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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
1 Corinthians 12

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-11

The Diversity of the Gifts - Paul begins this lengthy discourse on the operation of the gifts of the Spirit by explaining their diversity ( 1 Corinthians 12:1-11). He will follow this discussion by explaining their unity and how they work together in perfect unity in the body of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 1:12-31).

The Gifts of the Spirit Listed- The 9-fold gifts of the Spirit are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. These nine gifts are often grouped in three categories by Pentecostals:

1. Gifts of Revelation: The gifts of word of knowledge, word of Wisdom of Solomon , discerning of spirits.

2. Gifts of Utterance: The gifts of tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy.

3. Power Gifts: The gifts of healings, faith and working of miracles.

These nine gifts reveal the divine character of God:

1. God's Mind: The gifts of word of knowledge, word of Wisdom of Solomon , discerning of spirits.

2. God's Voice: The gifts of tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy.

3. God's Power: The gifts of healings, faith and working of miracles.

When comparing the revelation gifts to the gifts of utterance, we can say that a word of knowledge is a revelation of past events or events that are happening now; a word of wisdom is a divine revelation for the present that shows us how to immediately respond to a situation. A prophecy, which is a gift of utterance, would be a spoken revelation of an event that is to occur in the future, while the word of wisdom is an inward knowledge that is not accompanied with the speaking forth of a word of revelation.

Hebrews calls the gifts of the Spirit, "the powers of the world to come." This means that these gifts will operate in us freely in heaven.

Hebrews 6:5, "And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,"

The Gifts Operated in the New Testament Churches- We know from Acts 19:1-7 that the believers at Ephesus were filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and prophesying. We can be pretty certain that the churches in the surrounding region of Ephesus partook of the same, being influenced by this key church. We know from 1 Corinthians 1:4-7; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 that the church at Corinth was operating in the nine-fold gifts of the Spirit. We also see in Galatians 3:5 that the churches throughout Galatia were receiving the Spirit and experiencing miracles. We see in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 that the gift of prophecy was active in the church in Thessalonica. Thus, we can be sure that most, if not all, of the churches that Paul established would be considered "Pentecostal" by modern definition.

The Gifts of the Spirit in the Old Testament- In this list of the nine-fold gifts, or manifestations, of the Holy Spirit, all gifts appear in the Old Testament except the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues. We see the other seven gifts operating throughout the history of the Bible. One reason that the Church has received the gifts of tongues and the interpretation of tongues in this dispensation and not in earlier dispensations is that, today, we are new spiritual creatures serving a spiritual God, adopted into a spiritual kingdom and fighting a spiritual devil. Therefore, we need to be able to pray in the spirit in order walk in victory in this spiritual life.

Comparison of the Gifts in Other Pauline Epistles- When the list of gifts in Romans 12:6-8 is compared to the list given in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 and Ephesians 4:11, there are some differences. In Romans 12, these gifts, or various functions, are emphasized as being various ways of serving one another within the body of Christ. These gifts are manifested when a servant of God yields his life in ministry to help others. Thus, a layman can walk in these gifts. Therefore, the emphasis is on our faith to operate in the gifts because they are gifts that we initiate by Christian service. The list in Romans 12:6-8 is a different list of gifts because these are "ways of serving in the body of Christ," whereas the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 are "manifestations of the Spirit," or gifts that the Holy Spirit initiates.

In 1Corinthians, these gifts are called "manifestations of the Spirit" because it is the Holy Spirit who is the motivator, or the one who initiates these gifts. Thus, the emphasis is on the variety of ways that God works in our lives by the office of the Holy Spirit.

Still further, the gifts listed in Ephesians 4:11 are offices that a person holds in order for Jesus Christ to fulfill all things in all in God's purpose and plan for the Church ( Ephesians 4:10). These gifts, or offices, operate according to "the measure of the gift of Christ." That Isaiah , they are initiated by Christ Jesus our Lord. For example, Paul states, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry." ( 1 Timothy 1:12) In other words, Jesus initiated Paul's calling in the office of an apostle because he had been faithful with the measure of faith that he has used in his Christian service.

The gifts in Romans 12:6-8 are where we begin to operate in the gifts according to our measure of faith as laymen because these are gifts that we initiate in Christian service. Then the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 operate on a greater level of anointing as others see the Holy Spirit manifesting in their lives under those anointings because they are initiated by the Holy Spirit. Finally, God calls those who are faithful with these gifts into fulltime ministry according to the gifts, or offices, listed in Ephesians 4:11. Thus, the gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8 are the gifts that God gives to us in our lives and we are to initiate the operation of these gifts. As we are faithful, God imparts to us greater anointings ( 1 Corinthians 2:8-10) and even full times callings and offices ( Ephesians 4:11). Even the twelve apostles of the Lamb began in serving the Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus said, "Come, follow Me," they forsook all and followed Him. Then God moved upon Him at one point in His earthly ministry to appoint twelve of His disciples whom He called apostles. But they all began in the ministry of helps.

