THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (1 Cor 12:7-11)
These gifts are nine (9) in number and they bear testimony of the truth of God’s Word and God’s calling upon a man’s life. They are like equipment God has given to us for our work as believers. They can further be classified into 3 categories.
These are action gifts that cause someone to do or accomplish something and they include:
a) Gift of Healing
c) Working of miracles
UTTERANCE OR VOCAL GIFTS
These gifts make use of the vocals and they include:
b) Interpretation of tongues
c) Speaking in diverse kinds of tongues
REVELATION AND INSPIRATIONAL GIFTS
These make one to know or see a truth about another situation. These are:
a) Word of Wisdom
b) Word of Knowledge
c) Discerning of Spirits (Supernatural insight into the realm of the spirit)
These gifts of the Spirit are what God uses to equip the ministry.
MINISTRY GIFTS (Ephesians 4:11)
God gives the Ministry gifts to individuals for the work of the ministry. These gifts are for:
a) The perfecting of the Saints
b) Edifying the Body of Christ
c) Unifying Men in Faith and Knowledge
d) Perfecting the Church in Christ
e) Bringing Men to Maturity in Christ
Unlike spiritual gifts, one ought to note that in this case, the gift is the person himself/herself who is called into the ministry office and presented as a gift to the church.
All these can be seen in Ephesians 4:12-13. These gifts are called the fivefold ministry gifts as seen in Ephesians 4:11 and they are: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.
From Greek word ‘apostolos’ translated means ‘sent forth or sent one’. An Apostle is one with a commission. It could be to establish churches (1 Cor 4:15, 9:2) and he is first and foremost a preacher or a teacher of the word (1 Tim 2:7, 2 Tim 1:11). He is sent forth with a particular message. His distinguishing result is the ability to establish churches and he may have to oversee the churches until they have been fully established. (1 Cor. 9:1-2).
This office seems to embrace all other ministry gifts as the apostle will do the work of the Teacher. As a teacher, he will teach and establish people. As a Pastor he will pastor and shepherd the people for a while.
The Prophet speaks from the impulse of a sudden inspiration, from the light of sudden revelation at that moment. He speaks by direct divine inspiration, an immediate revelation. He is also first of all a Preacher or a Teacher of the Word.
One who brings the evangel (the good news); a messenger of good tidings. He brings the news of the redeeming grace of God and his favourite theme is salvation in its simplest form. He has a divine urge or burning within to preach the Word and get the people saved.
This means Shepherd. He is a Shepherd of God’s Sheep in the local body and they are necessary for maturing and equipping of the Saints.
This is a divine gift and is about the calling placed on particular individuals to stand in that office and teach by supernatural abilities. It is a divine endowment to teach God’s word.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND MINISTRY GIFTS.
The Ministry gifts are God’s calling into an office and cannot be desired (Hebrews 5:4; Ephesians 4:11). It is God Himself who calls the individual into the five-fold ministry and no man can take it upon himself. The ministry into which one is called is not in name but in power, for even if one calls himself into an office; it doesn’t make him what he calls himself. The ministry must be evident in the individual’s life because God who has called him will surely equip him with the divine enablement or endowment to stand in that office.
On the other hand Spiritual gifts can be desired (1 Cor 12:31; Rom 1:11), though it is the Holy Spirit who gives out as He wills or chooses (1 Cor 12:11).
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND FRUIT OF THE RECREATED HUMAN SPIRIT
The gifts of the Spirit are by the impartation into man’s spirit and they are abilities God gives to every believer to fulfil God’s call upon his life. The fruit of the spirit are nine in number (Gal 5:23) and they are the fruit a believer is supposed to produce by reason of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. The believer has a level of control over the development of these fruits in his life. That is why Paul says, if we live by the spirit, let us also walk by the spirit (Galatians 5:25) and those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh and its passion, appetites and desires(Galatians5:24). The believer has the responsibility of ensuring that he bears the right fruit.
EVERY CHRISTIAN CAN WALK IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPRIT
The Holy Spirit has been given to us as was promised by God through Jesus Christ. It is left for every believer to receive him for he has already been made available to us all. All an individual needs to do is to desire him in all of His fullness (Psalm 63:1-3, 8). The Psalmist here has a deep hunger and desire for the presence of God i.e. the Holy Spirit who is also called the angel of God’s presence (Isaiah 63:9-10a). Desire and hunger, and you will be filled, for Jesus says in Matthew 5:6, that even in having the desire you are blessed and you will be filled. The most important thing is the desire for the Holy Spirit. For all that believe or desire shall receive. In the case of the apostles as we see in the scriptures, a desire had been placed in their hearts long before they received (John 14:16, 17; Acts 1:8). We see where Jesus told them to tarry in Jerusalem till they had been endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49).
There was a great anticipation and hunger in them and they were actually in the temple praying and expecting Him until He came as we see in Acts 2. This was important for them to have the ability to effectively minister the Word of God and live the Christian life. In Isaiah 32:15, we see what happens to a man’s life when God’s Spirit is poured forth into him. It brings productivity and fruitfulness. The Spirit changes things and causes you to increase greatly.
In Isaiah 44:2-4 God speaks again about desire saying.”…I will pour upon him that is thirsty and floods upon thine offspring: and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water course”. Jesus says in John 7:37, 38 that “if any man thirsts, let him come to me and drink”.
It is however important to note that there is a difference between the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The word baptism is taken from the Greek work “baptiso”, which means to be immersed or dipped into. This actually took place the day we got born again, for we were immersed into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. The infilling however means you are filled with God’s Spirit and given supernatural strength as a believer. The Spirit of God fills the believer to enable him be an effective witness of Christ. Acts 2:4.
This class emphasized the importance of the Holy Spirit to the life of Christian. A lot of emphasis was laid on speaking in tongues which is one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Christian. This is because it is the gift that a Christian can use to build himself up. Jude 20, 1Corinthians 14:2. This class also differentiated ministry gifts which are: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher, from the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. Lastly, we learnt that every Christian can work in the power of the Holy Spirit.