What is a Spiritual Gift?

A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability given by the Holy Spirit to a person when they are saved.  To find out more click the questions below and then visit our Spiritual Gifts descriptions page.

How many spiritual gifts are there?

There is no complete list of spiritual gifts found in any single book of the Bible.  Thus, we cannot conclude that what we have is an exhaustive list or that the Spirit of God has not given other gifts to the church.  We do not want to limit God’s ability to give more gifts, He most certainly has, but we must be cautious when calling an ability a spiritual gift if it is not found in Scripture.  SpiritualGiftsTest.com operates within the framework that there are likely many other spiritual gifts that have been given, but they should all connect categorically to those that are found in Scripture.  For instance, a “gift of songwriting” could connect with the categories of exhortation, or evangelism, or a “gift of cooking” could be a form of the gift of serving and ministering.

We find lists totaling nineteen spiritual gifts in three different passages: Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4.  There are other important passages as well.  Paul seems to speak of singleness or celibacy as being a gift from God in 1 Corinthians 7, and some have also considered marriage as a gift in the context of this passage.  Spiritual gifts are further mentioned in 1 Peter 4 which addresses the speaking and serving gifts in a general sense.  As a note, we have listed and described the nineteen major gifts on our site, but we do not include all of them in our tests.  We have excluded tongues and interpretation, miracles, and healing.  The reason for this decision is that these are difficult to test for, and should be self-evident within the context of the local church body.

Who gives the spiritual gifts?

We see in the Scriptures that since the day of Pentecost The Holy Spirit has given each believer one or more spiritual gifts to serve God and His people.  This is obviously why they are called “spiritual” gifts.  However, in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, we also see that the full Trinity is involved with spiritual gifts.  And in Ephesians 4:7 we see that Christ gave gifts when He ascended in celebration of His triumph over sin on the cross and over death in His resurrection.  Therefore, we can conclude that God distributes spiritual gifts by His Holy Spirit, but the Triune God is at work together in giving and empowering them.  See Ephesians 4:7-13, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, Hebrews 2:4

What is the purpose of the spiritual gifts?

The purpose of spiritual gifts is to glorify Jesus by testifying of Him and building up His church until He returns.  A major part of this is accomplished by using our gifts to serve in love, and by bearing much fruit that lasts.  See Romans 11:36, Colossians 1:16, Revelation 4:11, Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Peter 4:10; John 16:13-14 and John 15:8.

How many gifts do I have?

Each Christian has at least one spiritual gift given to them when they are saved.  Some receive more depending upon God’s will and calling in their lives.  See Ephesians 4:7, I Corinthians 12:7, 11, I Corinthians 7:7, I Peter 4:10

What gifts do I have?

Only God knows – just kidding.  We have developed a Spiritual Gifts Test to help you figure this one out.  When you are done with the test, ask other Christians in your church or community that you know and trust to help you in discovering them.  We also suggest serving in different areas and in different capacities in the church to figure out how you can best use those gifts to glorify God.

Does anyone have all of the spiritual gifts?

Nope!  Each believer is given a gift or gifts according to the will of God, but no one has all of the spiritual gifts and no single gift is given to everyone.  See 1 Corinthians 12:29-30, 1 Corinthians 7:7

How do I use my gifts?

The Bible tells us to use our gifts in love and in service to others.  Every church needs believers with all kinds of gifts to serve and build up the body of Christ. We suggest you start by contacting someone in your church to find out where you can serve.  Check out 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and 1 Peter 4:10.

What is the difference between a talent and a spiritual gift?

A talent is a natural ability or aptitude given by God to a person at birth.  A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability given by God at rebirth.  A talent can be anything from athletic ability to musical aptitude to artistic genius.  God allows a person to use his or her talents for many different purposes and in many different capacities.  When it comes to spiritual gifts, God opens up the ability of a person to be used by The Lord purposely and directly in His work.  A spiritual gift can spring from a natural talent, or it can be a completely new ability that is “out of the ordinary” for that person.  The main point is this: All talents and spiritual gifts come from God.  He can use talents and spiritual gifts to fulfill His purposes and bring Himself glory.  The main difference between the two is that only Christians receive spiritual gifts because only Christians have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.  As a believer in Christ, you are called to use your talents and your spiritual gifts for the glory of God.

Why don't you test for every gift?

You may have noticed that we do not test for the spiritual gift of tongues or interpretation, as well as the spiritual gifts of healing and miracles. These four gifts are very difficult to test for in a conventional way. Merely asking a set of questions will probably not lead a person to discovering these gifts (i.e. “Have you performed a miracle?”). It typically takes exercising and experiencing them and receiving confirmation through the Holy Spirit and from other Christians to validate or confirm that a person has these gifts.

The absence of these gifts from our tests is not an indication or affirmation that we believe they have ceased. The opposite is true. We believe that the Holy Spirit distributes and empowers believers with all of the gifts as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11). All spiritual gifts are meant for the edification of the church until Christ returns (1 Corinthians 1:4-7, Ephesians 4:11-13).

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