The American Wisdom Series

1 Corinthians

Chapter 12

Caution to students of God's Word - Please remember two things when using our studies: #1. Our commentary is not God's Word. It is only our interpretation or understanding of "His Word" and even though we try our best to be accurate we may or may not be correct. #2. The King James translation, or any other translation, of the original Hebrew text has some words which were given different translations at different places probably because of the interpreters preconceived ideas of what they think God meant to say. For example: According to the notes in the "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible" the Hebrew word hayah in the KJV is Trans. (became) 67 times, (becamest or came to pass) 505 times, (become) 66 times, and (come to pass) 131 times, but for some reason in Genesis 1:2 it is translated (was)! That sure changes the way a person perceives the original creation of the earth, doesn't it?  Gen. 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, ... Having said that, let us continue with our "Key Knowledge" lessons. These are pamphlets containing knowledge, we believe, you must have to fully and accurately unlock and understand the Word of God.

John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:13-14
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

This Bible Study was originally written by Roger Christopherson,
 published at 

 and now edited by people at
The American Wisdom Series  

Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.

Now here is our study of:

1 Corinthians

Chapter 12

"Spiritual Gifts."

The books of first and second Corinthians will answer most of the questions that Christians have about Christianity, and the life that we are to live. These are doctrinal books and we have just finished the chapter that deals with the Holy Communion, and now Paul is going to address our spiritual life deeper in a spiritual sense. This chapter will take a deeper look into the workings of the Holy Spirit.

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

The word "gifts" has been added here, which is not in the manuscripts. It would be better translated "spiritual things". Paul is speaking of and looking to the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. It is the inner workings of the Holy Spirit here on earth after Jesus Christ had ascended to heaven and returned to the Father. The Holy Spirit is the answer to that promise that Jesus made to us, that after he is gone He would send us the "Comforter."

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

Lets take a closer look at the word "abide" as it is given here. In the Strongs Greek dictionary it is # 3306 and has the same prime word for "mansions". The word is "mone". The "mansions" and the word "abide" are the place where we rest in peace, and "abide" in, and this verb is telling us how to do our resting. Friend, the Comforter is the Holy Spirit, and God's Holy Spirit will allow you to have the rest in those mansions, or resting places, when we "abide" or allow the Spirit to do the directing within your heart, your soul and mind. We need to study His Word, for it gives us the direction that the Holy Sprit will lead us in. We do not have to wait until death to enjoy our mansions, or rest,  for it is here and now, with the Spirit of the Living God dwelling with us.

John 14:17 "Even the Spirit of truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

Here again the word "dwelleth" comes from the same prime as the words "abide and mansions". John has identified exactly who the Comforter is that gives us our rest or mansions right here on earth.

John 14:26 "But the Comforter, Which is the Holy Ghost [Spirit], Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

When John wrote this in the future sense, Jesus was instructing His disciples of the workings of the Holy Spirit. However when Paul is addressing the Workings of the Holy Spirit, it is after the ascending of Jesus into heaven and the coming of the Comforter at Pentecost. This is given in Acts 2 where all the Christians were gathered in Jerusalem waiting. What ever understanding of God's holy Word that you obtain in your mind, it will only come by the working or teaching of the Holy Spirit. Then when you have placed the Word of God within your mind or heart, the Spirit of the Living God, the Holy Spirit will be the one to draw it out to your remembrance to give you direction.

Acts 2:4 "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Acts 2:5 "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven."

Acts 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."

This was time of the feast of Pentecost, and there were men in Jerusalem from all over the face of the earth. Those men spoke many different languages, and when these men heard the Christians coming out into the streets, filled with the Holy Spirit, what they had to say needed no interpreter for "every man heard them speak in his own language", with understanding. In the Greek text it is very specific, "even in their own dialect". There was no confusion when the people that were filled with the Holy Spirit spoke. This is the fulfillment of John 14:26.

Remember also Ephesians 6:12; "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

In the war of the final conflict is not a war of nations doing battle with guns and weapons of a strong arm, but the final conflict is a spiritual battle against even demonic spirits in high places, and without the gospel armor on and in place, with the Holy Spirit shielding you [Christ's Spirit in you], you are not going to stand.

