The Holy Spirit and His Gifts
An Orientation to this Study
It is impossible to understand spiritual gifts apart from the person and work of the Holy Spirit. He alone is the distributor of the gifts to each member of the body of Christ. Your study, therefore, will begin with who He is and what He does. For some of you, this section will be a review. Others of you will be learning about the third person of the godhead for the first time.
Following your study of the Holy Spirit, you will examine what the Scriptures teach about spiritual gifts as presented in four main passages of the New Testament.
Thirdly, you will examine each of the gifts that the Spirit has imparted. This section includes a biblical study on most gifts, including gift definitions, summary statements on the nature of each gift, and questions that will help you in the process of determining which gift(s) the Spirit has given you.
Fourthly, you will focus on key insights that will help you discover what your spiritual gifts are. It is most exciting when you begin to see that this is not a theoretical exercise, but that the Spirit has really imparted gifts to you so you can do His work and glorify His name.
In section five, you will find answers to some of the common questions people have about spiritual gifts.
And finally, you will explore God’s plan for you as you seek to put your gifts to work in His kingdom. One of the goals of this study is that you would emerge from it with a stronger commitment to utilize your gifts in expanding and building up His body, the church.
Scripture: Our Final Authority
Scripture provides us with an abundance of information about the gifts of the Spirit. This does not mean, however, that all Christians see the gifts in the same way and find agreement on every point. There is still much for all of us to learn about the workings of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, you are encouraged to disagree in love and humility, “examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
Many Christians have never experienced the joy and excitement of discovering their gifts and using them in building up Christ’s church. It is our prayer that this study will be an introduction, not just to a new and interesting subject matter, but to a new and more effective way that you may serve the Lord with joy.
Six Foundational Truths
- God has inspired and preserved the Scriptures by which He has revealed to us what He wants us to know and understand about spiritual gifts.
- Though there is much that we do not understand about the workings of the Holy Spirit and the gifts He gives (Jn. 3:8), God invites us to search the Scriptures and to seek Him in prayer for new insights and power that will enable us to faithfully serve Him.
- Every member of the body of Christ is important, and everyone’s gifts are needed in order for the body to function properly. Charles Spurgeon, the great nineteenth-century English preacher, spoke about the unity of the body when he referred to Christians as “living stones in the heavenly temple perfectly joined together with the vermilion (vivid red) cement of Christ’s blood.”
- Once you discover, develop, and use your own spiritual gifts, you will be better equipped to help other Christians discover their gifts.
- We bring pleasure to God and glorify Him when we discover and use our gifts under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit.
- Spiritual gifts are literally (in the Greek language) “grace gifts,” freely bestowed by His grace upon unworthy sinners who have been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ and made worthy by His righteousness alone. This truth, once fully acknowledged and embraced, will help us all to labor in the kingdom with true humility.
Guidelines for Each Participant
- You will get the most out of this study if you will take the time to study the Scriptures with this material and form your own convictions about spiritual gifts.
- You are strongly encouraged to be present at each study as each new topic builds on the previous one. When you do have to miss, make every effort to study the material your group is discussing, so you will not fall behind.
- Interaction and questions are encouraged in your group.
- Pray for your mentor and the other group members who are seeking to learn more about the Holy Spirit and His gifts.
- Make yourself available to others in your group who may need your encouragement and insight as they wrestle with their unique and special place in the body of Christ.
This material was designed for group study with the idea that our gifts are not discovered in isolation, but in community. Once your small group is formed, each participant may download the appropriate section whenever convenient. If you are interested a self-study course, seeking the feedback and wise counsel of your closest friends should prove to be beneficial in discovering, developing, and using your spiritual gifts for the good of the Body.
Click on the chapters below to download.
The Holy Spirit and His Gift: PDF of the Entire Manual
Cover, Table of Contents, and Introduction
Section I: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
Section II: Understanding Spiritual Gifts
Section III: The Gifts of the Spirit
Section IV: Discerning Your Gifts
Section V: Common Questions About Spiritual Gifts
Section VI: Putting Your Gifts to Work