1 Corinthians 12

1 Corinthians 12 has Paul jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.  He just finished laying out God’s plan for authority and accountability, and certainly wasn’t popular with most everyone who heard the design of God’s headship plan.  But now he dives into the topic of spiritual gifts, another area that has been divisive in the church for centuries. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone”.  My understanding of spiritual gifts breaks the spiritual gifts into three distinct buckets or varieties:

  • Motivational gifts (equipping) – Rom 12:4-8
  • Ministry gifts (service) – Ephesians 4:11–13 and 1 Corinthians 12:27–31
  • Manifestation gifts (activities to bring God glory) – 1 Cor 12:7-11

Paul lists the manifestation gifts specifically:

  • Word of wisdom
  • Word of knowledge
  • Faith
  • Gifts of healing
  • Working of miracles
  • Prophecy
  • Discerning of spirits
  • Diverse kinds of tongues
  • Interpretation of tongues

God works through a believer in a given situation to demonstrate His supernatural power. The Spirit of God is the Source of these gifts, and they are manifested for the benefit of others and to bring God glory.

Churches and those who attend have gotten hung up on spiritual gifts in many ways.  Paul makes it very clear that they are a direct gift from God.  “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills”.  We don’t make them.  We don’t find them.  We simply are given them by God as He desires.  And most importantly, gifts are never given to divide, but to unify us as the body of Christ.  “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit…. God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose”.  Having a certain gift does not make one more important or holy.  God gives out His gifts as He wishes and we merely are the recipient of His blessing and should use whatever gifts He bestows for His glory, not our own.

We need each other to succeed as the Body of Christ.  It is not a solo event where we are off doing our own thing in our own way.  As a member of the Body, God has gifted us with certain spiritual gifts that we might be unified and together accomplish His will and bring His Kingdom to earth.  “But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another”.  We are knit together through our Heavenly Father as Christ Followers and need to realize that we are part of His plan given His gifts to give Him glory.  Whatever gifts we have, we need to use them to unify the body and glorify God!

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bruce Sims on October 30, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Reblogged this on Call 2 Witness.


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