Spiritual Gifts and the Anointing

Top Image for Gifts vs Ministries post

This is the third and last of my posts exploring some of the aspects covered in my newly published book ‘The 9 Spiritual Gifts & How to Find your Ministry’. Yes, it’s now available on Amazon Kindle and you can find it HERE.

I mentioned in my last article that I wanted to touch on the correlation between Gifts and Ministries, so let me do that now before proceeding to the main topic of this post.

The Correlation between Gifts and Ministries

Ministries are areas of service in and through the local church. Manifestations are what the Holy Spirit does in and through us as we minister. This identifies both the difference and the correlation between the two – We minister and the Holy Spirit manifests His gifts through us as we do.

In 1 Corinthians 12 & 14 Paul sometimes used the same word to identify both manifestations and ministries. For instance, he wrote of both a gift of prophecy and prophetic ministry/prophets. The word ‘gifts’ translates a Greek word with the general meaning of ‘spiritual matters’ or ‘graces’. Romans 12:6-8 makes it obvious that both manifestations of the Spirit and human ministries were in view when Paul wrote; “We have different gifts , according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully” Both manifestations of the Holy Spirit and ministries are gifts to the church body corporate.

For instance, someone with a prophetic ministry will often speak out prophetic messages from God. The manifestations of Holy Spirit initiated prophecy establish and authenticate a prophetic ministry. However, the Prophet does not ‘possess’ the ability to prophecy at will, and he or she could well bless the church with other manifestations of the Spirit, such as Words of Knowledge, Discerning of Spirits, and so on.

Anointing and Gifts

A key idea presented here is that God brings believers into a sort of unequal partnership – we minister and He manifests supernaturally. This grace-filled partnership also helps us to understand the relationship between Anointing and Gifts.

You will often hear the word ‘anointing’ used in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles, but not so much in other denominational groups. For traditional Protestants, the word ‘anointing’ usually signifies something or some person that God has set apart for a particular purpose. In Old Testament times Kings, Prophets, and Priests were anointed with oil to consecrate them for service. However, even in the Old Testament it was evident that anointing signified more than simply a sacramental act. For instance, 1 Samuel 16:13 has: “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power”.

The connection between anointing and spiritual power continues into the New Testament. Luke recorded ‘how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power (Acts 10:38). James connected anointing the sick with oil to the Holy Spirit empowerment of the Elders to heal when he wrote; ‘Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up’ (James 5:14-15).

So, if ‘anointing’ has to do with consecration and spiritual empowerment then it surely includes the ‘gift’ manifestations of the Holy Spirit through believers.

Read the book

There is of course much more to anointings, gifts, and ministries and my book covers this ground in a simple and overview-oriented way. It is part of the Christian Quickreads series and designed especially for folk who don’t have time or inclination to read hundreds of pages on a subject. If you are interested in reading it, then just click on the picture below… I hope you do.



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