When a country sends men to war it provides them with the necessary weapons for battle.
Similarly, God has given the Church gifts to use in our warfare against our enemy.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are just what the name applies - gifts. We do not merit them nor do we earn them. They are given to us out of the love of God's heart. The gifts make us much more effective in our ministry. They aid us in subduing satan and his hosts of darkness as well as edifying (building up) us .
The Holy Spirit gives them to us as He decides.
The gifts are a product of God's love for us. We need to fill our hearts with the love of God if we are to be truely effective in manifesting the gifts.
The Gifts given to the Church can be broadly divided into three groups. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NKJV) helps introduce these groups; starting from verse 4
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
The first group of gifts can be explained as those given to us AS THE HOLY SPIRIT WILLS. There are nine gifts which fall into this group, namely
1. Word of Wisdom
2. Word of Knowledge
3. Discerning of Spirits
5. Gifts of Healings
7. Different kinds of tongues
9. Interpretation of tongues
Read more on the gifts here
The second group of gifts are those given to us BY THE LORD JESUS. These gifts are INDIVIDUALS that Jesus calls and equips to be a blessing to the Church, namely;
Read more on ministries here
The third group of gifts are those GIVEN TO US BY GOD. These are gifts and talents which God has enabled us to have. In many ways they are gifts we were created with. These gifts only reach full potential when we allow God to anoint them, namely;
2. Ministry (service)
4. Exhorting (encouraging)
5. Giving (contributing to peoples needs)
Read more on these activities here
Lets explore the