Are we able to impart our own spiritual gifts on others? That seemed to be what Paul was doing here.

Romans 9:1-11 ESV For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.

I'm looking for answers supported by scripture.

Are there churches that regularly practice this? Are there any other examples in scripture that imply this?

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    according to who? Jul 14, 2014 at 13:57
  • If you haven't already seen it, you may find my answer to this other question interesting. Jul 14, 2014 at 14:07
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    Basically, yes, Biblically speaking, the Apostles definitely had some capacity to impart spiritual gifts. Whether or not non-apostles had that capacity, or if the capacity is still granted to anyone today, that will differ depending upon who you talk to, since the Bible is unclear on the matter. As far as denominations who do think that the capacity to impart gifts still exists today, the only one I'm aware of are Mormons (see this answer). There may very well be others though. It would not surprise me. Jul 14, 2014 at 14:13
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    Do you see how this question, as currently worded, will give opinion answers, not factual answers?
    – fгedsbend
    Jul 14, 2014 at 14:54
  • @fredsbend I kinda see that now. Updated.
    – LCIII
    Jul 14, 2014 at 15:18

3 Answers 3


1 Corinthians 12 indicates in a number of passages that the gifts can only be given according to God's will - and His only (I'll cite 3). There are some indications as well that not everyone will have one of these gifts.

Mormonism, as well as some Charismatics and WoF teachers (all based on my experience with both FLDS/LDS as well as frequent interaction with Charismatics/WoF), teaches these gifts can be imparted with the laying of hands or made manifest through baptism. Important to note, however, that a very large majority of these focus on the speaking of tongues, and (from a Linguists perspective) many do not.

1 Cor 12:11 (Concerning Spiritual Gifts)

"All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually has He wills."


"But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose."


Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

The Apostles, yes, were given the gift to pass on the Spiritual Gifts - and this, too, was a Gift from the Lord Himself:

Acts 8 we see a man try to use money to pay the Apostles to lay there hands on him, to which Peter replies, in verse 20:

But Peter said unto him, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money."

We see, through Scripture, that the gifts can only be made manifest by God's will. The Apostles, under very special command (Jesus, the Lord in the flesh), were able to impart these gifts by laying their hands on people.

  • Regarding how it works in the LDS Church, during a blessing, the blesser may bless a person with a spiritual gift, or make such gifts they already have known. Since blessing are spoken according to the Holy Ghost though, the spiritual gift is from God, and given according to the will of God. In particular, the blesser does not need to have the gift themselves (since they aren't the origin of the gift).
    – PyRulez
    May 15, 2018 at 0:45

Most, if not all, Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations, churches and para-church ministries believe that, while Christ is the ultimate giver of every spiritual gift through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, humans can be intermediary agents in the transmission of these gifts.

This is according to their understanding of the biblical doctrine of 'Laying on of hands' (cf. Hebrews 6:2) and wider pneumatological issues.

A (possibly large, but difficult to define) subset of these groups, believe in a distinct nuance of this doctrine called 'transference of anointing' which in most formulations is a similar but not exact match for 'giving your own spiritual gifts for others'.

The similarities are that the gift in operation from the receiver can bear striking characteristics of the gift in operation of the transmitter; the differences being that not everything associated with the gift can be imparted that way - particularly the experience of operation of the transmitter as well as their character etc. - and any sense of 'commodifying' the Holy Spirit would (or at least should) be denied - it is still Christ who ultimately determines who receives what, not us and receiving is by grace through faith - any mechanical aspects of the process are subordinate to these overiding principles.

Frequently, the concept is not limited to just the laying on of hands, but also transference via mere proximity as well as objects and places - the main issue seems to be some contact point as a faith trigger for the recipient.

While there are many that regard this as false doctrine (example), even equating it with witchcraft in some instances, there is a certain level of biblical support for it:

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands - 2 Timothy 1:6 ESV

And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. - Acts 19:11-12 ESV

(cf. also Elisha & Elijah, the woman with the issue of blood, Peter's shadow, Ananias - an ordinary believer - laying hands on Paul)

Here is a site where many aspects of the teaching associated with 'transference of anointing' are summarized.


Regarding Ministry Callings and Gifts

If God has not first given such impartation to you i.e. "gift" as being your calling, NO man can impart any spiritual gift to you without it being the will of God.

Paul conveyed the confirmation of such given by God, he (Paul) is not God and did not have the right to give what is not given first by God. Otherwise, it would be like someone saying I don't want to be this color make me of a different race.

Jeremiah1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

God has already appointed what we are gifted with and what is our calling in ministry is. We as Christians need to pray and seek out the matter instead of kicking against the goad to be like other, a round peg in a square hole. Too many people are walking around calling themselves Apostles, and Prophets when they can't even balance their checkbooks, nor know who much is even in their account.

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. For more on what this site is all about, see: How we are different than other sites. Meanwhile, I hope you'll browse some of the other questions and answers on this site. May 16, 2018 at 2:11
  • Your wall of text presentation was a bit tough to read, so I reformatted your answer. Please review to make sure your meaning was not disturbed by the edit, and edit it again if there's any mistake. May 16, 2018 at 19:11

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