1 Corinthians 12:1-10
1 Cor 12:1 (KJV)
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

Paul now begins a new train of teachings. He goes from Communion unto the subject of spiritual gifts. Each true believer will have at least one spiritual gift and is placed in the body for the furtherance of sending forth the Gospel. In today’s modern Christianity, the spiritual gifts are the most misunderstood and misused. They are also satanically mimicked in the modern charismatic movement. We have heard of people barking like dogs and breaking out into uncontrollable laughter while simultaneously losing consciousness for hours or days at a time, while being fully awake. This is a tenet of demonic possession. The idea of barking and uncontrollable laughing had its start in the Asuza Street mission in 1906. By 1909 these meetings began to be dominated by false spiritual events and degenerated into barking and uncontrollable laughing. The idea of the barking was that they were trying to “tree the devil” the same way a dog trees an animal he is chasing. As we look at these spiritual gifts in this chapter we will see that some have been melded into the complete body of Christ and some were provisional, having been done away with by the end of the first century. Paul did not want his hearers to be ignorant about the true spiritual gifts, in other words he wanted to inform them concerning this great gift of the Lord to His people.

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

The Apostle Paul now tells the Corinthian Christians that they were once idolaters before they became saved. This was because they did not have a spiritual witness inside them from the true God which enabled them to have spiritual conscience. Before a person is saved, they do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them which means they are able to be deceived by false religions. False religions are the haven for the spiritually dead. Mat 24:24 (KJV) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Before a predestined person becomes saved, they are able to be deceived by false religions but once they have become saved and have the truth dwelling in them, they will not be deceived. The Elect of God can be deceived before salvation but not after. The Elect of God, prior to salvation, can be deeply involved in false religion or false teachings, but once they become saved and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, He will guide them into the truth.
(John 16:13 KJV) 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 show you things to come.

1 Cor 12:3 (KJV)
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.

Now Paul begins to contrast two mindsets: The saved one and the unsaved one. If the Holy Spirit is dwelling in a true believer, they will never be able to say that Jesus is accursed. Let’s expand that statement a little. A person who is truly saved will not say Jesus is just a teacher, a nice man who died for his cause, or he became Christ at the point of His baptism as the Gnostics teach, or he was married, or he was created et al. The unsaved mind has done much to try and bring down the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ to that of one who is a mere human with great morals. Then on the other hand, there is the truly saved mind which will teach that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, very God of Very God, and this can only come by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who will guide the true believer into all truth. So you know, that those who teach Jesus is less than God, are those in which the Holy Spirit does not dwell. Those translators of the modern versions who continue to carry the Gnostic corruptions from the 2nd century which take away the deity of Christ in the texts, prove they are also unsaved. The Holy Spirit would not permit a tampering with truth, only the unsaved would dare attempt that.

1 Cor 12:4 (KJV)
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

Here the Apostle Paul lays down an overriding truth concerning the Spiritual Gifts. The Holy Spirit is the one who doles out the spiritual gifts to the individual believer. This means that if the giver of these gifts is Holy, namely the Holy Spirit, then these gifts are themselves holy, having a holy source. This is why the spiritual gifts are never to be treated as common or are they to be abused. Satan has taken some of the Spiritual Gifts and has caused them to be mimicked in an evil way. The modern tongues movement has taken what is holy and made them common. The verse above speaks to the fact that there are different types of spiritual gifts given to the body of Christ but all of those gifts are from the same source. These different gifts are used in the body of Christ so it will be fully empowered to do the task of evangelism and discipleship. No spiritual gift is of more importance than another. All the spiritual gifts are of divine origin and are implanted in the body of Christ strategically.

1 Cor 12:5 (KJV)
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

The word “administrations” carries with it the meaning of “services.” This means that God empowers each Christian with a certain spiritual gift which will be used in the service of the Lord. Each Christian will have a ministry and that ministry will be under girded by the spiritual gift that is given to them. In verse four Paul spoke of the same Spirit which is the Holy Spirit. In this verse, he speaks of the same Lord who is the Lord Jesus Christ and the He is the one who directs the actions of His children and sends them to do certain ministries. It also denotes that a Christian is under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and is not to attempt to choose their own ministry based on what they see in someone else. In the modern charismatic movement, we see the adherents crave the gift of tongues or healing, yet I have never heard any of them crave the gift of service.

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

Here we see that there differences in operations. The word “operations” carries with it the meaning of the “effect of the work.” Since the Christian will be using their spiritual gift(s) which God has given them, there will always be an effectual ministry in the life of the believer. The only time a believer will have an ineffectual ministry is when they choose to do nothing or to attempt to minister in a realm where God has not empowered them, in other words, when they jealously parrot another’s ministry. This verse also teaches that the believer is not alone in their ministry as God is the one who works in all the believers. The word “worketh” in this verse carries with it the meaning of “being effective, operative or active.” When a Christian is truly using their spiritual gifts in the proper realm where God has qualified them, then their ministry will be a powerful one, not necessarily world shaking, but it will be personally powerful in the way it is done and what is accomplished by it. It is interesting to note that in verses 4-6, we see the Trinity totally involved in the work of the ministry of the individual believer.

