SPEAKING GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
C Identify the five speaking gifts.
C Define the speaking gifts.
C Distinguish between the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge.
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. (I Corinthians 12:18)
Five gifts have been given the title of "speaking gifts" because they all involve speaking aloud. The five speaking gifts are:
-Prophecy -Exhortation -Word of Knowledge
-Teaching -Word of Wisdom
The first two speaking gifts, prophecy and teaching, are similar to two of the special gifts . But the speaking gifts of prophecy and teaching are not the same as the special leadership gifts of being a prophet or a teacher.
For to one is given by the Spirit…prophecy. (I Corinthians 12:10)
A person with the gift of prophecy speaks by the special inspiration of God to communicate an immediate message to His people.
Prophecy was discussed in detail in the section on the special gift of being a prophet. Everything said there about prophecy given by a prophet also applies to the gift of
But the speaking gift of prophecy alone does not mean you have the special gift of being a prophet. As you previously learned, God has set prophets [who also have the gift of prophecy] in special leadership positions in the church.
Although they prophesy like prophets, people with the gift of prophecy do not have the special leadership position of a prophet. They simply deliver special messages under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching…
The subject of teaching was covered in the section on the special gift of teaching . Everything discussed applies also to the gift of teaching with the exception of the leadership position.
As in the example of prophets and prophecy, the speaking gift of teaching does not mean a person has the special gift of being a teacher. God sets teachers [who also have the gift of teaching] in special leadership positions in the church.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…he that exhorteth on exhortation… (Romans 12:6,8)
The gift of exhortation is the ability to draw close to individuals in time of need,
counseling them correctly with the Word of God . To "exhort" literally means to call a person aside, to advise, recommend, admonish , encourage, or comfort.
Exhortation is the ability to give wise spiritual counsel. People with this gift minister
words of comfort, consolation, and encouragement in such a way that others are helped. A modern term for this gift would be "the gift of counseling.”
Exhortation was part of the apostle’s follow up plan for the churches:
And when they had preached the gospel to that city and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the
faith… (Acts 14:21-22)
The Bible teaches how exhortation is to be done:
AS A FATHER WOULD HIS OWN CHILDREN:
As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children. (I Thessalonians 2:11)
BY GIVING INSTRUCTION WITH PATIENCE:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season: reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (II Timothy 4:2)
ON THE BASIS OF SOUND BIBLICAL DOCTRINE:
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:9)
WITH ALL AUTHORITY:
These thing speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority… (Titus 2:15)
MORE FREQUENTLY AS THE END OF TIME APPROACHES:
…but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
The Bible gives several examples of people who had the gift of exhortation and counseled others . Study these for further understanding of this gift:
-Barnabas: Acts 11:22-24
-Judas and Silas: Acts 15:32
-Paul: Acts 1 4:22 , II Corinthians 9:5, I Thessalonians 4:1
-Jude: Jude 3
In what attitude should a person exhort another? See I Thessalonians 2:11 and 5:14.
When exhorted, what things were people encouraged to do? I Peter 5:1-2
II Timothy 4:1-4
I Thessalonians 2:11-12
II Thessalonians 3:12
Study the following verses and complete the chart:
Who Encouraged Whom
Acts 2 0:1
II Corinthians 1 :3-7
WORD OF WISDOM
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom… (I Corinthians 12:8)
The word of wisdom is the ability to receive insight as to how knowledge may be applied to specific needs. Given the facts in any situation , a person with this gift knows how to apply the facts to bring a wise solution.
The word of wisdom is a divine insight into people and situations that is not obvious to
the average person. This God-given wisdom is combined with an understanding of what
to do and how to do it. This gift is not called "the gift of wisdom" because it does not
give one the total wisdom of God. It is a word of wisdom , just a portion of God’s infinite
The gift of the word of wisdom does not come through education. The source of such wisdom is God:
…to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3)
Jesus Christ was called the "wisdom of God":
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
(I Corinthians 1:24,30)
Godly wisdom is not the same as the wisdom of the world:
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:14-17)
If you do not have the gift of the word of wisdom you can still develop spiritual wisdom . You can receive it by studying the Word of God:
And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(II Timothy 3:15)
You can ask God for wisdom :
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)
Wisdom is given to those who live a godly life:
For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous; He is a buckler to them that
walk uprightly. (Proverbs 2:6-7)
But remember, this spiritual wisdom available to all believers is not the same as the gift of the word of wisdom. The word of wisdom is a special ability given by God through the
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Study the references made by Paul to wisdom: I Corinthians 2:1-13. What are the
differences between the two wisdoms of which he writes? The word of wisdom was operative in his life . See II Peter 3 :1 5- 16; I Corinthians 2:4-8.
Wisdom was evident in the ministry of Stephen: Acts 6:3,10
King Solomon was the best example of wisdom in the Old Testament: I Kings 3:5-28
Study the book of Proverbs. It was written by King Solomon and is the practical application of spiritual wisdom .
Study James 3 :1 7 . List the characteristics of godly wisdom . Study these examples of the word of wisdom in operation:
-Luke 2:40-52; 21:15
(observe wisdom in the statement "we ought to obey God rather than men"). -Deuteronomy 34:9
WORD OF KNOWLEDGE
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit…(I Corinthians 12:8)
The word of knowledge is the ability to understand things which others do not know and
cannot comprehend and to share this knowledge with them under the inspiration of the
Spirit . Like the word of wisdom, it is not called "the gift of knowledge.” It is the gift of
the "word of knowledge.” It is not the total knowledge of God , but only a portion of His
The source of this spiritual knowledge is God:
In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3)
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them because they are
spiritually discerned. (I Corinthians 2:11-14)
The gift of the word of knowledge is revelatory knowledge. This means it is knowledge revealed by God. It is not knowledge obtained through education or study.
When Jesus asked Peter a spiritual question and he answered with a word of knowledge, Jesus said:
Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven. (Matthew 16:17)
The gift of the word of knowledge should be used in humility because you are not the source of the knowledge. God is the source:
…Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. (I Corinthians 8:1-2)
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
New Testament examples of the word of knowledge for further study:
-Jesus: John 1:48; 4:17-18; 11:14
-Simon: Luke 2:25-35
-Ananias and Sapphira: Acts 5:1-11
-Paul: Acts 27:13-44
-Peter: Acts 5:1-10; 8:23; 10:19
-Ananias: Acts 9:1-18
Observe in this passage that Ananias:
-Knew where Paul was: Verse 11
-Knew he was praying: Verse 11
-Knew he had seen a vision: Verse 12
-Knew he was a chosen vessel: Verse 15
-Knew he would suffer: Verse 16
-Knew he would be a witness: Verse 15