If you are a Christian you have the Spirit of God in you, for it is Christ's Spirit that convicts you of your sins and brings you to repentance. You can not tell by looking at someone whether they have the Holy Spirit of not, regardless of what some of the denominations will tell you. They tell you that the evidence of being saved and having the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues, however that evidence has not happened yet because it will happen when you are delivered up. However we are very close to that time in our generation. When it is spoken it will be cloven, as the record in the Greek states. That means that it will go out in every direction, and all languages will hear and understand without any interpreter. It certainly is not unknown for when anyone hears it, it will be even in the very dialect of the person hearing it.

Peter has told us that this will not transpire until that time that Joel spoke of in Joel 2:28-32. This is the time when Satan will be right here on earth in his role as the spurious messiah, or "instead of Christ".

Acts 2:14 "But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifter up his voice, and said unto them, "Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:"

Acts 2:15 "For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day."

Acts 2:16 "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;"

Acts 2:17 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, 'I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:"

What is important in speaking with the tongues of the Holy Spirit is that everybody understood everything that was spoken. There was no confusion, or strange sounding mutterings, and the subject that was spoken was given to all individuals with equal understanding no matter what race, or tongue they spoke in, for it was understood in the exact dialect of that individual. If you belong to a church that demands that you imitate such a thing, that is up to you and your conscience. However, if you do try to do it, ask yourself, Who is understanding what I am saying? That is the key to knowing if it is of the Holy Spirit. Those listening in the streets of Jerusalem were not Christians, but devout Jews [unbelieving Christians and completely devoted to the law]. What is important is that you are sincere in what ever you do.

The Holy Spirit usually can read in a person, by their words and by a person's actions, and how they react to those things around them. We are not to judge a person's sincerity in whatever they do without discernment. Without the Holy Spirit, you cannot discern evil spirits, and this is important for that is what we will be fighting against in these final days before Christ's return. Be sincere in what you do.

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

In the time prior to Paul's coming to Corinth, this church at Corinth knew nothing about Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, nor the things of the Father. These Corinthians practiced many false religions, and worshipped many dumb idols. Remember that at Corinth was the large temple to Diana, and many of the Christians were in that worship. Many of these false religions sought after strange demonic powers and these Christians knew exactly what Paul is speaking of here.

By the grace of God, many that know the truth today would be in the same position, were it not for the working of the Holy Spirit. For the doctrines of demons are running wild in many churches, and this is allowed to go on because their leaders do not study and teach the Word as it should be taught; chapter by chapter and verse by verse. So what Paul is saying here is that you get carried away with false religions, and the mixture of false doctrine with the true Word of God, in which there can be demonic spirits within them. If any of those teachings are not from the Holy Spirit, it will not be the truth of God. This is what is called "discernment".

I 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 [Spirit]."

Any hireling can come along and give lip service, and put on quite a show in their presentation of what they are presenting to you. Just turn on the television today and you can take your pick, for there are many of them. Lets see what this word "accursed" meant in the Greek, for it is # 331 in the Strong's Greek dictionary; "anathema, an-ath'-am-ah; from # 394, a (religious) ban, or excommunicated (thing or person):"

You cannot separate Jesus Christ from God and say that you love the Messiah, and at the same time be cursing the name of Jesus. When you curse Jesus, you are cursing the Father also, right along with the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ is the Messiah, and His Spirit is the Holy Spirit. It is only by the touching, or the anointing by the Holy Spirit that you can recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

So what Paul is saying in this verse is, I want to give you understanding about the speaking by the Spirit of God, and that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. The point here is that every one that honestly loves the Lord Jesus Christ possesses within them the Holy Spirit. This is what is meant by having "the evidence of the Holy Spirit of God." You cannot excommunicate Christ from your life and have the evidence of the Holy Spirit within you. Then when you have the Spirit of God within you, you will recognize Jesus Christ as the true Messiah. This is what helps us to discern who is of God and who is not of God. The handling of the name of Jesus tells you and me if a person has the Holy Spirit or not.

