Friday, May 22, 2009

Spiritual Gifts

Various Greek words are used in describing spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 -

12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts [πνευματικων], brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.
pneumatikon: spiritual as opposed to the body/physical/natural talents and gifts

12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts [χαρισματων], but the same Spirit;
charismata: a Pauline technical term denoting extraordinary powers of the Spirit used by Christians to serve the church. They are "free" gifts of grace as opposed to being earned or learned

12:5 There are varieties of service [διακονιων], but the same Lord;
diakonian: functions or ministries used to serve the Church, the verb in English would be "to deacon"

12:6 There are varieties of activities [ενεργηματων], but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
energematon: workings and operation for a specific purpose, rather than permanent possession

12:7 To each is given the manifestation [φανερωσις] of the Spirit for the common good.
phanerosis: an active display/exhibition/manifestation of (in this case) God’s power through the Spirit, cf. 2 Corinthians 4:2

Paul uses a variety of descriptors for the activities of the One Spirit in 1 Corinthians. He does not seem concerned with specifically and precisely defining how the Spirit works in all the various individual members of the church body. Because of the way he describes them his list of "spiritual gifts" (as they have come to be called), does not seem exhaustive. Instead he seems to be describing how the Spirit works in the life of the whole church body. In this the Spirit works in a multitude of various and expansive ways, so it is not healthy to speak of individual "gifts" granted to individual persons except as where this discussion is in relation to the church as a whole.

Here is the "complete" list of Spiritual Gifts, or the "complete" list of all the ways the Spirit works in our churches:

Service gifts:
Administration (1 Corinthians 12:28)
Helps (1 Corinthians 12:28)
Giving (Romans 12:8)
Mercy (Romans 12:8)
Service (Romans 12:7)
Faith (1 Corinthians 12:9)

Equipping gifts:
Exhortation (Romans 12:8)
Wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8)
Knowledge (1 Corinthians 12:8)
Teaching (1 Corinthians 12:28)
Pastoring (Ephesians 4:11)
Apostleship (1 Corinthians 12:28)
Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11)
Leadership (Romans 12:8)

Prayer and worship gifts:
Prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:10)
Tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10)
Interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10)
Healing (1 Corinthians 12:9)
Miracles (1 Corinthians 12:10)
Discernment of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10)
Creative Communication

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