teaching about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit




Learning Outcomes:  By the end of this topic, you should be able to: –

  1. Discuss what Jesus taught about the role and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  • Describe the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in Christianity today.
  • Identify the fruits of the Holy Spirit
  • Interpret the message of Peter on the day of Pentecost.



The Holy Spirit is the third person in the trinity. There is the power of Christ, the power of God, and the Holy Spirit who gives gifts such as prophecy and healing. The Holy Spirit is mentioned several times in the Bible; (1) during creation in Genesis, (2) at the annunciation of the birth of Jesus, (3) at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, (4) during baptism, (5) revelation of Jesus in the temple (6) Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit during his mission or ministry, after resurrection and before ascension

Learning outcomes: By the end of this lesson:

  1. State the role of Holy Spirit in the church and in Christian lives today
  • Enumerate the gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Analyse the Manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the church and Christians today
  • Give the role of love in church and in Christian lives today.

a. The role of Holy Spirit in Church and in Christian lives today.

Read JOHN 14:15-26 and JOHN 16: 5-15, ACTS 1: 7- 8

The Holy Spirit has many roles in the church and in Christian lives today. These roles are to:

  • Teach Christians on a daily basis messages of Jesus
  • Live in the hearts of believers of Christ
  • Be an advocate, a counselor, helper and a comforter to those who love Jesus Christ and obey God’s commandments.
  • He would remind the disciples the words said by Jesus Christ and introduce them to their deeper meanings.
  • Interpret the deeper meaning of the messages of Jesus Christ.
  • Reveal the truth and mysteries of and about God.
  • Affirm the right of Jesus as the Son of God.
  • Reveal the glory of Jesus death.
  • Reveal what is right and wrong
  • Give the disciples of Jesus power to become witnesses of Christ.
  • Give courage to the disciples of Jesus and modern Christians to face prosecution on the account of following Jesus.
  • Enable the disciples to expose the secret lives and heart of sinful people.
  • Guide Christians; help believers to cast away evils spirits, to heal, to preach the word of God, to encourage, and to condemn evil in the society.

b. Paul teaching about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Read 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14

Spiritual gifts are extra-ordinary favors, talents, abilities, and dispositions given to Christians by God for the benefit of all believers. The gifts are used for the service of others and not for self-glorification and gratification.

The message of Peter on the day of the Pentecost

Peter told the disciple that what was happening was the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy.

  • He said that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God.
  • He said that the suffering and death of Jesus was according to God’s plans. Death was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

  1. Gift of wisdom: – having deep understanding of issues- ‘seeing far’, being perceptive.
  • Gift of knowledge: – ability to understand the basic facts about Jesus, His mission and knowledge about spiritual issues.
  • The gift of faith: – refers to the confidence in God’s help. It is deep trust in God.
  • The Gift of healing: – ability, and power to heal all forms of sickness by calling upon the name of Jesus Christ.
  • The gift of performing miracles: – gift of healing miracles, creative miracles for example, dead legs becoming alive.
  • The gift of preaching
  • The gift of prophecy: – the ability to interpret God’s word. The ability to foresee what will happen in the future as revealed by God.
  • The gift of distinguishing spirits or discernment: – the ability to know whether a spiritual gift is from God, the Holy Spirit or from the evil spirit
  • The gift of speaking in tongues. The ability to utter, speak in a tongue, language unknown to the believer. Tongues are used when addressing God for self-edifications. It is personal growth.
  1. The gift of interpretation of tongues: – the ability to understand and interpret the messages of those speaking in tongues.
  1. The gift of love. (Read 1 Corinthians 13)

Paul stressed that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are to be demonstrated with love. He stressed that love, a fruit of the Holy Spirit is supreme over other spiritual gifts possessed by Christians. It’s the greatest of all. Speaking in tongues, preaching, and martyrdom without love is useless.

Components of Love

Love is patient, kind, not jealous or boastful, not arrogant or rude, is not ill mannered or selfish, and does not insist on its own way. It is not disrespectful. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in truth. It bears all things.

Love believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love is eternal. Love never fails. The other gifts are temporary but love, faith and hope are eternal.

c. Manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the church and Christians today

Gifts of the Holy Spirit have been manifested in churches today. We see this manifestation through people possessing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. For example, leaders in church have displayed the gift of wisdom. Preachers, and Christian’s ministers have been casting out demons and performing healing. There are reported cases of interpretation of tongues and gift of prophecy in churches today.

