“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:4)
After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.
There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:
1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.
2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.
3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local assemblies.
We will be studying the differing types of spiritual gifts today we will be studying the “Sign Gifts” the Lord has given us.
Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) – gifts given to establish the local church and New Testament scriptures
Accrediting gifts, another type of spiritual gift given through God’s grace to mankind, is also commonly called sign gifts. Lists of these gifts are found in the following verses…
“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:28-31)
In 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, we find a sampling (incomplete list) of accrediting gifts given along with samples of other types of spiritual gifts (gifted men and ministering gifts).
“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;
to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)
In 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, we find a complete listing of the accrediting gifts. Because we find the complete list in this passage, we will concentrate our study on this text.
To properly understand this text, we have to take notice of the words “another”. They are translated by two differing Greek words. The understanding of these Greek words is of utmost importance to our study.
Please notice these two Greek words:
1. “allos” – this word means “another of the SAME kind”.
For example… “Lassie” is a dog and “Rin Tin Tin” is another. In this sentence, if “another” was translated from “allos”, it would be tqeaching us that Rin Tin Tin is the same type of animal as Lassie. Both are dogs.
2. “heteros” – this word means “another of a DIFFERENT kind”.
For example… “Lassie” is a collie and “Rin Tin Tin” is another. In this sentence, if “another” was translated from “heteros”, it would be teaching us that Rin Tin Tin is a different breed of dog than Lassie (RTT was not a collie).
Although both our example sentences use the word “another”, we can see that “another” can hold two differing meanings. This is what happens in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. If we understand this principle, we can see that our text clearly places the accrediting gifts into different divisions. Please notice our text…
Vs 8 –
“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;”
This “another” is translated from the word “allos”. This teaches us that the gifts of “word of wisdom” and “word of knowledge” are gifts of the SAME type.
These are the gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH.
Vs 9 – 10a
“To another faith by the same Spirit;”
This “another” is translated from the word “heteros”. This teaches us that the gift of faith is a different type of gift than the previous gifts mentioned.
“to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;”
These “anothers” are all translated from the word “allos”. This teaches us that gifts of: gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, and discerning of spirits are all the same type of gift as the gift of faith.
These are all gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH.
“to another [divers] kinds of tongues;”
This “another” is translated from the word “heteros”. This teaches us that another new division of gifts is beginning. In other words, this teaches us that “diverse kinds of tongues” is a different type of gift than the those we just listed under the supernatural signs of the truth.
“to another the interpretation of tongues:”
This “another” is translated from the word “allos”. This teaches us that the interpretation of tongues is the same type of gift as the interpretation of tongues. Both of these gifts form our third division among the accrediting gifts.
These gifts involve the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.
Vs 11 – “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
All of these Accrediting Gifts are given graciously by God through the person of the Spirit. They are distributed among men based upon the sovereign will of the Lord.
Now let’s take a look at each of these gifts in detail…
Gifts Involving The Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth
1. “The Word of Wisdom” – This involves uttering wisdom (practical truths for living) through the inspiration of the Lord. It is a first- time revealing of God’s wisdom to mankind which makes up the text of the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 3:15-16)
2. “The Word of Knowledge” – This involves uttering knowledge (doctrinal truths) through the inspiration of the Lord. It is a first-time revealing of the truths about Himself to mankind which makes up the text of the Bible. (2 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Peter 3:18)
Please note: Both of these gifts came to an end at the completion of God’s Word. We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”
Gifts That Are The Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth
1. “Faith” – This is a supernatural faith that far exceeds the fruit of faith mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24. This supernatural faith results in many different types of miracles being performed.
Some mentions of this faith include:
a. Moving mountains – Matthew 17:20, Mark 11:23, 1 Corinthians 13:2
b. Lack of this gift hindered work of God – Matthew 13:58, Mark 6:5-6
c. Heavens shut up for 3 ½ years, Lepers healed – Luke 4:25-29
d. Uprooting sycamore tree – Luke 17:6
Again, it is important that this “gift” is not confused with the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit which bestowed at the point of salvation and then is exercised in every Christian’s life.
2. “Gifts Of Healing” – This is not the “gift of healing” but it is the “gift of the gifts of healing”. The name of this gift is translated from the Greek language. Literally it is translated “to freely bestow a cure” or “to graciously deliver from an infirmity” or “gracious healings”. This clearly points out the gracious nature of the healing. It is not a matter of those being healed are more faithful or more spiritual persons than those who are not healed. This is the ability to heal a person who is entirely underserving of that healing.
3. “Working Of Miracles” – The gift of “the working of miracles” allows acts of power to accomplish desired, yet naturally impossible results.
