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What Are Spiritual Gifts?

, 2010
ISBN: 9781596382091

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Spiritual gives, given by God, empower believers to serve others in both the church and the world. However, our own spiritual gifts today aren’t always easy to identify. What gifts are there? How should they be used? Which gifts apply to the apostolic era? Which apply to us? Even among serious, searching believers, these are still divisive questions. Can light be shed on these issues? Vern Poythress illuminates them by turning to the authority of Scripture and allowing it to speak for itself.

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Top Highlights

“The Bible tells Christians that we should ‘earnestly desire the spiritual gifts,’ which implies that we may receive more gifts over time, or the Holy Spirit may deepen gifts that we already have (1 Cor. 14:1).” (Page 11)

“God the Father empowers all the services. The services take place in the body of Christ. And the Holy Spirit apportions gifts to each (1 Cor. 12:11).” (Page 8)

“The New Testament provides this framework. One key passage is Ephesians 4:7–11. Jesus Christ is head of the church and distributor of all gifts of the Spirit (verse 11). He distributes gifts from the fullness that he possesses, because he has triumphed (verse 8) and fills all things (verse 10). Acts 2:33 supplements this picture by saying that Christ ‘received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit’ as a prelude to pouring out the Spirit on the church. From Christ’s fullness of the Spirit we receive a measure, ‘according to the measure of Christ’s gift’ (Eph. 4:7).” (Page 12)

“Each Christian, by being united to Christ, receives the Holy Spirit as the one central gift from God (Acts 2:33, 38; Gal. 3:14). The Holy Spirit then distributes particular gifts, which differ from one person to another: ‘All these [gifts] are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills’ (1 Cor. 12:11).” (Pages 8–9)

“Some people claim that the coming of the Holy Spirit is a two-stage rather than a one-stage process” (Page 9)

  • Title: What Are Spiritual Gifts?
  • Author: Vern Poythress
  • Series: Basics of the Faith
  • Publisher: P&R
  • Print Publication Date: 2010
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Gifts, spiritual
  • ISBNs: 9781596382091, 1596382090
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T03:47:39Z

Vern Sheridan Poythress (b. 1946) is an evangelical philosopher, theologian, and Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary where he has taught since 1976. In 1981 he was ordained as a teaching elder in the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod, which later merged with the Presbyterian Church in America.


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