1 Corinthians 12:11, “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”

Have you ever watched your favorite band play live music, whether in person or on video? Did you notice how all the musicians had a specific part to play to make the music sound good? The same is true with spiritual gifts in the church. When we as different members of the Body of Christ get together, the Holy Spirit will distribute His gifts to each one of us, just as He determines, to make a beautiful service.

Spirit-filled disciples are like members of God’s band here on earth and the Holy Spirit is like the lead singer in charge of assigning each person their specific role. Even more so, the Holy Spirit even gives us the talents to use the gifts!

Consider the three classifications of the nine gifts of the Spirit made popular by Howard Carter; (1) Revelation Gifts: Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge and Distinguishing Between Spirits, (2) Power Gifts: Gifts of Healing, Faith and Miraculous Powers and (3) Inspiration Gifts: Prophecy, Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues. Now think of these groups like the musical arrangements in an orchestra. The orchestra has four groups of instruments; the woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings. Just as the conductor arranges each group and the music they will play, the Holy Spirit empowers the church with spiritual gifts and conducts the service for the glory of God.

For example, when you’re in a church service and the Holy Spirit gives a person the gift of distinguishing between spirits and another the gift of prophecy, everything will work in perfect harmony for the glory of God. The difference between the spiritual gifts and orchestra example is that most musicians can’t play every instrument because they lack the ability. However, since the Holy Spirit is the giver and enabler of the nine spiritual gifts, every disciple is able to perform each gift perfectly, as He determines.

As a result, there are two important things to remember when it comes to the operation of the nine spiritual gifts; (1) Everyone who is Spirit-filled has the potential to receive and operate in all of the nine gifts and (2) The Holy Spirit is always in charge of distributing the gifts as He sees best. So the biggest question concerning operating in the spiritual gifts isn’t, “Does God want to use me?” But rather, “How will the Holy Spirit use me today?”


Are you willing to be used by God in all of the nine gifts?


  1. Describe a time you’ve seen two or more spiritual gifts in one setting.
  2. Pray and earnestly desire to be used by God every time you gather with other Christians.
  3. Next time you’re witnessing, ask God to use you in the spiritual gifts. The lost need to experience God’s power, like in the times of Jesus and the disciples.

One Year Reading Plan

 Kings 1:1-2:25, Acts 13:42-14:7, Psalm 139:1-24, & Proverbs 17:19-21. Click here to read online.