When you came to faith in Jesus Christ, when you were baptized, a lot of things happened. One of them is that you were filled with the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? That means a whole lot of things. In this article, we’re going to zoom in on one of those: the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
These are gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us believers. Every Christian has at least one, and possibly more than one.
The New Testament lists 20. They are given for the purpose of ministry. For that reason, we could call them the “Ministry Gifts.
And since these gifts make you a leader within the given type of ministry, we could also call them “Leadership Gifts.”
In this article, we will refer to them as Ministry Gifts.
The Ministry Gifts are different than the “Fruits of the Holy Spirit.”
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are not for ministry or leadership. Rather, they are evidence that the Holy Spirit is in your life. They happen, without you even trying to make them happen.
Just as an apple tree does not need to think about how to produce apples, so too you do not need to think about how to produce the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. They just happen.
You may recall the nine of them from Galatians 5:22-23. These Fruits of the Spirit are a different matter altogether than the Ministry Gifts.
In this article, our focus is on the Ministry Gifts. Every Christian believer has at least one of the 20. You have at least one.
Our gifts differ, according to St. Paul:
Romans 12:6-8. having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us: if prophecy, let’s prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; 7 or service, let’s give ourselves to service; or he who teaches, to his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, to his exhorting; he who gives, let him do it with generosity; he who rules, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
We do not all have the same Ministry Gifts. That is by God’s design. There is no need to envy the Ministry Gifts of other people or to try to duplicate them. Rather, our joy is in finding the Ministry Gifts that the Holy Spirit has given you, and in acting on them.
When your local church is filled with the Holy Spirit, your local assembly will have people with a whole variety of Ministry Gifts. Even though their gifting is diverse, their gifting works together in unity, like diversely-gifted musicians working together to produce a beautiful symphony.
Whatever Ministry Gift you have is a χαρίσματα (“charismata”), a charism. It is an undeserved favor, a gift of grace. You did not earn it. You did not merit it. It does not make you better than other people. You do not forfeit it by sin.
Our Ministry Gifts are a special way for us to bring glory to God. They are a special way for us to minister Jesus Christ to other people. And they are a special way for us to help build up the local assembly.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.