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

Though there are many different gifts that are placed within each Christian, there is only one Holy Spirit of God. There are many evil spirit that are from Satan, and there are also many lying and deceiving spirits. It is a lot easier to listen to Satan's spirits and be deceived when you have no discernment of the spirits. It is because of this that discernment is important, for you are led by the Spirit when you seek out the instruction with the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will never go against God's Word, and when there is a conflict between what a spirit has said and what the Word of God says, then the spirit you have been listening to is not of God.

Evil spirits or demonics know God's Word also but they twist the truth, just like their leader Satan twists the truth to make it a lie. Many times the listening to evil spirits can give you such a thrill and warm glow inside that you feel that they just have to be of God, when in fact evil spirits will tell you whatever it takes to win you over. Satan and his demonics want to win you into their camp. Just as much as there are diversities of gifts, we are to educate ourselves concerning those gifts.

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

There are many different ministries of the Word of God, however there is only one Holy Spirit, one Father and Jesus Christ. There are different duties that must be done, and different activities that are used to draw many different people to God. Everyone that is a Christian has faith, but a gift of "faith" will strengthen you to where others around you can draw off that faith just being around you. The gift of "faith" may be the only gift that some Christians have, but it is just as important as the gift of teaching, or any other gift. It is from this faith that power flows from them and it just makes you feel good to be around them.

All gifts are important to the body of Christ, and every member of Christ's body does not have the same gifts. It is important that we do not equate one of the Spiritual gifts with another, but we are to seek only the gifts that God gives us through His Spirit. That gift becomes your ministry for Him, and when you mock someone's gift, then you will make a fool out of yourself.

This copying of gifts is what Simon the sorcerer tried to do when he witnessed the healing powers that Philip had, and sought to buy his way into having those same powers.

Acts 8:12 "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and woman."

Acts 8:13 "Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

Simon the sorcerer witnessed many things that Philip had accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit. Many miracles were accomplished and sick people were being healed right there on the spot. Simon went through all the motions that the other Christian people did, even to the point of verbally confessing the name of Jesus Christ. He was baptized right along with the other men and woman, yet his heart was not right with God. So ask yourself, Was Simon saved saying any words, for he had gone through the motions of the altar call and he had even been baptized in water.

Peter and John then joined with Philip, and Simon witnessed the mighty working of the Holy Spirit through these three apostles, and Simon was trying to copy the gifts of the Holy Spirit that had been given to these apostles.

Acts 8:17 "Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost [Spirit]."

As Simon watched the apostles lay their hands on others, the other Christians received the same power of the Holy Spirit as the apostles.

Acts 8:18 "And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles hands the Holy ghost was given, he offered them money,"

Simon the sorcerer was still the sorcerer in his heart, and every thing that he saw was related to money. He actually thought that the apostles could be bought off with his money, and those gifts that the Holy Spirit gave could be purchased.

Acts 8:19 "Saying, "Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost [Spirit]."

Acts 8:20 "But Peter said unto him, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money."

Are you starting to get the picture, the gifts that the Holy Spirit of God placed with each Christians are given only by the Holy Spirit, and they are to that individual only. Each Christian has his own gift or gifts and is expected to use that gift that he or she posses for the glory of God, and for the advancement of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. You can't swap your gift, exchange it, or buy off someone else's gift. And if you do:

Acts 8:21 "Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter for thy heart is not right in the sight of God."

Your heart is just not right "in the sight of God", and that is where it counts. You can't play around with the things of God, and think that God can be fooled, for God can read your mind even as you are thinking your thoughts. God knows the condition of your mind as you think your thoughts.

Acts 8:22 "Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee."

If you have been playing church and fooling around with the things of God, it is wickedness, and it is time to repent those things to the Father "in Jesus name". When you pretend to be a copy and something you are not, it leaves every door of your mind open to the evil spirits. Don't pretend to be something that you are not.

Many people have gifts that they just don't recognize within themselves, but the people around them see them. There are different ministries, and yours may be visiting the sick, teaching, singing, or many other things that go to make up the body of Christ, and each of our obligation is to use the talents or gifts that God and His Spirit has placed within you. When you want more of a ministry, pray to God for more responsibility, and God will give you only what He knows that you can handle. Find your place and every gift will make room for itself, for it is something that you don't have to push.

