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Definitions

Teaching gifts:

Prophecy: setting before people the Word and wisdom of God persuasively.

Encouragement: drawing alongside to comfort, encourage, rebuke, and lead someone into insight toward action.

Teaching: laying down in a systematic order the complete truth of a doctrine and applying it incisively to life.

The message of wisdom: Locating formerly unknown principles as well as combining known principles of God’s Word and communicating them to fresh situations.

The message of knowledge: Arranging the facts of Scripture, categorizing these into principles, and communicating them to repeated or familiar situations.

Service Gifts:

Contributing: Giving most liberally and beyond all human expectation.

Mercy: Being sensitive or empathetic to people who are in affliction or misery and lifting internal burdens with cheerfulness.

Helps: Seeing tasks and doing them for or with someone in order to lift external burdens.

Distinguishing spirits: Detecting a genuine or spurious motive by distinguishing the spirit-source behind any person’s speech or act.

Evangelism: Communicating the gospel with power and persuasiveness as well as equipping the saints for evangelism.

Leadership Gifts:

Leadership (executive ability): Standing before people and inspiring followers by leading them aggressively but with care.

Administration (legislative ability): Standing behind people to collect data, set policy, and develop plans which will guide a course of action with wisdom.

Faith: Seeing through any problem to the Ultimate Resource.

What about the so-called sign gifts, such as healing and speaking in tongues, referred to in today’s text? To us, Hebrews 2:4 suggests that they were intended to be confirming signs for the Apostles, and ceased with them. Others feel they are still for today, but if so, one thing is clear: they are given sovereignly by the Spirit for specific purposes and are the exception, not the rule.

Dr. Earl Radmacher and Gordon McMinn, Today in the Word, July, 1990, p. 19

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