We can also see a development of these gifts from passage to passage. In Romans 12:6-8, we see that the gift of prophecy is initially given to believers to operate at their level of faith. For example, in 1989 I began to lead morning prayer at my work place. One morning the Lord spoke to me and said, "Prophecy what the men of God in the Bible prophesied and pray for your co-workers to be filled with the Holy Spirit," So for the next four years, I took certain verses in the Scriptures and I spoke then over the work place in faith believing. This would be the lowest level of prophecy. Then the next level of prophecy can be seen in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 when the Holy Spirit moves upon us to give a particular word of prophecy. This takes place when the Holy Spirit initiates a prophecy rather than us speaking the word of God in faith. When a person begins to learn how to move by the Holy Spirit in the gift of prophecy on a regular basis, he soon qualifies to enter into the office of the prophet as listed in Ephesians 4:11. However, he is not in this office unless he has a divine calling by Jesus Christ, who initiates this gift and office.

Regarding the gift of teaching mentioned in Romans 12:6-8, when I offered my life in Christian service, I was asked to teach a twelfth grade class in Sunday School. I took on this Christian service with zeal and enjoyed preparing and teaching these young boys and girls. Many years later, I began to teach in Bible School and was given a prophecy by Pastor Dale Gentry, who operates often in the office of a prophet, in April 1994that I was a teacher. I have continued to teach in Bible School and behind the pulpit. I would rather teach than preach.

Regarding the gift of exhortation mentioned in Romans 12:6-8, we find such zeal in young men who eventually find a calling as an evangelist. The gift of giving can also be developed as a person who becomes a wealthy businessman to support the work of Christ. The gifts of ruling and showing mercy fit the heart of a person who may one day become a pastor. Kenneth Hagin sees the gift of governments listed in 1 Corinthians 12:28 as representing the office of a pastor. 153]

153] Kenneth Hagin, He Gave Gifts Unto Men: A Biblical Perspective of Apostles, Prophets, and Pastors (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1992, 1993), 189.

1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

1 Corinthians 12:1"Now concerning spiritual gifts" - Comments - One way that God "speaks" to mankind is through the spiritual gifts. God has used His creation as a witness of His deity.

Romans 1:19-20, "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"

He has sent angels.

Hebrews 2:2, "For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;"

He has used His written Word.

Luke 16:29, "Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them."

He has used His prophets throughout the centuries.

Hebrews 1:1, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,"

He has sent His only begotten Son to testify of the Father.

Hebrews 1:2, "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Song of Solomon , whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"

He has given to us the Holy Spirit to live in us and to guide us.

John 14:16, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;"

In this present day of the Church, the Holy Spirit has given gifts unto the body of Christ as another means of testifying about the true and living God through Jesus Christ the Lord.

God has done everything possible to reveal Himself to a sinful and lost humanity.

1 Corinthians 12:1 — "I would not have you ignorant" - Comments - Smith Wigglesworth says regarding 1 Corinthians 12:1, "When the Holy Spirit says that, He expects us to understand what the gifts are, and He wants us to understand that the church may be able to profit by them." 154]

154] Smith Wigglesworth, Smith Wigglesworth on Spiritual Gifts (New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, c 1998), 23.

I grew up in church without ever being taught correctly on the gifts of the Spirit. It was a great hindrance in my spiritual growth and strength as a young boy ( Hosea 4:6).

Hosea 4:6, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."

The church at Corinth operated in the gifts of the Spirit, as Paul acknowledges in his opening statements of this epistle ( 1 Corinthians 1:4-7)

1 Corinthians 1:4-7, "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:"

The Corinthians needed to be educated in how to operate these gifts. But, as in any large group, there will be those who refuse instruction. Therefore, in his closing remarks on this topic in 1 Corinthians 14:38 Paul says, "But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant." In other words, Paul could not force any person who was not willing to accept these spiritual gifts into their lives.

1 Corinthians 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

1 Corinthians 12:2"Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols" - Comments - Why does Paul make a reference to the fact that the Corinthians were Gentiles that were carried away by these dumb idols, and especially using the word, "these": because chapters 8-11have focused much on idolatry: 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 8:4; 1 Corinthians 8:7; 1 Corinthians 8:10; 1 Corinthians 10:7; 1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Corinthians 10:19; 1 Corinthians 10:28. Paul is contrasting pagan worship practices with corporate Church worship. Prior to their conversion to Christ, the Corinthians were led away from the truth, not towards the truth.

