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What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Planetshakers Team26 October 2023

One of the most exciting things we can do as Christians is to understand and move in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

God has given us amazing spiritual gifts which are designed to display His nature, power, and Presence on Earth, in any situation and at any time. These spiritual gifts are supernatural and as we explore each one individually, we step into a new dimension of the Spirit. 

The Bible teaches us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31). As we seek God expectantly, He will show us how to access and use the Gifts of the Spirit that He has made available for anyone who loves Him and desires to operate in their God-given purpose.

As we seek God expectantly, He will show us how to access and use the Gifts of the Spirit that He has made available for anyone who loves Him and desires to operate in their God-given purpose.


In the New Testament, the word ‘gift’ comes from the word Charismata which is translated ‘grace’. As such, it cannot be earned; IT IS FREELY GIVEN BY GOD. Therefore, if a gift has come from God then all the glory must go back to God for its amazing power in our lives.

It has been said that a spiritual gift or charism is an endowment or extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit. In other words, it is an expression of God’s favour freely given to us. It is a gift of grace.

How incredible that God freely gives each one of us who know Him and desire to be used by Him, extraordinary supernatural power and the ability to move in the Spirit to bring Heaven on Earth. Wow! We have the privilege of carrying spiritual gifts and operating in them to see people’s lives transformed and to be a great blessing to our churches.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other
The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.

The purpose of receiving the Gifts of the Spirit is to release supernatural help/intervention from God into our lives and in the lives of others. These gifts allow us to move beyond the limitations of our own natural abilities, human reasoning, and education, and into the supernatural realm. 

Acts 1:8 promises us that when the Holy Spirit comes upon us, we will receive power to reveal Jesus to the world. God’s intention has always been for every Christian to receive this power so that we can become His representatives, living and operating in the same way that  He did during His time on Earth. 

So what are the nine Spiritual Gifts?

for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by [a]the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

Revelation Gifts

There are three gifts of revelation: the Word of Knowledge, the Word of Wisdom, and the Discerning of Spirits. Through these gifts, God, who is all-knowing, makes His knowledge available to us.

Word of Knowledge

When this gift is in operation, God supernaturally reveals knowledge and facts about people, places, and things, either past or present. This knowledge can not be gained by any natural means. It is supernaturally imparted and often comes to mind as a thought or a picture.

Jesus used this gift to speak to the women at the well. Through a Word of knowledge given by the Holy Spirit, He knew she’d had five previous husbands and that the man she was currently with was not her husband.

Motivated by deep love and empathy, Jesus delivered this Word of Knowledge to a stranger who was far from God, convincing her—and many others in her town—of the reality of God and their need for salvation (see John 4:18-20)

Word of Wisdom

The gift of the Word of Wisdom does not involve natural wisdom or wisdom gained by academic achievement or experience. The Word of Wisdom is supernatural wisdom that reveals the divine purpose of God for a particular situation or problem. It is divine revelation from God that gives us direction about the future.

The Word of Wisdom is supernatural wisdom that reveals the divine purpose of God for a particular situation of problem. It is divine revelation from God that gives us direction about the future.
One of the key moments in New Testament Biblical history was the conversion of Saul—the Christian killer—who then became Paul. Through a Word of Knowledge, God revealed to a man called Ananias, where Saul was and what he was doing. 
The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now.
He then gave Ananias a Word of Wisdom as to what he should do in this intimidating situation. Ananias was instructed by God to find Saul, pray for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit, release healing over his blindness and declare his God-given purpose. 
But the Lord said, Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.

So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

God wants to download Words of Wisdom into your circumstances and to use you to deliver His Words of Wisdom to others by declaring His plan and purpose for their lives.

Only the Gifts of the Spirit can turn situations around supernaturally in these key moments.

Discerning of Spirits

The gift of the Discerning of Spirits enables us to identify whether a spiritual activity/atmosphere is divine, satanic or human in origin. It gives us supernatural understanding and insight into the nature and activity of certain spirits— divine or demonic—protecting us from being led away or distracted from the things of God.

This supernatural gift is not the same as general discernment. It is a specific gift for a specific occasion that helps us to differentiate between good and evil, and truth and lies when making decisions. It is helps us to discern:

  • When the Holy Spirit is moving (Luke 5:17)
  • The presence of demons or angels (Acts 5:3)
  • False prophets or lying spirits (Acts 16:16-18)

Power Gifts

The three Power Gifts are:

  1. Gift of Faith 
  2. Gift of healing  
  3. Working of Miracles. 

God is all powerful! He gives us these gifts to administer His power on Earth, demonstrating to the world that He is alive and active through supernatural healings and miracles.

Gift of Faith

The Gift of Faith is a special measure of faith given by God to believe for and appropriate incredible supernatural exploits that cannot be explained with human reasoning. Some translators describe this gift as having unlimited faith. This gift comes upon you and lifts again once the miracle has been released. It is for a specific time, place, and purpose.

