Spiritual Gifts Overview

Spiritual gifts are mentioned several times in the New Testament. Each list is presented in a different context from the others and has specific application; therefore we don’t lump them all into one big list of gifts. There are a few other gifts on lists of spiritual gifts compiled by various authors such as missionary, celibacy, hospitality, marriage, and some gifts from the Old Testament such as interpretation of dreams and craftsmanship. Some even refer to gifts of music or preaching.

Our view is that the three major New Testament passages on spiritual gifts each present a different aspect of the work of the Holy Spirit and His gifts.

  • We believe that the gifts listed in Ephesians 4: 11 are the foundational gifts, and are key to an understanding of personal destiny. They are often called the “ministry gifts” or “ascension gifts.” They describe the way we personally function or relate to world around us. We call them Destiny Orientations; see the Ministry Gift Assessment and the links below in More information.
  • We believe that the gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8 are related to how the Ephesians gifts (or Destiny Orientations) are expressed, and we call them the Motivational Orientations; see the Motivational Assessment.
  • The third major list of spiritual gifts is found in I Cor. 12:8-10, and these deal with specific manifestations of the Holy Spirit. We call these gifts Supernatural Orientations; see the Manifestation Gift Assessment. Although there are other gifts mentioned elsewhere in First Corinthians, they are for the most part similar to the ones listed in Romans 12:6-8.

We recognize that there are many different viewpoints on spiritual gifts and we plead for grace in this area. We believe all the gifts are valuable, but as Paul teaches in First Corinthians 13, love is more important than gifts, and is the basis for the exercise of the gifts.

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