Paul told the church at Corinth, “Concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (1 Cor 12:1). God certainly does not want believers today to be ignorant either.
There are many charismatic gifts mentioned in the Bible (Rom 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12:8-10, 28-30; Eph 4:11). For the purpose of this brief study, we will limit ourselves to a consideration of the nine manifestations listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. To simplify our study of them, we will classify them in three categories:
I. GIFTS OF SPEECH
2. Interpretation of Tongues
II. GIFTS OF REVELATION
4. A word of Wisdom
5. A word of Knowledge
6. Discerning of Spirits
III. GIFTS OF ABILITY
7. Gift of Faith
8. Gifts of Healing
9. Working of Miracles
WHO MAY THE SPIRIT USE IN THE OPERATION OF SUCH GIFTS?
- Any member of the Body may be used (1 Cor 12:7, 11; 14:26, 31).
- We should not be ignorant concerning the operation of the gifts (1 Cor 12:1).
- We must desire spiritual gifts (1 Cor 14:1)
- We should be motivated by genuine love for the Body ” (1 Cor 13) and by a pure desire to edify the Body.
- We should seek to excel in the operation of the gifts for the purpose of edifying the Church (1 Cor 14:12).
THE GIFTS OF SPEECH
- THE GIFT OF TONGUES (1 Cor 12:10)
The Gift of Tongues has two functions:
a.To edify the person using it (“devotional tongues”);
b. For the edifying of the whole church, and not merely the individual believer (when used in conjunction with the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues).
Use of the Gift of Tongues should be:
a. motivated by love (1 Cor 13:1);
b. accompanied by interpretation (1 Cor 14:5,13,28);
c. confined to three utterances in any one gathering (1 Cor 14:27).
Seek to be yielded to the Spirit. Develop a sensitivity to what the Spirit is seeking to do or say in any particular service. When the Holy Spirit wants to bring a tongue -utterance through you, there will generally be an inner awareness of this for some time before you actually speak. This is often a gentle stirring in your spirit, a growing excitement and anticipation.
Wait quietly for the right moment to speak. The Holy Spirit will prompt you clearly at that time. He will not interrupt what is already happening in the service. He will never cause confusion, for He is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33).
Speak in a normal but clearly audible voice. You do not have to shout or bellow. Quietly flow with the Spirit, Who is giving you utterance.
When the utterance is complete, all must wait upon God for the interpretation. Often some other believer will be given the interpretation; but when this does not happen, then the one who has spoken in tongues must pray quietly that he may also be given the interpretation (1 Cor 14:13).
- THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES (1 Cor 12:10)
This is the companion gift to that of Tongues, and is always used in conjunction with that gift. It is the supernatural enabling, by the Holy Spirit, to interpret an utterance in tongues into the natural language of the congregation.