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

All these different ministries that are bringing forth the gospel of Jesus Christ in fulfilling the "great commission" have many different parts, but there is only one head and He is Almighty God. If you are part of the body of Christ, God does not leave anyone out of His Work, and he has a place for you within His body. God accomplishes the fact that the gift makes room for itself. If you are highly specialized as a ball player, or an evangelist, God gave you the gift to do what you do, and you are expected by God to fulfill His commission to you where ever you are. If on the ball field, or on a platform preaching to people around the world.

Your commission may be at a typewriter, licking stamps, singing a song, giving a smile to others around you, or on your knees in prayer for the needs of others. Where ever you are, that is where you fulfill your part in the full body of Christ. The eye is just as important as the ear or the feet, for they are all needed to make up the complete body of Jesus Christ. Those that study with a ministry, and give to support that ministry are just as important as the one doing the talking, and teaching the Word. If it wasn't for the each of the parts of the ministry, the entire ministry would be weakened.

The focus of each of us should not be in the man doing the preaching or the teaching, but in the Word of God. God's Word is our only standard, for all men and women have their problems and weaknesses, and fall short of God's standards from time to time. This is why we do not look to the man but to the gift that is from the Holy Spirit. The gift is from God, and if the person is using the gift then Jesus Christ gets all the glory and not the person using the gift. The person is just the faithful servant acting in his position as the servant.

If a wealthy man gives a large check to a needy organization, and you are the one that works for that wealthy man and brings that check to the organization that is in need, who gets the glory of the check delivered? You, who are the one bringing the check, or the man whose name is written on the check that is given? Do you get the picture? Jesus Christ is the one whose name in on the check for he paid the price on the cross. His blood is the purchasing price, the wealth backing that check, and the check is the Word of God. You are the faithful servant that is willfully bringing the check to the need, which is the salvation of the souls of men and women, boys and girls. Who gets all the glory? Certainly not the servant, for the what ever rewards that the servant receives is not from the needy, but from the Master Himself, and that is exactly what the rewards will bring us in the kingdom of God.

It is "all in all", and that means that God is in complete control of all gifts and all operations.

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

The gifts are given whereby the entire body of Christ may benefit from your gift. The whole body profits when your gift is used. When the gift of giving is exercised as you are taught by a ministry, and God blesses you in following His Word, then you give to the ministry that taught you by. In this way that ministry grows. If God blesses you with a talent of singing, or a specialized duty that you are good at, and you use that for the glory of God, then the entire body of Christ will benefit from it. One gift is a manifestation, or exhibition, or expression of another gift and they all come from the Holy Spirit. God gave you the right to use your gift, and what is done is made possible when you are faithful to the gift that you do have. When every one does what they are suppose to do, then it is for the common good of everyone. This is what is called fellowship in God's Word, when God's Spirit touches everyone through the gifts.

I 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;

In other words, some have the wisdom to be able to express the wisdom that comes from God's Word. That is a gift of the Holy Spirit. One has the ability to express the spiritual matters within the Word of God, and another may have the ability to express that wisdom into knowledge. A true expresser of wisdom and knowledge will always be an individual that can take the things within the Word of God that seem so complicated that it is beyond your comprehension, and put them in terms that seem simple to understand. He or she will be able to explain the Word of God in the same simplicity in the words that Christ taught. This ability will only come if they posses the Holy spirit. If they have "eyes to see and ears to hear". The simplicity that comes is not the man or woman, but from the Holy Spirit that has revealed the wisdom and knowledge to the one that has the gift from God.

I Corinthians 12:9 "To another faith, by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing, by the same Spirit."

"Faith" was spoken of before and now Paul is stressing that the "faith" that you have is a gift. The gift of faith is a beautiful experience. When a person uses the gift of faith and another person is healed, it is not the man that did the healing but the Spirit of God. Faith and healing go hand in hand and are the gift from the Spirit of God. Many times we see men trying to take the credit for the gifts that the Spirit has given them, and that is like the servant trying to take the credit for the check that he is delivering on behalf of his Master.

Revelation 4:11 "Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created."

That should not be to hard too understand, for God has created your soul and every other soul that exists, and He has created everything that is in and on this world. He even created this world age because of what happened in the first earth age, and every thing that happens in this earth age is done for the glory of our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. When God's Spirit places in you a gift to accomplish something that he expects to get done, then He expects to get the honor, glory for the power that His Spirit placed within you to get the job done. You are made for God's pleasure, and when you are successful then the body of Christ is successful and Jesus Christ gets the glory for your works.

