The Other Gifts Of The Spirit
By J. Mark Jordan
(Re-Blogged From "Thinking In Color")
The nine gifts of the Spirit as listed in 1 Corinthians 12 are directly grouped together under the same heading. These gifts involve the mind, the acts, and the voice of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church. Yet, nowhere do we read that these are the only gifts. A closer reading of the scriptures reveals other gifts of the Spirit as well. We bring attention to this point because some may be gifted in areas other than the nine gifts, but they do not recognize that their gift comes to them from the Spirit of God.
First of all, every evil attribute originates within man’s own self, and every good attribute we possess or manifest comes from God.
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:13-18).
For this reason, no man should boast of any talent or ability he possesses as though he endowed himself with the gift. We must strive to keep this tendency of the flesh in check, because our pride is always poised to claim credit for all the good we do and to reject blame for any of our mistakes.
“4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:4-10).
As we study these other gifts of the Spirit, we need to understand that all of them are given to us for the same purpose as the nine gifts. That purpose will always be to edify, exhort, and comfort the body of Christ. No gift is to be used to exalt the flesh or to take any glory away from God.
Romans 12:3-8 says, “3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Ministry. The simple definition of ministry is to serve. The Greek word used here is diakonia, or deacon. This implies that there is a more official title given to certain servants. All of us are servants of Christ (Romans 6:22), but some are especially gifted to serve the church body and attend to practical as well as spiritual needs. If you have ever wondered why some people have been chosen for offices in the church, it is usually because they were already doing the job before they were officially given the title. The phrase “let us wait on our ministering” means to give attendance to it, or to develop the gift of serving. When you go out to eat in a restaurant, you probably notice the difference between servers. Some do enough to get by; others truly take pleasure in serving their customers. It should be a pleasure to serve the body of Christ. Acts 6:1-7 illustrates the pressing need for service in the church.
Teaching. Teaching is the ability to communicate concepts and to instruct students on how to understand or master ideas, procedures, processes, or technologies. The dictionary definition includes “to impart knowledge or skill; to give instruction.” Not everyone can teach. There are those who have knowledge but do not have the skill or patience to impart that knowledge to others. The Apostles recognized that some people were especially gifted in the ability to teach because it is noted that bishops and deacons should be “apt to teach.” (Luke 11:1; Acts 5:42; 2 Timothy 2:2)
Exhorting. Exhorting is to beseech, persuade or entreat. It is not preaching or teaching. The purpose for exhortation is to convince someone to act, to prevail on a person to persevere, or encourage someone to do the right thing. While preachers and teachers may exhort, successful preaching and teaching requires the audience to be receptive. Exhortation begins with the expectation that the audience is unmotivated or even hostile. (Acts 27:22; Jude 3) (Article: Exhortation: A Dying Art?)
Giving. God has placed some people in the church who have the resources to give finances or other valuable assets to the work of God. Sometimes, big givers get the idea that they are being used, or that the church is taking advantage of them. That is a mistake. If God has blessed you with means in life, He has done so in order for you to be a blessing to others. Never resent that you are asked to give. Do you think that God simply wants to serve your selfish desires? No! The real truth is that you should embrace giving as a gift of the Spirit. You are blessed when you bless the church.
2 Corinthians 9:12-15 (MSG) says, “Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. 13 This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. 14 Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they’ll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. 15 Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough!”
Ruling. To rule means to lead, or to preside. There are a number of special attributes that make a good ruler. Patience, fairness, no respect of persons, insight, wisdom, integrity, and honor are all a part of the ruler’s character. To be a ruler does not come as an entitlement, the process of attrition, or favoritism. The credible ruler has already demonstrated his or her giftedness to be a leader. Yet, a ruler must still understand that it is a gift of the Spirit, and that it must be pursued with diligence and care (Hebrews 3:7; 13:17). Consider the difference between a good boss and a bad boss.
Showing Mercy. Showing mercy may seem out of place among the gifts of the Spirit, but it is a specialized gift that is desperately needed. The mercy-shower is the person in the church to whom many people gravitate. This person shows kindness, acceptance, non-judgmentalism, affirmation and love, even when the subject of this mercy deserves harshness and rebuke. He or she does not compromise or undermine the pastor or leader, but rather pours in the oil of encouragement and strength to help the person understand and feel like he or she can make it. The one gifted in showing mercy must show it cheerfully, not with resentment. (2 Timothy 1:16-17)
Two more gifts are found in 1 Corinthians 12:27-28. 27 "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 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."
Helps. The word helps is from the root word in Greek meaning relief. The person who has this gift is a servant to the servants. We know him or her by other names, like gofer, errand guy (or girl), general laborer, or delivery girl (or guy). It doesn’t take a lot of knowledge to be a gofer—and all of us are just gofers in most arenas of life! But the person who specializes in being a helper needs to know that it is an important job, and it takes a special kind of person who is fulfilled in this. (Romans 16:9)
Governments. This is from the Greek word "kubernasis", meaning to steer. The modern term is "cybernetics". The medical definition is “the science of communication and control theory that is concerned especially with the comparative study of automatic control systems (as the nervous system and brain and mechanical-electrical communication systems).” In the church, the person gifted in governments is usually behind the scenes, organizing, planning, directing, controlling and administrating the work of God. Those with these invaluable gifts make it possible for the church to accomplish complicated tasks in an easier, more organized way. Sometimes we do not even know the names of the people who actually make things happen. The steering people do not need much recognition; they do what they do because they love the work. The biggest challenge for those with this gift is burnout. When it is viewed as a ministry and not a job, then it is much easier to continue doing it. It is difficult to pinpoint the people involved in this work in the ministry of the Apostles, but Colossians 4:7-18 serves as a good illustration.
Operating in the gifts of the Spirit is the real source of our empowerment. No one should feel like he or she has been left out of the fold. At the same time, any sense of fulfillment or accomplishment that we get from our work must always be received with the greatest of humility. None of what we do is for selfish or self-serving purposes. Whether we receive gratitude or thanksgiving from man, or whether or not we ever see the end result of our labors, we should be satisfied that it is all for our Lord Jesus Christ.
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:10-12).