God gives each of us gifts of the Holy Spirit. But, what are they? Paul lists several of them. I believe that this probably is not an exhaustive list, but let’s look at this list and what each of these gifts are. This is what I have gathered from teachings (and, yes, Google). Any comments would be appreciated.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 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. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
1 Corinthians 12:27-29
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 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.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
God gives each of us a measure of faith. By grace we are saved through faith according to Ephesians 2:8. The Holy spirit gives us faith and strengthens in our struggles. Some have that faith to move mountains and to slay their giants.
Wisdom, Knowledge and Discernment:
I imagine many pastors and teachers may have these. The gift of knowledge is more than just what you learn through studies, but the Holy Spirit revealing things to you. It could be a scripture, or knowing something about a person going through a struggle or discerning that someone is trying to deceive you or the church. All of us need to discern based on what the Bible says but some have that added revelation that something is or is not right or what the motives are. Wisdom is the Holy Spirit showing a person how to apply that knowledge in life and to strengthen and protect other believers.
Leaders, Apostles, Teachers, Pastors, Profits and Evangelists:
God uses people through the Holy Spirit to lead His flock. It is not just about being a good leader. It is someone who God has called to lead His flock and serve His people. A pastor not only teaches but also serves and most importantly oversees the spiritual welfare of the church body. An apostle literally means “one who is sent.” Many people reserve this term for those who experienced Jesus’ ministry and/or resurrection. Leading in the church is a great responsibility and those who lead need to take it seriously and they will be held to a higher standard by people and by God.
Miracles and Healings:
Have you ever experienced a miracle? You cannot help but praise God for it. The Holy Spirit will do many miracles and healings though someone to bring others closer to Him. If it is for personal gain, it does not come from God. One who has this gift will have the power over the forces of Satan and this world (but it is not through their own power, but the power of God).
Helping, Giving and Ministering (service):
Some people just have that passion and desire to help others. They have a giving spirit. It could be serving in a particular ministry within the church, or those who may be part of a ministry to help those in need within or outside the church. I would guess most, if not all, missionaries or volunteer workers have this gift.
Mercy and Exhortation:
Some people have that gift to know when a person has a need, usually spiritual or emotional in nature and will have the right words and know the right things to do to help that person. They have the compassion to show mercy and encourage a person who is struggling or needs a little push.
Tongues and Interpretations of Tongues:
By what I have heard, the gift of tongues is probably the most controversial. It seems some people are one extreme or the other. On one hand, entire churches follow the belief that without speaking in tongues you are not filled with the Holy Spirit. On the other hand some people believe there is no room at all for tongues. This is another place where discernment comes in. Read through 1 Corinthians 12-14 to find out more about tongues and their purpose. One who speaks in tongues do so to bring others to Christ and to strengthen the church. It is not a chaotic mass of people speaking random things no one can understand. God is a God of order, not chaos. This gift is either used to share God’s word with those of a different language or through an interpreter. Otherwise it is not of God. Not everyone has this or any gift, but some do. Each one is given a gift as the Holy Spirit desires.
When we use the gifts God has given us, many others are blessed and God is glorified. They are a way to edify (strengthen) the church, God’s people, to further His kingdom. Let us be sure to use the gifts and talents God has given us to reach out to those in need and show them the love of God.