What are Spiritual Gifts and what does the Bible teach us about them?

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Did you know that one of the most discussed topics in churches is doubts and questions regarding spiritual gifts (or gifts of the Holy Spirit)?

The plain, unvarnished truth is that the Apostle Paul teaches us a lot about them in his letters, that is to inform us how the Holy Spirit works by us, in us, and through us to accomplish His will here on earth.

In addition to His direct work in our hearts and in our circumstances, the Holy Spirit himself is responsible for showing the power of God through mine and your life.

But understand that the power (dunamis) of the Lord manifests itself in different ways and ways in each of our lives!

The famous “spiritual gifts” are supernatural abilities and, according to the scriptures, are available to ALL Christians!

Therefore, in this Bible study, you will learn what the Bible mentions about the 9 spiritual gifts  — which are also called the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit.

So if you have questions about what gifts are, who gives us the gifts, and how we can develop them, you’ve come to the right place!


The 9 spiritual gifts in the Bible:

The 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit are mentioned in the text of 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 , the passage reads as follows:

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
And there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord.
And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God that worketh all in all.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for whatever is useful.
For to one by the Spirit is given the word of wisdom; to another, by the same Spirit, the word of knowledge;
And to another, by the same Spirit, faith; to another, the gifts of healing;
To another the working of wonders; and to another prophecy; to another the gift of discerning of spirits; to another the diversities of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one just as he wants.”

From this passage, we can extract the 9 distinct spiritual gifts, namely:

  1. Word of wisdom;
  2. Word of knowledge;
  3. Gift of faith;
  4. Gifts of healing;
  5. Work of wonders;
  6. Prophecy;
  7. discernment of spirits;
  8. Variety of languages;
  9. Interpretation of languages;

Yes, Spiritual Gifts exist and they come from God!

This is more than clear in the Holy Bible: the Spirit of God himself is the one who gives us these “special abilities”.

It is important to note that just like salvation, we do not deserve and cannot do anything to deserve this ‘gift’.

It seems to be simple to understand, but here lies the BIGGEST DIFFICULTY of our generation, not least because human beings cannot accept anything for free: they always want to do something to win the present, they want to find ways to repay those who give them…

This posture and pride present in man characterize his lack of faith in God! We profess to believe, but the Lord searches our hearts and not just our words.

If we act like this, we do not fully believe in grace, we want to conquer the ‘divine gift’ in every possible way…

Maybe that’s why the church is physically full and spiritually empty!

The Gifts may be Different, but the Spirit is the same.

The Bible emphasizes that the same Spirit works DIFFERENTLY in all of us. Just as we have different talents (not all are masons, not all are mechanics, etc.) the gifts we receive are different.

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Therefore, we should not judge how God is working in someone else, nor should we compare ourselves with others.

The Spirit is manifested in us to serve God with our gifts, and that’s enough!

Without envying the gift that God has given others, or comparing oneself with the way the Spirit uses others. You have a different identity and God wants to use you DIFFERENTLY!

God will NOT give you Gifts if your heart’s intent is perverted.

Strong huh? But it is the purest truth, the Lord only presents us with spiritual gifts when he sees in us purity of heart to deal with it.

We are not given spiritual gifts so that we can feel good about ourselves; we are not given spiritual gifts so that we can look good to others; we are not given spiritual gifts to manipulate or get what we want. 

God gives us spiritual gifts so we can build each other up! It’s that simple, and that’s genius of Him!

It really is a beautiful thing when the gifts of the Holy Spirit are used to help and build others up; in fact, God planned it that way.

Have spiritual gifts ceased?

Unlike some lines of Christian thought, I believe that spiritual gifts exist and are still accessible to the church today.

Also because there is no mention in the Bible that the gifts were only for the early church or that they ended at a certain time.

Rather, we see Paul teaching the entire Corinthian church about spiritual gifts.

So, there is no excuse for not seeking out the gifts of the Holy Spirit and developing them for the good of our neighbors and the church.

How to develop spiritual gifts?

The best way to develop a spiritual gift is to practice. Just like a musician who, although he knows the notes and chords, will only get good if he practices.

In addition, we clearly see in the Bible that no one is born knowing, but rather improves in manifesting the gift:

So it is with you. Since you are anxious to have spiritual gifts, seek to grow into those who bring edification to the church.

1 Corinthians 14:12

Well, if Paul affirms the possibility of growing in spiritual gifts, then we can affirm that there is progress and improvement that needs to be sought.

I emphasize again: The gifts of the Holy Spirit exist and we already have access to them, we just need our dedication to seek them and practice them.

Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit for everyone?

The short and quick answer to that question is: Yes! As believers, we all have an inheritance of power and authority since the first coming of King Jesus.

He himself said:

Very truly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will also do, and greater works than these will he do, because I go to my Father.
And whatever you ask in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 14:12-14

The gifts of the Holy Spirit were given to build up the Church and make it whole. The sad reality of today is that we believers have neglected them…

The Holy Spirit has been given to us, with 9 beautiful Gifts, to help us minister the love, life, and power of Jesus through the supernatural. Therefore, it makes no sense to continue trying to do the work in our ‘gogó strength’!

What are Spiritual Gifts?

What are Spiritual Gifts?

