Lesson 8




Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

C Identify the nine serving gifts of the Holy Spirit.

C Explain the difference between the gift of serving and the gift of helps.

C Explain the difference between the gift of administration and the gift of leadership.

C Distinguish between the gift of faith and the fruit of faith.


And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. (Mark 10:44)


There are nine spiritual gifts which we will call the "serving gifts.” These gifts are not special offices such as those of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. They are not speaking gifts where one stands before the church body to minister the Word of God. Neither are they sign gifts (which you will study in the next chapter) which are given to confirm the truth of the Gospel.

These nine gifts "serve" the church by providing structure, organization, and support in both spiritual and practical areas. The nine serving gifts are:

-Discerning of spirits -Helps

-Leadership -Serving

-Administration -Mercy

-Faith -Hospitality



But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

For to one is given by the Spirit…discerning of spirits… (I Corinthians 12:7-10)

Discerning of spirits is the ability to evaluate people, doctrines, and situations as to

whether they are of God or of Satan. In no way should discerning of spirits be confused
with a critical spirit. The gift is a spiritual gift. Spiritual things are not discerned with the natural mind:

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 2:15)

This gift is limited to the discerning of spirits. It is not just discerning in general. This gift serves the church by identifying people who would split the fellowship with wrong motives , doctrines, and attitudes.

Discerning of spirits is an important gift because the enemies against which we fight are not visible to the human eye. They are recognized only through spiritual discernment:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

One of the strategies used by Satan is deception. This is why discernment is so important:

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (II Corinthians 11:14-15)

As we near the return of the Lord Jesus, these spirits of deception will increase:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
(I Timothy 4:1)

The Apostle Peter warned:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be
false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even
denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (II Peter 2:1-2)

If you do not have the gift of discerning of spirits you are not left defenseless. God has given a way to test the spirits. This test is valid whether or not you have the gift of

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God;

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (I John 4:1-3)

You can learn to use your spiritual senses to discern between good and evil. These spiritual senses are developed by study of God’s Word:

For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe.

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)


The following references are examples of use of the gift of discerning of spirits:

-Jesus: Matthew 16:21-23; John 1:47; Luke 9:55

-Paul: Acts 13:6-12; 16:16-18

-Peter: Acts 5:1-11; 8:18-24

(In Acts 8:18-24, what is one intended result of the use of the gift of discerning of spirits ? )


Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…he that ruleth, with diligence… (Romans 12:6,8)

The spiritual gift of leadership is the ability to set goals in accord with God’s purpose and to communicate these goals to others. A person with this gift motivates and leads others to accomplish these goals for the glory of God.

Leadership is mentioned in Romans 12 and the qualification for this gift is that one leads [rules] with diligence. Diligence means to show constant care and effort to accomplish what is undertaken. It means to be industrious, attentive, and to persevere.

A person with the gift of leadership should lead his own family well:

For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? (I Timothy 3:5)

This is true for one with the gift of administration as well.

Believers should show respect for those who are leaders in the church:

And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake… (I Thessalonians 5:12-13)

We are told to…

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they

watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17)


Three of the greatest leaders were Moses, Joshua , and David. The story of Moses is

found in the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy. Joshua’s story is contained in the book of Joshua . You can read about David in the books of I and II Samuel.

Other great leaders were:

-Nehemiah: Book of Nehemiah

-Ezra: Ezra and Nehemiah

-Peter: Book of Acts


And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
governments, diversities of tongues. (I Corinthians 12:28)

The gift of administration is actually called "governments" in the Bible. A person with the gift of administration has the ability to give direction , organize, and make decisions on behalf of others. The meaning of the word administration is similar to the word used for a pilot steering a ship . A similar word is used for both in the Bible:

The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were they mariners; thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots. (Ezekiel 27:8)

A person with this gift is responsible for direction and decision making. Like the pilot of a ship he may not be the owner of the ship , but he has been entrusted with the responsibility of directing it on its voyage.

The gifts of leadership and administration both involve organizational skills which result in the accomplishing of spiritual goals. Often a believer will have both the gifts of
leadership and administration. If a person has the gift of administration but does not have
the gift of leadership , he will need someone with that gift to work with him .

A person with the gift of administration has the ability to direct, organize, and make

decisions. But without the gift of leadership he does not have the ability to motivate and actually work with people to achieve goals.

Pastors and teachers often also have the spiritual gift of leadership. They are able to

motivate people to accomplish spiritual goals. But many of them do not have the gift of administration . Although they motivate , they fail to organize in such a way that the goals can be achieved .

The relationship of Titus and Paul illustrates how the gift of administration functions.

