What are three spiritual gifts?

Spiritual gifts are special abilities given by the Holy Spirit to Christians to serve God and strengthen the body of Christ. Though there are many spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible, three that are commonly discussed are prophecy, teaching, and evangelism.


The spiritual gift of prophecy refers to receiving direct revelation from God and communicating it to others. It involves speaking the very words of God through divine inspiration. Those with this gift often preach, exposing sin and revealing God’s truth. They act as mouthpieces for the Lord, boldly declaring “thus says the Lord.”

Prophecy in the New Testament refers primarily to the gift of carefully weighing and proclaiming God’s word. This involves both foretelling future events and forthtelling God’s truth. Those with the gift of prophecy rely on the Spirit’s revelation to understand and communicate Scripture clearly and accurately. They apply biblical truth to modern situations with authority and conviction.

Examples of prophets in the Bible include Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, John the Baptist, Agabus (Acts 11:28; 21:10) and the apostle John (Revelation). Paul encourages believers to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1). He gives instructions on orderly use of prophecy in worship services for teaching and conviction (1 Corinthians 14:29-33).

The gift of prophecy serves to strengthen, encourage and comfort believers. It brings unbelievers under conviction of sin so they may see their need for salvation. Prophecy glorifies God as the Spirit reveals His word to humankind.


The spiritual gift of teaching is the God-given ability to understand and explain biblical truth clearly and accurately. Those with this gift can grasp deep spiritual truths and doctrines and can communicate them effectively to others. They love studying God’s word, uncovering its meaning, and applying it in practical ways.

Teachers are concerned with accurately handling Scripture and unfolding its richness and meaning. They enjoy systematic study of the Bible and feel burdened to clearly explain truth to believers. Their teaching is marked by sound doctrine, clear explanation, Scriptural support and practical application.

Examples of those with the gift of teaching described in the Bible include Paul (Acts 18:24-28, 20:20-21; 1 Timothy 2:7), Barnabas (Acts 15:35), Titus (Titus 2:1-8) and Apollos (Acts 18:24-28). Paul told Timothy to devote himself to teaching and preaching (1 Timothy 4:13). He also instructed older women to teach and train younger women in godliness (Titus 2:3-5).

The gift of teaching equips the church to mature in the knowledge of Christ through understanding of Scripture. It grounds believers in sound doctrine and protects against false teaching and heresy. Teachers use their gift to disciple new believers, train church leadership and strengthen understanding in the body of Christ.


Evangelism is the spiritual gift that empowers a believer to effectively communicate the good news of the gospel clearly and persuasively. Those with this gift feel compelled to share the way of salvation through Christ with unbelievers. They seek opportunities to build relationships with nonbelievers, connect conversation to spiritual matters, and share the gospel.

Evangelists are concerned with presenting the message of salvation in Christ and calling for a response. They feel burdened for those who don’t know Christ and will adjust their methods to connect with different crowds to maximize exposure to the gospel. Evangelists are capable of communicating the message to unbelievers in ways they can understand and respond to.

Examples of evangelists in the Bible include the apostle Paul (Acts 13-28), Philip (Acts 8:4-8; 26-40), Peter (Acts 2:14-41), and Jesus himself (Matthew 9:35-38). Paul encourages Timothy to do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5). He also highlights the importance of evangelists to the growth and expansion of the early church (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Evangelism serves to fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples of Jesus Christ. The gift of evangelism adds to the church and makes salvation through Christ available to all people. Evangelists boldly declare the gospel and challenge unbelievers to respond in faith.


In summary, the spiritual gifts of prophecy, teaching and evangelism are vital to edifying believers and expanding God’s kingdom. Prophecy builds up and convicts believers through proclaiming the word of the Lord. Teachers instruct believers in sound doctrine and accurate biblical truth. Evangelists effectively communicate the gospel to unbelievers and call them to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. God equips His people with spiritual gifts to serve Him and point more people to salvation in His Son.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the spiritual gift of prophecy?

The spiritual gift of prophecy is the God-given ability to receive direct revelation from God and communicate it to others. It involves speaking the very words of God through divine inspiration. Those with this gift often preach, exposing sin and revealing God’s truth. They act as mouthpieces for the Lord, boldly declaring “thus says the Lord.”

What is the purpose of the gift of teaching?

The purpose of the spiritual gift of teaching is to explain biblical truth clearly and accurately so that believers can understand Scripture, grow in spiritual maturity and live godly lives. Teachers use their gift to ground believers in sound doctrine and train them to teach others.

