Three main areas that deal with spiritual gifts

  • Ephesians 4:4-13
  • 1 Corinthians 12:1, 4–11 , 28-31
  • Romans 12:4-8

Why are Spiritual Gifts Given?

Ephesians 4:12-14; Ephesians 5:27
1 Corinthians 12:7
Romans 12:2b
Proverbs 18:16
Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 4:10; Matthew 10:8

Gifts & Broader Considerations.

A fuller perspective Ephesians 4:1-3, 14-32; 1 Corinthians 13; Romans 12:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:12-15; 2 Corinthians 10:12-14; Ezekiel 47:1-9 (see Zechariah 4:10a); Matthew 20:25-28; Colossians 3:23-24; John 12:26.
Does God take gifts away? Romans 11:29; 1 Timothy 4:14-15; Matthew 25:14-30; Ecclesiastes 11:4; 2 Timothy 1:6-7
How do I identify my gift(s)? Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 37:4; Hebrews 13:17

Categories of Spiritual Gifts

Ascension Gifts (Fivefold Ministry) – what God does with you Ephesians 4:8-11
Manifestation Gifts (Supernatural demonstration of Holy Spirit’s presence and power) – what God does through you 1 Corinthians 12:7-10
Motivational Gifts (or Personality Types) – what God does in you Romans 12:6-8
Governmental Gifts – (ministry gifts are not synonymous with governmental gifts) Romans 12:8b (ruler); 1 Corinthians 12:28 (governments)
Administration Gifts – (releasers, way preparers) 1 Corinthians 12:28 (helps); Act 6:1-7

Ascension Gifts (Fivefold Ministry) – General Tendencies.

Apostle – tends to focus on governance and carry a burden for establishing kingdom order. They govern
Prophet – tends to focus on spiritual atmosphere (via prayer & worship) and receiving revelation. They guide
Evangelist – tends to focus on the lost. They gather.
Pastor – tends to focus on the sheep. They guard.
Teacher – tends to focus on the word. They ground.

Categories of Spiritual Gifts

Apostle = apostolos = “sent out one” Mark 3:13-15
Some believe that function of the apostle is in the past Ephesians 4:11-14; 1 Corinthians 12:28
Chief Apostle Romans 12:6-8
The Apostles of the Lamb (or Foundational Apostles)

These twelve (with Matthias taking Judas’ place – Acts 1:26) were used to lay the doctrinal foundation of the Church.

Romans 12:8b (ruler); 1 Corinthians 12:28 (governments)
Transitional Apostles

They were also involved with the laying of the doctrinal foundations for the Church. However, they were mightily used by the Holy Spirit to transition the people of God from an Old Testament Church into a New Testament Church.

1 Corinthians 12:28 (helps); Act 6:1-7
Ascension Gift Apostles Ephesians 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2:6-7; Romans 16:7; Galatians 1:17-19
Foundation layers / pioneers / ground breakers. They normally start from scratch 1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Romans 15:20-21; Ephesians 2:20
Apostles set government and order in the church Acts 14:21-23; Titus 1:5; 1 Corinthians 11:34; Acts 2:42
Apostles have specific authority over a particular sphere or spheres Galatians 2:7-8
Apostles tend to walk in signs and wonders 2 Corinthians 12:12; Acts 3:1-10; Acts 5:12-16; Acts 19:11-12; Acts 20:9-12; Acts 28:1-10
The Apostle has the ability to totally disregard self for the Kingdom 1 Corinthians 4:9
The Apostle fulfills a fatherly role 1 Corinthians 4:15

The Ministry of the Prophet

Prophet = prophētēs from pro (before or forth) and phémi (to speak) = “to speak forth or fore tell” as a divine messenger.

Some believe that function of the prophet is in the past

Ephesians 4:11-14; 1 Corinthians 12:28
Prophet’s prophesy, but not everyone who prophesies is a prophet; there is a difference between the office of a prophet and the gift of prophecy 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 14:3; Genesis 40:16-19; Isaiah 38:1; John 21:17-19; Acts 21:10-13
Examples of Prophets in Scripture Judas Barsabas and Silas – Acts 15:32; Agabus – Acts 21:10-11; Unnamed (ie prophets or teachers?) – Acts 13:1
Prophets tend to operate out of revelation, and are therefore less moved by “facts” Jeremiah 1:11, 13; Jeremiah 24:3; Amos 7:8; Amos 8:2; Zechariah 4:2; Zechariah 5:2; Ezekiel 40:4; Revelation 1:11; Revelation 4:1
Prophets predict and proclaim – they point the way 1 Chronicles 12:32; Matthew 21:1-3
Prophets encourage and affirm Acts 15:32
The ministry of the Prophet is a foundational ministry, in the sense that the establishment of the church was the fulfillment of what the prophets had declared, but is also foundational in terms of ‘setting things right’ and defining the essence of a calling or ministry Ephesians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Jeremiah 1:10; Matthew 21:12-13; Acts 9:10-19
Prophets are intercessors Genesis 20:7, 17; Exodus 32:30-32; Amos 7:1-3; Ezekiel 9:6-8; James 5:17-18
Prophets are watchmen who warn and alert Isaiah 21:6; Ezekiel 3:17

The Ministry Of The Evangelist.

