To one is given throughout the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.1 Corinthians 12: 8-11
Theologian Gordon Fee has written extensively on the practical theology of Paul. When he speaks of the role of the Holy Spirit in the daily life of the individual and the church he uses the term “God’s Empowering Presence.” I borrow that term often as I talk with others about the Holy Spirit because He is the source of the gifts that are active in the church today.
In the passage above, Paul lists nine gifts of the Spirit. While this list is more representative than definitive, the gifts listed are to be figured prominently in first-century church and today. Second, the gifts are supernatural – meaning that they are beyond our own abilities.
In the last verse above, Paul mentions that each individual believer is gifted by God. The gifts of the Spirit are not for just some elite class of individuals in the church. Is God’s Empowering Presence at work in our lives today?