Jean's Bible Study of the New Testament

Topical Concordance of the New Testament

 

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1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 12

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1Cor 12,1-3

(74k) Thy kingdom come >> Heart of man is sinful >> The heart determines which light is in you Ė Paul reminds the Corinthian Church that they were once pagans and were led astray to mute idols. The implication is that spiritual gifts can be confused with paganism, because they often degenerate to such levels. They have done much harm in our churches today, not spiritual gifts but people using them and abusing them without knowledge. We know that paganism is the worship of other gods otherwise known as witchcraft, and we also know of people, some by name, who have in the past attempted to practice spiritual gifts without knowledge that led to paganism, because they wanted to prove their spirituality and to gain status in the church and approval from their friends. In other words they fell into practicing witchcraft for the sake of pride, which is self-worship otherwise known as paganism. The true purpose of spiritual gifts is to build up the body of Christ, not to build up oneself. There is a tale-tell sign that discriminates all pagans from the people of God, if they never speak the name of Jesus Christ, but if they use the name of Jesus to glorify God, Paul says only those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them can do that, but this does not prove they are worshipping Christ according to the will of God. That is, you can be a Christian and still practice paganism.

1Cor 12-1

(175l) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Lack of knowledge

1Cor 12-2,3

(160d) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satanís attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil >> Led by the devil to suppress the word of God

1Cor 12-2

(163l) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Entertaining demons >> The church entertains demons

(195h) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping other gods >> Worshipping other gods as a servant

1Cor 12-3

(66d) Authority >> Lordship of Christ >> Jesus is Lord of heaven

(67j) Jesus delegates authority >> Glorifying the name of Jesus

(85b) Thy kingdom come >> Your words can lead to your own demise >> How can you, being evil, speak what is good?

(110b) Thy kingdom come >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through you >> Word of knowledge >> knowing the mind of Christ -- This verse goes with verse 8

(150d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the church bear witness to Jesus >> Confessing the salvation of Christ >> Confessing Jesus because you are saved

(156i) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Confessing Jesus is evidence of salvation

(157f) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Being displeasing to God >> Living in unbelief

(186c) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Blasphemy >> Cursing the Holy Spirit >> Lying to the Holy Spirit

1Cor 12,4-30

(136d) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Variation in the body Ė Christians should be gifted, not just one or two of us, but all of us. The fact that we donít see this very often indicates that those who desire the gifts most likely have an ulterior motive for pursuing them. The Bible says that everyone is endowed with at least one spiritual gift, and we should be walking in them. We are talking about the spiritual gifts that are listed here in this chapter, not some nebulous gift that we hold in our minds that is neither mentioned in Scripture nor able to manifest in the natural realm.

1Cor 12,4-14

(132h) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in Godís people >> Filled with the Spirit >> Filled to overflowing 

(230i) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Mystery of the trinity >> Anointing is the mystery of godliness

1Cor 12,4-11

(6j) Responsibility >> Being spiritual >> Ministering to each other by the strength in your Spirit Ė These verses go with verses 28-31. We have a choice whether to exercise our gifts or not, but the Bible doesnít say we have a choice to never walk in them like we see mostly today. Entire denominations donít even believe in the gifts of the spirit as they are explained in this chapter. People are afraid to walk in them, afraid to believe in God for them, afraid they will never see them manifested.

(35h) Gift of God >> God gives Himself to us >> The anointing

(35j) Gift >> God gives Himself to us >> Gifts from the Holy Spirit >> Spiritual gifts -- These verses go with verses 28-31. The truth is, people are afraid to walk in the gifts because they will indeed manifest like the children of Israel witnessed the manifestation of God and became afraid of Him, who communicated with the Israelites with a strong arm to deliver them from the bondage of Egypt. They were happy to come out of bondage, but that was the end of their joy, because it meant they had to show God reverence and curb their behavior, but they were more interested in their freedom to be whomever they thought they were, which was in bondage even without the chains of Egypt. It meant they actually had to believe in God, and they didnít want to give up their secular worldview, just like we donít want to give up ours. This is one reason we donít see spiritual gifts manifested today.