Among other gifts, Paul had the special leadership gift of being an apostle. He raised up a church in Crete, then Titus organized and directed it:

To Titus, mine own son…For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou

shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. (Titus 1:5)

Paul had appointed Titus as administrator over the churches in Crete. Paul was still the authority in the churches . Titus was administrator carrying out his instructions.
According to this passage, one of the functions of administration is to train other believers

for leadership positions in the church.


Study the problem described in Acts 6:1-7. What was the problem? Who used the gift of leadership? Who might have had the gift of administration?

Read Luke 14:28-30. Observe the value of planning and organization. This is part of good administration.

Study the life of Joseph in Genesis 3 7 through 5 0. Joseph had a gift of administration . He organized and directed Egypt for Pharaoh. See also Acts 7:9-10.


But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit…faith…(I Corinthians 12:7-9)

A person with the gift of faith has a special ability to believe with supernatural confidence and trust God in difficult circumstances . It is special faith to meet a special need. He knows God is going to do the impossible. He exercises this faith even when other
believers around him do not believe. The Bible defines faith as:

…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of thing not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

The Amplified Bible adds to this definition:

Now faith is the assurance, the confirmation, the title deed of the things we hope for, being proof of things we do not see, and the conviction of their reality. Faith is the perceiving as real what is not revealed to the senses. (Hebrews 11:1, The Amplified Bible)

Faith gives assurance that the things promised in the future are true and that unseen things are real.

There are different kinds of faith. There is natural faith which is a trust in things that have proven stable. The Bible speaks of sanctifying faith (Galatians 2:20), defensive faith (Ephesians 6:16), and saving faith (Romans 5 :1).

The Bible reveals there are various levels of faith. Jesus spoke of people who did not use their faith as being faithless (Matthew 17:1 7). He spoke of those with little faith

(Matthew 6:30; 8:26: 14:31; Luke 12:28) and of those with great faith (Matthew 8:10; 15:28; Luke 7:9).

The Bible teaches that each person has a certain amount of faith given to him as a gift of God (Romans 12: 3b) . It also teaches that we are saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8 ). But the gift of faith is an unusual ability to believe God in every area of life. This faith knows no impossibilities. It puts no limits on what God can do.

For those who do not have the gift of faith the Bible tells how to increase faith:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Faith is listed in Galatians 5:22 as a fruit of the Holy Spirit as well as a gift. Faith as a
spiritual gift refers to power. As a fruit it refers to character. Faith as a gift is an act. It
is the ability to act in faith in the face of impossibilities. Faith as a fruit is an attitude. It is developed through spiritual growth just as fruit in the natural world develops through
growth processes.


Study Hebrews 11 . This chapter gives many examples of those who had great faith. Make a list of the things these people accomplished by their faith.

-Abraham was called a man of faith: Romans 4:16-21; Hebrews 11:18-19

-Stephen apparently had the gift of faith: Acts 6:5-8

-Barnabas possibly had it: Acts 11:22-24

-Paul demonstrated great faith: Acts 27.

-Faith emphasizes the impossible: I Corinthians 13:2


Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…he that giveth let him do it with simplicity… (Romans 12:6,8)

A person with the gift of giving has a special ability to give material goods and financial resources to the work of the Lord. He does it with joy and eagerness. The gift of giving also includes the giving of time, strength, and talents to the work of the Lord. The one requirement for a person with the gift of giving is that it is done with simplicity. The word simplicity as used here means liberally.

All Christians are to give to the work of the Lord:

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
(II Corinthians 9:7)

All believers are to give tithe from their income. The tithe is 10% of all that is earned. If believers do not give tithes and offerings, it is the same as robbing God:

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. (Malachi 3:8)

God has promised special blessings to those who tithe their income:

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine

house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

And all nations shall call you blessed; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:10-12)

According to this passage, those who give are promised:

1. Unnamed blessings from God, so great they cannot contain them. Verse 10

2. Blessings on the work which provides their income. Verse 11

3. They will be a blessing to the nations of the world. Verse 12

4. Their own land [nation] will be blessed. Verse 12

God blesses you financially upon the basis of how you give. He provides in order that you will have funds to give to the work of the Lord:

But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully…

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. (II Corinthians 9:6,8)

Jesus also promised:

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and

shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
(Luke 6:38)

The way you are to acquire the money or goods to give is described in Ephesians:

Let him that stole steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands, the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (Ephesians 4:28)

Paul commented regarding the giving of the Philippian believers:

…the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:18)

He indicated because their gifts were a sacrifice they had pleased God. Then he told these giving believers:

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

This promise was made to those who had given to the work of the Lord. But remember: Although all believers are to give and are blessed of God for doing so, a person with the gift of giving has an unusual ability to give joyfully to the Lord; a special spiritual
motivation to give.


