Discovering the Spiritual Gifts
1 TEACHING – Romans 12:7
Teaching is the ability to explain and communicate biblical truth effectively
so that those being taught receive spiritual enlightenment and
2 ENCOURAGING (exhortation) – Romans 12:8
This is the ability to stimulate the wills of others through the application
of spiritual truth so that they are strengthened in their resolve to pursue a
right course of action.
3 PROPHECY – Romans 12:6
This is the effective telling forth of scriptural truth with a particular
relevance to the situation. (Some believe this is an ability which involves
special inspiration taking the user beyond volitional control.)
4 UTTERANCE OF WISDOM – 1 Corinthians 12:8
This is the ability to make a contribution to a situation which gives wise
insights to those involved regarding the right course of action to pursue or
decision to be made.
5 UTTERANCE OF KNOWLEDGE – 1 Corinthians 12:8
This is the gift of injecting into a given situation a particular aspect of
truth, or experience, that is highly relevant to the formulation of a correct
6 SPEAKING – 1 Peter 4:11
This is the communication of spiritual truth which can take place in a variety
7 EVANGELISM – Ephesians 4:11
This is the gift of being able to convey the gospel to the unsaved with such
clarity and power that those hearing it are moved to respond to the claims of
8 TONGUES – 1 Corinthians 14
This is the ability either to worship God in an unknown language, or to pass
on a message from God through specific inspiration, i.e. without consciously
determining the form of expression.
9 INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES – 1 Corinthians 12:10,14:27, 28
This is the ability to re-express a message given through a tongues-speaker in
the language of the hearers, without having a rational knowledge of the
language in which the message was given.
10 HELPING – 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Peter 4:11
This gift is the special ability given to assist another believer in the task
being accomplished. It involves perception and empathy and results in service
which greatly enhances the effectiveness of the person helped.
11 GIVING – Romans 12:8
This is a gift involving sensitivity to the Lord and insight into the needs of
God’s work, resulting in a special ministry of liberality so that the material
needs of Christian work and workers are met.
12 LEADERSHIP – Romans 12:8, 1 Corinthians 12:28
This is the ability to discern God’s will for a group, to provide the
initiative, and to handle the group with such wisdom and concern that all move
forward in harmony to the agreed objective.
13 ACTS OF MERCY – Romans 12:8
This is the ability to sympathize readily with persons in special need and to
become involved in a practical way in supporting them and alleviating their
14 FAITH – 1 Corinthians 12:9
This is the ability to discern God’s purposes, and to exercise positive trust
and expectancy in Him until the particular objective of faith is
15 SERVING – Romans 12:7, 1 Peter 4:11
This is the ability to discern material needs and to give practical service so
that the work of God is provided for in all its practical aspects.
16 PASTORING – Ephesians 4:11
This is the personal ministry of caring for people’s spiritual welfare. It
involves providing nourishment, protection, fellowship and counsel as needed
on a personal basis.
17 MISSIONARY (apostle) – 1 Corinthians 12:28
This has two aspects: (1) The ability to have an effective ministry in a
cross-cultural situation. (2) The gift of having a mobile trouble-shooting
counsel-giving ministry to churches and Christian groups.
18 HOSPITALITY – 1 Peter 4:9
This is a gift of so making your home available to the Lord’s children that
those who come sense its warmth and appreciate the atmosphere and fellowship
19 ADMINISTRATION (government) – 1 Corinthians 12:28
This gift is the ability to organize and manage resources (men, money,
materials) so that all work together smoothly for the accomplishment of group
20 HEALING – 1 Corinthians 12:9
This gift involves the ability to be consistently able to exercise faith in
trusting God to bring about a cure for malady or sickness. It is good to
recognize God’s sovereignty in the time factor (not all healings are
instantaneous), and in the means factor (God can work by miracle, or medicine,
21 DISCERNING SPIRITS – 1 Corinthians 12:10
This is the ability to recognize the presence of an evil spirit in another,
even if that spirit is giving a semblance of being sent from God.
22 MIRACULOUS POWER – 1 Corinthians 12:10
This unusual gift has been known to be exercised particularly in missionary
situations when Christians are opposed by strong Satanic forces. It involves
being able to trust God for His intervention in a way that cannot be explained
in terms of natural phenomena.
EIGHT STEPS IN DISCERNING ONE’S SPIRITUAL GIFT
1 Accept the truth of 1 Peter 4:10 and 1 Corinthians 12:7 that every Christian
has a spiritual gift and thank God in faith for what He has given you.
2 It is essential for a disciple to be committed to a local fellowship
(Hebrews 10:25). This commitment provides the ground work for discovering one’s
Gift because the purpose of spiritual gifts is to edify the body (1 Corinthians
12:7-12). If we are not a vital part of a local fellowship we have
no God-given sphere in which to develop and exercise a gift.
3 Commitment implies involvement. By being willing to undertake ANY
aspect of service in the local fellowship we are starting on the road of
discovery by experimentation as regards our particular gifts.
4 Make this whole area a matter for specific believing prayer. Ask God to
reveal His gift to you.
5 As you engage in various activities you will find a certain one or
certain ones in which you will have a special sense of fulfillment and joy.
6 It is almost inevitable that the activities that give you fulfillment
and joy will be the ones in which you are most effective. Expect to find
evidence of effectiveness and success in your gift-activity.
7 It is wise to listen to others. Take note of their evaluation of your
gifts and make special note when other people consistently request your help
along a particular line of service. They probably recognize your emerging
8 Gifts seldom emerge “overnight”. Usually it takes a considerable time for a
gift to develop. If you are a new Christian (converted for less than 18
months or even two years) do not make this a matter of anxiety and
over-concern. So while number 4 emphasizes the note of expectancy this needs
to to be balanced by the note of patience.