Have you ever wondered, “What are spiritual gifts in the Bible?”
Asked yourself, “What are my spiritual gifts?”
Looked up verses about spiritual gifts in the Bible or taken a spiritual gifts test to figure out which spiritual gifts in the Bible God has given you?
If any of this sounds like you, you’re in luck.
In this post, we’ll look at several spiritual gifts in the Bible to see what they are and why they matter.
I’ll help you determine your spiritual gifts, as well as locate Bible verses about spiritual gifts so you can continue to study each of the spiritual gifts in the Bible on your own if you want to.
(Plus, I’ll share a spiritual gifts test you can take to help you with your spiritual gifts discernment as well!)
“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 Peter 4:10
What are Spiritual Gifts in the Bible?
Spiritual gifts in the Bible are special, God-given talents, skills, and abilities God gives each of us to help us build up His church.
All of our talents, skills, and gifts come from God. He is the one who knits us together in the womb. He is also the one who enables us to be born again of the Spirit. Spiritual gifts are similar to talents and skills, but they’re special because they are given to us after we become a child of God.
Our talents are the things we are born with. Believers and unbelievers alike have things they are good at. These things may have similarities to spiritual gifts in the Bible, but they aren’t the same.
Spiritual gifts come with our second birth–our birth into the family of God. They are a gift from Jesus Christ and enabled by the Holy Spirit to equip the saints to work in His ministry.
While the talents you are born with enable you to be useful in a secular setting, your spiritual gifts equip you to be useful in a spiritual context. Both are something God supplies as a reflection of the Creator and are evidence that we are made in His image.
Of course, it isn’t enough to just ask “What are the spiritual gifts in the Bible?” We also have to know why spiritual gifts matter.
Why Do the Spiritual Gifts in the Bible Matter?
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” –Ephesians 4:11-12
1 Corinthians 12:7 says, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
Your spiritual gift matters because it is meant to benefit the body of Christ.
In Romans 12, we learn that we are all members of the same body. Just like a human body would not benefit by having all of one body part and none of another, the body of Christ (the church) requires a diverse mix of members to run smoothly, serve well, and spread the Good News.
Our spiritual gifts provide the diversity needed in both the local and global church.
Think of an orchestra. An orchestra wouldn’t work well if everyone showed up with the same instrument. It would cease to be an orchestra. Similarly, if all of the instruments of the orchestra played the same note, it would lose the beauty of the harmonizing music.
Spiritual gifts are not intended for personal gain or enjoyment (though both may result from the application of them). They are meant for ministry, for providing benefit to others, and for creating something pleasing to God Himself.
The spiritual gifts in the Bible can serve as a guide to help us to determine how to bring glory to God as we honor Him.
Related Reading: How to Put God First in Your Life
Where Are Spiritual Gifts in the Bible?
If you read a few articles or listen to a few sermons about spiritual gifts, you’ll find there are many opinions on the subject.
Yet, while reading articles entitled “What are the 7 Spiritual Gifts?” or “Which of these 9 Spiritual Gifts Do You Have?” can be helpful, ultimately, the best way to learn about spiritual gifts in the Bible is to open up the Bible and study them for yourself.
If you believe you were given a gift of God, let the Holy Spirit be the one to teach you about it!
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
Here are five powerful Scriptures about spiritual gifts in the Bible that you can study:
1. Romans 12:1-9
2. 1 Corinthians 12:4-14
3. 1 Corinthians 12:27-30
4. Ephesians 4:7, 11-13
5. 1 Peter 4:10-11
List of 20 Spiritual Gifts in the Bible
Because the spiritual gifts are mentioned in multiple placed in the Bible, there is no one, complete, definitive list. In other words, the length of a list of spiritual gifts in the Bible varies depending on who you ask.
