God's Word for Today 1 Corinthians 12
July 7, 2012
Each Christian must know what his spiritual gifts are and what ministry (or
ministries) he is to have in the local church. It is not wrong for a Christian
to recognize gifts in his own life and in the lives of others. What is wrong is
the tendency to have a false evaluation of ourselves. Nothing causes more damage
in a local church than a believer who overrates himself and tries to perform a
ministry that he cannot do. Sometimes the opposite is true, and people
undervalue themselves. Both attitudes are wrong. What we need to do, as
Paul says here, is "to think soberly." We need to have a correct estimation of
ourselves in relationship to other members of the church.
The gifts that we have came because of Gods grace. Since our gifts are from
God, we cannot take the credit for them. All we can do is accept them and use
them to honor His name.
When the individual believers in a church know their gifts, accept them by
faith, and use them for Gods glory, then God can bless in a wonderful way.
Every believer receives the exact gift and resources best suited to fulfill his
role in the body of Christ. Each believer has a different gift, and God
has bestowed these gifts so the local body can grow in a balanced way. But each
Christian needs to participate for the church to be healthy, and each individual
needs to use their gift. We might not see the result of our ministry, but
the Lord sees it and He blesses. Encouraging others is just as much a spiritual
ministry as preaching or teaching. Giving and showing mercy are also important
gifts. To some people, God has given the ability to rule, or to administer the
various functions of the church. Whatever gift we have must be dedicated to God
and used for the good of the whole church.
It is tragic when any one gift is emphasized in a local church beyond all the
other gifts. We are not the same, as Christians, we have different gifts and
abilities, also different callings and offices. Not everyone is a pastor,
a teacher, a leader, nor is everyone one who shows hospitality or mercy.
But each gift is given for the common good of the Body, this true both for the
local church and the Body of Christ that includes all Christians.
The spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament, primarily in Romans 12 and
in 1 Corinthians 12, fall into three categories: sign, speaking, and serving.
The gifts Paul mentions here were wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles,
prophecy, to another the ability to discernment, tongues, and the interpretation
of tongues. Wisdom is fearing God and seeing life from His
perspective. Knowledge is knowing about God and having some special
insights from God. Those with the gift of faith, really can
step out and trust God in a greater way than others. They really believe
God for things. Some have a gift of healing, a sign gift especially in New
Testament times when the Bible had been written yet, that would authenticate the
message from God. Prophecy can be foretelling of the future as told
by God or forth telling of what God has already said. The person with the
gift of prophecy can easily distinguish between right and wrong. The next
gift of discernment, is the ability to see and understand spiritual things or
spirits. Then there is the gift of tongues, the ability to speak in a
language you have not studied which may be used to share the Gospel with others
who do speak that language or a heavenly language giving a special message from
God. The next gift is the ability to interpret one of those special
messages in tongues. For more and with Thai translation see