The Gift of Faith and the Working of Miracles are twin gifts. They work together to activate amazing supernatural miracles such as raising the dead, curing the sick, delivering people from demonic oppression, and exercising authority over nature.

Faith is a crucial aspect of every Believer’s life which develops with time and practice. The Gift of faith, however, is more explosive and is a specific measure of faith for a specific miracle.

Jesus used the Gift of Faith to calm a storm. He simply declared, “Peace be still”, and the miracle was released. Smith Wigglesworth—known as the Apostle of Faith— raised over 14 people from the dead by exercising the Gift of Faith. He once instructed a man without legs to go and buy a pair of shoes, and his legs grew back miraculously as he obeyed the instruction and believed God at His Word. WOW! Daniel also activated the Gift of Faith when he came face to face with hungry lions in the lion’s den, shutting their mouths supernaturally so he wouldn’t be torn apart.

Why not ask God to activate this gift in your life and begin to experience supernatural miracles that cannot be humanly explained.

Working of Miracles

Miracles are proof of the resurrection of Jesus. The Working of Miracles is a supernatural gift from God that allows us to be conduits of supernatural power that appropriates healing and miracles. Jesus demonstrated this gift regularly and effortlessly, believing God for miracles in people’s lives. His miracles included feeding five thousand people with a small quantity of food, dividing the Red Sea to form a dry path so that His people could escape Egypt and healing the man at the gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:1-9). Even more spectacularly, God loves to intervene in the course of nature, demonstrating that His authority extends to EVERY natural thing:

So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies.”
What a miracle! How incredible that God entrusts us with this same authority through the Working of Miracles.

Gift of Healing

The Gift of Healing involves the supernatural administration of God’s healing power to cure sickness and disease. It is not dependent on natural, man-made interventions.

Sicknesses and diseases steal our time, money, joy and the quality of our lives. Jesus came to forgive us of our sins AND to heal our diseases (Ps 103:3) through His work on the cross. Returning to His Father, He left us the amazing Gift of Healing—through the power of the Holy Spirit—so that we can continue His work of healing the sick and setting them free.

The first time I saw this gift in operation was at a youth group when I was newly saved. I felt the urge to pray for a man that couldn’t walk properly due to torn ligaments in his ankle. I asked him if I could pray for his ankle to be healed and after a short prayer, he got very excited and started jumping around. Hiis foot had been completely healed. What I didn’t realise was that he was about to miss out on his basketball finals due to the injury. The healing not only eased his pain but also opened the door for him to share his faith with many of his friends who subsequently came to know Jesus. The Gift of Healing not only restores a person’s health, but also other things that the enemy has stolen or withheld from them.

A grandmother in a township of South Africa had no way to support herself and her family due to the fact that she couldn’t work as a result of painful arthritis. As our team prayed for her, she was completely healed. With the full use of her limbs she was able to look after her grandchildren, enabling her daughter to return to work and raise an income for their entire family.

God knows how to restore more than one thing at a time!. Ask Him to use you to release life-changing healings and miracles.

Gifts of Speech (Utterance)

1. Gift of Tongues

The Gift of Tongues is a supernatural utterance from God to His people in an unknown language. It is intended for a public gathering of God’s people and requires interpretation.

He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.

2. Interpretation of Tongues

The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues is the ability to interpret a message that has been given in tongues so that people can understand what God is saying to them, in their own language. It is not a word-for-word translation but a broad interpretation of God’s message.

The Gift of Tongues and the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues work in partnership to present God’s message to His people.

The Gift of Prophecy

The Gift of Prophecy is making known the mind, will and intention of God for His people. It’s incredible that God shares his thoughts with us. When God inspires someone to prophecy, they are speaking out what He is thinking.

Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy.

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

Prophecy brings life and releases a supernatural flow of the anointing. When prophecy is released, it builds people up (edification), encourages them, stirs them to live for God (exhortation) and helps them in times of difficulty (comfort).

Prophecy will always confirm what the Holy Spirit has already spoken in a person’s heart. This is one way that we can test it to be true.


The Gifts of the Spirit are truly amazing and it is humbling that God should entrust such power into the hands of human beings. They are to be treated with reverence and administered with great care. Here are a few guidelines to using spiritual gifts in ways that please God:

  1. We should eagerly desire the gifts and intentionally learn about them so that we can use them in the way God intended. Paul reinforced our responsibility to learn about the gifts to the church at Corinth:
    "Concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant" (1 Corinthians 12:1).

  2. The Gifts of the Spirit are intended to serve others—not for personal gain:
    Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Corinthians 14:10)

  3. Our motivation for using the Gifts of the Spirit should always be LOVE:
    Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. (1 Corinthians 14:1)

Why not ask God to show you more about these incredible Gifts of the Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit how to use them well so that you can be a blessing to others and an administrator of God’s power both in and outside of His church!