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Gifts, spiritual

(Gr. charismata), gifts supernaturally bestowed on the early Christians, each having his own proper gift or gifts for the edification of the body of Christ. These were the result of the extraordinary operation of the Spirit, as on the day of Pentecost. They were the gifts of speaking with tongues, casting out devils, healing, etc. (Mark 16:17, 18), usually communicated by the medium of the laying on of the hands of the apostles (Acts 8:17; 19:6; 1 Tim. 4:14). These charismata were enjoyed only for a time. They could not continue always in the Church. They were suited to its infancy and to the necessities of those times.