As we have already mentioned here, the Bible tells us that there are 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit, namely:

  • Word of wisdom;
  • Word of knowledge;
  • Faith;
  • Gifts of healing;
  • Work of wonders;
  • Prophecy;
  • discernment of spirits;
  • Variety of languages;
  • Language interpretation.
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Furthermore, we can divide the 9 spiritual gifts into 3 distinct groups: speech gifts, revelation gifts, and power gifts — 3 gifts for each group, see below:

Speech Gifts:

Speech gifts include Prophecy, Speaking in Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues. God uses these gifts to communicate with us literally and audibly.


Some biblical passages state that the gift of prophecy is the greatest of spiritual gifts, even though they all have tremendous value to the church of Christ.

The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 14, purposely highlights this gift by advising you to earnestly seek the best spiritual gifts.

He tells us in this verse to  “seek spiritual gifts, but especially to prophesy.”

The Gift of Prophecy is a special ability that God gives to members of the Body of Christ to receive and communicate a message from the Lord to His people through a divinely anointed utterance.

Believers with this gift do not necessarily tell the future as much as they edify, encourage, and redirect the church body.

Speaking in Tongues.

The gift of tongues simply portrays the Holy Spirit giving you the ability to speak in a language that you have no knowledge or way to speak for yourself.

There are two kinds of tongues He can give you. One is the language of this land: for example, if your native language is Portuguese, it can give you the ability to speak Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, etc.

Another kind of language He can give you is a language straight from heaven, a heavenly language that is not of this earth. The Bible exhorts us in 1 Corinthians 13 that there are  “tongues of angels”.

Whatever language the Holy Spirit gives you, you can use it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whenever you want. This will be your own personal, private prayer language with the Father!

Language interpretation.

In this gift, the Holy Spirit gives you the ability to interpret a message transmitted in tongues.

Paul spoke of this gift in the context that in a church service, no one should speak in tongues unless there was someone ready to interpret it.

Which reinforces the communal nature of spiritual gifts!

Gifts of Revelation:

Revelation gifts include the Word of Wisdom, the Word of Knowledge, and the Discerning of Spirits. These gifts reveal what is unknown or hidden to bring the understanding of God’s desires.

Word of Wisdom.

Yes, the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge are INTIMATELY related; but as they are listed separately in the Scriptures, they must be understood separately.

The word of wisdom is a supernatural revelation or understanding of the divine will and purpose given by the Spirit to solve problems and perplexing situations.

People with this gift have the ability to make wise decisions and advise others in the same way.

Word of knowledge.

Whoever receives this gift may have knowledge about something that you do not have the ability or means to know based on your human intelligence.

The Word of Knowledge is a supernatural revelation of Divine knowledge to know things that could not be known by oneself.

We can see this gift in practice when the Holy Spirit reveals something about a person or situation to his anointed one.

Discernment of spirits.

Angels and demons are actively at work in the world, and so it takes the gift of spiritual discernment to understand the source of supernatural activity.

We must seek to discern between the spirits who seek to influence this world for God or the devil.

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Someone can claim that they have received a message from the Lord, but if the message does not agree with the Bible, we must be quick to recognize a human or demonic influence at that time.

The Holy Spirit pulls back the curtains, exposing the evil spirits so that the person can escape their bondage.

Gifts of Power:

Gifts of power include Faith, Gifts of Healing, and Working Wonders. These gifts visibly and clearly demonstrate the power of God!

House of Faith.

The gift of faith is the ability to supernaturally believe in God despite all kinds of obstacles.

The Bible says that we all have a certain measure of faith that has already been given to us by the Lord!

And then, throughout our walk with God, our faith will continue to grow to higher levels as we continue to grow closer to the Father through the study of the Scriptures.

However, there will be times when our own levels of faith are not enough to do the work He may be asking us to do for Him. Here is a beautiful example:

Let’s say God wants to manifest the gift of healing through you to heal some minor illness or disease.

Your confidence and faith levels are starting to rise because God is now starting to use you in this way and you’ve already had some good results praying for healing from these minor ailments.

But then all of a sudden God tells you to go to a paraplegic, lay hands on him and command him to get out of the wheelchair and start walking.

Here your own faith levels are not high enough as you have never tried to heal someone from something this heavy before.

However, this is where the gift of faith will be moving so that this miracle can be fully performed to the glory of the Lord.

Gifts of Healing.

One of the things Jesus wants all of us to do for Him is to pray for the sick, after all, that is the great commission!

The gift of healing is mentioned several times in Scripture as a gift used throughout the early church, it can, in fact, should be present in the church today.

Operation of Wonders.

Wonderful and instantaneous miracles are seen here, they are visibly supernatural acts!

This gift of the Holy Spirit is described throughout the Bible, from Moses parting the Red Sea to Jesus feeding 5,000 people.

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, He still performs inexplicable miracles! 

A person with this gift can be used by God to perform any kind of creative miracle, from using physical strength to moving a car to regenerate a body part or affecting the weather.

There is no limit to what God can do!

Concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit, do not be ignorant!

1 Corinthians 12 begins with a powerful statement by Paul:  “Concerning spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be ignorant…”

This may sound harsh, but Paul is warning the Church that we must remain spiritually awake, understanding, and searching the scriptures so that we can remain steadfast in the faith.

The apostle Paul is speaking to those in Corinth, but his message applies to us today. Therefore, we must remain aligned with God!

The gifts of the Holy Spirit take you to deeper waters. We must not be ignorant about a topic as crucial as this one!

Beloved, if you liked this text,  share it with your friends. Thus, more people will learn about the 9 spiritual gifts.