Cor. Chapter 12:1-31
verses for this week: 1
Pet 3:17 For it is
better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing,
than for evil doing.
week in Chapter 11, Paul taught on the need of modesty in women and
the order of the family as God laid it out.
The man is the head of the household as Christ is the head of
the church, and when we accept the Bible’s teaching on this, we
find families that are happy and blessed of the Lord.
Spiritual Gifts in the Body of Christ for Ministry
1 Cor 12:1
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have
1 Cor 12:2
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb
idols, even as ye were led.
Paul had an earnest desire for
the Christians there in Corinth to be familiar with the truth about
“spiritual gifts.” If
there was a need in Paul’s day, how much more do we in this day
and age need to know the truth about this topic.
This is perhaps one of the biggest differences in belief in
churches today. For us to be effective witnesses for Christ, we need to know
the truth concerning the speaking in tongues, and those that
prophesy. If we don’t
know what to expect, we will be led about by every sort of doctrine
and never grow into mature Christians.
Paul reminded these in the church that many of them were at
one time unsaved Gentiles that served dumb idols.
While few would consider it, we have many in America today
serving idols that are just as silly as those figures of gold and
brass. Whether we
worship a thing made by hands, or whether it be a sport or some
possession, anything that takes us away from the service of God is
1 Cor 12:3
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by
the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say
that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
When Paul says that no man can
say that Jesus is Lord except by being led by the Holy Spirit, he is
certainly not saying that some that claim to know Jesus but are
still lost do not exist. There
are many who fill the churches each Sunday that have never
experienced the life changing salvation that Jesus Christ brings.
But all those who truly understand Jesus have been called and
led by the Holy Spirit unto salvation.
6:63 It is the spirit
that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak
unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
6:64 But there are some
of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they
were that believed not, and who should betray him.
6:65 And he said,
Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it
were given unto him of my Father.
7:21 Not every one that
saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
7:22 Many will say to
me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and
in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many
7:23 And then will I
profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work
6:46 And why call ye
me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
We see in these verses people
who said Lord, Lord, but yet were not saved.
If we claim Jesus as our Lord, we should do what He has
1 Cor 12:4
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1 Cor 12:5
And there are differences of administrations, but the same
1 Cor 12:6
And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same
God which worketh all in all.
1 Cor 12:7
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to
In speaking directly of
spiritual gifts, the apostle is talking about our abilities for
service given by the Holy Ghost to us individually.
Verse 4 speaks of how many different gifts there are when it
speaks of diversities of gifts.
But whatever gifts we have, it is due to the Holy Spirit
bestowing them unto us. As there are many gifts, there are many different ways in
which these gifts are used. How
we administer these gifts may be different, but the same Holy Spirit
directs us in this. As
there are different ways of administering the gifts, there are also
many differences of operation… but only one God who works all in
all. These various
manifestations are given “to every man” for the general good of
the whole church. (to
profit withal as it says in verse 7)
1 Cor 12:8
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to
another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1 Cor 12:9
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of
healing by the same Spirit;
1 Cor 12:10
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to
another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues;
to another the interpretation of tongues:
We find nine particular gifts
of the Holy Spirit mentioned in verses 8 through 10.
Some of these are relatively common, while others border on
the miraculous. Even at
this time, if a person possessed these special “miracle gifts”,
he or she was not to consider themselves better or more holy that
others in the church.
When we begin to compare
ourselves one to the other, we will make mistakes.
But when we judge ourselves towards Jesus Christ, then will
be find how fallen and unworthy we truly are.
14:12 So then every one
of us shall give account of himself to God.
14:13 Let us not
therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no
man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's
We found in last week’s
lesson that we need to not consider judging others, but rather we
should judge ourselves. It
seems that the yardstick is substantially longer and more difficult
for our brother to measure up than it is for ourselves.
That is why we must constantly see ourselves with a true
comparison, and that being against the perfect One, Jesus Christ.
Cor 11:31 For if we
would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
God had a special reason for
giving the early day Christians special powers, and it was to
confirm the Word of God. By
the miracles, those who would not believe might turn to Christ for
of those special gifts are not available to us today, although the
same God who healed and raised the dead is on the throne.
When we have enough faith and pray, I know that God grants
special miracles even in our day. But the special gifts like laying on of the hands to heal
someone is no longer in force today.
Each of the gifts mentioned was given by the Holy Spirit. In dispensing spiritual gifts, one person is given the
ability after study to grasp divine teaching.
(the word of knowledge as it is called.) Another is gifted in being able to apply what he knows in a
wise way as it speaks of in verse 8.
Some people are blessed with the gift of faith.
This is not speaking of the faith we have when we are saved,
but a greater type confidence in God to be used for a special work
of the Lord.
1 Cor 12:11
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit,
dividing to every man severally as he will.
