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The Apostle Paul lays out a great summary in his letter to the Corinthians. The purpose of these gifts of the Holy Spirit is to build up the church. These gifts of the Holy Spirit continue in the church today.

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Master” except in the Holy Spirit.

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Master; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. [1]

~Apostle Paul |  Source: 1 Corinthians 12:1–11

Here are the 9 gifts that Paul outlines:

  1. Utterance of wisdom
  2. Utterance of knowledge
  3. Faith
  4. Gift of healing
  5. Working of miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Ability to distinguish between spirits
  8. Various kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues

This is how the church should function. These are reinforced in many places in the New Testament. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are real and are to be encouraged.

Annie Dillard has one of the best quotes about church. She is an unbeliever as best I can tell. She knows, however, that if you believe in GOD you better be prepared for who GOD is.

GOD is explosive in His ability and desire to do what we all think cannot be done. So why do not churches act that way?

Do you have your crash helmet on? Are you ready to be lashed to your pew?

Why do people in church seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute? … Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping GOD may wake someday and take offense, or the waking GOD may draw us to where we can never return. 

via What religious snake handlers want – Think Christian.

Here is one example (and one only) of what happens when the power of God is released on us.

When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 2:1–4 (CSB)

Put on your crash helmet. God is God, God is great, and nothing is impossible for Him.

We often hear about the power of God, and Scripture is full of examples of His power in action. He is “the great God, mighty and awesome” (Nehemiah 9:32). We are taught to rely on His great power to get us through trials such as a job loss, a sticky divorce, bankruptcy, hateful persecutions, a debilitating illness, or the loss of a loved one. Learning to rely on the power of God is part of living the Christian life.

The apostle Paul gives us a glimpse of the power of God when he writes of “his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised the Messiah from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority” (Ephesians 1:19–21).

  • The Greek word translated “great” is megethos, which means “strong” or “great,” and it appears only here in the New Testament.
  • This word obviously wasn’t sufficient for Paul to express God’s great power, so he adds the word incomparably or, in Greek, hyperballon, related to a verb that literally means to “throw beyond the usual mark” or to “excel or surpass.”
  • So, the full idea of the expression hyperballon megethos is that of a power beyond measure, a super-abounding or surpassing power, power that is “more than enough.”

New Strong’s Dictionary

δύναμις dunamisdoo´-nam-is; from 1410force (lit. or fig.); spec. miraculous power (usually by impl. a miracle itself):— ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.

Baker Encyclopedia

God is almighty and all other power is derived from him and subject to him. Much that the Bible says is summed up in the words of 1 Chronicles 29:11–12 addressed to God in praise: “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord … thou rulest over all. In thy hand are power and might; and in thy hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.” Using human terms the OT often speaks of God’s “mighty hand” and his “outstretched arm,” both being used for the power of God in action (Ex 6:6; 7:4; Ps 44:2, 3). His power is seen in creation (Ps 65:6; Is 40:26; Jer 10:12; 27:5), in his rule over the world (2 Chr 20:6), in his acts of salvation and judgment (Ex 15:6; Dt 26:8) and in all that he does for his people (Ps 111:6). The NT as well as the OT speaks of the mighty power of God. Ephesians 1:19 speaks of “the immeasurable greatness of his power” and the words of Jesus in Matthew 26:64 show that the word could be substituted for the very name of God when he said that the Son of man would be seen “seated at the right hand of Power.”

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[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 1 Co 12:1–11.