Gifts of the Spirit
The work our heavenly Father has begun with us, in us, for us, and through us is extremely important to him and to us. This work is so important that he allows each of us to personally discuss our thoughts, desires, and needs with him, day or night, for him to consider and act on.
There are many good works we are to accomplish for our heavenly Father, many of which are mentioned throughout the biblical record. In order for us to accomplish these good works in addition to working out our salvation, the Father has carefully considered and continues to consider the needs and potential of each of his earthly children and he bestows the abilities, attributes, and authorizations of power each of his children need in order to perform the specific work he has called each to do during their life on earth.
The gifts of the spirit presented in this study are not in any specific order of importance, because some, but not all, may be necessary for specific individuals to perform their personal functions and responsibilities as one of the Father's elect, but all are necessary to one degree or another for the elect to function as a dynamic and powerful entity in order to perform the collective work of the church.b14w1a
What made the early church the dynamic and powerful organization that changed the course of history and why did it disappear into obscurity? The answer to these questions reveal the reasons for the early church's demise, its continued obscurity for many centuries, and why it will rise out of obscurity and become more dynamic and powerful before Christ returns than in its beginning.b14w1
The Sovereign God and the Creator God had thousands of years of observational evidence to prove humans are naturally inclined to behave in ways that are in opposition to godliness. When the Creator was sent to earth to live a righteous life as a human and sacrifice his life to pay the penalty for our violation of God's law, his human experiences reinforced what was already known about human nature—humans needed help to overcome their nature and become godly in character. Because of this fact, the Sovereign God made a promise to give humans a portion of his spirit-power to help them accomplish this.b14w2
Many people wish they had supernatural abilities so that they can work miracles, heal the sick, foretell the future, and perform other awesome works; however, not all people want these powers solely for a righteous purpose.b14w3
The type of belief to which Jesus refers is based on a knowing and a confidence that is beyond normal human belief. This type of belief is called faith and it is a gift from the Father and is only given to those who need it in order to have absolute confidence in their authority and ability to use the powers they are given from him to perform their functions and responsibilities as members of his earthly family.b14w4
There are some gifts of the spirit that cannot function well without other essential gifts being used in harmony with them. This is the case with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. When all three are exercised together, the best result possible is produced.b14w5
When we analyze the gift of prophecy as it pertains to making predictions about future events, it is not difficult to determine its application. But, this is not the case with determining the function and responsibility of prophets in the early church, because it is not always clear from the Greek language if the text is speaking of a prophet who has the ability to predict future events or a person fulfilling a completely different function. Additionally, the gift of prophecy is not always given to a person fulfilling the office of a prophet within the church as noted in Acts 19:1-7; 21:8-9.b14w7
Although all of the supernatural abilities given to the elect are important and necessary for the work of the church, some are essential in the performance of the ministry and on a personal level for many of the elect in this age. One of these is the ability to discern the difference between good and evil, including the ability to recognize good or evil spirits, an evil influence, or an evil presence in a person, place, or thing.b14w8
Two important supernatural abilities given to some in the early church were the ability to speak and interpret languages they could not formerly speak or understand.b14w9
One of the supernatural abilities or gifts given to the elect is the power to heal mental and physical illnesses or disabilities. This ability is viewed by many people as the most important, but according to the apostle Paul it is not. See 1.Cor.13:1-13.b14w10
In order for many functions and responsibilities within the Father's earthly family to be performed efficiently and effectively, it is necessary for the Father to give a person several different attributes, abilities and authorizations, many of which are interdependent. This is a discussion of why some gifts the Father bestows are dependent on others in order to produce the desired result.b14w11
This study discussed many of the supernatural attributes, abilities, and authorizations of power that the Father bestows on his earthly children in order for them to perform his purpose for calling them to salvation during this gospel age. If you are one of the Father's elect, he has given you certain supernatural attributes, abilities, and authorizations of power above and beyond those of a person without the indwelling of the holy spirit. But, do you recognize the ones you have and are you using them to effectively work out your salvation and perform your functions and responsibilities within your heavenly Father's earthly family?b14w12