When Christians display the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues the Holy Spirit is manifested. Other manifestations of the Holy Spirit are:

  • Through healing, prophecy, gifts of discernment, boldness in preaching, and casting out demons among others
  • Christians helping the poor by giving generosity and in kindness.
  • Through singing, dancing, shouting (fruit of joy)
  • Through unity of believes and fellowships.
  • Through praying,
  • Christian’s persecutions/temptations.

d. Criteria for Discerning the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Christians who have the Holy Spirit and are guided by Jesus have certain characteristics. These are:

  • They will confess that Jesus is Lord
  • They cannot say a curse.
  • They speak the truth. They worship God and behave in accordance with Jesus teaching.
  • They led by the Holy Spirit and are known by the fruits of the Holy Spirit. These fruits are love, joy, peace, and patience.
  • Such persons serve all Christians without discrimination and strife.
  • They do not do sinful acts such as sexual immorality. They do not practice idolatry, and sorcery. They do not have in their hearts and minds hatred, and jealously or any other negative feelings and actions.

e. The fruits of the HOLY SPIRIT (GALATIANS 5:16-26)

Paul taught that the fruit of the spirit are: Love, Joy, Patience, Long suffering, Goodness or Generosity, Faith and faithfulness, Peace, Meekness and kindness, gentleness, self- control and temperance.

Answer these questions after reading – JOHN 14:15-26 and JOHN 16: 5-15, ACTS 1: 7- 8 and 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14.

1. What is the role of the Holy Spirit among Christians? (Read a)

  • Discuss the gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • Write a talk about the Holy Spirit
  • Define love?
  • Describe the different types of love
  • Why do Christians need the Holy Spirit today?
  • State the role of love in church and in Christian lives today.
  • How has the gift of the Holy Spirit been manifested in Christian lives?
  • Which activities show that the Holy Spirit is working among Christian in Kenya.
  1. How have the gifts of the Holy Spirit been misused in the church today?

Answers are also in the text. Read sections with answers

1. The role of the Holy Spirit

An advocate, a counselor and a comforter

He would remind and introduce the disciples to the deeper meaning of the word of Jesus Christ.

To reveal the myth and mysteries of God

He would affirm the right of Jesus as the Son of God.

He would reveal the glory of Jesus’ death.

He would enable the disciples to discern and expose the secret heart of sinful men.

2. The gift of the Holy Spirit has been misused today by pride and public manifestation of the gift as a way of show off. Some Christians have misused the gift of Holy Spirit of prophecy by prophesying for money.


Read ACTS 2: 14-4


Jews commemorate Pentecost day. This is the day that God gave Moses his laws on mount Sinai. It is also referred to as the festival of weeks. Pentecost day was celebrated 50 days after the Passover. It was compulsory for all Jews. On this day, Jews brought offering, the first fruits of harvest, to the temple in Jerusalem.

Learning outcomes. By the end of this lesson You should be able: –

  1. Describe Pentecost day
  • Narrate Peters’ Message.
  • Explain the relevance of the Pentecostal Experience

a. Pentecost a day

On the Pentecostal day, the disciples were gathered in Jerusalem awaiting the promise of the Holy Spirit. And as promised, the Holy Spirit came in the form of a strong wind, and tongues of fire. The Holy Spirit rested on the head of each disciple. The disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit. They spoke in new tongues. Some of the observers mistook this experience. They thought that the disciples were drunk with wine.

Peter stood up to explain what was happening and defend the disciples. He told those who saw the experience that the disciples were not drunk. It was in the morning.

b. Peter’s Message. Read Joel 2: 28 – 32

Peter told the onlookers that; what was happening is fulfillment of Joel’s prophesies about the outpouring of Gods spirit. He said that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God. This was proved by the miracles that Jesus performed. He emphasized that the suffering and death of Jesus was according to God’s plans. Jesus is a descendant of David. Death and the resurrection of Jesus fulfilled prophesies in the Old Testament.

God raised Jesus from the dead. He taught that Jesus had both the nature of God and Man. The apostles are the living witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus has been exalted and sits on the right hand of God where He is Lord and Judge. They holy Spirit is a gift from Jesus

Peter then invited the listeners to repentance so that they could be forgiven and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Three thousand souls accepted salvation message and were added to the fellowship of the disciples.

C. After the Holy Spirit infilling.

The disciples sold their possessions and goods and assisted the needy. They did many wonders and signs. They continued to live in unity, worshiping God, fellowshipping together, and breaking the bread.

d. Lessons Christians learn from Leadership of Peter.

Christians should be:

  1. Courageous and stand up for Jesus Christ all the times.
  • Ready to spread the Gospel of Christ.
  • Win new converts to Jesus by inviting them to repentance.
  • Have faith in the risen Christ.
  • Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit like Peter and those in church leadership should take their roles seriously.

e. Relevance of the Pentecostal Experience

Speaking in diverse tongues signified that Christianity is a universal religion. It pointed out the importance of all languages when communicating to God. There were no specific languages for speaking with God, as it was when Latin was the language of literacy and Christianity.