Here is the list of spiritual gifts in the Bible I came up with through personal and corporate Bible study:
- Apostle: one who is sent
- Prophets: one who speaks God’s truth
- Evangelist: one who shares the gospel or oracles of God
- Pastor: one who shepherds the flock
- Teacher: one who makes the word of God clear
- Word of Wisdom: one who applies spiritual truth to practical situations
- Word of Knowledge: one with an understanding of spiritual truths and the mysteries of His word
- Unity of the Faith: one with an extraordinary ability to depend on God
- Gifts of Healing: one who facilitates physical, spiritual, and emotional wholeness
- Working of Miracles: one equipped by the Spirit to do things unexplainable by natural means by using miraculous powers
- Discernment of Spirits: one who is able to identify the Spirit of God versus the spirit of the world
- Tongues: one who can communicate in an unlearned language in various kinds of tongues
- Interpretation of Tongues: one who can understand and translate an unlearned language from the tongues of men
- Helps: one who keeps things together and prevents the whole from falling apart
- Administration: one who offers practical guidance and organization
- Service: one with an unusually great ability to serve
- Exhortation/Encouragement: one who comes alongside
- Giving: one with the ability to give with cheerfulness and generosity
- Leadership: one with the ability to lead toward an envisioned future with zeal
- Acts of Mercy: loving the unlovable
When mentioning the spiritual gifts in the Bible, God calls first apostles, second prophets, and third teachers, but then goes on to mention those that work miracles, those who speak in different kinds of tongues, and others. There are many important spiritual gifts in the Bible, such as the ones above, that we can use to further his kingdom.
Let’s learn how to determine what your spiritual gifts are.
What Are My Spiritual Gifts?
With several spiritual gifts in the Bible, trying to determine your own spiritual gift may feel overwhelming, but it’s important for us to determine because a spiritual gift can be a great tool to help identify where you are most effective in ministry.
You may also find yourself encouraged when you realize that tasks, instincts, or relationship roles you might take for granted are actually ways you are practicing the spiritual gifts in the Bible God specifically equipped you with.
If you want to know what your spiritual gift in the Bible is and use it for its intended purpose, focus on cultivating sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and His leading. If you’re following the Holy Spirit, you’ll definitely end up serving in the ways He equips you to and your service will reveal your gift.
Here are a few ways you can figure out your spiritual gift.
1. Take a Spiritual Gifts Test
There are quite a few spiritual gift tests available online, such as:
- This Spiritual Gifts Test (Free Online Assessment) from SpiritualGiftsTest.com
- This Spiritual Gifts Printable Test (Free Download), also from SpiritualGiftsTest.com
- Or This Spiritual Gifts Test from GiftsTests.com
Yet, while a spiritual gifts assessment can be a good tool for determining beginning spiritual gifts, don’t forget to use discernment and pay attention to the guidance of the Holy Spirit!
Taking a spiritual gifts test is only the first step to determining which spiritual gifts in the Bible have been given to you.
2. Reflect On Ministries You Enjoy
Take a moment to ask yourself which varieties of service you generally gravitate toward in your church or on your Christian Walk.
Do they seem to complement your natural talents or do they push you outside your normal comfort zone in order to bring God glory?
Remember, the same God who designed your natural talents also gave you your spiritual gifts. Maybe he orchestrated them to work well together. Or maybe He gave you a spiritual gift that is far outside of your natural talent to make it more obvious that it’s from Him.
There are many different kinds of service opportunities out there that can help you in distinguishing your own spiritual gift while also equipping you for the work of ministry and spreading the knowledge of the Son of God.
3. Talk to Your Christian Peers and Mentors
Your Christian peers and mentors may be able to weigh in on what your spiritual gift may be.
They might have unique (or confirming) insight and objectivity about the varieties of activities that you complete that may help you answer the question, “What are my spiritual gifts?”
4. Pray About It!
Spend time in the word by asking God to reveal to you how you can best serve Him and His kingdom. The spiritual gifts in the Bible are shared as a way to help us see how we could fit into the bigger picture of His ministry.
Remember you might have more than one spiritual gift!
1 Corinthians 12:11 says that the Spirit distributes gifts as He sees fit.
We all possess gifts. You might have one spiritual gift. You might have multiple spiritual gifts. If you get your list of potential spiritual gifts in the Bible narrowed down to two or three, but you can’t decide which one is the most accurate, maybe they are all applicable.
At the end of the day, rest assured that if you are a child of God, you have a spiritual gift, whether or not you’re 100% certain what it is.
Related Reading: Three Truths to Remember When You Feel Like a Failure
Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? How did you figure them out — through taking a spiritual gifts test, looking up spiritual gifts in the Bible, talking to a trusted friend or mentor, or following the leading of the Holy Spirit?
Guest post by Leah of leahegood.com.
Leah E. Good is a lover of stories, homeschooling enthusiast, orphan care advocate, and daughter of God. She lives in beautiful New England where she stays busy with volunteer work for her church and a full-time job in data management. In her free time, Leah enjoys reading and working on the sequel to Counted Worthy, the young adult novel she published in 2014. You can find Leah at leahegood.com.