(1 Corinthians 12:1-11) – Basic Theology of Spiritual Gifts.
Chapters 12-14 contain the most thorough of expositions on spiritual gifts in the NT. It’s important to remember the foundation upon which this discussion is built before really diving into it.
Two major themes we’ve seen are…
1. The difference between human wisdom and God’s wisdom
2. The Christian’s use of their freedom.
Both of these themes are at play in this section of the letter as well.
The basic breakdown of this section is this…
Ch.12 – The Theology of Spiritual Gifts
Ch.13 – The Character of Spiritual Gifts
Ch.14 – The Manners of Spiritual Gifts
One of the main hopes for the Apostle Paul in saying what he will say is the increased education of these believers (v1).
A heightened level of exposure to the truth of the theology of spiritual gifts is important in helping them take steps towards Paul’s greatest hopes (which are in chs. 13-14).
It also protects them against heretical teaching. Knowing truth better allows us to spot lies easier (vv2-3).
(vv4-6) – Not every spiritual gift is the same. We are all gifted differently, and for good reason. If every one of us had the same gifts, much else would suffer in the church.
All Spiritual gifts come from God. They are not man-made. They are supernatural in essence. And since all of them come from God, they will all be given for His purposes.
(v7) – Spiritual gifts are given by God for the purpose of manifesting the Spirit of God to the world, and encouraging the body of Christ so that it grows!
This means they are NOT given for the purpose of elevating individuals, but elevating the whole body.
Side note, how crazy is it that God gifts us with the privilege of showing His Spirit to the world?!? That is a great treasure to take seriously.
And EVERY believer gets one. God values each individual so much that no one gets left out of this.
(vv8-10) – All spiritual gifts are empowered by the same source, the HOLY Spirit of God. That reality means that when believers are submitted to the same Spirit who is empowering them in their gifts, unity in the church takes place.
(v11) – God decides which gift(s) we get, not us. He has a plan for our lives and we should surrender to that plan.
“Spiritual gifts are the roadmap for your life.” – Mark Strout.