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 Gods 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.
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 persons speech or act.
Evangelism: Communicating the gospel with power and persuasiveness as well as equipping the saints for evangelism.
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 todays 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.