I 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:"

Miracles happen all around us yet people stand by and don't understand them when they happen. The miracle is God's divine intervention into the workings of man and nature to bring about something that normally would not happen. You see it happening in ministries that go far beyond their scope in bring vast numbers of souls to Christ. Miracles also happen within the single soul, for it took a miracle to turn many life's around that were heading down the road to destruction in drugs, and so on, and changes their entire life into a productive person for the gospel of Christ and the community.

The gift of "prophecy" is the ability to teach the Word of God with understanding, as well as the prophets of old. The "discerning of spirits" is the ability of telling the work of the evil spirits from the true Holy Spirit of God. To discern when the Holy Spirit is present, and when the spirits of the evil one are twisting the truth. When an evil spirit creeps in, it can do much damage to a ministry if it is allowed to continue over a period of time. Sometimes it seems that God allows them to exist just to strengthen His children.

The word "tongues" is "languages", and God give many the ability to understand more languages then one. We all have our basic family language from birth that we were taught from our home, and the other languages must be learned for the same basic level of understanding. The great commission is to take the gospel of Christ into the whole world. There is just one problem to this, and that is that the people of the world speak thousands of different languages and tongues and dialects.

Genesis 11:1 "And the whole earth was of one language, and one speech."

Genesis 11:2 "And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there."

Genesis 11:3 "And they said one to another, "Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly." and they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter."

Genesis 11:4 "And they said, "Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."

In the Hebrew text, "Let us make a great name", reads "let us provide our own salvation." These were some of the same people that lived and remembered the great flood, because some of them lived through the flood. All of those that were on the ark were still living at the time of Nimrod and were within these communities Nimrod established. They knew the devastation that came upon the earth, and that God had caused it to happen. Even though they knew of the commandment or promise that God had made with Noah, that He would never destroy the earth by water again, they just did not trust God.

Genesis 11:5 "And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded."

The people of the earth had rejected God's plan for them, and they are substituting a religious form to take the place of God's Words to them. It is no different today with what we seeing going on now.

Genesis 11:6 "And the Lord said, "Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."

This thing "which they have imagined to do", was this system or tower called "babel" or "confusion". Remember that the Hebrew word "babel", means "confusion" in the English. The people turned the ways of God into nothing but confusion, that were made up through their own imaginations. They discarded the laws and ways of God that were given to Noah and his generation, and turned to their own ideas.

Genesis 11:7 "Go to, let Us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."

In the term, "Go to, let Us go down" when used in other passages in the Hebrew text of Genesis 18:21, and Exodus 3:8, is always used in Judgment. This is used in contrast or judgment to man's ways of verse four; "Go to, let us go up". God and His angels are the ones that preformed this act of judgment. The unity that existed prior to this time for mankind will now be divided, and that division would come through their languages while this age of the flesh continues in existence.

Genesis 11:8 "So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city."

It was through the confusion of the languages or tongues that mankind was divided into their families or nations, and spread out over the entire earth. The reason for the scattering was because of the substituting of God's plan for their religious forms, when in the Hebrew, "tongue" is called "Babylon", meaning "confusion".

There is a parallel between Genesis and Revelation, and this is brought about in Mark 13, and Acts 2. This parallel is in the way that the Holy Spirit of God caused the people of all languages of the earth to understand in the same tongue or language. When the Holy Spirit of God filled people, they spoke, and there was no need of an interpreter, and there also was no confusion of understanding in anyone's mind that heard what was spoken.

Genesis 11:9 "Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."

When the people of the world all spoke the same language it was not necessary to speak in tongues, for when you spoke the whole world understood what you said. However, after this time of the tower of Babel, or confusion, the people were scattered all over the world. When a person of a foreign language comes to America, he may form the English words in his mouth, but what he has to say is still not understood for he does not have the knowledge of the language. He may say one thing, and mean something entirely different, because the structure of the language is not the same.

