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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Reilly

What Are The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit?

Updated: Jul 3

Welcome to Day 21. of our devotional study, Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do? online Bible study.  Today we are going to discuss the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We will be studying, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 14:1.

what are the gifts of the holy spirit

Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

Have you ever wondered why some people seem naturally inclined to teach, while others excel in encouraging those around them? Or perhaps you've been awed by someone's faith or their ability to discern truth in difficult situations. These abilities are more than mere talents; they are manifestations of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives. Just as a master artist uses a palette of colors to create a masterpiece, the Holy Spirit equips each believer with unique gifts to contribute to the beautiful mosaic of the Church. Today, we will explore these gifts and how they shape our faith community and deepen our relationship with God.

Biblical Definition of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are divine abilities distributed by the Holy Spirit to believers, empowering them to serve God and build up the church. These gifts vary widely but are unified in their purpose to glorify God and edify the body of Christ. Understanding and utilizing these gifts can transform our spiritual journey and impact our communities.

 Different Kinds of Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11):

Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.

"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills." 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ESV.

This passage highlights the diversity and unity of spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit distributes various gifts to believers, each serving a specific function within the body of Christ. The gifts include wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Each gift is essential for the common good and the overall health of the church.

Consider the imagery of a symphony orchestra: every instrument, whether a violin, flute, or drum, plays a distinct role, contributing to the harmony of the whole. Similarly, the spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11—wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, and interpretation—work together to create a vibrant and effective church.

Here are 2 questions for you to think about:

  1. What spiritual gifts do you believe God has given you?

  2. How can you use your gifts to serve your church and community more effectively?

Gifts According to Grace (Romans 12:6-8):

Read Romans 12:6-8

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." Romans 12:6-8 ESV.

In this passage, Paul reminds us that God's grace has blessed every believer with unique gifts. These gifts are not a result of our merit but are given freely by God's unmerited favor. Each gift serves a specific purpose within the body of Christ, contributing to the overall health and effectiveness of the church.

Paul lists several gifts: prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and showing mercy. Each gift is essential and plays a vital role in the life of the church. The emphasis is on the proper use of these gifts diligently and cheerfully, reflecting the love and grace of God in their actions.

  • Prophesying: This gift involves speaking messages from God that align with His truth and encourage the church. Those with this gift are called to prophesy in accordance with their faith.

  • Serving: Serving entails meeting the needs of others with humility and dedication. It is a vital gift that supports the church’s daily operations and ministries.

  • Teaching: Teachers have the ability to clearly explain and apply God’s Word, helping others grow in their understanding and faith.

  • Encouraging: This gift involves uplifting and inspiring others, providing hope and support through words and actions.

  • Giving: Those with the gift of giving are called to give generously and cheerfully, reflecting God’s provision and generosity.

  • Leading: Leaders are to guide others with diligence, wisdom, and integrity, ensuring that the church moves forward in unity and purpose.

  • Showing Mercy: This gift involves demonstrating compassion and kindness to those in need, done with a cheerful and willing heart.

Think about this:

Reflect on which of these gifts God has given you. How can you use them to serve others more effectively?

The Gifts for the Church

Read 1 Corinthians 12:28

"And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:28 ESV.

In 1 Corinthians 12:28, Paul provides a hierarchical list of roles and gifts within the church, emphasizing the diversity and significance of each. This verse highlights how God has strategically placed different gifts and ministries in the church to ensure its health, growth, and effective functioning.

  • Apostles: These individuals are sent out to pioneer new works and establish churches, laying foundational teachings.

  • Prophets: Prophets speak God’s messages to guide, exhort, and comfort the church.

  • Teachers: Teachers educate and build up the church by explaining and applying biblical truths.

  • Miracles: This gift involves performing extraordinary acts that demonstrate God’s power.

  • Gifts of Healing: The ability to heal physical, emotional, or spiritual ailments through divine intervention.

  • Helping: Offering practical assistance to meet the needs of the church and community.

  • Guidance: Also known as administration or leadership, this involves organizing and managing church activities effectively.

  • Different Kinds of Tongues: Speaking in languages unknown to the speaker, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us to help and strengthen the church. When we understand and use these gifts, we can serve better and help our church family grow together. Let's be committed to using our gifts with love and always be guided by the Holy Spirit. By doing this, we contribute to the unity and growth of the body of Christ.

Pursue Love and Desire Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1):

Read 1 Corinthians 14:1

"Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy."

The apostle Paul begins chapter 14 of Corinthians with a crucial directive that sets the tone for how the gifts of the Holy Spirit should be pursued and exercised: "Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy."

