Spiritual Gifts - 1 Corinthians 12

Spiritual Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:1-31

Paul addressed the brethren at Corinth as carnal.  "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ."  1 Corinthians 3:1.  This presented a challenge, because he didn't want them to be ignorant of spiritual gifts.  In the past they had been stupid Gentiles, misled by idols of all things.

The apostle begins by mentioning diversities of gifts, differences of ministries, and diversities of activities.  The gifts are mentioned in verses 8-10.  They are the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. 

Every believer has a spiritual gift.  The Holy Spirit distributes them "to each one individually as He wills."  We don't get to pick and choose our spiritual gift.  Certain gifts may be coveted.  We may pray for a gift, but the Spirit of God decides who gets what.  What is your gift?

Gifts are given for use in ministry.  In Romans 12 we find a list of ministerial gifts.  "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry...ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness." 

Ministries are as diverse as body parts.  "For in fact the body is not one member but many."  There's the hand, the foot, the eye, the ear, and so forth.  They all have a different function.  What is your gift of ministry?  Are you a teacher, an exhorter, a giver, a leader?  What is your part?

You have a gift and a ministry.  They should be displayed in various activities.  What are you doing in the service of the Lord?  Is God active in your life, working through you?  Is there a "manifestation of the Spirit" in your church, and in your life? 

Spiritual gifts distributed to individuals are given to profit the body of Christ, the church.  The diversity of the gifts, ministries, and activities are mentioned together with the unity of the body.  In God's scheme of things this ministry of the Holy Spirit should bring churches together.  How strange that many churches are divided over spiritual gifts! 

God would say to us, "I would not have you to be ignorant."   

 

Giver of good and perfect gifts, we bow before You and offer our thanks.  You know what is best for the body of Christ and us.  Make us a spiritual people.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

The Love of God - 1 Corinthians 13

 
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