Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 12

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:7-8

The Holy Spirit is not just for church leaders. The Spirit is God, even as the Father and the Son are God. But there are not three Gods; there is only one God. He, God, is working by his Spirit among his people.

So, evidence of the Holy Spiritís work can appear in the life of any Christian. In fact, that evidence should appear in every Christianís life, because every Christian should allow the Holy Spirit to guide him (Galatians 5:16).

However, the Holy Spirit does not work in the same way in every Christianís life. He gives different gifts to each person; each person serves Christ in different ways (12:4-5). This is necessary because Christians should work together to do Godís work. It is important because the honour for Godís work belongs to God, and not to any person.

Paul now begins a list of 9 different gifts of the Spirit. That is, 9 different ways that God works among his people by the power of his Holy Spirit. These are not things that people can do by their own human skills. They cannot do these things by mere human effort (1 Corinthians 12:3; Psalm 127:1). God is carrying out his own work among his people. Each person must choose whether to let the Holy Spirit work in his life, or not.

Paul begins his list with words of wisdom and knowledge. He does not mean human wisdom or natural knowledge. He means the type of wisdom that comes only from the Holy Spirit (2:10-13). That wisdom shows Godís people what God is doing. It was human wisdom that caused people to oppose Christ (2:8). Godís wisdom is much better than any human wisdom (1:23-31).

Next part: Faith is Godís gift (1 Corinthians 12:9)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.