The foundation of all spiritual gifts is love. Paul has just finished describing the excellence of love in 1 Corinthians 13, where he states that without love, even the most spectacular gifts are meaningless. Love must be the guiding principle in the use of our spiritual gifts. It ensures that our motivations are pure and focused on serving others, rather than seeking personal glory or recognition.

By grounding our actions in love and eagerly seeking the gifts of the Spirit, we can effectively serve and build up the body of Christ.

Eagerly Desire Spiritual Gifts

So what should you do with all the information and encouragement that Paul the apostle gives us in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 14:1?

Paul encourages believers to actively seek and cultivate the gifts of the Spirit. These gifts are given by God to empower us for ministry, to build up the church, and to advance His kingdom. Desiring spiritual gifts is not about selfish ambition but about being equipped to serve more effectively.

Be an action taker:

Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal and develop the gifts He has placed within you. Be open and willing to receive and use these gifts for God’s glory and the benefit of the church.


The gifts of the Holy Spirit are diverse and given according to God's wisdom and purpose. Each believer has a unique role to play in the body of Christ, and by using our gifts, we contribute to the health and growth of the church. Let us seek to understand our spiritual gifts, use them with love, and remain humble, recognizing that all gifts come from the Holy Spirit for the common good. May we follow the way of love and eagerly desire the gifts that will best serve and glorify God.

Below you will find a list of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Use it to pray through and eagerly ask God to highlight to you, the ones He has given you.

You have an important role within the body of Christ. We need you to exercise the gifts God has given you, so that God can minister to us through you.

List Of The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

Here are the gifts mentioned in the key passages above, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 14:1.:

  1. Wisdom: The ability to provide deep insight and understanding in applying God's truth to life’s situations.

  2. Knowledge: A special understanding of spiritual truths.

  3. Faith: Exceptional trust in God’s power and promises.

  4. Healing: The power to restore health.

  5. Miraculous Powers: The ability to perform extraordinary and supernatural acts.

  6. Prophecy: Declaring a message from God.

  7. Distinguishing Between Spirits: The ability to discern the spirit behind different messages or actions.

  8. Speaking in Tongues: The ability to speak in languages unknown to the speaker.

  9. Interpretation of Tongues: Understanding and explaining the meaning of tongues.

  10. Serving: Helping others in practical ways.

  11. Teaching: Explaining God’s truth clearly and understandably.

  12. Encouragement: Strengthening and comforting others.

  13. Giving: Generously sharing resources.

  14. Leading: Guiding and directing others effectively.

  15. Showing Mercy: Compassionately helping those in need.

  16. Apostleship: Pioneering new works and spreading the gospel.

  17. Helping: Assisting others in their ministries.

  18. Guidance: Providing wise direction.

Here is one last but very important question for you to ponder:

What spiritual gifts do you believe God has given you?

Here are cross-references for further study:

Ephesians 4:11-12, 1 Peter 4:10-11, Ephesians 4:7, Ephesians 4:11-12, 1 Corinthians 12:29-30, Acts 13:1, 1 Corinthians 12:31, 1 Corinthians 13:1-2, Romans 12:9.

Prayer: Seeking and using the gifts of the Holy Spirit

Heavenly Father, thank You for the diverse gifts You have given us through Your Holy Spirit. Help me to recognize and use my gifts for Your glory and the benefit of others.

Help me to use these gifts diligently and cheerfully, and remind me to use them in love.

Teach me to appreciate the different ways You work in our community, fostering unity and love among us. Fill my heart with Your love and help me to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy, to build up the church. Empower me with Your Spirit to serve effectively and humbly.

In Jesus' name, we pray.


Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do? Online Bible Study and Printable Journal

who is the Holy Spirit and what does he do printable

Dive even deeper into this study with our printable journal. This journal is designed to guide you through personal reflections and insights, enhancing your experience as you engage with the Scriptures and listen to the Holy Spirit. Grab your journal HERE.

Here are some questions to consider as you study the person of the Holy Spirit:

  1. What is the most important truth I learned about the Holy Spirit?

  2. Did the Holy Spirit convict me of anything that I need to change in my life?

 Come back tomorrow as we study, Fruit Of The Spirit.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead you into a deeper relationship with God and empower you to live out your faith boldly and effectively.

Resources used in today's study, Gifts Of The Holy Spirit:

You may be encouraged by these resources:

  • Scriptural Grace Resource Library (FREE) HERE. 

  • Devotional Bible Studies For Women And Quiet Time Resources Forever Access Bundle HERE 

  • Printable Devotions For Women's Groups HERE

  • Names of God resources HERE 

  • Topical Bible plans HERE  

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Karen xx.


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