By: Gladys Raquel Hernández
Talents are all those qualities or attributes granted to a person and may be either physical, manual or verbal skills. Talents are all those abilities, capabilities, cleverness and creativeness a person has in order to carry out a specific task. Talents are generally found in sportsmen/women, singers, musicians, dancers, scientists, investigators, researchers, etc. However, talents are not limited to our favorite characters, but all human beings have been given different talents, which we cannot always discover inside of us because we have been imposed ways of life that have limited us in our human and professional development many times, what has caused frustration and bitterness to us throughout our lives.
On the other hand, the spiritual gifts are divine attributes, that is, they come directly from our Creator towards our lives due to God´s grace, which is a present we are not worthy of at all. When we open our sincere hearts to God, He distributes different spiritual gifts to all of us according to His will.
The following biblical verses state these concepts:
“The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. Some of us can speak with wisdom, while others can speak with knowledge, but these gifts come from the same Spirit. To others the Spirit has given great faith or the power to heal the sick or the power to work mighty miracles. Some of us are prophets, and some of us recognize when God´s Spirit is present. Others can speak different kinds of languages, and still others can tell what these languages mean. But it is the Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us”. (1º Corinthians 12:7-11)
Talents as well as spiritual gifts are granted by God because all what we are and have, has been given by God. He has created us to be like Him (Genesis 1:26). He has deposited a soul into each body created (which comprises our minds, thoughts, intellect and emotions), so that our souls are developed, they may encounter our Creator and get redemption (to be born again upon accepting Jesus Christ as savior) in order to get the subsequent eternal life and our incorruptible, glorious and powerful bodies such as the one our Lord Jesus lives in.
We can appreciate the following biblical verse:
“Our Lord Jesus Christ has power over everything and he will make these poor bodies of ours like his own glorious body”. (Philippians 3:21)
The spiritual gifts are: leadership, teaching, knowledge, wisdom, prophecy, science, discernment, exhortation, healthiness, pastorate, faith, evangelism, apostolate, service, mercy and generosity.
God yearns that we open our sincere hearts to Him so that He may not only enter and live into us forever, but He also wishes to distribute spiritual gifts and to spill His infinite Grace over us, due to His tender and good heart. We can grow, mature and develop well as efficient Christ´s soldiers through God´s Grace and the spiritual gifts we receive from Him, in order to carry out our ministries and service to God successfully.
We can view how good God is through this biblical verse:
“If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God and it will be given to you. God is generous and won´t correct you for asking”. (James 1:5)
Gifts of the Spirit – What Are They?
Gifts of the Spirit are special abilities provided by the Holy Spirit to Christians for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. The list of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 includes wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Similar lists appear in Ephesians 4:7-13 and Romans 12:3-8. The gifts of the Spirit are simply God enabling believers to do what He has called us to do. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” The gifts of the Holy Spirit are part of the “everything we need” to fulfill His purposes for our lives.
Gifts of the Spirit – The Definitions
There is some controversy as to the precise nature of each of the gifts of the Spirit, but here is a list of spiritual gifts and their basic definitions.
- The gift of wisdom seems to be the ability to make decisions and give guidance that is according to God’s will.
- The gift of knowledge is the ability to have an in-depth understanding of a spiritual issue or situation.
- The gift of faith is being able to trust God and encourage others to trust God, no matter the circumstances.
- The gift of healing is the miraculous ability to use God’s healing power to restore a person who is sick, injured, or suffering.
- The gift of miracles is being able to perform signs and wonders that give authenticity to God’s Word and the Gospel message.
- The gift of prophecy is being able to proclaim a message from God.
- The gift of discerning spirits is the ability to determine whether or not a message, person, or event is truly from God.
- The gift of tongues is the ability to speak in a foreign language that you do not have knowledge of, in order to communicate with someone who speaks that language.
- The gift of interpreting tongues is the ability to translate the tongues speaking and communicate it back to others in your own language.
- The gift of administration is being able to keep things organized and in accordance with God’s principles.
- The gift of helps is always having the desire and ability to help others, to do whatever it takes to get a task accomplished.
Gifts of the Spirit – Which One(s) Do I Have?