Mankind is by human nature superstitious. They seek supernatural leadership, insight beyond themselves ( Acts 17:22). In the mission field, it is common to find religious people who have embraced both Christian doctrines and local superstitions.

Acts 17:22, "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars" hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious."

These "dumb" idols could not hear, neither could they answer their prayers nor deliver these poor souls from problems. Many people in the world serve similar dead religions that cannot deliver them.

Illustration:

1 Kings 18:25-29, "And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded."

When they pray to their gods, they look for answered prayer through circumstances, or through witchcraft and its demonic manifestations.

A key word in this verse is "dumb." Why would Paul use this particular description of an idol? Because an idol could not hear nor answer the prayers of man. Unbelievers serve gods who cannot respond.

Revelation 9:20, "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:"

Paul makes a similar reference to these dumb idols in his other epistles:

1 Corinthians 8:4, "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one."

Galatians 4:8, "Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods."

Song of Solomon , in this verse, Paul is saying that idols cannot communicate nor respond, being speechless and not an existing creature. Note a similar statement to the church at Thessalonica.

1 Thessalonians 1:9, "For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;"

"even as ye were led" - Comments- As Gentiles, whenever leadership came into their lives, it was in the form of idolatry. Note that the context of chapter 12is about the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including the gifts of utterance. So these Gentiles had sought leadership for their lives through the supernatural. When they were led as Gentiles, it was by the idols, which led them astray in deception.

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 12:3Comments- When the genuine gifts of the Spirit speak in utterance, they will not call Jesus accursed, but they will acknowledge Jesus as "Lord." The other gifts will uplift Jesus Christ, and not self.

God is not speechless like those idols, but He speaks to us today. Paul wants them to be careful and not be led stray as Christians, as they were when they sought idols. So Paul lays some guidelines as to how to know whether the utterances of these gifts are of God or not. (Note how God spoken in Hebrews 1:1).

Hebrews 1:1, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,"

Even heathen are superstitious. In their idolatrous worship, they experienced the supernatural. Words of utterance were given. People spoke with familiar spirits. Paul gives them an easy guideline to discern between these utterances. Those utterances of the Spirit of God will lift up Jesus Christ.

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Matthew 16:15-17, "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."

Mark 9:39, "But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me."

1 John 4:2, "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:"

1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:4Word Study on "diversities" - Strong says the Greek word ( διαίρεσις) (G 1243) means, "distinction, variety."

1 Corinthians 12:4Word Study on "gifts" - Strong says the Greek word "gifts" "charisma" ( χά ρισμα) (G 5486) means, "gifts" as "a (divine) gratuity, a (spiritual) endowment."

The Greek word χά ρισμα (gifts) comes from "charis" ( χά ρις) (G 5485), which Strong defines as "graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act." It is normally defined as "grace." Divine grace is often called "God's unmerited favor."

Thus, one preacher says that the gifts of the Spirit are simply God's favor in action.

1 Corinthians 12:4Comments- 1 Corinthians 12:4 explains that regardless of what gift is operating, it is operating by the same Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:5"And there are differences of administrations" - Comments- There are "different types of ministries." BDAG says this phrase refers to service here, meaning, "especially of the service, office of the prophets and apostles." The Greek word ( διακονία) (G 1248) is used in the following verses:

Acts 1:17, "For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry."

Acts 1:25, "That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place."

1 Timothy 1:12, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;"

The Greek word ( διακονία) (G 1248) is used also for all saints who minister in various ways.

Ephesians 4:12, "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"

1 Corinthians 12:5"but the same Lord" - Comments- In whatever ministry one is serving, he is serving the same Lord Jesus Christ ( 1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23).

1 Corinthians 3:5, "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?"

1 Corinthians 3:9, "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God"s husbandry, ye are God"s building."

1 Corinthians 3:21-23, "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ"s; and Christ is God"s."

1 Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

1 Corinthians 12:6And there are diversities of operations" - Word Study on "operations" - Strong says the Greek word "operations" ( ἐνέργημα) (G 1755) means, "an effect." "displays of activities."

Comments- There are many types of displays of activities. For example, healing takes place many ways in the Gospels. God operates his divine power in many various ways.

