1 Corinthians 4:4-6
1 Corinthians 12:4–12, 28
A Community Focused God
Notice in today’s Scripture Paul’s statement about the Trinity: the Holy Spirit, the Lord (Paul’s term for Jesus), and God (the Father). Because our Trinitarian God lives in community with himself, he created us to live in community with him and each other. Our spiritual transformation plays out in the body of Christ. To live generously is to give of ourselves by using our spiritual gifts to serve Christ’s body.
Recognizing Our Gifts
Today we’ll look at the gifts Paul lists in 1 Corinthians 12. Remember, this list represents the variety of gifts God gives and uses for the church. In the past few chapters, Paul has been dealing specifically with the Christian worship service, and the gifts here reflect how to corporately worship God in an orderly and loving way. As you read through them, remember to reflect on the three areas from yesterday: (1) What do you know to be true about yourself in this area? (2) What has been your experience when you’ve served in this way? (3) What have others affirmed in you?
The Gifts, Part Two
- Gifts of instruction: we can’t be sure what Paul meant by the “utterance of wisdom” and the “utterance of knowledge,” but they both have to do with instructing believers. “Utterance of wisdom” may mean understanding the reality of things with maturity and how to practically apply Scripture in everyday life, and “utterance of knowledge” may have to do with discovering and communicating God’s mysteries, perhaps with supernatural perception.
- Faith: all believers have some measure of trust in God, but God has given an extra dose of faith to others. Those with this gift have an extraordinary confidence in God’s vision for their reality.
- Gifts of healing: supernaturally healing the hurt physically, psychologically, or emotionally and restoring them to health. This is separate from the good but natural talents of doctors, nurses, and counselors as this has a supernatural element.
- Working of miracles: the ability to accomplish mighty acts outside the course of natural events to testify to God’s presence and power.
- Gift of discernment: the ability to discern between counterfeit spirits and the Holy Spirit, between false teaching and true, especially in the presence of a prophecy. Thus, God sends some to speak out his truth and some to confirm that if a prophecy came from God or from a deceptive spirit.
- Gifts of tongues: the ability to speak in or interpret a language not naturally learned. Paul clarifies that for this to be uplifting for the church (1 Corinthians 14:6–12), the gift of tongues must be accompanied by an interpretation.
- Administration: steering a ministry by organizing resources and people and implementing plans.
- Evangelism: effectively sharing the gospel to lead people to Christ.
- Shepherding: spiritually leading God’s people by guiding, nourishing, protecting, and caring for them.