1 Corinthians 12 - Spiritual Gifts
1 Corinthians 12: Spiritual Gifts
1 Corinthians 12:8-10 (KJV) For to one is given by the Spirit
the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same
Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of
healing by the same Spirit; 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:
The Corinthian believers were especially gifted by God (1:4-7),
but some of them were creating problems by using their spiritual
gifts in unspiritual ways. Paul reminded those people of three basic
There is one Lord (1-11). The Spirit glorifies Christ (John
16:14), not Himself. The Spirit gives us gifts so that we can serve
Christ and His church "for the profit of all" (v.7) and not for our own
selfish enjoyment. Have you discovered what the Spirit has given you?
Have you thanked God for it, and are you using your gift(s) under
There is one body (12-31). As members of the same body, we
belong to one another, and we need one another. The believers you think
you can do without may be the ones you need the most! We must
minister to one another and care for one another as one body.
There is one danger (25). When a part of your physical body
declares independence from the other parts, it starts to die and you have
to visit the doctor. Division in the local church brings weakness
and pain (1:10-17) because no Christian can go it alone and be
successful. Do you thank God for fellow Christians and seek to care for
them? [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]
The spiritual gifts given to each person by the Holy Spirit are
special abilities that are to be used to minister to the needs of the
body of believers. This chapter is not an exhaustive list of
spiritual gifts; see Romans 12; Ephesians 4; 1 Peter 4:10-11 for more
examples. There are many gifts, people have different gifts, some people
have more than one gift, and one gift is not superior to another. All
spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit, and their purpose is to build
up Christ's body, the church. [The One Year Bible Companion re 1Co.
The words "spiritual gifts" refer to special abilities given to
believers by the Holy Spirit. These gifts are just that--gifts. Every
believer has at least one spiritual gift to help build the church.
The gifts listed here are not the only gifts God gives; instead,
this gives an idea of the types of gifts. Some gifts help those in
the church to grow closer to Christ; other gifts bring outsiders in;
others give encouragement or comfort.
As a new believer, you may wonder what gift God gave you. You
can find out by (1) being available to God and seeking to serve
others for Christ's sake, (2) helping out in your church when needs
arise, (3) finding out what you're good at and what you enjoy, (4)
asking for feedback from fellow believers. As you serve in various
capacities, your gift will come to the surface.
The church, like a body, needs all the parts working together to
get the job done. So be a willing servant, use your gifts, and help
when needed. The ultimate goal is always that more people will come
to know Jesus. [The One Year Bible for New Believers 1Co.12:4-30]
Were women allowed to prophesy in the early church? Obviously
the Holy Spirit gave the gift of prophecy to both men and women.
Women who prophesied in Old Testament times included Miriam (Exod.
15:20), Deborah (Judg. 4:4), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (Neh.
6:14), and Isaiah's wife (Isa. 8:3). In New Testament times women also
prophesied (see Luke 2:36-38; Acts 2:17; 1 Cor. 11:5). [The One Year Bible
Companion re Acts 21:9]
Why would people prophesy to musical accompaniment? There is
more to prophesying than predicting the future. Prophecy also
involves singing God's praises and preaching God's messages (1 Cor.
14:1ff). Prophets could be musicians, farmers (Amos 1:1), wives (2 Kings
22:14), or leaders (Deut. 34:10)--anyone who boldly and accurately spoke
out for God and tried to bring people back to worshiping him. From a
large group of musicians David chose those who showed an unusual
ability to tell about God and to encourage others in song. [The One Year
Bible Companion re 1Ch.25:1]
The Bible says that God's children have "different gifts for
doing certain things well". You may think to yourself, "I can't stand
up and preach to thousands," or "I'm never going to write a book
that will change lives." That's okay-God doesn't expect every
Christian to preach sermons or to write a best seller! God will use who
you are and the experiences you've had in order to help you make
full use of whatever spiritual gift he has given you. The Bible
describes some of these gifts, such as teaching, showing mercy,
hospitality, and helping others. It is important that we keep the focus of
our abilities on glorifying God. [The One Year Bible for New
Believers re Exo. 35:30, 31]