July 22/1Corinthians 12

Verses 1-3 > Misunderstandings can cause us to make unwise decisions or maybe miss out on blessings or even alienate friends. A misunderstanding about the gift of speaking in tongues had caused some of the Corinthian believers to be afraid of the gift. Apparently someone or some persons had told them that tongues was actually cursing the Lord! So Paul had to remind them that no one speaking by the Spirit of Jesus could ever curse Jesus; it would be impossible. Instead the Spirit of Jesus would lead a person to say that Jesus is Lord. Still today there are those who believe that tongues is of the devil. There are those who are afraid of it for some reason or another and refuse to receive it. But when you read through the book of Acts tongues is an evidence of one who has been baptized by the Holy Spirit!

Also if you can truly say that Jesus is Lord then you know that you have the Spirit of Jesus in you.

Luke 11:13 (NLT) — 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

The Holy Spirit is good and the tongues he gives are good.

Verses 4-6 > Just as their is unity amongst the Father, Son and Holy Spirit there will be unity in the Church if we are humbly submitted to them working in our lives. Paul makes this point because of the divisions in the Church at Corinth. However it is a good point to make today. If Christians are truly working hand in hand with the Lord we wouldn’t see divisions and church splits.

Philippians 2:13 (NLT) — 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Verse 7 > I really like this verse because it defines what spiritual gifts are to be used for > so we can help, not hurt each other! Humble people help people. Hilltop lets be known as people that help.

Verses 8-11 > Paul lists the spiritual gifts and then reminds us that the Holy Spirit is the one who decides what we will get. This takes away any bragging rights. It keeps us humble and grateful or at least it should. In Corinth it didn’t but that is the reason Paul is writing this letter. I am going to group the gifts under three headings:

Revelation Gifts > these gifts consist of information supernaturally revealed by God so that we may be protected, pray more effectively, or help someone.

  • Verse 8 > Word of wisdom or wise advice. This is when God suddenly gives us wisdom to meet a particular situation, answer a question, or counsel someone. See 1Kings 3:16-28
  • Verse 8 > Word of knowledge or special knowledge. The is when God reveals to us facts,(past, present, or future) which are not learned through natural means. See Acts 5:3
  • Verse 10 > Discernment of Spirits. When God gives the ability to know immediately what is motivating a person or situation, whether it is the Holy Spirit, the flesh, or a demonic spirit. See Acts 16:16-18

Power Gifts > these gifts are the continuation of Jesus’ compassionate ministry to those in need.

  • Verse 9 > Faith > a sudden surge of confidence that as we act or speak in the name of Jesus, whatever we are believing God for will happen. See Acts 3:16 faith and a miracle happened together!
  • Verse 9 > Healing > the supernatural curing of injuries, handicaps, and diseases without the aid of natural means or human skills. See Matthew 9:20ff
  • Verse 10 > Miracles > When God supernaturally breaks through the laws of nature to provide for special needs, and/or confirm the message of the gospel. See Mark 16:15-18

Vocal Gifts > God speaking through us by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

  • Verse 10 > Prophecy > When God spontaneously gives us a message to share for the purpose of strengthening, encouraging, exhorting or comforting. Acts 27:21-26
  • Verse 10 > Speaking in Tongues > speaking in an unknown language for the purpose of worship and prayer, prophesying(when used with the gift of interpretation) and sometime as a sign to non Christians. See 1Corinthians 14.
  • Verse 10 > Interpretation of Tongues > the ability to interpret a message given in tongues. These two gifts working together have the same purpose as prophecy. I have personally given a prophecy at Hilltop in tongues and someone else had the prophecy.

There are many good books written on the spiritual gifts of you want do further study. “Your Spiritual Gifts” by C. Peter Wagner is one of them.

Paul uses the rest of this chapter to bring more unity into the Church in Corinth. He says that we are all parts of the body of Christ. Our human bodies are made up of many parts and they are all valuable to complete the functions of the body. No one part is more important than the other. No one gift is more important than the other. What makes a gift important is which gift is needed at the time. Faith might be more important than knowledge if that is what is needed at the time. So no one should be looked down upon or elevated just because they have a seemingly more important gift at the time. When our right arm throws a touchdown pass the does the left arm pout and cry or does the right arm brag and belittle other body parts? No the whole body rejoices together! That is the way it should be in the church. Also just as we take care of all of our body parts through clothing, bathing, exercise and sleep; we should be taking care of each other with the same passion and tenderness!

What a wonderful place the Church would be if we valued and took care of each other as we do our human body parts and if we all worked together like all the parts in our human bodies do for the good of the whole body. I believe this is what Paul is trying to say. He comments more on this in the next chapter.

Psalm 133 (NLT) —  1 How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! 2 For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. 3 Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.

Be Inspired Hilltop!






  1. Mark Gundersen says

    At the end of the chapter some of the gifts are mentioned. Apostles, prophets and teachers were specifically mentioned. All three of these are responsible for handling the word of God and are held to a higher standard on judgement day. They are equally important gifts with others and all gifts are needed for the body of Christ.