Saturday, April 28, 2007

Spiritual Gifts

Today in my theology study, while discussing divine revelation, the issue of spiritual gifts came up. Here is a concise list of gifts found in the scriptures. Do you know your spiritual gift?

1 Corinthians 12-14
  • (Vs 8-10): Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophesy, Discernment, Tongues, and Interpretation.
  • (Vs 28): Apostleship, Prophesy, Teaching, Miracles, Healing, Helps, Administration, and Tongues.
Romans 12:1-8
  • (Vs 6-8): Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Encouraging, Helps, Leadership, Mercy
Ephesians 4:1-16
  • (Vs 11): Apostleship, Prophesy, Evangelism, Pastors, and Teaching.
1 Peter 4:8-11
  • (Vs 9): Hospitality
Other Possible Gifts
  • Exodus 31:1-6: Craftsmanship
  • Parables, Psalms: Creative Communication
  • Matthew 5, Proverbs: Counseling


Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

First Theology said...

Scott- One way to view these "lists" are as representative but not exhaustive (one reason that seems to be the case is because no list is identical!). Therefore I don't tell someone to go to the list and figure out which one I have, rather I urge them to use whatever they have to God's glory. Not saying that is/is-not your view, but it's how I tend to sort thru this aspect of the discussion.

Further, I think it's interesting that we focus a lot on "spiritual gift tests" to determine this sort of thing. The whole "test" idea seems limited by the fact that it can only put forth a representative sampling of gifts (like these lists) and the test is usually based purely on our own self-assessment rather than community feedback/input. Coincidently, ~80% of the American church identify themselves as "teachers" – I think because they think that's the "best" gift which they are "supposed" to have (James 3:1 seems to indicate otherwise however). Side Note: This is one reason I’m not to big on tests like SHAPE as a metric for identifying gifts… I typically say: What are you good at, do you enjoy, are you interested in, and then “give it a try” and see how the community responds either in a confirmatory way or not.

Finally, there is the related question (which maybe I alluded to above) which asks: Are these ordinary/natural gifts that God sanctifies or are they "spiritual imparted new abilities" given at/thru/after conversion? And whatever you decide are they "for life" or do they manifest differently when you are in a different local body (i.e. - according to the needs of the community as it seems this is how/why the gifts are given) or are they "for life" (thus autonomous from the local community of believers you are part of)? All interesting questions to consider...

Dan B. said...


Did you know that you take a spiritual gifts test as a part of the Parkview new member class? I took it when I went through the class a few years ago and it was a pretty traumatic experience. It's sort of like a personality test; it asks you a bunch of questions about what you enjoy doing, what you are comfortable doing, what you think you're good at, etc. When you're done you compile your top 3 potential spiritual gifts. Mine were:

1. Artistic Craftsmanship (probably because of my background in design and because I'm an amateur woodoworker)
2. Instrumental Music (guitar playing)
2. Manual Craftsmanship (ditch digging and rough construction)

I thought it an odd list. Each one had a bible verse or two referenced by the description (all old testament, I believe), but those weren't much help. They were mostly just God telling someone to build an ark or a wall, or psalms about praising God with instruments. The music verses were at least general mandates, but the craftsmanship ones were just specific people given specific tasks.

The survey only had you calculate your top 3, but with their formula it was easy to rank all the others. My bottom 3 were prayer, evangelism, and my rock bottom last place: leadership.


Josh, I like your take on spiritual gifts for purely selfish reasons if nothing else, especially your statement
"....I urge them to use whatever they have to God's glory." After all, I don't want to be relegated by God to just being an artsy-fartsy guitar playing ditch-digger.