Gifts of the Spirit
1 Corinthians 12
Gifts of the Spirit
1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts.
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God’s will is that his people – those who know and trust his Son Jesus Christ – first discover and then make use of their spiritual gifts [Greek: charismata] to build up and strengthen the church. Spiritual gifts are gifts of God’s grace, given by the Holy Spirit, normally at their baptism. As Christians live out their faith, they are encouraged to discover their God-given potential, and put it to use, in his service. Part of that potential involves natural abilities. Another part of that potential involves spiritual gifts.
The Apostle Paul mentions spiritual gifts several times in his writings – including the Bible text quoted here. The total number of spiritual mentioned in the Scriptures is more than 20. The Scriptures stress each individual has unique gifts. The bottom line is this: As God’s people put these gifts to use, the church – the Apostle Paul calls it the “Body of Christ” – works together in harmony using a divinely given division of labor.