The following are Biblical examples of people who had an unusual ability to give to the Lord. It is possible they had the spiritual gift of giving:



-Galatian church:

-Philippian church:

-Macedonian churches:

Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4

John 12 :3-8

Galatians 4:15

Philippians 4:10-18

II Corinthians 8:1-7

From what motivations must giving come? See Matthew 6:3; Ephesians 4 :28; I Corinthians 13:3.


And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
governments, diversities of tongues. (I Corinthians 12:28)

A person with the gift of helps has the ability to assist others in the work of the Lord

enabling them to increase the effectiveness of their own spiritual gifts. From custodian to musicians, anything assisting in the operation of a church or a ministry can be considered a gift of helps. When Paul sent a woman named Phoebe to Rome, he asked believers there to assist her with the gift of helps:

I commend unto you Phoebe, our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:

That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you; for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. (Romans 16:1-2)

Priscilla and Aquila apparently served Paul with the gift of helps, for he wrote:

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus… (Romans 16:3)

The gift of helps is any work which supports or assists someone else. It is like serving as an assistant.


-Tabitha [Dorcas] had the gift of helps: Acts 9:36

-Women helped Jesus in His ministry: Mark 15:40-41

-The help given could be in the area of organizational responsibilities: Exodus 18:22; Numbers 11:17

-The ministry of helps can assist those who are weak: Acts 20:35


Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…or ministry, let us wait on our ministering… (Romans 12:6-7)

The word "ministering" in this passage means serving . The gift of serving is an ability to perform practical tasks related to the work of the Lord. A person who serves helps others accomplish spiritual goals by freeing them from routine but necessary duties.

The Amplified Bible translates this passage…

…he whose gift is practical service, let him give himself to serving… (Romans 12:7)

Serving differs from helps in that it relieves someone of certain duties. One who serves assumes the responsibility for certain tasks to free another to exercise their spiritual gift.

A person with the gift of helps assists someone in the performing of their ministry. For example, musicians in the church help the pastor accomplish spiritual goals during a
church service. They do not relieve him of the responsibility of the service, but use their gift to help him accomplish spiritual objectives.

On the other hand, a person with the gift of serving might totally relieve a pastor from

involvement in the distribution of food to those in need within the church body . An

example of this is found in the early church where certain believers "served" tables to free the apostles for more important spiritual tasks:

And in those days when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost, and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:1-4)

Observe the qualifications for those who were to serve. They were to be honest and full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom . Paul spoke of those who ministered or served him :

The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

But when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.

The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well. (II Timothy 1:16-18)

The gift of serving involves bearing the burden of others:

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

The attitude of one who serves was described by Jesus:

And He said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat? But I am among you as he that serveth.
(Luke 22:25-27)


Examples of serving:

-Angels: Hebrews 1:14; 4:11; Mark 1:13

-Serving or waiting at meals: John 2:5,9; Luke 10:40


Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6,8)

"Mercy" means compassion. This means you are able to feel with and for another. A

person with the gift of mercy has special compassion on those suffering and an ability to help them .

The gift of mercy involves an attitude as well as an action. This is shown in the story of the Good Samaritan recorded in Luke 10:30-37. The Samaritan not only had compassion on the victim of the robbers , but also took action to help him .

A requirement is that this gift should be ministered with cheerfulness. The word

"cheerfulness" refers to a joyful readiness to do anything possible immediately to relieve suffering.

Compare the compassion of the disciples with that of Jesus as illustrated in the following events:


Matthew 15:23-28
Syrophoenician woman

Mark 8:1-9

Matthew 20:31-34

Blind men quiet

Mark 10:48-49
Blind Bartemaus


Healed daughter

Fed them

Healed them

Healed them


Send away

Send away

Tried to make them be


Tried to make him be quiet


Study these illustrations of the gift of mercy:

-Jesus, in connection with healing: Matthew 9:27-30; 15:21-28; 17:14-18; 20:3034; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 17:1-14

-The Good Samaritan: Luke 10:30-37 -Dorcus: Acts 9:36-42


Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to

another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (I Peter 4:9-10)

The gift of hospitality is a special ability God gives to certain members of the Body of
Christ to provide food and lodging for those in need. A requirement for the use of this
spiritual gift is that it is done without grudging . Grudging means resenting having to do

Hospitality is an evidence of unhypocritical love:

Let love be without dissimulation… given to hospitality… (Romans 12:9,13)

Hospitality is one of the qualifications of a bishop:

A bishop then must be…given to hospitality…(I Timothy 3:2)

For a bishop must be blameless…a lover of hospitality… (Titus 1:7-8)


Lydia is an example of one with the gift of hospitality: Acts 16:14-15 Gaius hosted Paul in Rome: Romans 16:23

There is an exciting possibility in showing hospitality . Discover what it is in Hebrews 13: 1-2 .

This happened to Abraham and Sarah: Genesis 18.