The gifts of the Spirit (listed in 1 Cor 12:1-11 and further discussed in 1 Cor 14:1-40) are given by God for the building up of the church. We need God’s Holy Spirit to give us these gifts as we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and move ever further and deeper into the spiritual life God has for us all.
These gifts are not ‘new’; many of them feature also in the Old Testament (where we see many healings, for example, Naaman who was healed after visiting the prophet Elishin 2 Kings 5) and words of knowledge (when Elisha, in this same passage, knows by divine revelation that his servant Gehazi has taken money from Naaman despite being told not to.) The Old Testament gives us examples of miraculous powers (an axe head floating in 2 Kings 6) and faith (a woman’s son being raised from the dead in 2 Kings 4). Solomon demonstrated divine wisdom in 1 Kings 3:16-28 and Saul was included among the prophets as God’s Spirit rested on him (1 Sam 10). In the Old Testament, however, these things happened on occasions only and not to everyone. Joel 2:28-32 makes it clear that the outpouring of God’s Spirit on all people would come, and this passage is referred to by Peter as having been fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. We are living in times when God wants us all to eagerly desire spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:31, 1 Cor 14:1).
May we seek God for these gifts and be used by Him to build up and encourage the church and see His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.