1 Corinthians – Chapter 12

Tests of the Spirit’s Control

Verse 1 – Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:

Paul didn’t want any believer to not be taught about spiritual gifts. There are spiritual gifts to the believer that have been powered by the breath of God. Gifts can only move when the Holy spirit breathes on us. These gifts are to benefit the body of Christ. No one owns a gift. They are distributed at the Holy Spirit’s will.

Verse 2 – You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.

Verse 3 – Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

In this day and time there are many false teachers claiming to be speaking for God. The test to prove that they are, is them saying that Jesus is the Son of God and is Lord over all. That comes only from the Holy Spirit which is in them.

Diversity of the Gifts

Verse 4 – Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

Verse 5 – There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.

Verse 6 – And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

One spirit, one, Lord, and one God, working in these divine gifts through believers.

Verse 7 – But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

That which makes plain to be seen or known, is what is meant by manifestation. The Holy Spirit will make Himself known by the people.

Verse 8 – for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,

A word of wisdom is a divine answer or solution for a particular event. To have the word of knowledge, is to know something specific without having learned it by natural means.

Verse 9 – to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,

The gift of faith is a supernatural impartation of belief and confidence for a specific situation. This is a manifestation of a gift from the Holy Spirit that is supernatural! The gift of healings are also supernatural endowments of divine health. This does not mean that anyone person has the gift to heal at will. Some think if this gift manifested once, then they own that gift, not so.

Verse 10 – to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kind of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

The working of miracles is a divine intervention by God, that alters the situation.

Having the gift of prophecy is not just predicting the future; it can also mean preaching God’s Word with power, a message of encouragement.

The discerning of Spirits is someone who has the ability to be aware of a demonic presence. The gift is called “the discerning of spirits,” not the gift of discernment!” Having the gift of discernment is actually a spirit of criticism. These people think that they have God’s opinion. There is nowhere in the Bible a gift called just “discernment.” I will repeat, “IT IS THE GIFT OF DISCERNING SPIRITS.”

Different kinds of tongues – a person talking to God in an unknown language. People can become so confused about speaking in tongues. And that’s because; one, it hasn’t been taught properly; and second because it’s been so abused in churches.

First of all, God is not, I repeat not, going to speak to an individual or a church body, in a language that no one understands! Nowhere in the Bible did God ever speak to a person and that person not understand what He said. This is a gift given to the person, to either glorify God, or give edification to the church! The gift of tongues is tied very close to the gift of prophecy.

Now for the interpretation of tongues. This is not a translation of the message that was given in tongues! This is an understanding of what was just said. It is not word for word, translation. It is the jest of what was said.

When I studied this and realized that these people who stand up in church and start speaking in tongues, and then say, “Thus says the Lord,” that is not true!!!! The message will be from the Holy Spirit to encourage or edify the body of believers. The Holy Spirit moves in any of these gifts through whom He chooses, at His will! A message in tongues is man talking to God, not the other way around.

Verse 11 – But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Importance of All Gifts

Verse 12 – For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

Verse 13 – For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

The church is made up of many types of people from a variety of backgrounds with a multitude of gifts and abilities. It is easy for differences to divide people, but despite the people’s differences, they have one belief in common – Christ.

Verse 14 – For in fact the body is not one member but many.

Verse 15 – If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?

Verse 16 – and if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?

Verse 17 – If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? I the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?

Verse 18 – But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

Verse 19 – And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

If we were made only with any eye, ear, or limb, there would be no body. If there were only apostles, or prophets, or teachers; if there were none but those who spoke with tongues or could interpret them, the church could not function. A verity of gifts and talents in the proper place is as useful as are the various members in the human body.

Verse 20 – But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.

Verse 21 – And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you;” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

Verse 22 – No, much rather, those members of the body which seem weaker are necessary.

We are not to disregard those who don’t have the same gifts as us. When a person thinks the body of believers can’t function without them, that’s spiritual pride.

Verse 23 – And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow great honor; and our un-presentable parts have greater modesty,

God has arranged the body of Christ in such a way that the “less honorable” members are accorded “greater honor.” Humility is a pinnacle value in the kingdom of God.

Verse 24 – But our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it,

Verse 25 – that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

The body should be united and be one harmonious whole with no separate interests, and that all the parts are necessary. No member of any church should be overlooked or despised, but that the whole church should have a deep interest in all members. And we know that this is not true in most churches.

Paul is telling believers that this is the way it should be, but is it? Maybe there are churches that function this way, but I’m sad to say they are far and few. Maybe if pastors would start teaching Scripture again and stop the “Self-help” messages, people would get back to behaving like Paul said we need to .

Verse 26 – And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Our churches have grown so big that the members have become distant from each other. Very few know whether or not a fellow member is suffering from any kind of hardship, and some don’t care to know. I’ve watched 60 faithful members grow into 600 and watched the pastor become arrogant and then the members grew distant, and the whole thing fell apart and despised! Pride of any kind will destroy a church and scatter the sheep.

Verse 27 – Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Verse 28 – And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,, administrations, varieties of tongues.

God is the One who appoints and God is the One who gives power with these gifts. God also has placed individuals with these gifts into the body of believers in order to function properly in bringing the gospel of Christ to the lost!

verse 29 – Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?

Verse 30 – Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

Verse 31 – But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

No one gift is superior to another. We are to desire the gifts that edify the whole body. Gifts without love are useless!!





One comment on “1 Corinthians – Chapter 12

  1. An interesting and valuable study. It is interesting that you define the gift of tongues exclusively as a prayer language. Obviously, the gift of prayer in tongues is the most common kind of tongues within Pentecostal and Charismatic groups. But so far I never have heard said that there could never be such a thing as a message in tongues that would have to be interpreted when delivered in a church service.


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