It is always good to focus on the why of things. So, why does God pour out on us the gifts of the Holy Spirit? God is God and God knows we need these gifts in our lives. God has a plan, and that plan includes the gifts of His Holy Spirit.
What are we to think of spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit in the church today? 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.
- Acts 2:4 (ESV) — 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
- Acts 10:45–46 (ESV) — 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,
- Acts 19:6 (ESV) — 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.
- 1 Corinthians 12:4–11 (ESV) — 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 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.
Here are the nine gifts that Paul outlines:
- Utterance of wisdom
- Utterance of knowledge
- Gift of healing
- Working of miracles
- Ability to distinguish between spirits
- Various kinds of tongues
- Interpretation of tongues
This is how the church should function. These gifts are reinforced in many places in the New Testament. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are real and are to be encouraged. My guess is, regardless of your denomination, you know people who have some of these gifts of the Holy Spirit.