Now about the spiritual gifts [the special endowments given by the Holy Spirit], brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were led off after speechless idols; however you were led off [whether by impulse or habit]. Therefore I want you to know that no one speaking by the [power and influence of the] Spirit of God can say, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is [my] Lord,” except by [the power and influence of] the Holy Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 12:1-3
Spiritual gifts were extraordinary powers bestowed in the first ages, to convince unbelievers, and to spread the gospel. Gifts and graces greatly differ. Both were freely given of God. But where grace is given, it is for the salvation of those who have it. Gifts are for the advantage and salvation of others; and there may be great gifts where there is no grace. The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were chiefly exercised in the public assemblies, where the Corinthians seem to have made displays of them, wanting in the spirit of piety, and of Christian love. While heathens, they had not been influenced by the Spirit of Christ. No man can call Christ Lord, with believing dependence upon him, unless that faith is wrought by the Holy Ghost. No man could believe with his heart, or prove by a miracle, that Jesus was Christ, unless by the Holy Ghost. There are various gifts, and various offices to perform, but all proceed from one God, one Lord, one Spirit; that is, from the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the origin of all spiritual blessings. No man has them merely for himself. – Matthew Henry
We worship a supernatural God. We believe in a supernatural intervention in human history in terms of the revelation of God’s Word and of the living Christ. We believe in a supernatural Holy Spirit who indwells us. We are the result of a supernatural transformation that has made us new creatures. And we have been given by the Holy Spirit a supernatural endowment of gifts, by which we can minister within the organism to the building and edifying of the church, until it comes to the fullness of the stature of Christ and has a powerful witness in the world. – John Macarthur Jr.
Clarke defines spiritual gifts as “Gracious endowments, leading to miraculous results . . . these all came by the extraordinary influences of the Holy Spirit.”
The word “gifts” is not in the original. The Greek refers to “spiritual” things in general, or to anything that is of a spiritual nature. The whole discussion, however, shows that he refers to the various endowments, gifts, or graces that had been bestowed in different degrees on the members of the church – including the distinctions in graces, and in degrees of office and rank, which had been made in the Christian church in general 1 Corinthians 10:1. I would not have you ignorant in regard to the nature of those endowments; the spirit with which they should be received; the rules to which they who are thus favored should be subjected; and the feelings and views which should be cherished in all the members of the church in regard to them. Nothing is of more importance in the church than the doctrine respecting the influences and endowments of the Holy Spirit. – Albert Barnes