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Spiritual Gifts: Wisdom

Mark Driscoll

Having laid some foundational principles regarding spiritual gifts, Paul begins to list some of the spiritual gifts: "To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit." (1 Cor. 12:8 NIV)

The Spiritual Gift of Wisdom Defined

The gift of wisdom is the ability to have insight into people and situations that is not obvious to the average person, combined with an understanding of what to do and how to do it. It is the ability to not only see, but also apply the principles of God's Word to the practical matters of life by the "Spirit of wisdom" (Eph. 1:17).

People with the Gift of Wisdom

These people often have an ability to synthesize biblical truth and apply it to people's lives so that they make good choices and avoid foolish mistakes. These people today function well as coaches, counselors, and consultants.

Wisdom in Jesus' Ministry

Luke 2:40-52 says that Jesus was "filled with wisdom" as a boy and "grew in wisdom" as a young man so that the scholars of his day were "amazed at his understanding." Crowds who heard Jesus teach said, "What's this wisdom that has been given him?" (Mark 6:2). In Matthew 12:42, Jesus said that he was wiser than Solomon. And in Luke 21:15, Jesus said, "I will give you words and wisdom." We are also told that Jesus is the "wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:24, 30). Wisdom is also illustrated in the lives of Joshua (Deut. 34:9), Solomon (1 Kings 3:5-28), and Daniel (Daniel 1:17-20; 2:19-23).

Do You Have This Gift?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • When studying God's Word, do you find that you discover the meaning and its implications before others do?
  • Do you seem to understand things about God's Word that other believers with the same background and experience don't seem to know?
  • Are you able to apply biblical truth in a practical way to help counsel others to make good life choices?
  • Do you get frustrated when people make foolish decisions that damage their quality of life, because you know what they should have done instead?
  • Do you find that when people have important decisions to make, they come to you for prayer and biblical counsel?
  • Do you find that when you counsel people, God the Spirit gives you wisdom to share with them from Scripture, which they accept as God's truth to them through you?

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