Spiritual Gifts and How to Discover Them


This is a quick take on spiritual gifts. The post contains just several biblical observations on spiritual gifts along with some free resources on how to discover your spiritual gift.

Quick Observations on Spiritual Gifts

Awhile back, we had a men’s discussion group on the main spiritual gifts passages in the New Testament. We conducted observations about the things that are clearly true about spiritual gifts in Scripture. These are only observations and not an exhaustive study of the entire discussion and interpretive issues (e.g. the debate between continuationism vs cessationism).

The List:

Romans 12:6-8Spiritual Gifts Listed: (1) Prophecy, (2) Service (v. 7), (3) Teaching (v. 7), (4) Exhorting (v. 8), (5) Giving (v. 8), (6) Leading (v. 8), (7) Mercy (v. 8)

1 Peter 4:10-11Spiritual Gifts Listed: (1) Speaking (v. 11), (2) Service (v. 11)

Ephesians 4:7-16Spiritual Gifts Listed: (1) Apostles, (2) Prophets, (3) Evangelists, (4) Pastors, (5) Teachers.

1 Cor 12:8-10Spiritual Gifts Listed: (1) Word of Wisdom, (2) Word of Knowledge, (3) Faith, (4) Gifts of Healing, (5) Effecting of Miracles, (6) Prophecy, (7) The Distinguishing of Spirits, (8) Various Kinds of Tongues, (9) Interpretation of Tongues.

The Observations:

  1. Spiritual Gifts are given by the grace of God (Rom 12:6; Eph 4:7).To use them is a stewardship of God’s grace, but to withhold them is to withhold God’s grace (1 Pet 4:10). God gives the gifts (1 Cor 12:7)
  2. Spiritual Gifts are exercised individually in various forms and capacities (Rom 12:6; Eph 4:7). They are diverse and varied along with many gifts, a variety of services, and a variety of results (1 Cor 12:4-6; 8-10)
  3. Spiritual Gifts are equally necessary, no gift/person is greater than another (Romans 12:3, 5)
  4. Spiritual Gifts must be exercised with a godly attitude (Rom 12:6-8).
  5. Spiritual Gifts are given to every believer (Eph 4:7; 1 Pet 4:10)
  6. Spiritual Gifts are only exercised by believers not unbelievers (1 Cor 12:3)
  7. Spiritual Gifts are meant for serving the members of the body (1 Pet 4:10), equipping the body (Eph 4:11-12); maturing the body (Eph 4:13-16). The purpose: the common good of the church (1 Cor 12:7).
  8. Spiritual Gifts are meant for the glory of God (1 Pet 4:11)
  9. Spiritual Gifts are exercised by the power of God (1 Pet 4:10-11)
  10. Spiritual Gifts could be summarized into two categories: speaking gifts and service gifts (1 Pet 4:11).
  11. Spiritual Gifts can also overlap as universal commands to all Christians (Evangelism, Hospitality, etc; Eph 4:11)
  12. Spiritual Gifts are given by Christ and He accomplished that right to give gifts (Eph 4:8-10)
  13. Spiritual Gifts are practiced until the day of glory (Eph 4:13)
  14. Spiritual Gifts work to build discernment in the believer (Eph 4:14)
  15. Spiritual Gifts have a Trinitarian involvement in them (Eph 4; 1 Pet 4; Rom 12; 1 Cor 12:4-6).
  16. Spiritual Gifts are given by the Spirit who works them out, which means they will not clash when exercised properly (1 Cor 12:11)


Free Resources on Discovering Your Spiritual Gift

Article (Sanchez) – How Do I Discover My Spiritual Gift?

Article (Schreiner) – How Not to Discover Spiritual Gifts

Article (Bloom) – The Best Way to Find God’s Will for Your Gifts

Article (Macarthur) – How Do You Identify Your Spiritual Gifts

Article (Challies) – Finding Your Gift

Sermon (Anglo) – A Gift for Everyone

How to Discover Your Spiritual Gifts:

The following is a summary of Appendix F from Dr. Robert Thomas’ book titled “Understanding Spiritual Gifts.” He gives nine steps on discovering spiritual gifts:

  1. First is reach to the settled assurance that every Christians has at least one gift (1 Cor 12:7, 11; Rom 12:3; Eph 4:7)
  2. Bring yourself to an awareness of the possibilities and purposes of the gifts.
  3. Prayer for enlightenment regarding one’s gift(s).
  4. Consider one’s natural abilities, circumstances, and resources.
  5. Experimentation is essential if someone wants to discover his or her gifts.
  6. The stage of self-evaluation: inner satisfaction, subjective awareness of building up others.
  7. Seek the reaction of others who are mature and respected Christians.
  8. The allowance that a person may discover more than one gift, even a combination of gifts.
  9. Recognition of degree of giftedness: range of ability, some will be better than others, one being more effective than others does not mean there is no gifting.


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