians - cf. Ac 19:6
c. E.g., the Romans - cf. Ro 1:11
2. Possibly through the laying on of hands by others
a. Paul may have received the Spirit (along with the gifts)
with the laying on of hands by Ananias - cf. Ac 9:17
b. Timothy may have received a gift by the laying on of hands
of elders - cf. 1 Ti 4:14
1) Though the Greek "with" implies that the presbyter's
laying on hands was the mere accompaniment of the
conferring of the gift (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown)
2) And "by" (in 2 Ti 1:6) implies that Paul's laying on his
hands was the actual instrument of its being conferred
-- Though the Spirit (in this miraculous manifestation) was
imparted by the laying on of hands, it was the Spirit who
determined what gifts one received
C. ADDITIONAL GIFTS MAY HAVE BEEN RECEIVED THROUGH PRAYER...
1. Paul instructed some to pray that they might receive a gift
- cf. 1 Co 14:13
2. Those who already the gift of tongues could pray to receive the
gift of interpreting tongues - cf. 1 Co 12:10
3. Could those who had not already received a gift pray for one?
[The Scriptures do not go into detail as to how people received the
gifts. The reason for such ambiguity may have been their temporal
nature. Before we consider how long gifts were to last, let's consider
III. WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE GIFTS?
A. TO REVEAL AND CONFIRM...
1. To reveal God's will and confirm that it was His will - cf. Mk
16:17-20; He 2:3-4
a. Some gifts revealed God's will (e.g., prophecy)
b. Other gifts confirmed God's will (e.g., tongues, miracles)
2. Gifts were of little value unless truth was being revealed
- 1 Co 14:6
a. Which is why prophesy was valued more highly than tongues
- 1 Co 14:5
b. Especially when tongues were spoken without interpreters
- 1 Co 14:9-11
-- Spiritual gifts were an indication the process of revelation
was not yet complete
B. FOR THE PROFIT OF ALL...
1. The gifts of the Spirit were for given "for the profit of all"
- 1 Co 12:7
a. Not for personal or selfish reasons
b. But for the purpose of benefiting others
2. Thus the purpose of these miraculous gifts were to:
a. To instruct and edify the church - cf. 1 Co 14:3-4
b. To convince unbelievers, e.g., speaking in tongues - 1 Co
14:22; Ac 2:4-11
-- Spiritual gifts were designed to bless the whole church, not
[Keeping in mind the purpose of spiritual gifts will help us to answer
our next question...]
IV. HOW LONG WERE THE GIFTS TO LAST?
A. SPIRITUAL GIFTS WERE TO CEASE...
1. Prophecies were to done away (NASB) - 1 Co 13:
2. Tongues would cease - 1 Co 13:8b
3. Knowledge (cf. 1 Co 12:8) will be done away (NASB) - 1 Co 13:
-- The three gifts, prophecy, tongues, and knowledge evidently
stand for the whole group of spiritual gifts (Ferrell Jenkins)
B. WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IS COME...
1. What does "that which is perfect" refer to? - cf. 1 Co 13:9-10
a. Some say Christ, alluding to the time of His return
b. Others say heaven, alluding to the same time period
2. The overall context suggests differently; note carefully...
a. The contrast between partial knowledge, and that which is
perfect - 1 Co 13:9-10
1) "perfect" (teleios) means "brought to its end, finished;
wanting nothing necessary to completeness; perfect..."
2) There appears to be a contrast:
a) Between the partial knowledge at the time it was being
revealed through spiritual gifts
b) Ad the time when such knowledge would be completely
revealed (i.e., when God's revelation was final)
b. The contrast in the two illustrations used by Paul - 1 Co
1) The first showing a contrast between infancy and maturity
a) Spiritual gifts served during the infancy (beginning)
of the church
b) Once their purpose (to reveal and confirm) was
complete, things necessary to the beginning of the
church are done away
2) The second showing a contrast between a vague image and a
a) During the period when knowledge of God's will was not
yet complete, it was like looking at a dim mirror
b) Once God's word was completely revealed, it would be
like seeing oneself much more clearly
c. The contrast with what would remain - 1 Co 13:13
1) While prophecies, tongues, and knowledge would cease,
faith, love, and hope would "abide" (Grk., meno, "remain,
dwell, continue, tarry, endure")
2) To say Christ or heaven is "that which is perfect" makes
Paul's point meaningless
a) For there will be a time when spiritual gifts have
ceased, while faith, love, and hope remain
b) Yet when Christ or heaven comes, faith and hope will
be no more!
1] We will no longer walk by faith, but by sight!
- cf. 2 Co 5:7
2] We will no longer hope for what is unseen! - cf. Ro
3) But if "that which is perfect" refers to completed
a) Then faith, hope, and love, will continue until Christ
b) Even though spiritual gifts have been done away
-- Spiritual gifts, so important to the beginning and
establishment of the Lord's church, ceased once their purpose
(to reveal and confirm God's Word) was completed
1. Spiritual gifts were important to the beginning of the church, the
means by which the Lord...
a. Bore witness to His Word and His apostles - Mk 16:19-20; He 2:3-4
b. Provided a full and final revelation of His Will - 2 Pe 1:3; Ju 3;
2 Ti 3:16-17
2. Yet spiritual gifts, the miraculous manifestations of the Spirit,
were simply a means to an end...
a. To produce the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit - Ep 6:17
b. Which in turn produces the "fruit" of the Spirit - Ga 5:22-23; Ro
3. More important than tongues, prophecy, knowledge, or any other
a. Are the qualities of love, joy, peace, hope, etc., in the life of
b. I.e., the "fruit" of the Spirit in our life is more important than
the "gifts" of the Spirit!
Spiritual gifts may have ceased, but the fruit of the Spirit can be born
whenever one is willing to let "the perfect law of liberty" (i.e., the
Word of God) transform their life! - cf. Ja 1:21-25