The Holy Spirit distributes the gifts of the Spirit as He sees fit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). God does not want us to be ignorant of how He wants us to serve Him. However, it is very easy for us to get caught up in what spiritual gift(s) we have and then only serve God in that area of ministry. That is not how it works. God calls us to obediently serve Him. He will equip us with whatever gifts of the Spirit we need to accomplish the task or tasks He has called us to. Yes, God calls some to be teachers and gives them the gift of teaching, but that does not excuse the person from serving God in other ways as well. Is it beneficial to know what spiritual gift(s) God has given you? Of course, it is. Is it wrong to focus so much on spiritual gifts that we miss other opportunities to serve God? Yes!
There is no magic formula or spiritual gift test that can tell you what gifts of the Spirit you possess. What we need to focus on is serving God. Do you see a need in your church? Do what you can to meet it. Is there a position in a ministry that is vacant? Pray as to whether God would have you fill it. If we seek God’s will and obey His leading, He will always equip us with whatever gifts of the Spirit we need. Spiritual gift tests can be of some value in determining what areas God has especially gifted you. As always, though, place far more emphasis on God’s Word and submitting to the Lord’s leading than you do on the results of a spiritual gift test.
Gifts of the Spirit – What Are the Gifts Used For?
The Apostle Paul indicated that the gifts of the Spirit are equally valid, but not equally valuable. Their value is determined by their worth to the church. In dealing with this matter, he used the analogy of the human body. All members of the body have functions, Paul declared, but some are more important than others (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). The service of each Christian should be in proportion to the gifts which he possesses (1 Corinthians 12-14). All believers, as members of the body of Christ, must be serving together in order for the body to be fully-functional. That is why a church needs pastors, teachers, helpers, servants, administrators, those with great faith, etc. All of the gifts of the Holy Spirit working together are needed to produce the full potential of the church. Since the gifts of the Spirit are gifts of grace, their use must be controlled by the rule of love – the greatest of all the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13).
Grow More Now!
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
– We have all
and deserve God’s judgment.
, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He
for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was
rose from the dead
according to the
. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your
, declaring, “
Jesus is Lord
,” you will be saved from
and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions
It is clear each believer has at least one spiritual gift. First Corinthians 12:6-7 notes, “there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
This same passage teaches spiritual gifts are given for the common good. In other words, gifts are shared according to what best helps the larger body of Christ rather than for the self-improvement of the individual. Spiritual gifts are given to use for serving others.
No one has every spiritual gift. First Corinthians 12:8-11 notes that one person is given a certain gift, and another person is given a different gift. A believer may have more than one spiritual gift, but no believer has every gift.
How does God decide which gift to give? Will God give me the gifts I want? First Corinthians 12:31 states, “But earnestly desire the higher gifts.” Does this mean I should seek out additional gifts?
The answer is found in part in the verses that follow 1 Corinthians 12:31. Paul notes, “And I will show you a still more excellent way” to conclude chapter 12, followed by a chapter on love in 1 Corinthians 13. First Corinthians 14 then discusses prophecy and speaking in tongues (or languages) as two important gifts because of their ability to reach unbelievers and help believers grow.
An overview of these chapters reveals that the apostle Paul taught love was the most excellent way that all believers were to seek. In addition to love, God gives spiritual gifts to help one another in the church and to reach those outside of the church. He concludes with, “But all things should be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). Both showing genuine Christian love and the practice of spiritual gifts together in church gatherings are to take place with respect and order that honors God and helps others.
One final note also provides a profound look at God’s care in designing us with certain gifts and abilities. When God called the prophet Jeremiah to serve Him, He said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). Though this passage was written specifically to Jeremiah, God prepared us before we were born to serve Him in a particular way as well (see Psalm 139 and Ephesians 2:10). We need not compare our gifts or abilities to those of others. We are called to grow in love and to serve according to His will with the abilities He has given us.
Related Truth: What is my spiritual gift?What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?How can I walk in the Spirit?What is the fruit of the Spirit?What is the role of the Holy Spirit? How is the Holy Spirit active in our lives today?
Truth about the Holy Spirit