1 Corinthians 12:6Comments- Many things are happening in the kingdom of God; souls are being saved, miracles and gifts are being operated by the Holy Ghost, ministers are laboring for Jesus, etc. All of these things are happening because of one God, who is working all of these activities in every person in order to fulfill His plan of redemption and to bring Him glory.

1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

1 Corinthians 12:7Comments- Every time a manifestation of the Holy Spirit is operating, it is given by God for the profit of all. It is not to lift up any Prayer of Manasseh , through whom the gift is operating.

1 Corinthians 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 Corinthians 12:8 — "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom" - Comments- Note that this phrase reads, "a word of Wisdom of Solomon ," and not simply, "wisdom." This means that God gives someone just a word, and not a volume of insight. This is not a gift of Wisdom of Solomon , but it is a particular word for a particular situation. Kenneth Hagin defines the word of wisdom as "a supernatural revelation by the Spirit of God concerning the divine plan and purpose in the mind and will of God." 155] The revelation gives of the word of Wisdom of Solomon , the word of knowledge and the discerning of spirit can be manifested in various ways. It may be manifested through a dream, a vision, or it may come as a word or something seen, or it may be manifested as a feeling we sense in our bodies. Or, it may be revealed by the audible voice of the Holy Spirit.

155] Kenneth Hagin, Following God's Plan For Your Life (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1993, 1994), 124.

A word of wisdom always speaks of the future, while a word of knowledge speaks of something that has happened in the past or is currently happening. Examples of a word of wisdom in Scripture are:

Genesis 6:14, "Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch."

Matthew 1:20, "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."

Matthew 17:27, "Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee."

Matthew 21:2-3, "Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them."

Acts 9:11-12, "And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight."

Acts 27:31, "Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved."

1 Corinthians 12:8"to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit" - Comments- A word of knowledge is a revelation of past events or events that are happening now.

Illustrations:

1 Kings 14:5, "And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman."

1 Kings 19:18, "Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him."

2 Kings 5:26, "And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?"

2 Kings 6:12, "And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber."

John 4:17, "The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:"

Acts 10:19-20, "While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them."

Acts 20:38, "Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship."

Note that God hid His word of knowledge from Elisha in 2 Kings 4:27.

2 Kings 4:27, "And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehaz 1Came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me."

1 Corinthians 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

1 Corinthians 12:9 — "To another faith by the same Spirit" - Comments- Kenneth Hagin calls this gift by the phrase "special faith" in an effort to distinguish it from the common faith that we walk in daily as a believer. 156]

156] Kenneth Hagin, Concerning Spiritual Gifts (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1986, 1995), 76-9; Kenneth Hagin, Plans Purposes and Pursuits (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 65.

There are different levels of faith in our lives. There is natural faith, when we know that if we plant a seed in the ground, it will grow a plant. Then there is a higher level of faith that we walk in when we are born again through the atonement of Jesus Christ when we believe in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. As God's children, we also grow in faith for God"s provision and healing. However, the highest level of faith is the gift of faith. This is faith for a particular event that benefits others and brings glory to God. This gift would involve a confession of faith beyond the expected Christian faith. The gift of faith would be initiated by a "rhema" word from God, when God speaks to a man or woman about a particular issue, and that child of God speaks forth God's Word and steps forward in obedience.

Illustrations: Some of the greatest feats of man in the Scriptures would be as follows:

Abraham rescues Lot with 318 men against five kings.

Moses calling down the ten plagues of Egypt.

Joshua 10:12-14, "Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel."

Elijah on Mount Carmel.

Daniel in the lion"s den.

The three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace.

Jesus feeds the five thousand and the four thousand.

Mark 4:39, "And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."

Mark 11:22-24, "And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

John 11:43, "And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth."

Acts 3:6-7, "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength."

Acts 27:21-26, "But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man"s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I Amos , and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island."

The gift of faith seems to generally be preceded by a "rhema" Word from God. This Word settles into a man's spirit, and faith rises to a supernatural level. For example, a group of about four Ugandan pastors and I received Reinhard Bonnke

1 Corinthians 12:9"to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit" - Comments- In the Greek, both of these words are in the plural form ( χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων). This is because there are different types of gifts for healing. One person may cast out devils, another gift is to make the maimed whole and another is to heal a particular type of disease, etc. 157]

157] Kenneth Hagin, The Holy Spirit and His Gifts (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1991, 1994), 117.

These healings did not involve an initial faith from the one who received a healing, because it was the gift of healing involved.

Notice that this verse does not limit the gifts of healing to physical healing. In Luke 4:18-19, we see that inner healing as well as physical healing is a part of the Gospel.

