Bible Question:

I understand we all have spiritual gifts. After we find out what they are, what do we do with them? Are they for here on earth or when we get to heaven?

Bible Answer:

Spiritual gifts are given to us by God the Holy Spirit. Spiritual gifts are not money, wealth, natural talents, or demonic powers, but supernatural abilities from God.

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware . . . But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:1, 11 (NABS)

For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Romans 12:3 (NABS)

Spiritual Gifts

God the Holy Spirit has given the church a wide variety of spiritual gifts since Pentecost (Acts 2). The spiritual gifts the early church received and experienced are listed in the New Testament in Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Cor. 12:7-10.

List of Spiritual Gifts

Each Christian is given a spiritual gift. God gives Christians combinations of these gifts. For example one Christian might have the gift of teaching and helps while another believer might have the gifts of knowledge, faith, giving, and ruling. When the Holy Spirit gives these gifts, He might give one Christian a “stronger” gift of teaching than another. In other words, the messages from one person may be stronger in their impact than those of another. God has given that person a “stronger gift.” Some of us may feel that the gift we have is not very special, but that does not mean we are unimportant.

For the body is not one member, but many . . . God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it . . . 1 Corinthians 12:14, 24-27 (NABS)

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Romans 12:4-5 (NABS)

Purpose of Spiritual Gifts

God’s purpose for spiritual gifts is to enable us to help other Christians, to cause us to grow spiritually, and to grow in love toward one another.

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:7

And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly . . . Romans 12:6 (NABS)

. . . from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16 (NABS)

Spiritual gifts are given to a single person to benefit not the individual but the body of believers. Some Christians become proud of what God has given to them and what he does through them. They are glory stealers! They miss the point that they are just tools of God. When God gives different gifts to different people, He is supernaturally empowering us to do something for another person. That does not mean we will be superstars or have “alien powers.”


Spiritual gifts are given to each of us at the moment we become Christians. We may also receive spiritual gifts later, and some may disappear as the needs change. They are given to us in this life here on earth to motivate others to seek God, to flee sin, to encourage one another to be holy in our speech and conduct, and to love one another!

Suggested Links:

What is the gift of exhortation?
What We Believe
The Spirit’s Ministry – Tongues and Prophecy
Were miracles and wonders signs of an apostle?
Does Ephesians 4:11 list other leaders in the church?