Christians should be bold in their preaching. They should not be afraid as they have the counsel and helper, the Holy Spirit. Christians should understand that God chooses anyone as a leader, preacher, and witness of Christ.

Pentecostal experience signifies that Christians need to receive and be filled with the Holy Spirit

Revision questions

  1. Explain the meaning of the Pentecost
  • Describe the manifestations of the holy spirit on the day of the Pentecost (Acts 2: 1-40)(or narrate the events that took place on the day of the Pentecost)
  • Write down five teachings about Jesus from Peter’s speech on the day of the Pentecost
  • What were the qualities of peter that made him a successful leader of the apostolic church?
  • e) What lessons can Christians learn from the events of the day of the Pentecost?
  • State the teachings of Jesus on the holy spirit (John 14:14-26) (acts 1:7-8)
  • What is the role of the Holy Spirit according to Jesus?
  • What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the believers or the church or Christians?
  1. Outline the fruits of the holy spirit
  • State the criteria for discerning the spiritual gifts
  • List down the gifts of the holy spirit
  • Explain why Paul taught that love is the greatest of all spiritual gifts
  • Explain how the Holy spirit is manifested in the church today
  • State ways in which the gifts of the holy spirit are being abused in the church today

Revision questions

1.     1996 Q 10

        Write down five activities of the Church in Kenya which show that the Holy Spirit is working among Christians.                                                                               (5marks)

2.     1997 Q 9

       Write down five teaching about Jesus from Peter’s speech on the day of Pentecost.  (5marks)

3.     1999 Q 10

        Give five lessons Christians can learn from the incident of Ananias and Sappira in               the Acts of the Apostles                                                                                 (5 marks)

4.     1999 Q 15

         State five ways in which the gifts of the Holy Spirit have been abused in the church today                                                                                                            (5marks)

5.     2002 Q10

        Give five reasons why Christians in the early church prayed.                    (5marks)

6.     2002 Q 9

State five ways in which Peter’s life was transformed on the day of Pentecost


7.     2003 Q 9

         State five works of the Holy Spirit in the early church.                                               (5marks)

8.     2003 Q 10

        State five leadership qualities shown by Peter the Apostle on the day of Pentecost                                                                                                                                       (5marks)

9.     2004 Q 3a (pp 2)

         a)            Outline the teaching of Jesus on the role of the Holy Spirit.                        (8marks)

         b)            Identify the problems that Paul faced in spreading the gospel.        (12marks)

c)         What lessons do Christian learn from the life of Stephen?               (5marks)

10.     2007 Q 4b, c (pp 2)

        (b)State ways in which the Holy Spirit was manifested on the day of Pentecost                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                (6 marks)

        (c)How are the gifts of the Holy Spirit misused in the church today?              (6 marks)

11.     2008 Q 4a (pp 2)

           a) Identify the fruit of the Holy Spirit taught by Saint Paul in Galatians 5:22-23

                                                                                                                                    (5 marks)

12.     2009 Q 4 a, c (pp 2)

           a)          Give seven reasons why Jesus sent the Holy spirit to the disciples after

                        his ascension                                                                                      (7 marks)

c)         State five ways in which Christians are able to identify those who posses the

             gifts of the Holy Spirit.                                                                    (5 marks)

13.     2010 Q 4c (pp 2)

      (c)       State how kindness as a fruit of the Holy Spirit is abused in the Church in

                 Kenya today.                                                                                         (4 marks)

14.     2011 Q 4a,b ( pp 2)

          a) Explain how Peter’s life was transformed on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 4:21-40)                                                                            

                                                                                                                              (8 marks)

          b)  Outline Saint Paul’s teaching on how the gifts of the Holy Spirit should be used

               in the Church.                                                                                        (5 marks)


1996 Q 10

  • Praying e.g. individual,  congregational
  • Decision making  in the  church/ solving  issues and problems in the church
  • Faith healing/ healing the sick
  • Speaking in tongues
  • Singing in tongues
  • Singing and dancing/ music
  • Preaching/ teaching
  • Giving of  offertory and  alms/ sadaka
  • Condemning on the  prophetic ministry  of the church
  • Hold fellowship meeting/ Bible study/ reading the bible
  • Celebrating of sacraments e.g. Eucharist/ Lord’s supper
  • Bringing new converts to the church
  • Pastoral care and consulting
  • Helping the poor and the needy
  • Working together of the churches/ ecumenism/ co-operation
  • Writing Christians literature e.g.  books/ pamphlets/ magazines
  • Confession  of sins/ reconciliations
  • Education/ giving instructions                                               (5 x 1 = 5 marks)