So though you have the gift of teaching in English, you will not have the ability of teaching in any other language that you do not have complete command in the language and sentence structure. That is what holds back the gift of knowledge, even though the gift of wisdom is there to prevent you from being a teacher there. It is not sufficient for one that can speak in both languages, for the one speaking must have the same gift of understanding from God to pick up on the exact expression, feeling and emotion into the other language. The reason that Paul said that we are not to allow two different languages to be spoken in a group is that it is disruptive to the service, and for the understanding of those present.

I Corinthians 12:11 "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will."

God will never give you more than you can handle, and the Holy Spirit will rightly divide those words so that they will make sense to you. If it is of the Holy Spirit there will be no confusion or Babel, and you have the Word of God to check it out for yourself. If you have the gift of teaching that is fine, but if you do not have the gift of teaching then pray to God for that gift. Don't try to mimic some other person's gift, for it just will not work.

A teacher is gifted to reveal the Word of God in detail, while an evangelist is more a showman design to appeal to the worldly, and draw their attention to the love and salvation of Jesus Christ. The evangelist is the one that brings the lost to the church for the preachers and teachers to teach them in the ways of God through His Word. The teacher is not an evangelist, nor is the evangelist a teacher.

I Corinthians 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 Christ."

Just as the human body is one entity with its arms, legs, eyes, ears, and so on, so also are each of the members of the body of Christ part of one body. It is necessary for each part of the body to be there and functioning to their fullest, for the body to be healthy. The face is there to look healthy and beautiful, while your feet will be covered for their protection, so that they can get you to where you are going. The important thing to understand here is that to be a complete body, you need all the parts functioning as they are meant to be. Paul said Christ is trying to show you that no matter where you fit into this body of Christ with your gift, you are a necessary part of the body of Christ. Each part supports all the other parts.

If the eyes fail, then the entire body stumbles around in darkness, and if the feet are festered and sore, the whole body will not move. If the waste byproducts are not removed from a body it will not last more than a few days, and if the mind stops completely, so does the entire body.

I Corinthians 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."

When you are baptized into the body of Christ, you become part of that body. You are not baptized into this denomination of that church, but into the body of Christ. There is only One Spirit of God, and He baptizes only into the body of Christ. If that is not acceptable to your church, then it is time to question just what you were baptized into. Your true conversion rises you above denominationalism, it frees you from it, and then you become a child of the Living God.

When you accept Jesus Christ and become part of the body of Christ, you all become part of one Spirit, and He is the Holy Spirit of God. There is only one Spirit of God, and in our generation the Word of God has become difficult to understand because of the many different denominations that each have their own terminology and means for those terms. There may be many different signs in front of the church houses and they may be called by many different names, but just as there is only one God and one Spirit of God, there is only one Word of God.

If you transplant a heart or lung into another human body, when that body repels that part, it will die, as will the body that accepts the transplant. There is no difference with the spiritual body of Christ, if you allow a person that is of evil spirits to be grafted into your group, it will not take long until your entire body of Christ will be dead spiritually. You either reject it from the beginning or it will kill your spiritual growth. Each body has an immune system, and the Holy Spirit is our immune system for the body of Christ. When the Holy Spirit points out that an evil spirit is in our midst it is time to pay attention.

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

True belief elevates you above denominationalism or division and you become part of the one body of Christ. If you were a foot, that is all you are, a foot. An eye is just an eye, and that goes for any part of the body. But it requires all the members of a body to make up the whole body of Christ. Those that are handicapped know exactly what I am saying here, for when one part of the body is missing or ceases to function, the it hinders the whole body. When a artificial limb is used, it helps but it is just not the same as having the real part that is missing or not functioning.

When you try to fit many denominations together it is like patching or fusing in members of a body that just don't fit. When you have two hands on your body, you don't need a third, if you have one brain, or one stomach, the second one is not necessary. So Paul is using the human body to try to explain what divisions or denominations within the body of Christ is like.

I Corinthians 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?"

Just because the part is a foot does not make it any less important than any other part of the body. Lower and upper parts of the body are in reference to that parts location to the over all body, and not to the importance of that part to the body. That is the same as it is in the body of Christ. A lower member is not of less importance than that man standing behind the pulpit, for each member is necessary for the body of Christ to function as a Spiritual healthy body.

I Corinthians 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?"

