1 Corinthians 12.4-11;28-30 – Gifts of the Spirit
Posted: 11 August 2011 in 1 Corinthians

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

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. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

The thrust of the above two paragraphs is that God is not an equal opportunities employer. He distributes his gifts to whomsoever he will, for whatever purposes he will, and we must be content with the roles assigned to us. The twin dangers here are obviously pride amongst those with the “best” gifts and resentment amongst those with lesser gifts. More than once in the Pentateuch, Moses has his authority challenged for precisely those reasons. Avoidance of these twin dangers requires humility amongst the first group, submission to the will of God amongst the latter group, and preparation of the heart by God himself in all groups. This remaking of the heart by God is the central reality in conversion. Therefore the extent to which we are submissive to God’s will is the extent to which we can lay claim to a true conversion.

And of course, conversion and humility are themselves gifts of the Spirit. All things come from God.

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