21 Spiritual Gifts of The Spirit That Will Surprise You

Every Christian who is saved should have a desire to identify what are their spiritual gifts that God has given to you. Why is it important to identify what gifts that are given to you? So that you can be used by God to serve others not only in the church but to the people around you as well.

In this article, we are going to cover what are the spiritual gifts mentioned in the bible and help each Christian to explore and identify their gifts to aid you in being better ministers and ambassadors of God. You will be surprise later on, what are the full list of spiritual gifts mention in the Bible that you might has miss out.

However, before we dive into the gifts it is important for every Christian to understand what it means to live for God so that you understand why these gifts are given. In 1 Peter 4, Peter here gives us a clear understanding of what it really means to be a Christian living for God below:

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4: 1-11 ( NIV )

Note in verse 10, Peter calls on to all believers to use whatever gift you receive to serve others.

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The Spirituals Gifts of The Bible

In order to help you serve for the Christ, below are a list of Spiritual Gifts by the Holy Spirit:

  1. Word of Wisdom ( 1 Cor 12:8a )
  2. Word of Knowledge ( 1 Cor 12:8b )
  3. Gifts of Faith ( 1 Cor 12:9a )
  4. Gifts of Healing ( 1 Cor 12:9b , 1 Cor 12:28)
  5. Effecting of Miracles ( 1 Cor 12:10a , 1 Cor 12:28)
  6. Prophecy ( 1 Cor 12:10a , Rom 12:6b)
  7. Distinguishing of Spirits ( 1 Cor 12:10b )
  8. Various kinds of tongues ( 1 Cor 12:10b, 1 Cor 12:28 )
  9. Interpretation of tongues ( 1 Cor 12:10b )
  10. Gifts of Service in serving ( Romans 12:7a)
  11. Gifts of Teaching  or Teacher ( Romans 12: 7b ,  1 Cor 12:28 , Eph 4:11 )
  12. Gifts of Exhortation ( Romans 12:8a )
  13. Gifts of Giving ( Romans 12:8b )
  14. Gifts of Leadership ( Romans 12:8b )
  15. Gifts of Mercy ( Romans 12:8b )
  16. Gifts of Apostleship ( 1 Cor 12:28 , Eph 4:11 )
  17. Gifts of Prophet ( 1 Cor 12:28 , Eph 4:11 )
  18. Gifts of Helps ( 1 Cor 12:28 )
  19. Gifts of Administration ( 1 Cor 12:28 )
  20. Gifts of Evangelist ( Eph 4:11 )
  21. Gifts of Pastor ( Eph 4:11 )

Are you surprised by some of the gifts listed above? I was when I first found out that even helping others and giving can be a gift too 🙂

The Common Mistake That Only Some Are Gifted

Do you need to be gifted in mercy to show mercy to others? Or do you need to be gifted in giving to give to the needy and poor? Many times, we give ourselves excuses we are not gifted in one area and therefore we miss out in serving for God when opportunities are given.

Let me quote you an example, most Christians today who attend church do not serve in the church but only come to receive the word of God which is also a good thing. If you ask them to serve something they do not like, many will run away from serving because they claim “oh I am not gifted to be a teacher, so I cannot teach”.

Can A Christian Have More Than 1 Gift?

If you examine carefully the list of gifts above, can a Christian have more than one gift? Can a Christian be able to be an evangelist and yet at the same time exercise gift of mercy and giving?

We tend to shortchange small gifts over big obvious gifts such as pastors & apostle. We always think it is the job of the pastor to pray for the sick or show mercy to others. However, did you know even normal simple people in the Bible were also praying for the sick?

If you read Luke 10 , it clearly shows Jesus sending out 72 disciples who are just simple men to evangelize to other, to pray for the sick, preach the kingdom of God.

A common excuse I always receive when I ask Christian to evangelize to others. “Oh I am not called to be an evangelist or pastor, I just happy serving or be a member to receive so I do not want to go out there to evangelize”. Does it sound like you?

