1 Corinthians 12:1-11, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
1 Corinthians 12:27-31, “ 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts.”
Ephesians 4:11-12, “11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”.
These are the 3 major references usually discussed when people talk about the ‘gifts of the Spirit’. However, in our opinion there is truly only one gift – the gift that is the Holy Spirit as poured out on all flesh at Pentecost (Joel 2:28), as promised by Jesus in John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever”. Therefore, if we have the gift of the Spirit of God within us, do we not have all of the gifts that He has? Like all giftings we have naturally (some are musicians, some builders, some mathematicians etc), we all have to become aware of our gifts and then need practice to perfect them. As Paul goes on to say, are we not all part of the one body but we all have different roles to play. Though some gifts are reasonably common; for example, speaking in unknown languages, some of us may be more experienced than others, while yet others may struggle to speak at all. It is also imperative to recognise that not all of the gifts were given to individuals, but some gifts were given to the church as offices. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 lists a number of spiritual gifts given to individuals, whereas 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 and Ephesians 4:11 lists positions of authority and responsibility gifted to the church. These gifts are not only for our individual benefit, but primarily for the betterment of the common good.
All giftings and offices operate from the basis of LOVE as described in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 . If you do not have love then you are more than likely to be operating from less than pure motives, such as self-aggrandisement. Your words and actions will portray selfishness and bring pain and dissension.…..you are a clanging cymbal etc. All ministries are for the equipping and motivation of the saints, and for the harmonious operation of the body of Christ.