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Spiritual Gifts: How to Arrive at Definitions


Spiritual Gifts DefinitionsI’ve been asked on several occassions how I arrived at the definitions on the site for spiritual gifts so I thought I would share it with everyone.

The process I used to arrive at a general definition included:

  1. studying the Bible for what it says about spiritual gifts using Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4
  2. breaking that study down into specific truths and principles about spiritual gifting
  3. bringing those parts together in a more abbreviated and cohesive form

The result of such a study is the spiritual gifts definition you find on the site and in materials published by Ministry Tools Resource Center:

A Spiritual Gift is a special divine empowerment bestowed on each believer by the Holy Spirit to accomplish a given ministry God’s way according to His grace and discernment to be used within the context of the Body of Christ.

The process I used to arrive at definitions for specific spiritual gifts grew out of that study and included:

  1. listing all the gifts found in the key Scripture passages pertaining to spiritual gifts
  2. doing a word study for each of those gifts by looking at the original Greek language
  3. pulling elements from that study into a workable definition for each of the gifts

The result of such a study is what you will find on the Spiritual Gifts List & Definitions page on the site. Looking at the original language provides much insight.  You don’t need to know Greek to do a word study as you can find much help simply by using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Vine’s Expository Dictionary (links will take you to affiliate store).  The objective in this study, and any study of God’s Word, is to try to arrive at God’s intent.


10 Replies to “Spiritual Gifts: How to Arrive at Definitions”

  1. Great discovery you have done. I have discovered my gifts and i appreciate God for it. from a sincere heart i love to serve God to the fullest but must i start a church am confused

    • Hello, Medupin oluwaseyi Michael. There are many ways to serve God using our spiritual gifts. People with the spiritual gifts of leadership, faith or apostle are most likely to pursue starting a church. Those gifts are more goal-oriented and developmental which is critical to starting a new adventure. People with other gifts can be involved in the process but those who lead the endeavor are usually those with the gifts I just mentioned. But, even if those are your gifts, you still need to spend much time in prayer to be sure it is the direction God would have you go. If it is of God, He will undoubtedly give you the passion to do so as you continue in prayer. Whatever you spiritual gift(s) may be, be sure to take time to ask God for wisdom and direction in how you can best serve Him.

    • Thanks for the positive feedback. Lord willing, this ministry will continue on for years to come.

    • I’m glad this definition was meaningful to you. Whether defining spiritual gifts or whatever it might be, it’s important we seek to arrive at God’s intent and not merely our own interpretation.

  2. My name is Hanna Anna Bua, and I joined a Healing Ministry here in the Solomon Islands and I am glad that I read this and really help me out with doubts and questions that makes me now give me strength and power to continue do my work in healing that God had given me the spiritual gifts. The explanation here is really perfect. Thank you

    • Hello, Hanna Anna Bua. I’m glad this has been helpful. As defined in the post, God’s Word teaches that spiritual gifts are special divine empowerments which means it is Him at work through us when we use our spiritual gifts. Serving in the strength and power of the Lord, we can proceed with confidence for our confidence is in the Lord, not ourselves.

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