A person that never speaks, yet has the gift of faith cannot say, because I cannot speak I am not of the body. All of the gifts are necessary to have the full circle to complete the body of Christ and allow it to function as God has intended it to.

I Corinthians 12:17 "If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?"

Each member of the body is necessary to complete the whole protection and function of that body. The eye is to accomplish what the ear simply cannot do, and so on. In the body of Christ the gifts are given to each person to complete the function that it is intended to do, and when one member tries to copy the purpose of another member's gift, then it is as the eye of your body trying to do what your ears are intended to do. It simply cannot be done, and that is why it becomes important for each of us to develop the skills of the gifts that God gave to us.

I Corinthians 12:18 "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him."

The One who decides just what gift will be given to each member is God the Father Himself. Those people that like to play around with the gifts of the Spirit of God are on shaky ground, for it is not up to you to decide what gifts that you will have. That is why we are not to copy another man's gift, but we are to work with the tools or gifts that we have. The gifts are given as it pleases God, and if God makes you a healer through His Spirit, then it is the Spirit and God that gets the credit for whatever healing that comes through your hands. If you are a football player and can make the touchdowns then it is God that gave you the strength and wisdom of the game, and His Spirit gets the credit for the attention that is drawn to your gift.

There is no sin to pray for more than one gift for many people have more than one gift. Any person that is sent forth by God usually has many gifts, for they are required to complete many task within that ministry. However when there is a success in the using of those gifts in a ministry, it is not the man's ministry, but it is still God's ministry and God gets all the credit for whatever success comes about. If God wants the ministry to be a success, then God will provide the funds, and bring the people to hear what is said and the songs that are sung.

I Corinthians 12:19 "And if they were all one member, where were the body?"

If a body were just one big eye, how would the eye walk or talk, or if the body were a foot, then how would the feet know where to go without a brain? Obviously all members of a body are necessary for the body to be complete.

I Corinthians 12:20 "But now are they many members, yet but one body."

This is the way that it works and this is the way that it pleases God. We have many members in the body of Christ and every member has their own responsibilities. Paul spoke of our responsibilities in the body of Christ in Romans 12.

Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

What you do in the fulfillment of your Spiritual gifts is fulfilling your obligation to as a part of the body of Christ. It is your reasonable service to the body of Christ and to the body that you are a part of.

Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

To be transformed is to be changed, and not the same person in your mind. The changing of your mind is what is necessary to become good and acceptable and perfect in the will of God.

Romans 12:3 "For I [Paul] say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith."

Remember that when you are using any Spiritual gift, any glory and honor that comes from that gift is not yours, but God's and His Spirit that gave it. All the glory that you have is Christ's for He is the one that paid the price that set you apart and made you to be a success in whatever you do.

Romans 12:4 "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:"

This again is going right back to what Paul was saying to the Corinthians, that each member in the body of Christ will have different gifts and abilities to do the work that God has for them individually. Though there are many of us, we do not have the same office, or obligation to fulfill and ever part of that body is necessary. .

Romans 12:5 "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."

Most of the conflicts that come into churches come because of the gifts of the Spirit. This should not be when one understands what the gifts are, and how they should be used. When one is taking the praise for the gift that he is using from the Spirit of God, then he or she is robbing from God, for it is God that should get all the praise for any gift. The secret to the body of Christ, is that you are all one in Christ. Christ gets all the glory and honor and praise for any successes. There is only one God, One Christ, and one body of Christ. There is only one church, one Word, and commission to the church.

I Corinthians 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."

This should not offend a handicapped person, for they have been there and done that. They have seen in reality how important that all the parts of the body are to each other. They may know what it is like to be missing legs or sight or another part of their body, and the handicapped person knows exactly what it is like when the physical body is not whole and complete. Paul is using this an an analogy to the body of Christ, and to each member that goes to make up the complete body of Christ. It simply does matter how important that you feel that you are, for God made you as you are to fit into that His body, and be faithful with the gifts that He is relying on you to use. When you let down on your end, the whole many membered body of Christ suffers.

