What are…
spiritual gifts

Common gifts/abilities for effective ministry

In order to fulfill our role in the body of Christ, Believers are given some abilities (gifts), which may include, but are not necessarily limited to, such as the following. All are given by Divine undeserved favor (grace) as part of the plans of God. The Holy Spirit is the source of them all. He chooses them and provides them.

…He [Jesus Christ] Himself gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ, …so that we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming, but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is Christ, from whom the whole body, being joined and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the properly measured working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. —Ephesians 4:11-16 LSB excerpt

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another, but having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: whether prophecy, in agreement with the faith; or service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. —Romans 12:4-8 LSB

Also see: 1 Corinthians 12 and 1 Peter 4

Origin of miraculous supernatural gifts

Greek: charismata

These are gifts (abilities) supernaturally bestowed on the early Christians, each having his own proper gift or gifts for the edification of the body of Christ.

These were the result of the extraordinary operation of the Holy Spirit, as on the day of Pentecost. They were the gifts of speaking with tongues, casting out devils, healing, etc.

Afterward He [Jesus Christ] appeared to the eleven themselves… And He said to them,

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; and they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” —Mark 16:14-18 LSB excerpt

These spiritual gifts were usually communicated to Believers by the laying on of the hands of the Apostles (Acts 8:17; 19:6; 1 Timothy 4:14).

The office of Apostle is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

These were sign gifts, made available to testify to the fact that Jesus Christ is God.

Are these miraculous supernatural gifts normally available today?

These charismata were enjoyed only for a time. They could not continue always in the Church. They were suited to its infancy and to the necessities of those times. —Mathew G. Easton, Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Streaming video— 
“Cessation of Spiritual Gifts”
Dr. John F. MacArthur Jr., chancellor and founder of The Master’s Seminary and The Master’s University
video by The Master's University
Length: 4 minutes

Also see

Article Version: August 14, 2021