Gift Lists

1 Corinthians 12:28

And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.

There are four different lists of spiritual gifts in the New Testament.  Some gifts overlap while others are only mentioned once.  In all, there are twenty spiritual gifts that Paul lists.

It is easy to become obsessive over lists and who has what gifts.  The Corinthians had a problem with attempting to determine which gifts were most important.  But Paul makes it clear that all gifts are important.

While we should want to know what our gifts are so that we can use them, we should be careful not to obsess over them.  Nowhere does Paul say that these are the twenty exclusive gifts of the Holy Spirit and everyone falls into these nice little categories.  But they are a nice place to start when examining them.

Our gifts will even manifest themselves in different ways depending on our other gifts.  Someone with the gifts of music and evangelism may spread the gospel through singing while someone with the gifts of teaching and evangelism may have a teaching ministry.  Both are great ways to use one’s gifts.  One person may have a gift of service that results in cleaning the church while another cooks meals for big events.  A third person may be elderly and unable to leave the house often but they diligently send out cards and make phone calls to people. All are acts of service but are completely different.

In the end, these gifts are valuable tools for learning about spiritual gifts but we need to understand that God made us all unique and our gifts will be manifested in many different ways.

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