The Gift of the Holy Spirit, Part 1
“I love studying about the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts, for we live in such a changing world and we, as believers, need the power and gifts of God in our lives now more than ever.”
Wherever I go, I see Christians who are spiritually hungry and want to live a victorious, overcoming life in Christ. Yet, they remain powerless because they don’t understand how to appropriate God’s power. It’s time for that to change!
Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He said, “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…” (Acts 1:8).
This promise of power comes after the Holy Spirit visits your life, empowering you to witness, strengthening your Christian walk, and equipping you for Christian service to defeat the enemy.
As our lives are empowered by the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts or new abilities called the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” enable you and me to do the Lord’s work in new and powerful ways.
• The Father desires that we understand spiritual gifts. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now, concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (1 Corinthians 12:1). Remember, the devil’s success is dependent upon our ignorance. When you understand how to stir up these spiritual gifts in your life, you will have power and authority over the enemy.
• The Father has provided these gifts to profit His children. “But the manifestation of the Spirit,” the Apostle wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:7, “is given to every man to profit withal.” It’s God’s will that we not lack any spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 1:5-7).
• Our Father wants us to pursue the gifts that He has provided. Paul wrote, “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). Paul’s words encourage us to seek the gifts, which are available to each of us and necessary for our spiritual success. Now it is up to you and me to understand these gifts and stir them up.
Let’s get into the Word about these gifts!
Three Groups of Gifts
Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, lists each of the nine gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. The nine gifts can be divided into three groups:
- Revelation gifts
- Vocal gifts
- Power gifts
Revelation gifts include the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, and discerning of spirits.
Vocal gifts are tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy.
Power gifts include faith, healings, and the working of miracles.
Let me share a brief overview of each one. In Part 1 of this teaching, I’ll go through the three Revelation gifts and the first Vocal gift, then continue with the rest next week.
And as we go through these, I encourage you to take time to study each more deeply on your own and stir them up in your life.
Revelation Gift 1: Word of Wisdom—the application of knowledge
We experience the word of wisdom when the Holy Spirit gives us supernatural wisdom or understanding through His Word in certain situations.
When Jesus was faced with temptation in the wilderness, He ignored what satan attempted to offer and responded by quoting the Word of God. Eve, on the other hand, failed to confront the devil’s lies and was deceived.
You can use the word of wisdom to defeat the purposes of the enemy by knowing how to apply the Word; at times, it can mean the difference between life and death. In fact, the word of wisdom is essential in the operation of all the other gifts, so it is important to seek this gift. Pray for this gift. Ask God to saturate your life with it, and as you study Scripture, the Lord will begin to give you the word of wisdom to illuminate your understanding.
Revelation Gift 2: Word of Knowledge—receiving facts supernaturally by the Spirit
The word of knowledge is something that couldn’t possibly be known without the Holy Spirit’s prompting. There are numerous examples throughout Scripture where the word of knowledge is given by the Spirit with specific information concerning a need or problem. (An example is in 2 Kings 5, when Elisha the prophet knew that Gehazi had lied to Naaman the leper).
Ananias and Sapphira pretended to sell their land and give all to God’s work, but Peter received a word of knowledge that allowed him to boldly ask, “Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?” (Acts 5:3).
A word of knowledge can be personal or may be given for you to share with others. When you receive it, you should immediately begin praying for God’s wisdom to share or apply this word.
Revelation Gift 3: Discerning of Spirits—perceiving the source of a manifestation
The last of the three Revelation gifts helps you perceive whether a spiritual manifestation is from God, man, or the devil.
It was the discerning of spirits that helped the Apostle Peter understand the vision spoken of in Acts 10, which in turn led to evangelism among the Gentiles, for he said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.”
It was the gift of discerning of spirits that led Paul to cast the evil spirit out of a fortune teller who seemingly spoke all the right words saying, “I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her” (Acts 8:23).
We’re in a battle, and the enemy is cunning. Sometimes, evil masquerades as good. Therefore, we must be watchful with our supernatural senses, exercising the Revelation gift of discernment along with wisdom and knowledge.
Vocal Gifts 1: Tongues—three supernatural means of communication
There is some confusion about the first of the vocal gifts because there are actually three different kinds of tongues:
• Tongues unto God (“For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God”—1 Corinthians 14:2).
• Tongues as a sign to the unbeliever (Acts 2 gives the account of people who marveled at hearing their own native tongue).
• Tongues which edify the body of believers (“For greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying”—1 Corinthians 14:5).
There is a place for each kind. Paul was certainly not dismissing the value of tongues, for he wrote, “I would that ye all spake with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:5) and “forbid not to speak with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:39). He even wrote, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (1 Corinthians 14:18).
This gift is critical for intercession and spiritual warfare. It’s a powerful entranceway to deep, intimate fellowship with the Savior. Without tongues, you overlook one of the most special of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
(We will continue this study of the remaining two Vocal gifts and the three Power gifts next week…)
All Nine Gifts Needed Now
The enemy has always hated the gifts, for they strangle his effectiveness. These gifts are not only essential to doing God’s work, but stirring up and releasing the gifts brings divine, scriptural prosperity in all areas of life.
We cannot do any part of God’s work effectively without the gifts. The Holy Spirit uses them to produce eternal fruit.
If a time ever existed when the gifts of the Holy Spirit are essential for victorious Christian living, it is now!
My Request to You
Thank you for praying and giving. Your prayers continue to open up supernatural doors of opportunity for the Gospel. The seed you sow helps proclaim the Word around the world.
Every time you sow a seed as a partner with this ministry, you are sending me to the nations to preach the Gospel and win the lost.
Each time I step onto a platform or stand in front of a camera, I breathe a prayer of thanksgiving for the privilege I have in serving our wonderful Lord Jesus.
And I express my gratitude for people like you who make it possible for me to continue helping fulfill the Great Commission. You truly share in the eternal reward for each and every soul that is born again.
Thank you for standing with me. I’m so grateful the Lord has called you to walk beside me to take His saving and miracle-working message to the world.
Jesus Himself promised:
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38 NKJV).
I ask you to sow the most generous seed you can today. Together, we will share the joy of seeing multitudes come to Jesus during coming weeks and months, even as He pours out His blessings upon you!
Believing for breakthroughs in every area of your life,