Luke 4:18-19, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

Illustrations:

1. Healing of the man with the withered hand- Mark 3:1-6

2. Healing of the woman with spirit of infirmity- Luke 13:11-17

3. Healing of the man with the dropsy- Luke 14:1-6

1 Corinthians 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:

1 Corinthians 12:10 — "To another the working of miracles" - Illustrations:

Jesus turns the water to wine- John 2:1-11

Jesus and Peter walking on the water- Matthew 14:26-32

The catch of fish- Luke 5:1-11

Acts 5:12, "And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon"s porch."

Acts 5:15, "Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them."

Acts 8:6, "And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did."

Acts 8:39, "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philippians , that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."

Acts 19:11, "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:"

Paul shakes off a snakebite- Acts 28:3-6

1 Corinthians 12:10 — "to another prophecy" - Comments- The first time I heard a word of prophecy was as a Southern Baptist seminary student. I was attending a Friday all night prayer meeting. About 4:00 A.M. in the morning, a young seminary student came in and gave a word of prophecy. I asked the Lord if I Could meet this young man and discuss with him this gift. On the next Monday morning, between classes, I sat down outside against a building on campus. To my surprise, this same young man came and sat down beside me. I took this divine appointment and answer to prayer to ask him how the gift of prophecy worked in his life. The Lord is concerned about training us in the ministry.

Illustrations- Illustrations of the gift of prophecy:

Matthew 24:5, "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."

Acts 21:11, "And when he was come unto us, he took Paul"s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles."

1 Corinthians 12:10"to another discerning of spirits" - Comments - We may say, "a distinguishing, or differentiating of spirits." There are three areas that man has supernaturally seen into the spirit realm. This is the heavenly and angelic realm, the demonic realm and the human spirit.

Illustrations- Note the following illustrations:

(1) Angels- My mother has seen an army of angels marching past her during a time in her life when she was under hospital care. My wife has seen angels in dreams. Also,

Acts 10:3, "He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius."

Acts 27:23, "For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I Amos , and whom I serve,"

(2) Demons- In 1988, my brother Steve was working in a furniture story. While he was in an enclosed spray room, a demon appeared behind him and said, "Get out, this is my place." Steve, being a Christian, turned around and said, "No, you get out in the name of Jesus." My brother quickly rehearsed this vision to the owner of the company. He quickly called in his wife to hear Steve"s story while Steve told them what the demon looked like. The storeowner then explained to Steve that a warlock gave his mother a statue of this demon when he was a boy. He said that this particular demon had appeared to him many times and had driven him into violent acts against other humans. Also, we see Paul casting out a spirit of divination

Acts 16:16, "And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:"

(3) Human Spirit- Note how Jesus was able to discern the motive of men's hearts.

Matthew 9:4, "And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?"

Matthew 12:25, "And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:"

Mark 8:33, "But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men."

Luke 24:38, "And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?"

Acts 5:3, "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?"

Acts 8:23, "For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."

Acts 13:9-10, "Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?"

Also, there have been two occasions in my life when I perceived that an individual was possessed with demons. Both of these experiences were confirmed at a later time.


Verses 1-31

The Spiritual Gifts Explained - In 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 Paul the apostle will explain the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Corinthians.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Diversity of the Gifts — 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

2. The Unity of the Gifts — 1 Corinthians 12:12-31


Verses 1-40

Paul Speaks Concerning Spiritual Gifts - In 1 Corinthians 12:1 to 1 Corinthians 14:40 Paul teaches the church at Corinth about the operations of the gifts of the Spirit. Although chapters 12-14deal at length with the operation of the gifts of Spirit, other churches founded by Paul operated in these gifts as well. We note in Acts 20:23 that "the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city," which means that the gifts of utterance were operating in every church that Paul was visiting.

Also, it is important to note that Paul deals with unity in the body of Christ in the first eleven chapters before he teaches on the operation and manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in chapters 12-14. One reason is that the love walk that Paul emphasizes in chapter 13must be in a person's life in order to maintain the work of the Holy Spirit. When we stop walking in love, the Holy Spirit eventually stops manifesting in and through our lives.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Spiritual Gifts Explained — 1 Corinthians 12:1-31

2. The Motive of the Operation of the Gifts — 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

3. The Gifts of Utterance — 1 Corinthians 14:1-40

The Gifts of the Spirit and the Love Walk- After Paul deals with idolatry and false gods who cannot speak or hear in chapters 8-11, he now turns to the true and living God in chapters 12-14. Here, we see the contrast between the foolishness of idolatry compared to serving the living God, who speaks to His people and manifests Himself in marvelous ways.

