The seven temporary “sign” gifts (given during the first century and then phased out) are as follows:
1. The Gift of Apostleship (Ephesians 4:11)
This is a reference to certain men called by Christ Himself and endued with special power to function as official “charter members” of the newly organized New Testament church. One special requirement of apostleship was that one must have actually seen the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:22).
2. The Gift of Prophecy (I Corinthians 12:10; Romans 12:6)
This was the supernatural ability to receive and transmit a revelation from God. This was the manner in which the Bible was written (II Peter 1:20,21).
3. The Gift of Miracles (I Corinthians 12:28)
The gift of miracles was a supernatural ability to perform those events outside and beyond the realm of nature– the ability to set aside for a time the regular laws of nature.
The purpose of miracles was to prove the God-sent authority of the one doing the miracle (John 3:2; John 20:30,31).
During the three periods of miracles there was a real need for the miracles, to awaken Israel from her indifference and immorality.
4. The Gift of Healing (I Corinthians 12:9,28,30)
This was a supernatural ability to cure human ills, whether of physical, mental, or demonic origin.
This gift was given apparently, as in the case of miracles, to attest the authority and power of the one doing the healing.
At this point you may have a question in your mind concerning the gifts of miracles and healing. You may ask, if the gifts of miracles and healing were temporary, does this mean that God does not heal today? No, it certainly does not. It simply means that the gift of healing through an individual is no longer in existence.
5. The Gift of Tongues (I Corinthians 12:10)
Until the completion of the New Testament, God used the gift of tongues to act as a sign to the unbeliever (both Jew and Gentile) and as a means to edify the believer. The conclusion concerning tongues is that while one cannot dogmatically point to one particular verse which proves the gift of tongues was temporary, there are, nevertheless, strong indications that this gift of tongues has indeed ceased.
6. The Gift of the Interpretation of Tongues (I Corinthians 12:10)
This was the supernatural ability to clarify and interpret those messages uttered in an unknown language.
My denomination (Southern Baptist) hold to the position that the outward manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit (the six temporary gifts) ceased with the advent of the completed canon of Scriptures.
“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away” (I Corinthians 13:8).
The explanation of this passage is: Charity never faileth (Greek ekpipto, falls off, see Luke 16:17). Unlike the leaf of the flower, love never fades and falls off (see James 1:11; I Peter 1:24). Prophecies they shall fail (“be abolished”). Tongues, they shall cease. The significance of the Greek word pauo indicates that tongues would soon be “cut off” as their necessity in the process of the New Testament revelation ceased. It is important to note that tongues are never mentioned again in the New Testament after this warning. Knowledge, it shall vanish away (“be abolished”). This is the same word used in reference to prophecy above. This is not knowledge in general, but the “gift” of knowledge by direct revelation (see I Corinthians 12:8, 13:2). (LIBERTY BIBLE COMMENTARY, Vol. II, p. 455)
7. The Gift of Knowledge (I Corinthians 12:8)
This gift is most likely connected with prophecy and may involve the ability to receive and record God’s Word.
The permanent gifts:
1. The Gift of Wisdom (I Corinthians 12:8)
The gift of wisdom would refer to that supernatural ability to rightfully apply and spiritually employ both human and divine knowledge.
2. The Gift of the Discerning of_Spirits (I Corinthians 12:10; 1 John 4:1)
This gift is the supernatural ability to distinguish between demonic, human and divine spirits in another person. (Both Peter and Paul possessed this gift. Many pastors possess this gift.)
3. The Gift of Giving (Romans 12:8)
The gift of giving is the supernatural ability to accumulate and give large amounts of one’s finances to the glory of God.
4. The Gift of Exhortation (Romans 12:8; Proverbs 25:11)
This is the supernatural ability to deliver challenging words. Ministers certainly should possess this gift.
5. The Gift of Ministering. (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28)
This is the supernatural ability to render practical help in both physical and spiritual matters. Many people (both professionally and individually) possess this gift. Some seem to be led by the Holy Spirit in knowing just when to offer comfort, material help, advice, guidance, etc., and when to refrain.
6. The Gift of Showing Mercy (Romans 12:8)
This is the supernatural ability with which some are endowed to minister to those sick and afflicted.
7. The Gift of Ruling (or Administration) (Romans 12:8)
This is the supernatural ability to organize, administer and promote the various affairs in a local church.
8. The Gift of Faith (I Corinthians 12:9; Romans 12:3)
The Bible describes three kinds of faith: (1) saving faith, given to all repenting sinners; (2) sanctifying faith, available to all believers, and (3)stewardship faith, given to some believers. Stewardship faith is the gift kind of faith, and is a supernatural ability to believe and expect great things from God.
9. The Gift of Teaching (Romans 12:7; I Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11)
The gift of teaching is the supernatural ability to communicate and clarify the details of the Word of God. Anyone who teaches the Word of God should possess this gift.
10. The Gift of Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11; II Timothy 4:5)
This is the supernatural ability to point sinners to Christ and to burden Christians about soul-winning. All believers, of course, are to witness for Christ, whether they have this special gift or not!
11. The Gift of Pastor-Teacher (Ephesians 4:11)
This is the supernatural ability to preach and teach the Word of God and to feed and lead the flock of God. This is the only “double-portion” gift of the 18 gifts. Thus, all teachers are not called to be pastors, but all pastors are called to be teachers!