Spiritual Gifts: Definitions and Kinds

James F. Stitzinger | May 21, 2010

Noncessationism has spread rapidly in recent years, being represented in three groups: Classic Pentecostalism, the Charismatic Movement, and Third-Wave Theology. Cessationism joins the three groups in representing the fourth position on spiritual gifts. An examination of several Greek words is helpful in arriving at a definition of spiritual gifts: charisma, pneumatikos, doma, dorea, merismos, diaireseis, diakoniai, and energemata. Two positions on spiritual gifts exist today, one holding that all gifts are for today and the other holding that some gifts were temporary and some permanent. The latter position sees apostleship, prophecy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, miracles, healing, tongues, and interpretation of tongues among the temporary gifts. Apostleship was a foundational gift for the NT church. Along with the temporary gifts, the latter position sees a number of permanent gifts: evangelism, pastors and teachers, and those with gifts of assistance, administration, exhortation, giving, and showing mercy. The primary goal of all the gifts is building up the body of Christ.

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