1 Corinthians Chapter 12: Service to the Lord Using Your Spiritual Gifts
Key verses: (1 Corinthians 12:4–14)
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, r and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body — whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Spiritual gifts are divine facilities for ministry that the Holy Spirit gives each of us to better serve the Lord and build the Kingdom. Paul indicates there is a wide diversity of such gifts (v. 4).
Verses 8–10 clearly indicate that the gifts are not all bestowed upon each believer but rather are distributed by the Spirit to individuals as the Spirit determines. Many of the gifts can be grouped into two broad categories of verbal gifts, such as prophecy, knowledge, wisdom and teaching, and nonverbal gifts such as faith, healing and discernment. There, of course, are other gifts such as compassion and generosity that contribute as well to building the kingdom of God.
In verse 12, Paul uses the readily understood analogy to the parts of the body to describe how the various gifts work together in concert with the gifts of others to build the church and to glorify and honor Christ.
Listing these examples of spiritual gifts gave the Corinthians (and gives us) the ability to identify the gift, or combinations of gifts, the Spirit has bestowed on us to enable us to become contributing members of the Body of Christ in service to Him
A Moment to Reflect
As you approach the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ in this Holy Week, won’t you stop to determine how you fit into the “body of Christ” and how you might best serve Him and honor Him in building the church? Think about those skills you have exhibited, not by your own strength and effort but through the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. Through His sacrifice, Christ provided you with the precious gift of eternal life. Won’t you use your gifts to serve Him?