1 Corinthians 12:1-7
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore, I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”
How do you study the Bible? The way I do is by taking a few verses in each chapter and carefully examine each word that is written. When I do, God begins to reveal the message through each word. It then begins to fit together like a puzzle and I can see the whole picture. By the time I am done reading the chapter, I know what God wants to say. The Bible is not only to be read, but studied. Just like when Jesus told the disciples to throw their nets to the other side of the boat and when they did, they caught a lot of fish. When you study God’s Word, you will always pull something out, so when you study, wait until God fills the net of your heart with His revelation.
God is not in a rush, so don’t be in a hurry to read through the whole Bible. It’s good to read the Bible core to core, but it is not as effective as studying the Word of God. The Word is food for our soul; God wants to speak to us each time we study His Word. Growing in the Lord is a commitment not a competition. Make sure your life is impacted by God’s Word so that you walk in victory. Every man goes through stages and for each stage, there is a remedy. It is important to know what God is saying today. The Word can appeal differently to each person. God can answer everyone, with the same Word, so let God speak to you.
Over the years, I taught on Spiritual Gifts many times and have experienced them on numerous occasions, yet God showed me new things about them. Notice that Paul never mentioned the Gifts to anyone but the church of Corinth. Each epistle had a different message; when Paul was under house arrest in Rome, the Spirit of God inspired him to write numerous letters according to the need of each church. In his letter to Corinth, he speaks a lot about the power of the Spirit in correlation to the love of God. The church of Corinth was built from people who were once idol worshippers. When Paul built the church at Corinth, he had a lot of opposition. They had different genres of strange idol worship. Yet when we read through Paul’s epistle, we see that God poured out his love and grace on them. He did not neglect them, because our God is love. Regarding Spiritual Gifts he said:
1 Corinthians 12:1
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
The church of Corinth had Spiritual Gifts. God poured out His Spirit and the gifts were in operation, but there was chaos in the church. Moreover, people would boast and debate on whose gift was greater. So, God said that he didn’t want them to be ignorant on how they operate. Unlike back then, today a lot of people don’t even know that they have these gifts from God. We are all born with gifts, even from our natural parents. Everyone naturally receives a measure of gifting that their parents had, whether good or bad. When we are born again, by the Holy Spirit, we receive gifts from God. Although they are supernatural, we received them naturally because we are born by the Spirit of God; therefore, we inherited these things from Him.
Many pray for spiritual gifts, yet we have received them naturally. We just need to display them. Just as Paul said, that God doesn’t want us to be ignorant. Sometimes we don’t know what we inherited from our parents, but they are within us and through certain circumstances, they will come forth. Although, God gave us everything, we are not taking advantage of the opportunity. At Corinth, they were excited about the move of the Spirit, but there was also a chaos. That is why Paul said that the best gift is love.
1 Corinthians 12:2
You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.
They carried themselves away; these were expressive people. They weren’t quiet people.
1 Corinthians 12:3
Therefore, I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
This was to identify who has the gifts and who doesn’t. The reason Paul mentioned this is because he wanted them to make sure that they were on track and that things were kept in order.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
Let’s focus on gifts. The Bible says that we received every spiritual gift from God and are not lacking anything (Ephesians 1:3). The gifts are part of our inheritance from God. They are in you, but are not manifesting. When you were in your mother’s womb, everything already began developing. When you were born, you already received gifting from your parents. Likewise, when you are born again by the Spirit of the Lord, you already received your heavenly father’s gifts and spiritual genes. It doesn’t always show, but you have them.
Ask yourself a question. Why did God say that we would produce after our own likeness? The reason is because everyone received different gifting from their parents to function in the world and help one another. God made everyone with distinctive characteristics so that we could edify one another. God gave us His character and gifts so that we would edify each other as well. Look at what Paul said:
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
Creation is waiting for God’s power to be revealed through you and I. Believers don’t know what they have, but creation is waiting for what we carry because we are representatives of God on earth. You should make an impact wherever you are. Stop trying to become one. You are already the one that God has made. You just need to manifest; so quit struggling. You were born by God. The old man tries to hinder you from doing things that are right. Jesus has demonstrated so much power, showing us what we could be because we have received the same Spirit. The devil wants to hinder us from believing because he knows if we will believe, we will walk in the truth. The gifts must manifest, but we tend to hinder them. Yet, the creation itself is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of men.
When you know it’s yours then it can be done easily. When we are born of God, we also should love one another because we are family. The love of God was poured out in us by the Spirit. We have it, but our old nature wants to manifest against it. It’s better to live by the new man than by the old one. If only you knew how much you have to give!
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
For the gifts of God to manifest, we need to be in the unity of the Spirit. We are to be one, just as God is One. We are brothers and sisters. In the natural, your brothers and sisters are alike. It’s the same way when we are born again. We all reflect our Heavenly Father, but to each one of us there is different grace and measures are given.
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:“When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Not everyone can do these things; there is different gifting to equip the saints in the work of the ministry. But it is to bring us to the unity of faith. The five-fold ministry is commissioned to bring God’s people to the unity of faith. There is unity in the Spirit, when we don’t allow the old man to manifest, but allow God’s gifts to come forth. Therefore, we must be careful that we don’t feel like we have priority. God appoints ministers in authority to bring your faith into unity so that we would believe the same. This is greater than gifts. If we don’t submit to God’s structure, we won’t grow. Perfection comes when we walk in the unity of the faith.
Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Over the years, I have seen people with the gifts but babies in the Lord. Therefore, the gifts have nothing to do with our maturity in Christ. But we need to make sure that we are in unity. The goal is to walk in the fullness of Christ and not be children who are not established. And God wants us to be established in His Word.
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
When we change our perspective and grow to maturity, this is the most powerful thing we can do. This is what God is looking for; He wants us to become mature and do what He said. Don’t put all your attention on the gifts and don’t let the devil lie to you saying that you don’t have them either! Grow in God and be the Light!