Faith In First Corinthians, Chapter 12: Spiritual Gifts; Part 1:Volume 5, Number 47
Created Date: October 18, 2022
Posted Date: October 18, 2022
Having dealt with the first occasion of the word “faith” in 1 Corinthians; “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”, we continue to the 2nd occurrence, found in the 12th chapter: “To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;” . Faith is included here with a number of other spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit gave to individuals in the Corinthian church. This study will cover the first 7 verses of chapter 12: Verse 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. (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.” . Each verse is recapped followed by definitions of key words to give a better understanding of this passage:
1. Verse one indicates that what follows deals with the spiritual realm (the word gifts is in italics in the King James Version [KJV] so it is not in the original).
• The adjective “spiritual” is from the Greek “pneumatikos” (G4152), always translated “spiritual.” It occurs 26 times in the New Testament (NT), 24 in the Pauline epistles and twice in. It occurs most frequently in 1 Corinthians (15) but only here in the 12th chapter. It is defined as “that which belongs to the spirit, or determined by the spirit; influenced by it, or proceeding from it.” (Note the Greek adverb form of “pneumatikos” (G4153) is translated “spiritually” and is found only in and .)
2. Verse two reminds the Corinthians they were led by dumb idols before they believed the Gospel, that which is described in. In Ephesians Paul describes everyone’s condition before they are saved, they “… walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” . However, earlier in 1st Corinthians Paul reminded them that even after they believed the Gospel they still lived “carnal” lives and he had to address them as babes in Christ, not as “spiritual,” 1 Corinthians 3:1 - 4.
• The word translated “carnal” is “sarkikos” (G4559) found 11 times in the NT, 10 in the Pauline epistles and once in 1st Peter. The KJV translate it “carnal” 9 times and “fleshly” twice. It describes the “nature of the flesh, governed by human nature under the control of animal appetites.”
3. Verse three teaches that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed and no one can say Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost. Unsaved Jews considered Jesus accursed because anyone who was hanged on a tree was accursed,, quoting . Neither unsaved Jew or Gentile has the Spirit of God, thus neither can truly call Jesus Lord until they become believers and have the Holy Spirit within (some unsaved people may give lip-service to the fact Jesus is Lord but theirs is not sincere, i.e., from the heart).
• “Spirit” is from the Greek “pneuma” (G4151) found 385 times in the NT; occurring most frequently in Acts (70); however, 1 Corinthians is second with 41 and Romans 3rd with 35. It is translated “Spirit” or “spirits” 289 times and “ghost” 89 times. It occurs 12 times in the 12th chapter where it refers to the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God 11 times and once to a spirit other than God’s,. Greek Lexicon definition: “it cannot be apprehended by the senses, but is recognized by its operations or manifestations, as it is seen in life.” Simply put, God is Spirit, angels and demons are spirits and mankind has a spirit. (“Pneuma” is derived from the Greek word “pne’o” (G4054), translated “blow” 6 times and “wind” once, the idea being to blow, breathe and so to live.)
• “God” is from the Greek “Theos” (G2316) referring here to the Godhead. It is found 1343 times in the NT, referring to “God” (capitalized) 1320 times, “god” (lower case) 13 times, and “godly, God-ward, etc.”
• “Holy” in the title “Holy Ghost” is from the Greek “hagios” (G40) found 229 times in the NT, translated “Holy” 161 times, “saints” 61 times and 7 times variously as “Holy One,” “holy thing,” etc. Of note is that Paul addresses those in 6 of the 7 churches to whom he wrote as “Saints.” The exception is the church at Galatia where hagios does not occur. It means “most holy thing, a saint.”
4. Verse four teaches there were “diversities” or “differences” in the “gifts” given various members in the Corinthian church, but it was the same “Holy Spirit” that gave them.
• The word “diversities” is from the Greek “diairesis” (G1243) found only 3 times in the NT; translated “diversities” inand and “differences” in . It means “a distinction or (concretely) variety, division, difference, etc.”
• “Gifts” is from the Greek “charisma” (G5486) found 17 times in the NT, most frequently in 1 Corinthians (7), five of which are in the 12th chapter. “Charisma” is a form of the Greek “char’is,” most frequently translated “grace.” The Lexicon defines “charisma” as “a favor, kindness; that which is freely given, a gift of grace, generally the effect of God’s gracious working….”
5. Verse five “And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord,” teaching there are differences in the type of service God gave to various individuals in the Corinthian church, just as Members of Christ’s Body today perform different services within the Body. However, it is the same Lord who assigned these services/ministries.
• “Differences” is from “diairesis” as just described in verse 4.
• “Administrations” is from the Greek “diakonia” (G1248) used 34 times in the NT translated “ministry” 16 times, “ministration” 6 times, “ministering” 3 times and variously as “serving, service, relief, office, administration,” etc. 9 times. It means “attendance as a servant, service, ministering, especially of those who execute the commands of others, of the office of Moses, of the apostles or its administration, of prophets, evangelists, elders, deacons, those who prepare food, etc.”
• “Lord” is the Greek “Kurios” (G2962) found 749 times in the NT; when the “L” is capitalized it refers to Almighty God 667 times, in lower case it refers to a man who is lord of master of some function or even spiritual lords such as in(master) (lord), etc.
6. Verse 6 “And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” This teaches that there are different things wrought or accomplished by different individual members in the Corinthian church just as different things are accomplished by Members of Christ’s Body today, depending on what God has given to each; the point being that it is God’s power that performs the work by the Members of Christ’s Body.
• “Diversities,” “diairesis” the same as in verse 4.
• “Operations” is from the Greek “energema” (G1755) found only twice in the NT, translated “operation” here in verse 6 and “working” in 1 Corinthians 12:10. It means “things wrought, effect operation.”
• “God” is the Greek “Theos” as in verse 3.
• “Worketh” is the Greek “energe’o” used 21 times in the NT most frequently by the Apostle Paul in his epistles. It means “to be operative, be at work, put forth power, to work for one, to aid one, to effect, etc.”
• The phrase “All in all” refers to all the gifts in all the members.
7. Verse 7 “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal,” teaching that an indication of the Holy Spirit is given to each believer for the profit of all.
• “Manifestation” is the Greek “phanerosis” (G5321) found only 2 times in the NT, here and in. It means “exhibition, that is, (figuratively) expression, manifestation.” The English dictionary defines manifestation “as indication of the existence, reality, or presence of something, a perceptible, outward or visible expression, etc.”
Thus, this chapter deals with the spiritual realm as opposed to that of the carnal human; teaching it is God in the Person of the Holy Spirit that enables the believer to recognize Jesus Christ as the Son of God; that He distributes gifts to individual believers and it is He who accomplishes His work through the believer. The believer is an earthen vessel meant to manifest God’s Word and Work: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”.