  • Evangelist = euaggelistés = “one who declares the good news” or “a messenger of good”
  • Examples of Evangelists in Scripture
Jesus – Matthew 4:23; Philip – Acts 21:8; [implied] an unnamed brother – 2 Corinthians 8:18; [implied] unnamed women – Philippians 4:3; [implied] Epaphras – Colossians 1:7; 4:12
Evangelists preach Christ and the kingdom of God. Romans 11:29; 1 Timothy 4:14-15; Matthew 25:14-30; Ecclesiastes 11:4; 2 Timothy 1:6-7
Evangelists are peculiarly called to the task of preaching to the unsaved. Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 37:4; Hebrews 13:17
Evangelists tend to be on the move. Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 37:4; Hebrews 13:17
Evangelistic ministry is often coupled with signs and wonders. Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 37:4; Hebrews 13:17
We are all called to evangelize, even though it is not the same as the office of the Evangelist.

A quote from Kennet Scott Latourette, A History of Expansion of Christianity: “The chief agents in the expansion of Christianity appear not to have been those who made it a profession or a major part of their occupation, but men or women who earned their livelihood in some purely secular manner and spoke of their faith to those whom they met in this natural fashion”.

Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 37:4; Hebrews 13:17
Always be ready 1 Peter 3:15 Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 37:4; Hebrews 13:17
What is most important – converts or disciples? How would your answer impact the five-fold functions? The Great Commission – is it about evangelism? Matthew 28:18-20, Mark16:15-18
Stephen – Prophet or Evangelist? Acts 6:8-7:60

The Ministry of the Pastor.

Pastor = pôīmēn = “herdsman” or “shepherd” i.e. one who cares for, feeds, guides and protects the sheep. The word pôīmēn is only translated as “pastor” once in the New Testament – in Ephesians 4:11. The word is more commonly translated as “shepherd” (e.g. Matthew 9:36, 25:32; Mark 6:34; Luke 2:8). The Hebrew word râ’âh is translated into “pastor/s” 8 times in the Old Testament (all in the book of Jeremiah) and it means, inter alia, to tend a flock.  
Jesus is our Chief Shepherd John 10:11-16; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25

Acts 20:28 – the Greek word for “overseers” is epískopos which means “watchers”. Those in this office, called episkopoi, are to exercise watchful care over the flock. The episkopoi are translated as “bishops” in Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:1-2 and Titus 1:7. The episkopoi are elsewhere called presbúteroi meaning “elders” e.g. in 1 Timothy 5:17. An elder (presbúteroi) denotes the dignity of the office, and episkopoi denotes its functions. Episkopoi is derived from episkopeō which means to look upon, observe, examine, look after. All these terms are used interchangeably – it is very difficult to separate the role of pastors and elders – this reflects the New Testament model of plurality of elders.

1 Peter 5:2-4; Hebrews 13:17; Acts 20:28

A Pastor feeds the flock, both the new and the mature

John 21:15-17; Jeremiah 3:15; Mark 6:34-44
A Pastor is an example to the flock 1 Timothy 4:12, 16; Titus 2:7
A Pastor protects and guards the flock John 10:11-13
A Pastor develops close (and healthy) relationships with his flock John 10:14-16
A Pastor is a student of the word 1 Timothy 4:13
A Pastor is be able to teach sound doctrine and handle the word with sincerity 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9; 2 Corinthians 2:17
A Pastor is a Shepherd Psalm 23
Are Elders Pastors? Acts 20:17-35; 1 Peter 5:1-4; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5-9

The Ministry Of The Evangelist.

Teacher = didaskalos = “instructor, doctor, master or teacher”  
Jesus was a Teacher Matthew 5:1-2; Luke 19:47
Jesus was referred to as Rabbi (i.e. Teacher) and Master Mark 9:5; Luke 5:5; John 1:38, 49
The Great Commission – is it about evangelism? Matthew 28:18-20: Mark16:15-18
Examples of New Testament teachers Acts 13: 1; Acts 15:35; Acts 18:9-11
Is the gift of Teacher distinct from gift of Pastor? Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Romans 12:7
A role of the Teacher is to impart truth, not just information


Mark 12:14; John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 3:6
What is the difference between preaching and teaching? 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11
Teachers should be role models 1 Corinthians 4:16-17 & 11:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; James 3:1
A Teacher is equipped by Holy Spirit to expound and explain scripture John 14:26; Acts 18:24-26
A Teacher is able to communicate revelation effectively and bring understanding Matthew 13:18-23