Speaking Gifts of the Spirit

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Speaking Gifts of the Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are essential tools that equip believers for ministry and service. Among these, the “speaking gifts” hold a special place, empowering believers to communicate God’s heart. These speaking gifts include prophecy, the word of knowledge, tongues, interpretation of tongues, and the gift of speaking. Each of these gifts serves a unique purpose in the body of Christ. In this blog, we will explore these speaking gifts, drawing insights from Scripture to understand their significance and application.


Prophecy is perhaps the most well-known of the speaking gifts. It involves delivering messages from God to His people, providing guidance and encouragement. The Apostle Paul highlights the importance of prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14:1 (ESV): “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.”

  • Definition: Prophecy is speaking forth a message from God under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
  • Purpose: To edify, exhort, and comfort the church (1 Corinthians 14:3).
  • Example: Example: The prophets of the New Testament, like Agabus in Acts 11:28 (ESV): “And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world.”
  • Guidelines: Prophecies should align with Scripture and be tested for authenticity (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

Word of Knowledge

The word of knowledge involves receiving specific information from the Holy Spirit about a person or situation that one could not naturally know. This gift often operates in conjunction with other gifts, such as healing or prophecy.

  • Definition: A supernatural revelation of facts about a person or situation given by the Holy Spirit.
  • Purpose: To provide insight, encouragement, and guidance.
  • Example: Jesus’ knowledge about the Samaritan woman’s life in John 4:17-18.
  • Guidelines: Should be used to build up others and bring them closer to God, not to impress or control.


Speaking in tongues is a gift that allows a believer to speak in a language unknown to them, either human or angelic. This gift serves both personal edification and, when interpreted, the edification of the church.

  • Definition: The supernatural ability to speak in an unlearned language.
  • Purpose: For personal prayer and edification (1 Corinthians 14:4), and for the edification of the church when interpreted (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).
  • Example: The Day of Pentecost, where the apostles spoke in various languages (Acts 2:4-11).
  • Guidelines: Should be used appropriately in corporate worship, with interpretation to benefit the whole assembly.

Interpretation of Tongues

Interpretation of Tongues complements the gift of tongues by providing the meaning of the spoken language. Interpretation ensures that the church can be edified by what has been spoken in tongues.

  • Definition: The supernatural ability to interpret the meaning of tongues spoken by oneself or others.
  • Purpose: To make the message spoken in tongues understandable to the congregation.
  • Example: Paul’s instruction in 1 Corinthians 14:13-17 about interpreting tongues in the church.
  • Guidelines: Interpretation should be done in an orderly manner to ensure clarity and understanding (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).

Word of Wisdom

The word of wisdom allows believers to bring insight into complex situations, often providing solutions that surpass human understanding.

  • Definition: A supernatural revelation of divine wisdom, providing insight and solutions to complex issues.
  • Purpose: To guide, direct, and provide solutions in difficult situations, ensuring decisions align with God’s will.
  • Example: The apostle James demonstrates this gift in Acts 15 during the Jerusalem Council. Faced with the contentious issue of whether Gentile converts should be required to follow the Mosaic law, James provides a wise solution: “Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood” (Acts 15:19-20, ESV).
  • Guidelines: Should be used to provide counsel that aligns with Scripture and encourages others to trust in God’s plan and timing.

The Gift of Speaking

The gift of speaking is the ability to clearly and effectively communicate God’s truths, helping others understand and apply Scripture in their lives.

  • Definition: The ability to teach and explain biblical truths in an understandable and practical way.
  • Purpose: To instruct, encourage, and build up the body of Christ.
  • Example: Paul’s extensive teaching in his epistles and his instructions to Timothy about teaching others (2 Timothy 2:2).
  • Guidelines: Those with this gift should strive for sound doctrine, clarity, and relevance, always speaking in love (Ephesians 4:15).


The Speaking gifts of the Spirit are vital for the growth and unity of the church. Prophecy, the word of knowledge, tongues, interpretation of tongues, word of wisdom, and the gift of speaking each play a unique role in communicating God’s will and wisdom to His people. As believers, we are encouraged to earnestly seek these gifts, using them responsibly and lovingly to build up the body of Christ. By understanding and embracing these gifts, we can contribute to a vibrant and spiritually healthy church community, fulfilling our calling to be the voice and hands of God in the world.

Interested in discovering your own spiritual gifts? Take our free spiritual gifts test and start exploring how God has uniquely made you.

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