1997 Q 9

  • Jesus was from Nazareth
    • Jesus had a human nature
    • Jesus had a divine nature
    • Jesus was attested by God to work miracles and wonders through Jesus
    • Jesus death/ crucifixion was according to God’s plan
    • God raised Jesus from the dead
    • Jesus conquered death/ has victory over death/ overcame death
    • The death and resurrection of Jesus fulfill the prophecy of David. / the death and resurrection of Jesus were foretold by David
    • Jesus is a descendant of David
    • Jesus ascended into heaven/ is exalted at the right – hand of God
    • The Holy spirit is a gift from Jesus
    • God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ / Messiah            (5 x 1 = 5 marks)

1999 Q 10

  • Honesty should be observed /faithfulness is important Acts 5: 1-11)
  • Lying should be avoided
  • Christians should be willing to share their property with others/should not be selfish/greedy
  • Christians should resist temptation.
  • Sin can results to death/suffering . / God will not compromise with evil
  • Sins bring fear
  • Christians should not be influenced by others to commit sin/evil
  • Christians should not test God
  • /Holy spirit /God sees everything
  • Christians should speak against evil.                         (5×1= 5marks)

1999 Q 15

  • Cheating that one has a certain gift of the Holy Spirit /pretence.
  • Commercialization of the gifts/people are asked to pay money before being prayed for /healed.
  • False interpretation of the bible/prophesy/predicting the future.
  • Unscrupulous Christians may impart demoniac powers on innocent faithful.
  • Some Christians who possess the gifts of the Holy Spirit develop pride/superiority complex.
  • Wrong use of the gifts of the Holy spirit where faithful get into eccsy/trance which may lead t injuries.
  • Distinguishing oneself as a person with a special call/preacher with an intention of exploiting others                                                            (5×1= 5marks)

2002 Q10

  • To thank God/ gratitude
  • To show respect to God/ fellowship with God
  • In obedience to Christ’s teaching
  • To overcome temptations/ persecutions/ for  protection
  • To ask God for their daily needs/ blessings
  • In order to sustain the unity  of the believers/ growth of the church

                                                                                                       (5 x 1 = 5 marks)

2002 Q 9

  • He was filled with the power of the Holy spirit
  • Spoke in tongues
  • was courageous/ bold
  • Preaches the word/ testified
  • Remembered scriptures of the Old  Testament
  • Made wise decisions/ advised the people
  • He baptized new converts/ got saved
  • He led the other disciples/ spokesman                       (5 x 1 = 5 marks)

2003 Q9

  • Prophesy
  • Exposed Annanias and Saphira
  • Inspired people to praise God/ worship
  • Gave people power to perform miracles/ heal
  • Provided guidance/ wisdom
  • Empowered people to perseverance/ provided comfort
  • Led people in prayer
  • Strengthened people to  preach/ spread the good news
  • Made people to understand their relationship with God/ the  mission of Jesus
  • Enabled Christians to live in unity
  • Brought love/  peace and joy
  • Strengthen the faith of Christians                              (5 x 1 = 5 marks)

2003 Q 10

  • Courage
  • Wisdom/ understanding
  • Principled/ decision making/ Adviser/ counselors
  •  Ability to protect  and defend his  colleagues
  • He was focused/ had a goal/ commitment
  • He knew the scriptures
  • God fearing/ had faith in God
  • Eloquent speaker                                                        (5 x  1 = 5 marks)

2004 Q 3a (PP2)

  • The holy spirit is a counselor/ helper
  • He comforts
  • He teaches
  • He guides
  • He judges/ convicts the world
  • He is the spirit of truth
  • He is a companion
  • He strengthens
  • He empowers
  • He reminds/ convinces people on righteousness
  • He glories Jesus Christ
  • He reveals the things of God/ reveals things to come
  • People did not believe that he was  an apostle/ his conversion
  • His message was rejected
  • He was beaten/ stoned
  • He was imprisoned
  • He was deserted by close friends/ mark/ barnabarbas
  • Some of the believers were backsliding
  • There was competition from other preachers ( apostles)
  • There was lack of money/ finance
  • There were plots to kill him
  • Influences of other religious/ cultural/ ideologies/ practices
  • He was  persecuted/ oppressed
  • He was ship wrecked
  • Be ready to serve God/ people
  • One should be ready to forgive
  • Christians should have faith in God
  • They should endure persecution
  • They should be wise/ knowledgeable
  • They should be ready to witness  for Christ
  • They should be prayerful
  • They should be of good repute/ exemplary
  • They should be ready to condemn evil

