Foundation Topic

Spiritual Gifts

The Holy Spirit is at work in every follower of Jesus in unique ways. He has given spiritual gifts to each of God’s children who believe in Jesus. These gifts express God's love to others, build up other believers, and manifest God’s character to a watching world. Each believer has at least one of the spiritual gifts listed in the Bible.

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Why It's Important to Know and Exercise Your Spiritual Gifts

Do you want a spoon or a shovel? That might appear to be a silly question, but stick with me. If you were about to eat soup, you’d want a spoon. If you were to dig a hole for your fence, you’d want the shovel.

How something is designed says a lot about its purpose. The same is true of you. How God designed you says a lot about your specific purpose in life and how you will find joy and contentment in it.

“What is my place in this world?” is a question all of us ask at some point in our lives. Would it help to know that your place in this world has everything to do with how God has designed you and equipped you to serve him?

For everyone who has faith in Jesus, God gives them his Holy Spirit to indwell them forever (Ephesians 1:13-14). Along with spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) comes spiritual gifts, abilities that God gives his children as he empowers them through his Spirit. It is the Spirit who “apportions to each one individually as he wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11 ESV). Knowing what these gifts are will help God’s people find joy and contentment in their lives.

For example, so many people are frustrated in their occupation because they aren’t doing something they love to do. Work is drudgery. They wake up unmotivated; the workday drags on; they can’t wait for the weekend. Unfortunately, this is often the case with Christians who feel “lost” in their walk with God. They often float from church to church without any real sense of purpose or belonging.

The Apostle Paul uses the metaphor of a human body when he speaks about spiritual gifts. He says that just as the body has various parts that play a role in the body’s proper functioning, Christians form a spiritual body called the Church that behaves similarly (1 Corinthians 12:12). Every Christian is given one or more spiritual gifts that are meant to be used for “the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7 ESV) and for “building up the church” (1 Corinthians 14:12 ESV). When they use their gifts, it nourishes the rest of the body of Christ.

Unfortunately, though, many Christians don’t exercise their spiritual gifts. Let’s briefly explore four reasons why:

1. Ignorance: Some people don’t use their spiritual gifts because they don’t know they have them. Or they mistakenly think they are gifted in ways they are not gifted in. You wouldn’t dig a ditch with a spoon, or use a shovel to stir your coffee, would you? Take time to figure out how God has designed you—what spiritual gifts you possess. We provide a variety of sources on this page to help you in this endeavor.

2. Fear: Some people are afraid to exercise their gifts because they fear they will make mistakes, or face criticism from others. Granted, both of these things often happen in churches today. Ministering in the church has its ups and downs. But don’t let this dissuade you from using your gifts. If everybody allowed fear to paralyze them, none of us would be properly edified in the church. Hand your fear over to God and allow him to lift you up as you use the gifts he has graciously given you.

3. Laziness: Others don’t use their gifts because they don’t want to spend the time. They prefer popping in and out of church without getting involved. Unfortunately, the old adage is true: 10% of the people do 90% of the work. But we will each stand before God and give account of our stewardship of the gifts he has given us (Matthew 25:14-25). It is our responsibility to present ourselves to God as workers who are approved by him (2 Timothy 2:15).

4. Opposition: Another reason why some Christians don’t exercise their spiritual gifts is because they are being held back by others in the church who are intimated by their giftedness, or the Enemy is discouraging them from using their gifts for the good of the Church. If this is the case, speak to your pastor or someone in leadership that you trust, and ask them how you can effectively use the gifts God has given you. God often uses opposition to help us fine tune where we should minister.

Do you want to find your place in this world, and in the body of Christ? Then it is imperative that you know how God has designed you. When we exercise our spiritual gifts, as God intended, we will increase in joy and contentment. When we exercise our spiritual gifts, the Spirit delights to bless others through us and bear more of his fruit in our own lives.

On this page, we explore what it means to be equipped by God with spiritual gifts. As you read the various resources, we hope you will discover your spiritual gifts and how to effectively use them for the edification of others and for the glory of God.



Theme Verse

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.


What Are Spiritual Gifts?
Video: 2 Min
by Matt Chandler at The Village Church
Romans 12:3 NIV

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.


What Spiritual Gifts Communicate

When we exercise the gifts which Christ has given us we are really saying to our fellow Christians and others: See how much the Lord Jesus Christ loves you and cares for you; He has sent me to serve you in this way; He is using my hands and feet, my lips and ears, to show His love.

by Sinclair Ferguson | Source
Video: 5 Min


The Proof of Your Love

1 Corinthians 14:40 ESV

But all things should be done decently and in order.


By Our Love

Video: 5 Min
by Heinz Winckler, Loyiso Bala, Neville D

Do not
your gift

1 Timothy 4:14 NIV

Our Prayer for You As You Learn to Use Your Spiritual Gifts

Father in Heaven, we pray for each individual that you bring to our website here to learn about spiritual gifts. We ask that your Holy Spirit would help them understand what gifts you have given them, how to grow in their gifts, and where you want them specifically to exercise them.

Make them patient and kind as they use their gifts. Help them not envy others’ gifts, or boast in their own. Do not let them grow proud, or dishonor others, or seek their own gain. We pray that they would not be easily angered, and would not keep records of others’ wrongs. Don’t let them delight in what is evil, but instead cling to what is good. Help them always rejoice in what is true. As they exercise their spiritual gift, may it be an overflow of the joy that they have as you teach them more about the Truth, Jesus Christ, through your Word.

Father, please give our friend here your love to accompany their gift. May they always protect—protect the faith of others and the honor of your name. Give them your love that trusts you and trusts others wisely and graciously. Give them hope in your steadfast love, and may they persevere in using their gift for the good of others and for your glory.

We pray that you would make known your goodness through our friend who is visiting as they exercise their gift. And would you help the world to recognize Christ in their life as they live out your love. Empower them by the Holy Spirit to do good to others and build up your church, and give them great joy and peace as you work in them. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.


No Christian can
replace another
in God’s plan.
He has his own
individualized plan
for each of us and
has individually
gifted us accordingly.