Chapter 12discusses the gifts of the Spirit and how they operate with unity in the body of Christ. Chapter 14discusses the manifestation of the three gifts of utterance, prophecy, tongues and the interpretation of tongues, and how they should operate in a church service. Paul spends much more time on these three gifts of utterance because they are the most easily abused. Finally, Paul balances this teaching with a passage explaining the importance of walking in love as the motive in exercising the gifts in chapter 13. If the gifts are not used in love, then they are of no value to the body of Christ.


Verses 12-31

The Unity of the Gifts of the Spirit in the Body of Christ - After explaining the diversity of the gifts of the Spirit ( 1 Corinthians 12:1-11), Paul then begins to explain how God's operations are in unity and agreement and how they work together for the good of all. God's operations do not conflict and bring divisions and conflicting teachings.

1 Corinthians 12:13"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" - Comments - There are three baptisms in New Testament Church. (1) There is the baptism into the body of Christ at the time of salvation. (2) There is water baptism as an outward testimony of one's salvation experience. (3) There is the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues subsequent to the salvation experience. 1 Corinthians 12:13 refers to the baptism into the body of Christ by the experience of salvation. Romans 6:5 states the same thing in another way.

Romans 6:5, "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:"

1 Corinthians 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.

1 Corinthians 12:22Word Study on "more feeble" - Strong says the Greek word "feeble" ( ἀσθένεια) (G 769) means, "feebleness (of body or mind)," and it implies "malady, frailty." BDAG says it is used figuratively in this verse to mean, "weak, feeble" (BDAG).

1 Corinthians 12:23Comments- We all have parts of our body that are well shaped and look good and we also have parts that are poorly shaped, which we want to hide. We tend to dress so that our comely parts are exposed and our uncomely parts are hidden. Therefore, we attempt to dress our uncomely parts so that they appear comely. For example, if our toes are not well shaped, we tend to wear pretty shoes. If we have a scar on our body, we cover it with clothing. If we are blind, we often wear dark glasses to cover our eyes. A man with strong arms will wear shirts that show his strength. A skinny man will wear clothes that hide his weakness.

So is it in the body of Christ. We should attempt to give attention and the proper honor to the weaker members of our congregation so that our entire church looks comely in the eyes of the Lord. If we despise the weaker members, then we become a divided church, which makes the body of believers less functional for the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 12:28Word Study on "teachers" - BDAG says the Greek word "teacher" ( διδά σκαλος) (G 1320) means, "a teacher, master." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 58 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "Master (Jesus) 40, teacher 10, master 7, doctor 1."

1 Corinthians 12:28Word Study on "helps" - BDAG says the Greek word "helps" ( ἀντίληψις) (G 484) means, "help, helpful deeds." It is used only one time in the New Testament being translated in the KJV as "helps." Strong say it comes from the Greek verb ( ἀντιλαμβάνομαι) (G 482), which means, "to take someone's part, help, come to the aid of." Webster says the English word "help" means "to aid; to assist."

Comments- Each gift has an anointing. Even the ministry of helps comes with an anointing. Romans 12:6 says, "gifts differing according to the grace that is given." The word "grace" can easily be translated "anointing." Within the context of the epistle of 1Corinthians, the phrase "the grace of God" refers to the operations of the gifts of the Spirit. In fact, some of the early Church fathers will use the Greek word χάρις (grace) when speaking of the charismatic gifts of the Spirit.

Romans 12:6, "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;"

Illustrations: the Building of the Tabernacle- Old Testament illustrations of divine giftings are found in the book of Exodus , when God anointed several people to build the tabernacle. When God anointed people to build the tabernacle, He did not choose the Levites, but men of other tribes, who were helping to build the tabernacle.

Exodus 28:3, "And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of Wisdom of Solomon , that they may make Aaron"s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest"s office."

Exodus 31:3, "And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in Wisdom of Solomon , and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,"

Exodus 31:6, "And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put Wisdom of Solomon , that they may make all that I have commanded thee;"

Illustrations: David's Mighty Men- In 2Samuel 23, we see how David"s thirty men partook of his anointing as they helped King David. King Saul is a type and figure of man attempting to establish God's kingdom in the flesh, but failed. David is an example of how God accomplishes His plans and purposes by the Spirit. Although many of the men listed in this passage are mentioned nowhere else in the Scriptures, it reveals to us that David could not have accomplished what he did without these brave men and their courageous feats of victory. David had gone into exile with about six hundred men ( 1 Samuel 23:13). Of these men, about thirty of them learned to partake of David's anointing and became mighty men of war as their leader. When we read about the feats that some of the most anointed men accomplished in the following passage of Scripture, we find a clue as to why some of them were able to partake of David's anointing. These were men who were willing to give up their very lives for David their king. Such a willingness to serve and give one's life in behalf of God's servants opens the door of one's heart to receive from the same anointing that David walked in. We see this displayed as bravery to stand against the enemy. Within their hearts, they had given themselves a sentence of death to their own will in order to accomplish the will of their king and their people. Such were those who because qualified for an anointing.

