18 Spiritual Gifts From The Bible — And What Each Means

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For Christians, it’s natural to wonder which spiritual gifts God has blessed you with. For those who are not Christian or who are new to the faith, you may wonder what people mean when they talk about such things.

What are spiritual gifts?

Spiritual gifts are unique powers given to you by the Holy Spirit, and in order to fulfill the mission of the Church, you must use your gift(s) to their full potential.

Everyone has been made in the image and likeness of God and given their own spiritual gifts to live out. Throughout your life, you will discover your strengths and the attributes that set you apart — these are the spiritual gifts you possess.

Christianity teaches that these spiritual gifts are given when you receive "the gift of salvation.” Having faith in God grants you His grace, which in turn creates your salvation.

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Spiritual gifts come in many different forms and from different sources, and there is some debate around the exact number of spiritual gifts from God. Nevertheless, what makes you special might not be what makes your neighbor special.

God’s creation is enhanced when His believers make use of their unique spiritual gifts and talents. This individual experience allows you to hone in on what makes you extraordinary while doing good for humanity and serving God.

There are some possible drawbacks to letting your list of spiritual gifts guide you, such as a closed mind to other ways you can impact the world.

Your spiritual gifts should not set limitations on what you can achieve. Rather, they should be protected and expressed during good and bad times. They can be used to center your innermost desires and keep you on track while maintaining your relationship with God.

It’s not necessary to be religious and anyone can use this opportunity of self-discovery to live a fulfilled life.

Religious beliefs state that followers are given certain spiritual gifts throughout their life. These spiritual gifts are meant to enhance their personal lives as well as the state of the Church.

By using your given spiritual gifts, you can reach your full potential and help create the Church God had in mind. It is debated how many spiritual gifts listed God grants.

Simple List Of Spiritual Gifts

Ministry Gifts

1. Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Helpers

These spiritual gifts are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28–30: "And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?"

An apostle today is not understood in the same way it was during Jesus’ time. To be given this gift means you are responsible for spreading the word of God to places where the Gospel isn’t preached. This person is a courageous natural-born leader.

If you’ve ever been on a mission trip dedicated to teaching the Gospel, you’re considered to be an apostle.

Use the gift of apostleship in other ways such as being an educator or counselor. There are many outlets for expressing this gift career-wise.

Manifestation Gifts

2. Discernment Of Spirits

This gift is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10: “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, 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.”

Discernment has to do with distinguishing or judging a certain situation or environment. As a gift, discernment allows for a Christian to recognize between God and Satan.

If you have this gift, share your word of knowledge with others to ensure that they are not led down the wrong path. This can be religious or something more personal, like the effect being a good judge of character can have.

3. Evangelism

This gift is mentioned in Ephesians 4:11: "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers."

The gift of evangelism promotes effective communication with those who don’t believe in God.

Evangelists can overcome their fear of rejection and instead keep non-believers engaged in meaningful conversations about Jesus and God. Their communication skills make way for the Gospel to reach even the strongest of non-believers.

It’s important that these people realize their potential of persuasion in order to make the most of their gift.

4. Faith

This gift is mentioned in Ephesians 2:8: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."

Although it seems that everyone possesses this gift, it’s not always true. People who are religious (and those who are not) often waver in their trust that things will work out.

However, if you have the gift of faith, you are undeniably strong and stand true to your beliefs no matter what is thrown your way. You are confident and certain in almost every aspect of your life. Continue to use this talent to inspire others and be a beacon of light.

5. Healing

This gift is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10 and 1 Corinthians 12:28–30.

The gift of healing is an ability that God uses to "restore" people, whether it's spiritually, emotionally or physically. It is not necessarily the version of healing that is described in the Bible.

If you feel called to help others in any of the ways listed, you have been given the gift of healing. Perhaps being a doctor, nurse, counselor, or pastor would bring you great joy.

6. Interpretation Of Tongues

This gift is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10.

Interpretation of the tongues is pretty self-explanatory. It is a gift to translate foreign languages bestowed by God himself. It was used purposely to spread the word of God.

This, along with the speaking of tongues, is considered a supernatural ability. They usually go side by side.

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7. Knowledge

This gift is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10.

In terms of the Church, a person with this gift is well-versed in scripture, often memorizing it. As a result, they can easily relate the teachings of the Bible to everyday life.