1 Cor 12:7 (KJV)
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

In this verse we must realize that Paul is not speaking that the Holy Spirit is given to every person on earth. He speaks of only the Elect receiving the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit indwelled every person on earth, then there would be universal salvation. The Bible speaks that the manifesting or disclosure of the presence of the Holy Spirit is made evident when the spiritual gifts are properly used in the ministry for which they were intended. The gifts are used to profit the one who is using them as well as those who are being ministered to by them. The word “profitable” carries with it the meaning of “being profitable.” Ministry is profitable for those who are ministering and for those who are receiving the benefits of that ministry.

1 Cor 12:8 (KJV)
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

Paul now gives a list of nine spiritual gifts which we will look at individually. Some were only temporary and some were amalgamated into the body of Christ.

(James 1:5 KJV) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

No longer is wisdom a gift to be enjoyed by a few but it is available to every believer as this verse teaches us.

(2 Pet 3:18 KJV) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Here is a good example that the gift of knowledge has become universal in the body of Christ. With the completion of the Bible we can come to a knowledge of Christ and God without a special spiritual gift. Remember, the Holy Spirit will be guiding us into all truth.

1 Cor 12:9 (KJV)
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

(Rom 1:17 KJV) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Who are the just? The just are every born again believer. With that in mind, we see the gift of faith is no longer needed since every child of God is to live by faith. Nowhere except in the early church does God call this a gift. After the completion of the Bible He expects every believer to exercise faith and we are not to refer to those people with great faith as having the gift of faith, because this is not biblical.

(1 Pet 2:24 KJV) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Before the completion of the Scriptures, God used the healing of the sick to show visually what salvation is like. The sick person represented a sinful person and the healed person represented a saved person. God used physical healing for the sole purpose of showing the difference between the saved and the unsaved. Every healing was a visual parable, the earthly story with the heavenly meaning.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus can heal today but it is in response to two methods:

THE WILL OF GOD - Many times we see unbelievers who were healed of a deadly disease. Now the unbeliever chalks it up to luck or modern medicine, but they never give God the credit, even though they might give God or whoever is up there a passing thought.

FERVENT PRAYER - Many times God will allow sickness in a family or church to arouse an apathetic group. He may heal in response to the sincere prayers of His people. I know of a woman who was cured of terminal cancer by God in response to the prayers of an entire church.

The type of healing that is with us today is spiritual healing. This is why in James 5, we are exhorted to send for the elders of the church. If we are physically sick, then we see a medical doctor or nutritionist, but when it comes to spiritual affairs, we invoke the elders of the church for prayer and counsel. Galatians 6:1 tells us that we are to restore a believer who is caught up in a sin. This is the type of healing God has in view for the believer. For the unbeliever, the healing God has in view is becoming saved. God is more interested in healing our spiritual sickness than our physical sickness, which He does with great joy if it is His will to do so.

Spiritual healing focuses on eternity's values, while physical healing focuses on temporal values. Out of these two, which one is important? Whenever a believer opens the Word of God and begins to declare it to someone, they are in essence initiating spiritual healing in that person's life. This is the type of healing we Christians shall partake of and pursue, not physical healing. Miraculous physical healing was never part of God's great commission. We are to teach all nations and make disciples, not physically heal all nations

1 Cor 12:10 (KJV)
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:

(Acts 1:8 KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The word "miracle" in 1 Corinthians 12:10 is the Greek word "dunamis" which means "power, force, or ability." This word has nothing to do with miracles as we know them today. For example, a miracle would be an instantaneous replacement of a lost limb or a withered hand made whole or someone raised from the dead. If you would take a concordance, you would see that this word is specifically used in the context of spreading the gospel. The miracle worked today is the miracle of salvation. This gift is also universal in the body of Christ since every born again Christian is endued with the power of God, the Holy Spirit.

This gift was one which received messages from God and relayed them to the people akin to the prophets of old. These people were to declare God's Word to the church. These messages were verbal in nature.

Since the Bible was completed we no longer have any need for new divine communication since God has told us in Revelation 22:18-19 that He will no longer communicate with us through the use of words but will communicate with us by means of His Word, the completed Bible. This legitimate gift ceased because there was no longer a need for it.

(Rev 22:18-19) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: {19} And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Discerning of Spirits
(1 John 4:1 KJV) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

No longer must we seek out the gift of discerning of spirits to help us determine if a doctrine is false. With the completion of the Bible, we have all that is needed to verify a doctrinal teaching.

A language especially a learned one. This gift was given when the Bible was nearing completion and God was still giving direct messages to the church via the spoken word. It was used to bring God's message to those of different languages as plainly seen in Acts 2:4-12 where 17 different languages were heard on Pentecost.

Interpretation of Tongues
This gift was required in the church of Corinth because their gift of tongues was different from those of Acts. The tongues of Corinth were a phenomenon which required an interpreter for the church. The tongues in Acts were established languages (Acts 2:6). The tongues of Corinth also carried messages from God. With the ceasing of the gift of tongues in the first century, this gift also ceased.

With biblical references we have concluded that the provisional gifts were turned into universal gifts in the body of Christ, except for three of them which were discontinued by the end of the first century.