Today we are continuing in what is almost a glossary of spiritual gift. The Gifts found in 1 Corinthians 12:7 are referred to as manifestation gifts (sometimes also charismatic gifts). The Greek word ‘phanerosis’ which is used here literally means ‘a clear display, an outward evidencing of a latent (hidden) principle). Just as the light which shines from a light-blub is an outward evidence of electricity at work within it, so spiritual gifts are an outward display of the Holy Spirit at work within us.
The manifestation gifts are only possible because they come from God. If the light-bulb is to shine, it must stay connected to the electricity, it doesn’t shine because if it’s own power, but because of a great power working through it. So it is with us and the manifestation gifts.
The manifestation gifts serve to reveal the power of God. These gifts are supernatural or spiritual in nature. They can be further subdivided into three groups: utterance, power, and revelation.
Utterance – These gifts say something:
- Prophecy – This is the “forth telling” of the inspired Word of God primarily to the church, for the purpose of confirming the written Word and building up the entire body. The message is usually one of edification, exhortation or consolation, although it can declare God’s will in a particular circumstance, and in rare cases, predict future events.
- Speaking in Tongues – This is a supernatural utterance in an unlearned language which is interpreted so that the entire body will be edified. Tongues may also be a sign to unbelievers.
- Interpretation of Tongues – This is a supernatural interpretation of a message in tongues, translated into the known language so that the hearers (the entire body) will be edified.
Power – These gifts do something:
- Faith – This is not the faith that is measured to every believer, nor is it “saving faith.” This is special, supernatural faith given by the Spirit to receive miracles or to believe God for miracles.
- Healing – This is supernatural healing, beyond natural means, given by the Spirit.
- Miracles – This is the supernatural suspension of the natural laws, or an intervention by the Holy Spirit into the laws of nature.
Revelation – These gifts reveal something:
- Word of Wisdom – This is supernatural knowledge applied in a godly or correct way. One commentary describes it as “insight into doctrinal truth.”
- Word of Knowledge – This is supernatural knowledge of facts and information that can only be revealed by God for the purpose of applying doctrinal truth.
- Discerning of Spirits – This is the supernatural ability to distinguish between spirits such as good and evil, truthful or deceiving.