4. “Prophecy” – Literally, this gift is described as the ability “to reveal the mind of God”. When used in the context of the Accrediting Gifts, this gift involves the forth-telling of a future event. This was used as a proof that the speaker was speaking the truth. This is why the Lord has included this gift in the SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH division and not the SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH division. (2 Kings 10:9-11)
5. “Discerning Of Spirits” – This involves the ability to PERFECTLY make judgment of the aim, content, and deliverer of a message. Put another way, this gift allowed men to discern the authenticity, reliability and intents of a verbal or written message without error. (Acts 5:1-6)
All of the gifts in the Supernatural Indicators of the Truth division came to an end in the same time frame as the completion of God’s Word. We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”
In our next study, we will look in detail at the gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH: “diverse kinds of tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues”.
Additional Information (Verses referred to in this study):
Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) – gifts given to establish the local church and New Testament scriptures
Gifts Involving The Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15)
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” (2 Peter 1:3-5)
“And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16)
“But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)
Gifts That Are The Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth
“And it will be in the morning, and he will go forth and stand and say to all the people, Ye are just: behold, I conspired against my lord, and I will kill him: and who struck all these? Know now that nothing shall fall from the word of Jehovah to the earth which Jehovah spake concerning the house of Ahab: for Jehovah did what he spake by the hand of his servant Elijah. And Jehu will strike all those being left to the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great, and all his acquaintance, and his priests, till he left to him nothing escaping.” (2 Kings 10:9-11)
“And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58)
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20)
“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them]. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.” (Mark 6:5-6)
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23)
“But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. (Luke 4:25-29)
“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” (Luke 17:6)
“And a certain man, Ananias by name, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And separated from the price, his wife also knowing; and having brought a certain part, laid at the feet of the sent. And Peter said, Ananias, wherefore filled Satan thy heart, for thee to belie the Holy Spirit, and separate from the price of the farm. Remaining, did it not remain to thee? and sold, it was in thy power: for what hast thou put this thing in thy heart? thou hast not lied to men, but to God. And Ananias hearing these words, having fallen down, he expired: and great fear was upon all them hearing these things. And the younger having risen up, drew him together, and having carried out, interred.” (Acts 5:1-6)
“And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)
“…The house of God, which is the church of the living God,
the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15)
In this ninth lesson of our study on the Lord’s church, we will be looking at the many blessings that can be had by those who join the membership of a local assembly…
Blessings Of Spiritual Growth:
1. Receive the Teachings Of God’s Word
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:11-16)
As the saints are instructed in the Word, they gain….
2. Spiritual Maturity & Strengthening
“For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious.” (1 Peter 1:24-2:3)
Blessings Of Opportunities Of Ministry:
1. Build A Good Testimony
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.´ (Romans 1:8-14)
The Christian is able to build up their personal testimony through faithful attendance and increased opportunities of service, but also they are able to build a better testimony being members of a faithful church that is known publically for their faith in service.
2. Increased Opportunities of Service
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where [were] the body? But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness.” (1 Corinthians 12:18-23)
With increased opportunities of service also comes increased rewards when the service is completed faithfully…
3. Rewards For Obedience
“And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” (Colossians 3:23-25)
Blessings Of Community:
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:22-25)
As saints see faithfulness in the lives of other saints, it encourages them to be faithful as well.
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:41-42)
3. Separation from Sinful World To Worship
“And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.” (Mark 6:30-32)
Just as Christ called the first church to separation from the world for a period of rest and refreshment, so too, every time the saint attends the meeting of the church, they can get their minds off of the sinful world in which they live. They can do this by concentrating more fully on the Lord through communal worship.
4. Care From Others
“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:44-47)
5. Lord’s Presence and the Joy That Follows
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)
The Lord promises showing a special presence to those who join together with others to worship Him. A result of His enhanced presence the saint also experiences increased joy….
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.” (Psalms 16:11)
6. Spiritual Protection
“It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, [concerning] him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)
Here, we can see that church membership affords added protection from the powerful intervention of Satan in our lives. In this text we can see that when an individuals are removed from church membership due to unrepentant sin, they are left exposed to greater Satanic influence in their lives. This was done to show them their sinful condition and bring them back to repentance once their sinful stubborn flesh was overcome through the affliction of Satan.
What are the blessings of church membership that are available to all of her members?
1. Blessings Of Spiritual Growth
2. Blessings Of Opportunities Of Ministry
3. Blessings Of Community:
Why should we should attend, join and support the ministries of a local church? There are many varied blessings that will be received as faithful members of His churches.
May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.
For a free study guide for this series in .pdf format:
For a free study guide for this series in .docx format:
Have you ever watched political debates? Debates take place in the Presidential primary races, the United States Senate and House of Representatives. Did you ever watch these debates on TV? These debates can be very amusing and, if I watch long enough, infuriating. It amazes me to hear how they stand and argue their point of view about any given issue. In many cases, it is as if they like to hear themselves talk. They repeat themselves, contradict themselves, make statements they cannot substantiate, and, at times, make no sense.
