1 Corinthians 12 – The Diversitites of Gifts & The Gifts of Wisdom and Knowledge

One thing I don’t understand is why You make people so stupid? 

As the proverbs say:

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Prov 3:5).

“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil” (Prov 3:7).

Life in the United States would be a lot better if the democrats and the rest of Washington D.C. would learn how to read.

Anyway, tomorrow we’ll look at…

1 Corinthians 12
The Diversitites of Gifts

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

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.

“Calleth Jesus accursed…Jesus is the Lord” – one who is regenerated by the Holy Ghost cannot pronounce a curse on Jesus; rather, he is the only one who from the heart can confess, “Jesus is the Lord” (cf. Jn 20:28; also 1 Jn 4:2-3).     

The Greek word for “Lord” here is used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) to translate the Hebrew name Yahweh (“the LORD”).

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

5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

“Manifestation…to every man to profit withal” – every member of the body of Christ has been given some spiritual gift that is an evidence of the Spirit’s working in his life.  All the gifts are intended to build up the members of the Christian community.

They are not to be used for selfish advantage, as some in the Corinthian community apparently were doing.

My gift from God is to know Jesus, to know Him good enough that I am unable not to trust Him.  Jesus Christ guides me and corrects me when I err. 

My other gift is to do this blog, yet, as you notice the explanations of these scriptures are not my words, I don’t have the gift to explain them, but I do have the gift to know of the explanation is true or not.

I have read many, many explanations of different scriptures and I know when they are incorrect because I know Jesus.  Like I said, aside from my salvation, my biggest gift is to know who Jesus Christ truly is.

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

“Word of wisdom…knowledge” – gifts that meet the ned of the Christian community when knowledge or wisdom is required to make decisions or to choose proper courses of action.

9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

“Faith” – not saving faith, which all Christians have, but faith to meet a specific need within the body of Christ.

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:

“Working of miracles” – a miracle is an action that cannot be explained by natural means.  It is an act of God intende4d as evidence of His power and purpose.

“Prophecy” – a communication of the mind of God imparted to a believer by the Holy Ghost.  It may be a predication or an indication of the will of God in a given situation.

“Discerning of spirits” – since there can also be false prophecies that come from evil spirits, this gift is necessary in order to distinguish the true from the false.

“Divers kinds of tongues” – since the Greek word for “tongues” means “languages” or “dialects,” some understand it to refer to the ability to speak in unlearned human languages, as the apostles did on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4, 6, 11).

Others believe that in chapters 12-14 the term “tongues” refers to both earthly and heavenly languages, including ecstatic languages of praise and prayer. And it could be both.

“Interpretation of tongues” – the communication of the message spoken in a tongue so that hearers can understand and be edified.

I met a lady in 1986 that could speak in tongue and also interpret what she said.  I know this to be true because what she said in tongues she said to me and about me, about what my heart would be seeking for and this came true 21 years later.

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

“As he will” – the Holy Spirit sovereignly determines which gift or gifts each believer should have.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, is one body: so also is Christ.

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.

“By one Spirit…all baptized into one body” – The body of Jesus Christ.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

As the human body must have diversity to work effectively as a whole, so the members of Christ’s body have diverse gifts, the use of which can help bring about the accomplishment of Christ’s united purpose.

Each must properly exercise his gifts of effectively use his position for the good of the whole.

12:14-20 – addressed mainly to those who feel that their gifts are inferior and unimportant.  Apparently the more spectacular gifts (such as tongues) had been glorified in the Corinthian church, making those who did not have them feel inferior.

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?

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?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

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.

12:21-26 – addressed mainly to those who feel that their gifts are superior and most important.  These verses provide another indication that some gifts, like tongues, had been magnified as being preeminent.

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

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked:

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

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

28 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.

Faithful Parents, Faithful Children—Why We Homeschool book by Don Schanzenbach

Some gifts may be of greater need, but the gift is not what God honors, but the person performing the gift and He sees everybody the same.

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

30 Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

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

The Gifts of Wisdom and Knowledge

Who Flew the Kite?-“I did,” said the wind!-“I did,” said the paper!-“I did,” said the string!-“I did,” said the boy!

But in reality they ALL flew the kite! If the wind had lulled, if the paper had torn, if the sticks had broken, if the tail had caught in the tree, or the boy had fallen, then the kite would have come down! Each had a part to play.

God has placed you in a strategic role! You are important to your Church ministry. Just use your gift to the Glory of God and leave the results to Him.

What you don’t know can get you hurt! In Texas there once lived a Mexican bank robber named Jorge Rodriquez. He had been so successful that the Texas Rangers put a whole posse on his trail.

For months they tried to catch him as he slipped across the Rio Grande. Finally a ranger cornered Jorge in a saloon one night. Quietly the ranger slipped up behind Jorge and put his six-gun to Jorge’s head.

Then the ranger said, “I know who you are and, unless you tell me where you’ve hidden the bank money, I’m going to blow your brains out!”

There was one problem: Jorge did not speak English and the ranger did not speak Spanish. Just then an enterprising little fellow stepped up and said, “Would you like for me to translate for you?” The ranger nodded.

So the translator told Jorge what the ranger had said. Jorge was scared to death and said to tell the ranger he could have the money but please don’t pull the trigger. He told the translator exactly where the money was hidden and then begged for mercy.

The translator took all this in and then solemnly told the ranger: “Jorge Rodriguez is a brave man. He says he is ready to die!”

It’s also possible that what you don’t know spiritually can get you hurt. That’s why God gave us the gifts of wisdom and knowledge.

I. A Good Definition

While these two gifts are closely related, there are some differences. Knowledge is the ability to state facts about something. Wisdom is the ability to take those facts and apply them to life. A simple analogy might help here.

In medical science, the research scientist might discover the facts but the physician puts them to use.

Within a Sunday school class, a teacher might have thoroughly researched the facts and communicated them while someone else in the class might say, “Hey, do you know what this means we ought to do!”

II. A Good Example

Jesus was noted for His knowledge as early as age twelve, when He talked with the Temple elders. Wisdom was also a characteristic of Jesus, according to Lk 2:40, 52.

On some significant occasions Jesus demonstrated His wisdom and knowledge. He knew the Scriptures and He knew how to apply them (e.g. rich man; woman taken in adultery).

Compare this to Acts 6:3. We are to recognize men with this wisdom as leaders in our Churches today.

III. Good Use of These Terms

Many of our finest Sunday school teachers, preachers, and professors make good use of these gifts.

What Are the Marks of Those with the Gift of Knowledge?

1. They enjoy deep Bible study.
2. They are intrigued with certain passages. Often, like William Carey, they have a love for languages.
3. They research the Bible in a desire to know as much as they can.
4. They occasionally find treasures the rest of us miss.

…the role of women in religious life in the Greco-Roman World.