Well did you know the great commission ( command from Jesus ) is for ALL His disciples to go make disciples, baptize others and witness for Christ? ( Matt 28:16-20 ). So are you going to ignore that one important command to witness for Christ just because you are not “gifted” to do so?

Do Not Be Fixed To Only 1 or 2 Gifts

Why is it that Christians are able to accept and exercise the gift of faith or wisdom but seem it is so hard to exercise the gift of healing and prophecy?

Spiritual gifts are not fixed to only 1 gift if it was fixed then why are the gift of Pastors also able to also exercise the gift of mercy, faith or healing when at certain seasons of their life walking with Jesus Christ?

If you believe that you are only gifted and fixed in one gift as a pastor, are you not to show mercy just because you think you are not gifted in it? or are you not to serve just because you are not gifted in serving?

The reason I highlight this because many Christians miss out their Will in God by boxing up God by only choosing gifts that they are comfortable with or preferred.

When I was a new Christian, I always thought I was only called to evangelize and I rejected any other gifts mention in the Bible. But as I walk longer with the Lord, and open up my heart to discern the Holy Spirit prompting and teachings, I slowly realize actually I am also able to exercise other gifts such as healing, prophecy & faith.

Why Christians Are Not Exercising All The Other Gifts

The reason why not everyone is exercising all the other “special anointed” gifts such as healing, prophecy, speaking in tongues.

The honest truth is the church does not gives good opportunities or platform to explore and practice them or worst some churches discourage it.

For example, I want to learn and exercise the gift of knowledge and be prophetic. The church normally will not have activities that encourage it unless there are workshop or “special anointed” speakers that teaches about it.

We view them as “specially anointed” people in certain gifts just because we see them able to exercise gifts that the common Christians do not exercise in. But the honest truth is that, that “specially anointed” person did not receive the gift in healing or prophetic in just ONE DAY! And they are not SPECIAL! They looked SPECIAL because we as Christian label them as SPECIAL 😛

It takes many practices, faith and walks with God to slowly train and master the skill of discerning the gifts from the Holy Spirit.

For example, everyone who wants to learn to cycle does not learn how to ride a bicycle in just ONE attempt right? They are to go through trials and errors and make some mistake before perfecting the right tactics to cycle. It the same with the gifts of the spirit.

One real example I like to share in a church camp years back, there was a speaker that is known for speaking in prophecy and train others to do so.

So he asks the church members to the group in pairs and spends some time praying and asking God for a word of knowledge for our partners. The shocking part is that MANY Christians will able to encourage one another in a word of knowledge and know things that the other partner was concern about.

How was that possible? That is because we exercise faith in believing in Christ to give us the word of knowledge and the Holy Spirit gives to those who desire for them.

Will, you fail at times and give false knowledge? Of course, you will, because it takes practice to discern the voices of God, self and satan. It will be worst if you lack the knowledge of the Bible and that is why sometimes we see very weird wrong prophecy given by people with little knowledge in the Bible.

Mature Gifts Through Practice and Desire for Them

God has created all these gifts for His children and don’t you think He wants all His children to exercise in all the gifts available to us?

Exercise Gifts Through Obedience and Not Selfish Needs

The danger of what I have explained there are also Christians that are so fascinated with certain gifts that they actually idolize them!

Some Christian can even grow proud of the gifts they exercise in Jesus name. So I also like to warn you while it good to explore and exercise the various gifts.

It is even more IMPORTANT that we stay humble in spirit to remember WHY you desire these gifts in the first place?

Always remember to have a spirit of humility and teachability. If you are not careful, you can allow these gifts to become your idol.

Do Not Box Up God’s Gifts In Your Walk With Jesus

The KEY point I want to bring across is DO NOT BOXED God’s gifts in your walk with Jesus Christ. Everyone can exercise the gifts given respectively by the Holy Spirit if you just take the time and desire to sit time and pray to God to show you and teach you how to exercise these gifts.