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Gifts of the Holy Spirit

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A spiritual gift or charism (plural: charisms or charismata; in Greek singular: χάρισμα charism, plural: χαρίσματα charismata) is an endowment or extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit. These are the supernatural graces which individual Christians need (and were needed in the days of the Apostles) to fulfill the mission of the Church. In the narrowest sense, it is a theological term for the extraordinary graces given to individual Christians for the good of others and is distinguished from the graces given for personal sanctification, such as the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

These extraordinary spiritual gifts, often termed “charismatic gifts”, are the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, increased faith, the gifts of healing, the gift of miracles, prophecy, the discernment of spirits, diverse kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues. To these are added the gifts of apostles, prophets, teachers, helps (connected to service of the poor and sick), and governments (or leadership ability) which are connected with certain offices in the Church. These gifts are given by the Holy Spirit to individuals, but their purpose is to build up the entire Church. They are described in the New Testament, primarily in 1 Corinthians 12,Romans 12, and Ephesians 4.1 Peter 4 also touches on the spiritual gifts.

The gifts are related to both seemingly “natural” abilities and seemingly more “miraculous” abilities, empowered by the Holy Spirit. The two major opposing theological positions on their nature is that they ceased long ago or that they continue (Cessationism versus Continuationism).

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