Illustrations: Solomon's Glorious Kingdom- Another example of the anointing that comes with the ministry of helps can be seen in the ministry of King Solomon and Temple worship. In 2 Chronicles 9:1-9 the queen of Sheba saw something so magnificent that she became speechless. She saw the king's servants ministering in each of their offices with joy and under the anointing. She saw a Temple that was built and designed under the inspiration of divine ideas. Its artwork and craftsmanship were unique upon the earth and had never been done before. She met a king in which the Spirit and wisdom of God dwelt. It took her breath away. King Solomon's servants were happy. This happiness, or joy, is an outward sign of the anointing. When I first began to work as an altar worker in the ministry of helps, I used to enjoy going to church and serving in this capacity. I eventually learned that this happiness or joy that I felt was because I was serving in an anointing in the ministry of helps.

2 Chronicles 9:7-8, "Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice."

Illustrations: Jesus Feeds the Multitudes- Another illustration is found when the twelve apostles helped Jesus feed five thousand. Also note the principle of the ministry of helps seen in this story. The twelve disciples were helping Jesus to distribute the bread. As the blessing and anointing was flowing through Jesus Christ to bread the bread, so was this anointing imparted unto the disciples as they took of this bread and broke it and saw it multiply by their hands. This story teaches us that there is an anointing imparted as we serve in the ministry of helps.

Illustrations: The First Deacons- A New Testament illustration of the gift of helps is found in Acts 6:1-7, when the apostles chose the first deacons to serve tables.

1 Corinthians 12:28Word Study on "governments" - Strong says the Greek word "governments" ( κυβέ ρνησις) (G 2941) means, "pilotage, directorship." It is used only one time in the New Testament. Strong says it comes from the Greek word " κυβέ ρναω," which means, "to steer." Kenneth Hagin teaches that this particular word within the context of this passage describes the office of a pastor, whose job is to oversee the local church. 158] I believe that the elders of the early church also served in this capacity of government along with the local pastor.

158] Kenneth Hagin, He Gave Gifts Unto Men: A Biblical Perspective of Apostles, Prophets, and Pastors (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1992, 1993), 191.

1 Corinthians 12:28Comments- We can see the five-fold ministry within this list of ministry gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:28-30. The office of the apostle, prophet, and teacher are clearly listed at the beginning of this passage of Scripture. However, the office of the evangelist and pastor are not listed, but rather can be seen in the gifts and anointings that confirm their offices. For example, an evangelist is confirmed through the regular manifestation of miracles and healings; for these two gifts most clearly distinguish the anointing as an evangelist. The deacons can be seen in the gift of helps, which gift can progress into the office of a pastor. We can then see the office of a pastor and even the elders within the gift of governments. We know that the gifts of utterance are generally a part of the office of a pastor, who often moves with the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues and most certainly is the one who oversees their use within the congregation.

We must ask the question of why Paul lists three offices of the five-fold ministry (apostle, prophet, and teacher) and only allude to the evangelist and pastor. I see two possible reasons, which perhaps lies in the role that God gave Paul the apostle, which was to lay down the doctrines of the New Testament Church. Within this task was the responsibility of identifying the five-fold offices. (1) It is possible that this identification, or recognition, was progressive, rather than a single event, so that Paul did not know the other two offices at the time of writing his epistles to the Corinthians. (2) Or, it is possible that Paul is listing in this passage some of the gifts that identify a ministry rather than the office name of evangelist and of pastor because he is emphasizing the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in chapter 12rather than the titles of their offices, which he lists in Ephesians 4:11. We do read in 1 Corinthians 12:7 that the 9-fold gifts are "manifestations of the Spirit," being initiated by the Holy Ghost at his own will.

Certain church denominations only recognize the offices of the evangelist, pastor, and teacher as operating within the body of Christ in modern days, and they teach that the office of the apostle and prophet ended with the early church. Kenneth Hagin uses Ephesians 4:11-13 to clearly explain that Christ Jesus set the five-fold ministry in the body of Christ "until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect Prayer of Manasseh , unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." 159] We must acknowledge that the body of Christ has not yet come into the full measure of the stature of Christ". Therefore, the five-fold ministry has not ceased to function within the body of Christ.

