What Are Considered the Spiritual Gifts From God  Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Pneumatology -- Spiritual Gifts

What are spiritual gifts, and what is their purpose?

The reason for and definition of "spiritual gifts" is not always agreed upon among Christians and even among Christian theologians. At the very least spiritual gifts are a subject for deep discussion and debate. Christianity expert Mary Fairchild explains that in 1 Corinthians 12, the Bible says that spiritual gifts are given according to God's sovereign will. "There are certain kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them" (1 Corinthians 12:4); and 1 Corinthians goes on to explain that one spiritual gift is given for "the common good," another spiritual gift is for "wisdom"; another spiritual gift is for "knowledge"; another is for the "gift of healing"; and other spiritual gifts are for "miraculous powers… prophecy… speaking in tongues & #8230; and the "interpretation of tongues" (1 Corinthians 12: 7-11).

Jesus had the power to cast out demons "by the finger of God," and Christ's power was a gift given to him by "the Spirit of God" (Elwell, Holy Spirit, 569). Fairchild writes that "generally speaking, spiritual gifts are God-given graces (special abilities, offices, or manifestations) meant for works of service, to benefit and build up the body of Christ as a whole" (Fairchild, 2011). On page 1135 (Elwell, Spiritual Gifts) the author points to five gifts of the spirit (more specific than mentioned on the first paragraph: a) the working of miracles (casting out of evil spirits); b) gifts of healing (which are also part of miracles); c) the gift of helpers (providing help for the needy); d) the gift of governments or administration (the gift for church leaders), e) the gift of faith (to give strength to believers); and apostleship (the Apostle Paul saw his gift as the strength needed to fulfill the ministry of Christ) (Elwell).

How do spiritual gifts differ from the Fruit of the Spirit, and which of these two concepts show's one's spiritual maturity? The gifts mentioned in the preceding narrative are varied and all come from Holy Spirit. But the "Fruit" of the spirit is simply "the expression of our renewed nature as it is seen by others" (Wynn-Grove). In Galatians 5:22-23, the scripture explains that the fruit of the spirit is "…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, self-control…" (Wynn-Grove). The fruit of the spirit is what results from spiritual gifts, what people do with those gifts,…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited / Bibliography

Bible Gateway. "1 Corinthians 13: 8-10 / 1 Corinthians 12." Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://www.biblegateway.com.

Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology.

Fairchild, Mary. "What Are Spiritual Gifts?" About.com. Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://christianity.about.com.

Williams, J. Rodman. "Should We All Speak in Tongues?" Christianity Today. Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://www.christianitytoday.com.

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