Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshipping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
First of all, let me just make it clear that I believe that this is still the case today. I know there are some people out there, even people that consider themselves mainstream Christians, who believe that we don’t have spiritual gifts any more. That is not true. I have seen way too many signs and wonders to doubt this. So if there are still spiritual gifts today, and it says that all Christians have theirs, what is yours? If you don’t know, I seriously suggest that you find out. I have created a spiritual gifts test (based on an existing one) which you can download here, please feel free to download it and take the test so that you can find out what your gift is.
I would also like to make another point about spiritual gifts. The passage above is talking about the gift which you have to edify the church body, it is not the only gift you will ever practice. Scripture tells us to desire the gifts, there is an example in 1 Corinthians 14:5, which says, “I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.” I have done the test and I know which is my primary gift which I bring to edify the body, but I have used many of the gifts. I have used many of them in church, and also out in the ‘real world’, and I want even more. I have heard people use the fact that they don’t have a gift in order not to minister to someone. I have heard things like, “I don’t have the gift of healing, however my friend does, so ask him to pray for healing for you.” Yes, bring the person along to a healing service lead my the person with the gift, but don’t use that as an excuse not to try yourself. Firstly, how do you know you haven’t got the gift until you try? Secondly, what if God wants to use you to heal that person? Thirdly, you should be praying for healing, you should be commanding it (like Jesus did).
If you look at a football (soccer) team, you have free kick specialists, defenders, strikers. They all have special abilities that they bring to the team, but they can all do the basics. If you pass the ball to a defender and he has the chance to score, he takes it (hopefully). He doesn’t stand still and say, “I’m not gifted to score, I’ll call the striker”. If you are out and about doing ministry, and you get the chance to use another gift, do it! When you have a ‘specialist’ around, learn from them, then when you are on you own you can give it a go.
Matthew 10:8 says, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!”