The Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Part 2
“The gift of faith is the greatest of the power gifts. It’s the exceptional ability to trust God to work, even in unusual ways or in particularly challenging situations.”
Every believer is promised an empowered life in the realm of the Spirit (Acts 1:8).
As discussed in Part 1 last week, this promise of power comes after the Holy Spirit visits your life, intensifying your ability to witness, strengthening your walk with Christ, and equipping you for Christian service to defeat the enemy through spiritual gifts (called the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit”) that equip you to do the Lord’s work in new and powerful ways.
Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, lists each of the nine gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. These nine gifts fit nicely into three groups:
1. Revelation gifts
2. Vocal gifts
3. 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.
I shared an overview of the first four gifts—three Revelation gifts and the first Vocal gift. Now let’s look at the final five gifts together—two more from the Vocal gifts and the three Power gifts, all of which are so vital.
Vocal Gift 2: Interpretation of Tongues—the translation of divine utterances into recognizable language
To understand the interpretation of tongues, we must go back and revisit the fact that there are three different kinds of tongues, as mentioned in Part 1:
• 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).
Only the third type, edifying the body of believers, requires interpretation. With this type of tongues, the interpretation of tongues is crucial. The Word shows that interpretation becomes equal to prophecy.
It is very important, as we begin to use this gift, that we understand 1 Corinthians 14:13, which states, “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.”
This gift requires spiritual maturity and is received only through diligent prayer, study of the Scriptures, and precious time with the Holy Spirit.
Oh, that we would be more willing to pay this price, for the interpretation of tongues to edify the church is needed more than ever.
Vocal Gift 3: Prophecy—revelation for edification
1 Corinthians 4:3 is very clear:
“But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.”
The gift of prophecy builds up and encourages us. It stirs us up. It comforts us. It is not condemning. It always exhorts and encourages. It brings life and vision and light, not doom and gloom and death.
And it’s important to remember that anything spoken out of the gift of prophecy must always be completely consistent with the Scriptures and will never contradict God’s Word in any way.
Power Gift 1: Faith—the God-given ability to believe Him for the impossible
The gift of faith is the greatest of the power gifts. It’s the exceptional ability to trust God to work, even in unusual ways or in particularly challenging situations.
Again, there is some confusion about the gift of faith. There are actually three revelations of faith in the Bible:
• Romans 5:1 speaks of saving faith, which is that measure of faith given to every person.
• There is also the fruit of faith, in Galatians 5:22, which is an important part of the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of faith is within each of us, as planted by the Holy Spirit, but the gift of faith, in 1 Corinthians 12, comes for a moment, for a season, and for a reason.
• The gift of faith is the instantaneous assurance of God’s ability to act in a specific situation. It does not deny fact…it changes it!
How do we move into this gift and the three revelations of this gift?
Romans 10:17 says:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
The gift of faith can only happen when God’s promises become more real to us than our circumstances.
Therefore, this gift can work through us when we act through the revelation of Scripture and the direction of the Holy Spirit. What begins as hope through prayer becomes faith.
Power Gift 2: Healings—the restoration of health
The “gifts of healing” (1 Corinthians 12:9) are plural, not singular, for they apply to both physical and emotional areas of life, and the gifts also come in two ways, immediate and gradual.
Healing restores what is broken. The Holy Spirit can use a multitude of acts of faith to heal.
The spoken word is used most often, but the woman with an issue of blood was also healed as she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and by faith was made whole. We read of the laying on of hands and the anointing with oil, but even the Apostle Peter’s shadow brought healing.
God desires that we be healed and be used as instruments of healing. The secret is obedience to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Power Gift 3: Working of Miracles—the divine creative acts
The working of miracles is a supernatural occurrence against the law of nature. It was against the natural order of things for God to turn back the Red Sea so the children of Israel could walk on dry land (Exodus 14:26-28). It was a miraculous act for the walls of Jericho to fall down as Israel obeyed the Lord’s command (Joshua 6:20). It was supernatural for God to suspend the rotation of the earth in response to Joshua’s prayer when he fought against the Amorites (Joshua 10:12-13).
When arthritis no longer afflicts a body or blind eyes see again, we sometimes call them miracles, but they are actually healings. Healing is a work of restoration, while miracles are creative acts that go against the laws of nature.
I believe we are coming into a new dimension of creative miracles, when we will see supernatural moves of the Holy Spirit’s power in ways that we’ve only dreamed about. Readiness can only come through the Word. Psalm 33:6 points to this: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made.”
True miracles are the product of His Word. The more we understand and act on His Word, the more we will be able to move into the powerful dimension of all nine of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including the working of miracles.
The Holy Spirit’s Gifts for Today
God gives us the nine gifts that we’ve discussed in these two teachings to build up His Church, the body of Jesus Christ. These gifts have been given as a means to spread the Gospel and establish His kingdom.
None of the gifts are to be forbidden, yet everything must be done in an orderly manner (1 Corinthians 14:39-40).
By heeding these two commands, as empowered by the Holy Spirit and guided by the Scriptures, we can move, now more than ever, toward the unity of the believers and a dimension of power and authority in the realm of the Spirit of which the prophets of old spoke!
The greatest days are here!
Are you ready to be empowered for service?
God’s great desire is that each of us seeks a closer, more intimate walk with Him. That is my prayer for you today.
My Request to You
God desires success for us in every area of life, and one of the most important steps to seeking God’s best comes through being faithful in your living and giving.
Throughout history, the Lord has shown believers the divine benefit of obeying Him in these areas:
Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. (Deuteronomy 29:9 NKJV)
Supernatural abundance is the legal right of every covenant child of God, for we have this promise:
And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. (Deuteronomy 8:18)
God wants to give you favor in your life, your family, and your business dealings:
The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 28:8)
Obedience is the key:
If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. (Job 36:11)
It’s time to put our Lord Jesus first in your living and giving! It’s time to sow into His work and obey Him! It’s time for you to pray earnestly that God will prosper you, even as He shows you His will for your life!
So today, let me encourage you to take a step of faith as you sow your seed with mighty expectation for today and the future.
Our Lord Jesus Himself taught:
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)
I am looking forward to hearing from you today! Plant your online seed-gift to be used to reach the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And it is my prayer that God will release favor and blessing into your life!
In warmest Christian love,