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What Spiritual Gifts Has The Holy Spirit Given To You? 1 Corinthians 12

In chapter twelve Paul tells us about the many different spiritual gifts that are given to as the Holy Spirit wills. It is not our responsibility to claim or demand any particular spiritual gift, although we may ask for specific gifts, it is according to the will of the Holy Spirit. The list of spiritual gifts we find here are: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, performing miracles, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues (vs. 8-11).

It is interesting that in verse seven we find the reason that the Holy Spirit gives these spiritual gifts is that He gives to each Christian “to produce what is beneficial.” This is further explained throughout the rest of the chapter when Paul compares the church, the body of Christ, with our physical bodies. Paul tells us about how each part of our physical body is equally important, even though we sometimes think that one part is more important than the others. Nobody would be willing to cut off a hand or foot, because we need them. The same is true of the body of Christ, we need each other to function properly the way that God intended us to. This is why it is the Spirit that gives each person the appropriate spiritual gift.

“But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.”

1 Corinthians 12:11 HCSB ( )

If the Holy Spirit allowed us to choose our spiritual gifts most likely we would choose the ones that we think are more honorable or desirable. If I could choose I would choose healings, miracles, or speaking in tongues; but those gifts perhaps are not the best for me to produce what is beneficial for the body of Christ. The purpose of the spiritual gifts is for the building up of the body of Christ, not for the building up of ourselves. The Holy Spirit knows our hearts and knows what function that God wants us to fulfill within the body of Christ. Therefore, it is to the benefit of the entire church that we can not pick and choose what spiritual gifts we are given.

Not only are the spiritual gifts to be used for the benefit of the body of Christ, but we are to be unified as one body.

“so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”

1 Corinthians 12:25-26 HCSB ( )

As each member of the body of Christ fulfills its responsibilities as a member, by the use of the spiritual gift received, there should be unity. This unity is not just an outward appearance of unity that many try to manufacture by their own devices, but this is a true unity that comes about by being baptized by the same Spirit into one body (v. 13). The unity of the body of Christ cannot be separated. It is a sad day when there is fighting within the body of Christ. Regardless if we are talking about the local body (which I believe Paul is here), or the universal body of Christ. There should be an unbreakable unity regardless of minor theological differences.

This bond of unity within the body of Christ should be so strong that if one member is suffering we each suffer together. For the local body, this means that if members are going without the necessities of life the rest of the church body suffers with them and should be helping to support them. This is hard for many to accept because we have been trained to think that people will take advantage of our generosity. Sometimes that may be the case, but the local congregation will be able to know the situation and help. Either way, the church should be a strong-knit family that suffers and rejoices together. No member should be left feeling as if they don’t matter.

If we apply this to the universal church, which in one sense it does, that each local church is part of the greater body of Christ. Currently, throughout the world, many members of our body are suffering. They are suffering from a lack of resources, food, teaching materials, medical care, and other things that many of us take for granted. Even more than this, some are suffering persecution, not the fake persecution that some claim, but to the point of death. We should be suffering with them and helping them in any way possible. We are one family, and we should treat each other as family.

It is by properly using the gifts of the spirit that we have been given that we can help the church function properly and in so doing we will be able to suffer with those that suffer and rejoice with those that rejoice. Paul ends with telling us that in the next chapter we are to desire the greater gifts, which is the key to functioning properly as a church body.


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