2007 Q 4b,c (PP2)

  • Through a sound from heaven
  • Like a mighty rushing wind
  • As tongues of fire resting on each disciple
  • By the disciples being able to speak in different languages
  • By Peter becoming courageous to preach
  • By many people being convicted of their sins
  • By many people repenting their wrongdoing            (3 x 2= 6 marks)
  • People demand favours/payment for performing miracles
  • People claim to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit when they are not
  • There is too much emphasis on speaking in tongues a the expense of other gifts
  • Those who have the gifts of the Holy Spirit are proud/boastful/look down upon others
  • People misinterpret the Bible /confuse others while claiming to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
  • Individuals cause divisions/splinter groups in the church claiming that the Holy Spirit has inspired them to start new churches/ministries
  • Sometimes gifts of the Holy Spirit are expressed in a disorderly manner in the church
  • People use the gifts for self glorification
  • People speak in tongues without an interpreter  hence creating misunderstanding
  • People use the gifts to instill fear/intimidate others             (6 x 1= 6 marks)

2008 Q 4a (PP2)       

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Self control
  • Gentleness
  • Patience
  • Faithfulness                                                                (5 x 1=5 marks)

2009 Q 4a,c (PP2)

  • The Holy Spirit would comfort the disciples
  • He was to council the disciples
  • He would guide the disciples on what is right /God’s righteousness
  • He was to convict people of their sins
  • He was to remind the disciples on what Jesus had taught them
  • He would teach people the ways /truths of Kingdom of God
  • He was to reveal the future/enable the disciples to prophets/God’s will
  • He would glorify Jesus through the work of the disciples
  • He would enable the disciples to witness Christ throughout the world
  • He would replace the physical presence of Jesus/stay with the disciples forever

He would empower the disciples to be able to speak with courage/confidence/authority.                                               (7 x 1 = 7marks)

  • By listening to their confession. They should confess Jesus as Lord.
    • By analyzing the kind of teaching they profess. The teaching should be about Jesus Christ/Christian doctrine.
    • By examining their life so as to know whether they possess/show the fruit of Holy Spirit.(Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self control, goodness, faithfulness/gentleness)
    • By observing there behaviour. The behaviour should not contradict the of Jesus Christ be role models.
    • When the Christian notice the victorious life of such people over temptations works of the flesh.
    • If such persons do not use the gift of the Holy Spirit for selfish gains/enrich themselves.
    • When such believers given glory to God /Jesus after serving performing miracles.

2010 Q 4c (PP2)

  • There are too many needy cases.
    • Tribal/ethnic feelings may hinder one from giving assistance to the needy.
    •  Political leaning/affiliations influence Christians against helping those who do not belong to their camp.
    • Lack of what to share/inadequacy
    • Indifferences of some Christians to the light of the needy.
    • Denominational differences where some Christians are not ready share with those who do not belong to their group.
    • Poor communication/infrastructure in some parts of the country that make impossible to reach   the needy.
    • It is difficult to identify the genuine needy cases.
    • Misappropriation of resources meant for assisting the needy discourages Christian from contributing.

2011 Q 4a,b (PP2)

  • Peter was filled with the Holy spirit
  • He started speaking in tongues
  • He became courageous/ defended the disciples that they were not drunk
  • He was able to remember Old Testament prophecies/ teachings
  • He began witnessing the life, death and resurrection of Jesus
  • He called people to repentance
  • He was empowered to perform  miracles
  • He took up the leadership roles
  • The gifts of the Holy spirit should be used for the common good of all
  • They should be used to strengthen/ encourage and comfort members
  • They should be used to bring unity / not to discriminate / divide members
  • There is need to respect / appreciate all the gifts
  • They should be used in  an orderly way / no confusion
  • The gifts should be used in love
  • The gifts of speaking in tongues should be minimized in public
  • There is need to have interpretation of tongues for them to be meaningful / helpful
  • Prophecies should be carefully evaluated / weighed

2012 Q4b (pp2)

  • There was competition in speaking in tongues.
  • There was disorder /confusion in worship as people with different gifts tried to outdo one another.
  • People did not use their gifts for the benefit of the Church/one another.
  • Some gifts such as prophecy/teaching were looked down upon there was Pride/boasting.
  • There was no interpretation of tongues when the gift of speaking in tongues was in use, hence messages were not understood.
  • People did not show love for one another.
  • Those with the gift of speaking in tongues despised those who did not have/some members thought they were too spiritual.

                                                                 (6 x 1=6 marks)


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