Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Can one operate in their spiritual gift even before they are believers and fully realize it when they become believers, or does one have to first have a relationship with Christ for them to be understood and be manifest for the edification of the body of Christ? Paul says the purpose of Spiritual gifts is to edify the body of Christ, strengthen, etc. I understand People have gifts and natural talent e.g singer, actor, teacher, etc which can also be used both spiritually or not, these are also given by God, however, I wrestle in my understanding of how one can operate in the spirit of God if they have not received Christ and thus do not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within them. My question is, is it possible to operate in the Spiritual Gifts that Paul speaks about in scripture outside of a relationship with Christ and not understand it?


Does Matt. 5:45 add any clarity for you?

for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

This seems to me to indicate that God is able to impact both good and evil and can, therefore, effect anyone He wishes. I hope this helps.



Hi @Esther,

That is such an interesting question. I guess the simple answer is God/Holy Spirit working through a non-believer does not mean the Spirit indwell in him/her. For the Spirit will not be an uninvited guest against the will of the host.

The Spiritual Gifts can specifically be found in:
1 Cor 12: 7-11
Rom 12: 6-8
Eph 4:11
1 Pet 4:10-11

As you can see the gifts are specific, useful to build / edify the body of Christ. These gifts are different from skills, like singing, acting, designing houses, engineering, etc. Though the skills could be utilized by believers or non-believers alike, but the skills can be used by believers to function in his/her spiritual giftings, say to help other believers, and bring glory to God.

God can endow a non-believer with talent to be skilful in something, and uses his/her work for God’s purpose, all the while without the person being indwelled by the Spirit.

I hope that clarify the difference between Spiritual Gifts and Talent/Skill Gifts.


Thank you for this genuine question. I have long been taught that the gifts of th Father outlined in
Romans 12:1-8
[1]I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
[2]And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
[3]For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
[4]For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
[5]So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
[6]Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
[7]Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
[8]Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Each person was given certain gifts and talents from birth. Breaking down the passage we have speakers, teachers leaders, encouragers, etc. These traits gifts are found in people before they came to Christ. So the must also be in those who have not accepted Christ yet. These gifts also compare to the gifts of the Spirit which are given as the Spirit wills as found in 1 Cor.12 particularly verse 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. We all know people who excell in certain ways that are not Christians.
Hope this helps in understanding?


Thank you all for the great responses, @Parkeri1313 I have applied this scripture of Matt. 5:45 in that, God is just and has willed that all men whether they have come to the knowledge of Him or not, they still benefit from all that he has created, so in essence, it’s not just those who have come to the knowledge of Him that receive blessings, we are all God’s children. Hence even in suffering, we all suffer and are not exempt from suffering whether one is a believer or not. Christ did say in this world we shall have trials and tribulations, however, we fear not because we are overcomers in Christ. @mgaplus4 when you mentioned that, “Each person was given certain gifts and talents from birth” that caught my attention because so far that is my understanding as well, hence my inquisitiveness as to, when do spiritual gifts unfold in one’s life. @RoySujanto wrote, the SPIRITUAL gifts are different from talent/skill gifts and I agree. I also think the Holy Spirit will not be an uninvited guest and you have to accept Christ as your Lord and personal savior in order for him to dwell in you. Scripture does say SPIRITUAL Gifts are useful to build/edify the body of Christ. I think I have better clarity. Thank you all.


Thank you for revealing truth. God bless

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@Esther, this is such an interesting question. The discussion that ensued I’ve enjoyed also. Your question puts me in mind of what I’ve heard called motivational gifts, those strength traits we are born with like @mgaplus4 mentioned. I consider gifts of the Holy Spirit to be the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues, as said in 1 Corinthians 12. It seems sensible that a person would display their motivational gift/s whether saved or unsaved since those are baked in, so to speak, from the womb. Then, it makes sense to me that the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 12 would manifest in born-again persons.

Just throwing this out there: where are you and the readers of this discussion on the gifts in 1 Cor. 12 being manifested in believers yet to be baptized in the Holy Spirit in the Acts 2 way?