I Corinthians 12:22 "Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:"

Some members may be far more delicate than others but each is necessary. The small sensitive muscles that controls the winking of the eye is just as important as the large muscles of the legs and the arms that move the entire body to where it is going. The extremely sensitive nerve endings in the brain that allow you to think are as important to the whole body as those in the finger that cause you to move your hand when it is too close to the fire.

I Corinthians 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."

Even the parts of the body that we consider far less of honor, we keep cloths on to keep them covered. There are some parts of the body that do need special attention continually, and they are uncomely in sight, but they are just as important as the parts that are viewed continually and receive little and no attention. There are parts of the body of Christ that need to be covered and given much attention, yet each of these duties are just as important as the evangelist that stands on the stage speaking before millions of people.

I Corinthians 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 lacked:"

God has adjusted the entire body to be able to compensate for what is lacking in another part. In the eyes of God, He gives more honor and dignity to those members that are part of the body that just does not have honor. This is saying that when a man is dressed properly, and showing himself whole, he can function and operate properly. God joins the body together and assigns the role that members will play in that body, and He does it through the assignment of His gifts. A good carpenter can fit all the joints together to where it looks like they all belong to each other. God's Spirit is the carpenter that fits all the joints of the body of Christ together, and when He does the work it will all work together. When God establishes a ministry, than it will stand through all the firey darts that Satan can throw it's way.

I Corinthians 12:25 "That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."

"Schism" means "clash" and when God puts His body of Christ together there is no room for clash and argument between the different members of that body. The kidney doesn't clash to take over the work of the eye, or the stomach want to do the work of the feet. Each member knows its duties and has the same care one for another. You care for one another because in the ministry of Christ each is important to the other. God did not put a part in the body that could be thrown away without suffering a loss somewhere else.

I Corinthians 12:26 "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it."

When you hit your finger with a hammer, the jolt of the shock travels sharply through your entire body and your whole body suffers. If you step on a rusty nail, the infection spreads rapidly through the entire body, and all the body is affected by the infection. The whole body suffers when one of its members suffers an attack from some outside force.

This is as it is with the body of Christ and a ministry where one person within that ministry goes bad. We are all sinners and fall short continually, that is a proven fact within God's Word; but when we do sin and we repent and confess our sins to the Father in Jesus name, the sin sickness is over and gone. It fever and infection that sins brings is gone, and it is now time to put the sickness behind us. In a Spiritual sense, it is Christ's body that took the beating and shed the blood for each member. His body received the stripes, so that our body can receive the healing.

I Corinthians 12:27 "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."

There is not one member in the body of Christ that doesn't have a part or duty to the body of Christ. If you claim the name of Jesus, then you are a bond servant to Christ, and you have a role to play within the body of Christ. You cannot be part of the body of Christ and stay on the out side.

I Corinthians 12:28 "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."

"Apostles" are the ones that are sent forth by God, and there is a possibility that such a person could have many of the gifts. The "prophet" is a teacher or one that teaches what the prophets taught or brought forth from God. Then in rank is the ability to perform miracles and healings, and the giving of help in the many areas that make a ministry successful, and at the bottom of the list is the governments, and the ability to speak in more languages than your natural tongue.

I Corinthians 12:29 "Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?"

Paul just answered this question in the prior verse, of course we are not all apostles, or ones sent of God to teach. We certainly know that there are very few that are able to teach properly, to bring out the true word of God with understanding and meaning on all three level that the entire Word is written in.

I Corinthians 12:30 "Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?"

Contrary to what some members of the body of Christ teaches, tongues is not a factor in being a member of the body of Christ, for very few people in our land can speak more than the English language with understanding in any another language. God gives diverse gifts within the membership, and when God give you the ability to do one thing or others that are necessary within the body of Christ, He expects you to be faithful in the gifts that he has given you.

If you make minimum wage, God does not expect you to match the gift of support that he has given to someone that is on a much higher scale of income. But God does expect you to remember His work in the place where He has placed and taught you. Within the body of Christ, when a person is giving his or her gifts in the manner that God expects it to be given, those gifts are given to the benefit all of the members of the body. It is done for you because you are part of it.

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

God is telling you, "don't try to take someone else's gift if it is not within you. It just will not work. So Paul is telling us that He is now going to tell us a more excellent way, and this he will do in the next chapter of I Corinthians.



To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
The American Wisdom Series


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