Do you know what is really sad? It is that this type of behavior isn’t limited to politicians only, but is, and always has been, a part of religious discourse. The Word of God makes it clear that we have the responsibility to declare and defend His truth to those who are sincerely seeking His Word. We are to be willing to give our all for the sake of reaching out to those who need and are open to the gospel message.
But there have always been those who, in the guise of seeking the truth, set out to defeat the Word through debate and a humanistic, fleshly understanding of Scripture. How are we to handle those who have already rejected the truth, have closed their mind to the truth, and now want to publically defeat the truth through dialogue, debate and the proclamation of error?
God’s Holy Word has the answer to this question….
1Tim 6:3-6 (KJV) If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Mark 6:10-11 (KJV) And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Matt 7:6 (KJV) Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
As we serve our living Lord and Savior, it is so important that we are willing to share the truths of God’s Word to all men, through our lives and our actions. The Lord describes His followers as the light and salt of this world. (Matt 5:13-16) By this, He meant that we were living testimonies that showed the light of Christ to a sin darkened world. We are the salt that makes this sinful world a desirous place in which to live. We are to withhold the truth to no one. But, what happens when after ministering to others, they close their ears to Christ’s message, devalue His Word, and choose to work for the destruction of the truths that we are attempting to share?
In Matthew 7:6, we are told to cease sharing truth with those who devalue it… “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Here, we are given two reasons why we are to cease our ministering to them:
- They do not treat the Word with the respect it deserves
- They can harm our ministry, and render it useless, by wasting our time ministering to those who it will not benefit. Also, they can harm our testimony and ministering by using sinful methods to discredit us (lies, false accusations, etc). It is dangerous to continue to minister to those who have stubbornly determined to oppose the Word at any cost.
(Please Note: These teachings only tell us to cease handing the truth to those who do not want it. It does not say cease praying for them or loving them etc etc.)
In Mark 6:10-11, the Lord gave His followers specific instructions on dealing with those who reject and oppose the truth that they had proclaimed to them. His instructions were three-fold…
- “when ye depart thence,” – no longer minister directly to them begin ministering to others who are in need and more receptive to your ministry.
- “shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them.” – don’t allow the memory of their rejection and treatment of you discourage you. Leave it all behind and go forward in your next place of ministry, proving that they have not hindered your ministry.
- “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” – Remember they are facing God’s wrath, they need a softened heart toward the gospel and its ministers…continue to pray for them, when possible show them your love etc.
Those who hear the truth, and then actively oppose it through their teachings, is described in 1 Timothy 6:3-6.
- “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;”
Note those who “consent not” and “teach otherwise”, in other words, we are talking about those who reject and work against the truth.
- “He is … strifes of words,”
Here, those who oppose the truth are described in detail. The Lord says that they:
are “doting questions and strifes of words” – (plagued with questions and seek to quarrel over the truth we have revealed to them.)
- “whereof cometh envy… godliness:” – Here we find the results of the questions and quarrels that these men… they produce:
“railings” (speak evil of God)
“evil surmisings” (wicked conclusions)
“Perverse disputings” (twisted and bitter, disagreements)
They are described as :
“men of corrupt minds” (minds that are becoming worse, minds that are decaying)
“destitute of the truth” (total lacking truth)
“supposing that gain is godliness”: (temporal earthly gain can bring about godliness)
- “from such withdraw thyself”. – Again, a very plain declaration to remove ourselves from ministering to them and proceed to others who will receive the truth we speak. We cannot force anyone to be saved. If someone rejects the truth and works against it, we need to commit him into the hands of God and move on.
- “But godliness with contentment is great gain” – There is no true gain in arguing, twisting God’s Word and cause disagreements about God’s Word… true gain is found in living a life of Godliness, showing God to the world by our words and actions.
This helps us to understand why we are to cease ministering to them and direct our ministry to others
For those who are saved …
Have you been sharing the Word with someone who refuses to accept it? Do you ever find yourself trying to “force” someone into receiving the truth that they have already clearly rejected?
If this is the case, give them over to the Lord, pray for them, love them, but push them no longer. Allow the Lord, through His Spirit, to soften their hearts and make them receptive to the truth. You can save no one… “Salvation is of the Lord”.
For those who have yet to be saved…
Have you rejected the Word of God that someone has graciously shared with you. Have you settled in your heart that the Word is untrue and of no benefit to you? If so, you are treading on very dangerous ground. There is no guarantee that you will continue to be graced with God’s Word. Be thankful to those who are sharing His Word with you and receive it knowing that it is meant for your good.
Look to the Lord, believe His Word and trust in Him. He will not reject those who come to Him.
John 6:37 (KJV) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”