Why is evangelism an important spiritual gift?

Evangelism is an important spiritual gift because God uses it to fulfill the Great Commission and make disciples of all nations. Evangelists communicate the gospel message effectively so unbelievers have the opportunity to hear the gospel, understand it clearly, and respond in faith to receive salvation through Christ.

What are the differences between prophecy, teaching, and evangelism?

The main differences are:

  • Prophecy – receiving direct revelation from God and communicating it to others.
  • Teaching – accurately explaining biblical truth and sound doctrine.
  • Evangelism – clearly communicating the gospel message to unbelievers and calling for a response of faith.

How can I know if I have one of these spiritual gifts?

Here are some signs you may have one of these gifts:

  • Prophecy – You receive revelation from God through dreams, visions, impressions. You have a strong conviction to confront sin and proclaim God’s truth.
  • Teaching – You have a strong desire to study Scripture in-depth. You enjoy explaining Bible verses and truths in ways people can understand. People often tell you your teaching helped them grow.
  • Evangelism – You share your faith often. You feel comfortable talking with unbelievers about spiritual matters. You can adapt your presentation based on the needs of the audience.

Can someone have more than one of these gifts?

Yes, it’s possible for someone to have more than one spiritual gift. For example, a person with the gifts of teaching and evangelism may teach believers sound doctrine and also feel compelled to share the gospel with unbelievers. The Holy Spirit decides which gifts to give each believer.

Biblical Examples

Moses – Prophet

Moses was a prophet used by God to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and give them the law. God spoke directly to Moses and gave him revelation to deliver to the people (Exodus 3:4, 7:1). Through Moses, God displayed His power by ten plagues on Egypt (Exodus 7-12). God spoke through Moses on Mount Sinai giving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). Moses predicted God’s future blessings and curses on Israel (Deuteronomy 28).

Apollos – Teacher

Apollos was a gifted teacher who had thorough knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures. He taught accurately about Jesus but only knew about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him teaching, they explained the way of God more accurately. Apollos then spread the gospel powerfully through his teaching ministry (Acts 18:24-28).

Philip – Evangelist

Philip was chosen as one of the first seven deacons. He enthusiastically proclaimed Christ and performed miraculous signs. He shared the gospel with the Samaritans resulting in many believing and being baptized. Philip was directed by an angel to explain the gospel to an Ethiopian man and baptized him upon his profession of faith in Christ (Acts 8:4-8, 26-40).


Here are some ways you can use these spiritual gifts to serve God if He has given them to you:

  • Prophecy – Share words of encouragement you believe God has given you for believers at your church. If God reveals areas of sin, humbly approach leaders to discuss what He put on your heart.
  • Teaching – Offer to teach a Sunday School class or Bible study where you can instruct others in understanding Scripture. Focus lessons on important doctrines and practical topics to help people mature.
  • Evangelism – Look for opportunities to build relationships with unbelievers and steer conversations toward spiritual matters. Share your testimony and the gospel message when the Holy Spirit leads you.

It’s important for those with these gifts to act with love, wisdom and accountability within the church. Use your gifts to glorify God by pointing people to Jesus Christ.


Here are some warnings regarding potential misuse of these spiritual gifts:

  • Prophecy – Don’t give “words from God” lightly without careful prayer and assessment. Don’t allow the gift to become overly mystical and subjective. All prophecy must align with Scripture.
  • Teaching – Make sure your lessons are accurate and supported by a balanced reading of Scripture. Don’t speculate or promote doctrines not clearly taught in the Bible.
  • Evangelism – Be careful not to compromise the message of the gospel to try to get a conversion. The focus should be on clearly explaining the biblical terms of salvation.

No matter your spiritual gift, be sure you are exercising it in love, humility and wisdom. Submit to the authority and community of a local church.


The spiritual gifts of prophecy, teaching and evangelism are valuable to strengthening believers and expanding God’s kingdom. Those endowed with the gift of prophecy declare the truth of God with power. Skilled teachers ground believers in sound doctrine. Evangelists effectively communicate the gospel and call unbelievers to salvation. These gifts instruct God’s people, point to Christ, and fulfill the Great Commission.

Thankfully, God has given spiritual gifts for building up the body of Christ and spreading the gospel until He returns. believers should passionately desire spiritual gifts and use them to glorify God by serving others.

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