How Many Spiritual Gifts Can One Person Have?
Spiritual gifts are a topic of great interest for Christians. Understanding these gifts and how they operate within the life of a believer is essential for fostering spiritual growth and effectively serving the Church and the world.
One common question often arises in discussions about spiritual gifts: “How many spiritual gifts can one person have?” To address this question, let’s delve into spiritual gifts and how we can categorize them.
The Bible outlines 21 spiritual gifts, broadly divided into three categories:
1) Ministry Gifts
Let’s explore these categories and their significance in determining how many spiritual gifts one can possess.
These gifts center around individuals who are themselves the spiritual gift to the Church, playing vital roles in its foundation and growth.
- Apostle: Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:28, apostles establish and nurture the Church’s foundation
- Prophet: Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12:6, and 1 Corinthians 12:10 and 28, we see that prophets receive a sense from the Holy Spirit and communicate these messages.
- Evangelist: Ephesians 4:11 mentions evangelists who are gifted in spreading the Gospel.
- Pastor: Ephesians 4:11 recognizes pastors as shepherds who care for and guide the flock of believers.
- Teacher: Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12:7, and 1 Corinthians 12:28 highlight the role of teachers in imparting spiritual wisdom.
2) Motivational Gifts
Motivational Gifts: Each believer is given a primary motivational spiritual gift, which profoundly influences their personality, passions, and manner of service within both the Church and the broader world.
- Administration: 1 Corinthians 12:28 mentions those gifted in organizing and overseeing the affairs of the Church.
- Exhortation (Encouragement): Romans 12:8 highlights the importance of individuals gifted in offering comfort, motivation, and support.
- Giving: Romans 12:8 underscores the role of generous givers in supporting the needs of the Church.
- Hospitality: 1 Peter 4:10-11 recognizes those who welcome and accommodate others.
- Leadership: Romans 12:8 acknowledges leaders who provide guidance and direction.
- Mercy: Romans 12:8 emphasizes those gifted in showing compassion and understanding.
- Service (Helping): Romans 12:7, 1 Peter 4:10-11, and 1 Corinthians 12:28 highlight individuals who actively serve and assist others.
- Speaking: 1 Peter 4:10-11 underscores the importance of individuals gifted in communicating God’s truth.
3) Manifestation Gifts
Manifestation Gifts: These gifts involve the flow of the spiritual gift through individuals for specific purposes and include:
- Discerning of Spirits: 1 Corinthians 12:10 discusses the gift of discerning spiritual influences.
- Faith: 1 Corinthians 12:9 recognizes those with extraordinary faith.
- Healing: 1 Corinthians 12:9 and 1 Corinthians 12:28 mention individuals with the gift of healing.
- Word of Knowledge: 1 Corinthians 12:8 highlights the gift of receiving divine knowledge.
- Working of Miracles: 1 Corinthians 12:10 emphasizes the gift of performing miracles.
- Tongues: 1 Corinthians 12:10 discusses the gift of speaking in tongues.
- Prophecy: 1 Corinthians 12:10 includes prophecy as a manifestation gift.
- Interpretation of Tongues: 1 Corinthians 12:10 acknowledges those with the gift of interpreting tongues.
- Word of Wisdom: 1 Corinthians 12:8 recognizes the gift of divine wisdom.
Everyone has at least one spiritual gift!
1) Primary Motivational Spiritual Gift: Every believer is given at least one primary motivational spiritual gift. This gift shapes their personality, passions, and approach to serving in the Church and the world.
2) Manifestation Spiritual Gifts: The Holy Spirit can use every believer in the manifestation of spiritual gifts on occasion. While a person may have a primary motivational gift, they can also experience and operate in various manifestation gifts as needed, depending on the circumstances and the leading of the Holy Spirit. This allows believers to serve in diverse ways and respond to specific situations with spiritual discernment, faith, healing, knowledge, miracles, tongues, prophecy, interpretation of tongues, and wisdom.
3) Ministry Gifts: Some believers are uniquely gifted to serve the Church in leadership roles as ministry gifts. They may have one or more of the support gifts/ministry gifts, such as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. These individuals play crucial roles in equipping and building up the Church.
So, How many spiritual gifts can one person have?
In conclusion, while every believer has at least one primary motivational spiritual gift, the Holy Spirit can also enable them to operate in various manifestation gifts as needed. Additionally, some individuals may possess ministry gifts that equip and serve the Church.
The diversity of spiritual gifts within the body of believers ultimately is intended to bring glory to God and build up the Church. Recognizing and wholeheartedly embracing these gifts is essential for personal spiritual growth and effective service in the Kingdom of God.