December 2 (Daily reading: 1 Corinthians 12-14) There are four separate lists of spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-10; 1 Corinthians 12:28-30; and Ephesians 4:11. A booklet published by the Southern Baptist Convention (1981) presented the gifts under four categories.
Serving: Helps, Mercy, Giving, Healing.
Teaching: Wisdom, Knowledge, Teaching (teacher), Leadership.
Worshiping: Prophecy (prophet), Discernment, Exhortation, Shepherding (pastor).
Witnessing: Faith, Evangelism (evangelist), Apostleship (apostle), Miracles. (Tongues and Interpretation of tongues could be included here).
Some general observations: Every Christian has received from the Holy Spirit at least one gift. Paul said the gifts were given “for the common good” of the church (1 Cor. 12:7). Also, to provide training, unity and maturity: “To prepare God’s people for the works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature” (Eph. 4:12-13, NIV). Peter wrote that gifts were to be used “in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Pet. 4:10). In this context of service, Peter included hospitality as a gift. Spiritual gifts are not limited to those named in the lists above. The Holy Spirit distributes “to each one individually just as He wills” (1 Cor. 12:11). The Holy Spirit can provide a specific gift to someone for doing God’s work in a particular situation.
The importance of prophecy is indicated by its inclusion in all four of the lists. Paul spoke to this when he wrote: “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy…one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation” (1 Cor. 14:1, 3). Prophecy can be used for foretelling (predicting), but it is more often used in the church for forthtelling: proclaiming a timely message from God.
– Al Gary