Verse 11 tells us that the
Holy Spirit gives these gifts to individuals as it pleases Him. Why God gives certain ones more talent in an area that
others, we may never know in this life.
But God’s sovereign will is perfect, and every thing, both
good and bad in our lives, are used to His honor and glory.
The Body of Christ (the local church) Compared to
the Human Body
1 Cor 12:12
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the
members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is
1 Cor 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether
we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been
all made to drink into one Spirit.
Although our physical body has
many members with diverse functions and duties, it is still one
organism. The church is
the same way. The Lord
gives many members within the one body, but all are different and
many have unique talents that God uses.
Not everyone has a special talent to sing special music, but
some are given this by the Lord. No matter how big or small our talent, God blends it
together to be used to carry out the functions of the church. The person who picks up the trash out of the bathroom
is important. The
teacher who teaches the youngest child in Sunday School is
God blesses different members with talents to be used for His honor
and glory. Verse
13 is one of the most misunderstood verses in the bible.
So many teach that when a person is saved, that the Holy
Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ.
No where in scripture does it mention the Holy Spirit
baptizing of himself. John
the Baptist taught that Jesus
would baptize the church WITH the Holy Ghost.
3:11 I indeed baptize
you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is
mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall
baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Jesus was the one who baptized
the church on the day of Pentecost.
The Holy Ghost was the element he used to do this.
Today, we use water and water only to do baptizing.
If there was more than one baptism,
Ephesians 4:5 would have included it.
4:4 There is one body,
and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
4:5 One Lord, one
faith, one baptism,
4:6 One God and Father
of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
2:1 And when the day of
Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one
2:2 And suddenly there
came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled
all the house where they were sitting.
2:3 And there appeared
unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of
2:4 And they were all
filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues,
as the Spirit gave them utterance.
2:5 And there were
dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under
2:6 Now when this was
noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded,
because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
1 Cor 12:14
For the body is not one member, but many.
1 Cor 12:15
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of
the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1 Cor 12:16
And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not
of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1 Cor 12:17
If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the
whole were hearing,
where were the smelling?
1 Cor 12:18
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the
body, as it hath pleased him.
1 Cor 12:19
And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1 Cor 12:20
But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1 Cor 12:21
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:
nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
As every member of our human
body is important, so is every member of the local church. Not every member of the church can teach a Sunday school
class, but that does not mean that they are not a member of the
church. Just as we have
to have all of our members in the body to be totally functional,
a complete church body is comprised of many members. (Pastor, teachers, deacons, song leader, etc are all needed
to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ.)
If your one and only gift is to come and be in the service,
this is still needful. We
will never know the total impact of our lives on others by our
faithful attendance in God’s house.
You know that it is an encouragement to the pastor, and how
much more to God to see us come and assemble for His honor.
1 Cor 12:22
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be
more feeble, are necessary:
1 Cor 12:23
And those members of the body, which we think to be less
honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our
uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
1 Cor 12:24
For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the
body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which
1 Cor 12:25
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the
members should have the same care one for another.
1 Cor 12:26
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with
it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
Some parts of the body do not
have as much importance as others. Some may seem like feeble
members, but every one of them is needed.
Your ear may not seem too pretty or important, but try and
function without hearing. I
know some people who are deaf do function without being able to
hear, but it takes special effort.
Those that may not seem so important are needful, and no one
has a right to think less of them.
God chose each one, and places us in the body as He sees fit
to make a perfect and complete church.
God himself has tempered the body together, giving to each
part its necessary function.
Those we might think are less attractive have very important
duties to perform. Each
member, doing his or her part, help us to accomplish the work of the
church. What is the least important duty in the church?
Perhaps it is some one who visits the sick, or perhaps the
one who sweeps the floor.
It might be the handy man that fixes a light fixture that is
not working properly. But
God knows that all of these things are important, and we will never
rise to high levels of service until we learn to do the small things
16:10 He that is
faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he
that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
16:11 If therefore ye
have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to
your trust the true riches?
16:12 And if ye have
not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you
that which is your own?
1 Cor 12:27
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
1 Cor 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles,
secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then
gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
1 Cor 12:29
Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all
workers of miracles?
1 Cor 12:30
Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do
1 Cor 12:31
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a
more excellent way.
Most of these gifts are self
explanatory. Some can
teach, others in this day had the ability to heal.
Some could speak in tongues, while others could interpret
those tongues. The term
of governments speaks of those who had positions of leadership and
administration. Those apostles and prophets were set in the church for a
purpose, which was to perfect the saints for a work of ministry.
When everyone is doing their part, we will edify and build up
the church. Paul
closes and tells us to earnestly seek the best gifts, and those are
the ones that God has specifically given to each of us.
No two people are the same, but we can accomplish much when
we put those limited talents in God’s hand, and let the Holy
Spirit direct us in the church.
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