159] Kenneth Hagin, He Gave Gifts Unto Men: A Biblical Perspective of Apostles, Prophets, and Pastors (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1992, 1993), 2-3.

On the other extreme, Hagin also explains how some ministers used 1 Corinthians 12:28 to say that every local church must have the five-fold ministry on staff with the apostle and prophet having authority over the pastor, which is also an error. 160] This teaching goes to the extreme in the other direction. He explains that the pastor is the leader of the local church and that the description of "first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers" was not intended to describe rank and authority within the local church. One of the clearest examples to show that the apostle does not have authority over his local pastor is seen in Acts 15:1-35 at the first Jerusalem council in which the apostles and elders were asked to determine the status of the Gentile converts. We read in Acts 15:13-21 how James , the pastor over the church made the decision of how to receive the Gentiles into the congregation. When James spoke, the twelve apostles of the Lamb and elders submitted to his decision. We see in Acts 15:52 that there were prophets and teachers who also submitted to this decision. This story gives us a clear example of how the pastor carries the authority over the local church. Therefore, the words "first, secondarily, thirdly" in this verse do not refer to a hierarchy of church government.

160] Kenneth Hagin, He Gave Gifts Unto Men: A Biblical Perspective of Apostles, Prophets, and Pastors (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1992, 1993), 17.

I believe that the words, "first, secondarily, thirdly" are used to describe the "order" in which Christ Jesus introduced these ministries into the early New Testament church, or into the body of Christ which is referred to in the previous verse. This is what the verse literally says when it reads, "God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, …" Paul lists the five-fold ministry gifts again in Ephesians 4:11, but in a different order. Although we do not see a chronological order as clearly as we would like to see within Scriptures in which these ministry gifts were given to the body of Christ, we do have this order indicated in 1 Corinthians 12:28 when it says, "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." The first office of the New Testament Church was that of the apostle. Jesus Christ ordained twelve men in this ministry office prior to His ascension into Heaven. In Acts 11:27 we read about the office of the prophet in the church in Jerusalem, of which Agabus was the most prominent ( Acts 11:28; Acts 21:10). We see in Acts 13:1 the office of the teacher being recognized in the church of Antioch. Thus, we have an order in which these first three offices of the five-fold ministry were placed into the New Testament Church. Paul discusses this order in 1 Corinthians 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." The office of the evangelist will be recognized later in the lives of Philip ( Acts 21:8) and Timothy ( 2 Timothy 4:5). Paul will begin to ordain elders and pastors to oversee his churches, which is the final office that the New Testament church will recognize. Song of Solomon , we do have somewhat of a chronological order laid out in the New Testament.

Acts 13:1, "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul."

Acts 15:32, "And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them."

Acts 21:8, "And the next day we that were of Paul"s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him."

This order of ministries could not have been given as ranks. Kenneth Hagin notes that the office of teacher is listed third in 1 Corinthians 12:28 and last in Ephesians 4:11. Also, he notes that the ministry of helps is listed before church governments, which cannot refer to ranks. 161]

161] Kenneth Hagin, He Gave Gifts Unto Men: A Biblical Perspective of Apostles, Prophets, and Pastors (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1992, 1993), 187-91.

1 Corinthians 12:29-30Comments - The Distribution of the Gifts in the Body of Christ- After Paul explains the uniqueness of each member of the body of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 12:27-28), he then asks the rhetorical question, "Are all members (within the body of Christ) apostles, are all members (within the body of Christ) prophets, etc." ( 1 Corinthians 12:29-30) In other words, Paul is saying that each member has unique gifts, which are distributed by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 12:31"and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way" - Comments - The gifts described in 1Corinthians 12, 14are to be used in a loving way. They are not to be abused, nor used to offend others nor used for the sake of pride. Therefore, Paul follows his description of the gifts of the Spirit by teaching on the love walk, which he alludes to in his statement that the members should have the same care one for another ( 1 Corinthians 12:25). Before the gifts of the Spirit were given to the Church on the day of Pentecost, the virtues of faith, hope and love had been working in the lives of believers from the beginning of man"s creation. These virtues will be a part of our lives, long after the end of this Church age, long after these gifts cease to exist. Faith, hope, and love will operate in our lives throughout eternity. The gifts of the Spirit exhort and edify us to walk in love, but they are not the ends in themselves. The goal is not just to manifest the gifts, but to use these to bring about a walk of love in us and in the lives of the believers. That Isaiah , Paul is about to show them a greater way to live than the seeking of even the best gifts.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/1-corinthians-12.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, August 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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