Others turn to you for guidance on how to best incorporate the word of God into their lives. You are probably very good at retaining information and applying it to the real world.

Become as educated as possible so you can spread your knowledge — the world will be better because of it.

8. Miracles

This gift is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10 and 1 Corinthians 12:28–30.

The gift of miracles allowed people to do miraculous things. A few examples within the Bible are the casting out of demons in Acts 16 and the striking of Elymas blind in Acts 13.

People said to obtain this gift were Stephen and Philip.

9. Wisdom

This gift is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10.

Deeper than the gift of knowledge, the word of wisdom involves a strong analysis of what is missing in the Church. These people can easily recognize the consequences of certain decisions and have experienced a lot in their life.

Being wise is one of the most sought-after gifts since it’s rooted in a deep understanding of the world around you. If this is you, take advantage of your skills and progress with each day.

10. Prophecy (or Vision)

This gift is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10 and Romans 12:6–8: "We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."

Being able to speak the message of God is very significant. Prophets play a large role in spreading the beliefs of the Church. This could be something as simple as reading the scripture at Church or as complex as going to an area where no one has heard of God.

Your ability to communicate should not be overlooked. However, keep in mind that the skill of prophecy should only be used to warn or encourage others.

11. Speaking In Tongues

This gift is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10 and 1 Corinthians 12:28–30.

While not many people are given the gift of tongues, this incredible talent is supernatural. The ability to speak a language that has not yet been learned takes immense power.

This gift should be used with the best of intentions, using the power of the Holy Spirit. Do not be afraid if you have been given the gift of tongues, as it shows that God is with you.

Motivational Gifts

12. Administration (or Governing)

This gift is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28–30.

This spiritual gift involves organizing and guiding the Church towards success. People with the gift of administration are detail-oriented and comfortable planning and supervising.

You should use this attribute in leadership roles and in finding the ambition to achieve your goals. Trust in your ability to get things done and create real change.

13. Exhortation

This gift is mentioned in Romans 12:6–8.

Sometimes referred to as the “gift of encouragement,” exhortation wants you to support those who may have lost their way. You should be a comfort to anyone who is questioning God’s ability and offer guidance.

As an encourager, you would be a great coach, counselor, or tutor — anything that involves using your wisdom to lift up others.

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14. Giving

This gift is mentioned in Romans 12:6–8.

Selfless, caring, and loving are just some of the words to describe a person with the gift of giving. Always willing to give what is needed, these people provide hope and service within the Church.

You do not look to be rewarded for your generosity, but instead, want to spread the wealth and ensure that everyone is taken care of. You appreciate being needed — and that is enough.

Consider working at a donation center or perform community service around your neighborhood. There are so many ways to give back, not just in the Church.

15. Mercy (or Helps)

This gift is mentioned in Romans 12:6–8.

The gift of mercy presents itself through compassion, patience, and empathy. These people are important in creating a loving community that is not concerned with judgment.

If you possess this gift, it’s safe to assume you’re a great friend who understands suffering. Continue to shed light on those who need it and use your talents to spread positivity and joy.

While a person with this gift is not a minister themselves, they support Church members who might become a minister in the future. They are good with encouragement and creating a foundation that can be built upon.

If you have ever been a mentor to someone, you may have the gift of “helps.” You should look for people who need support and guidance — they will help fulfill this gift.

16. Leadership

This gift is mentioned in Romans 12:6–8.

Similar to the gift of administration, people with the gift of leadership are able to direct the Church and keep track of goals. They take control and continually improve what’s around them.

When you have the gift of leadership, it’s beneficial to lead through action. People will respond well to you if they trust in your ability.

17. Serving

This gift is mentioned in Romans 12:6–8.

People with the gift of service are needed to get tasks done within the Church. They are good at identifying what should be improved and following through with accomplishing goals.

You find comfort in helping others and achieving a greater good with small steps. Never forget that you play an important role in making things the way they are.

18. Teaching

This gift is mentioned in Romans 12:6–8.

It’s clear that many religious teachers have this gift. Their ability to communicate the content of the Bible so that students can find spiritual growth and understanding is unmatched.

Maybe you feel called to teach others. If that’s the case, go for it. Your knowledge and dedication to improving the lives of others will have a great impact.

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Isabella Pacinelli is a former contributor to YourTango, features editor for Ashland University's The Collegian, and freelance writer for Medina Weekly News. Follow her on Facebook for more.