(115f) Thy kingdom come >> Working the grace of God >> Through your ministry >> In your gift Ė The Bible emphatically says that each Christian has a gift from God, yet you can go into almost any church and never see a semblance of these things taking place in their assemblies in that there are so many churches that do not even recognize the gifts. It is no wonder people avoid the gifts, for in pursuing them it has led to doing all kinds of weird and far-out practices. People have tried to exercise these gifts in their churches and run amuck from a lack of knowledge; the entire church gets out of hand, and the pastor finally has to put his foot down and say, Ďno more spiritual gifts!í If it werenít for the Scriptures we wouldnít even know about spiritual gifts, and if it is in the Scriptures, then not only are they the will of God, but He is actually promoting them! For so many hundreds and thousands of churches to not do what Scripture recommends is a telltale sign they are not listening to the Holy Spirit. They throw out the baby with the bath water, and the church is the worse for it.

(137m) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing with our brothers >> Employing your gifts to mature the body -- These verses go with verses 25-31. Just a chapter earlier it said in verse 30, ďFor this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep,Ē and one of the gifts of the spirit is healing. So what have we done? We have inculcated the doctrine of communion in a wrongful way, weakening and sickening the church, and then discarded the gifts of the spirit, so no one can be healed. Does this sound demonic to you? Any spirit that would lead the church to abandon entire chapters of the Bible, such as 1Corinthians 12 is not from God. There are other entire portions of Scripture that many churches do not acknowledge, but the gifts of the spirit are usually the first to go. That is not to say that the gifts of the spirit can actually fix all the problems of the church or can even heal its spirituality or lack of it. That is hard to say though, since not many have actually seen the gifts of the spirit in action, so who knows what good can come of the gifts of the spirit properly working in a church?

(156g) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Manifesting the Holy Spirit is evidence of salvation

(246f) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of Godís kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of the Spirit

1Cor 12,4-6

(135n) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Similarity in the body >> The things we have in common >> Common Lord -- These verses go with verses 12&13

(255g) Trinity >> Father, Son and Holy Spirit >> The process of imparting the substance of God >> Father discloses the Spirit by the word

1Cor 12,7-11

(250k) Priorities >> Godís prerequisites >> Lists >> Terms of graduating to the next level >> List of spiritual traits in descending order -- These verses go with verse 28

1Cor 12-7,8

(89h) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Wisdom of the Spirit

1Cor 12-7

(30b) Gift of God >> God is our source >> His creative ability supplies our needs

(128a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Doing good for the sake of your brother

1Cor 12-8

(36f) Gift of God >> Gifts from the Holy Spirit >> The gift of wisdom Ė Wouldnít it be nice if the church had a little wisdom? No, weíre going to throw that out. Wouldnít it be nice if someone in the church had a gift of faith, who not only believed something, but also knew the will of God? No we are going to throw that out too. To be able to lean on someone who knows things from the spirit is comforting. When we are feeling weak, we can depend on these people to tell us something that goes beyond the human capacity to merely believe. Many of the rest of us believe a lot of things about God, but there are some of us who have a gift of faith, who have a direct line to God, and we need people like them in the church.

(110b) Thy kingdom come >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through you >> Word of knowledge >> knowing the mind of Christ -- This verse goes with verse 3

1Cor 12-9

(145e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesusí works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Pursue the healing power of God Ė The effecting of miracles incorporates healing, but is not limited to healing. Sometimes it is important to see God at work. Not only does it help our faith, but sometimes we need things done that no one but God can do. As the days draw darker, being able to meet our needs and solve our problems will become increasingly more difficult, and we will need to depend on God. Miracles will take a place in our lives as a way of survival. When all our needs are met and we have a good job and money is coming in and we have a nice house and car and other good things, if you see a miracle under those conditions you walk away saying, ĎThat was a neat little show,í but when people are down on their luck and darkness is overtaking the light, miracles are not a sideshow.

1Cor 12-10

(70c) Authority >> Church conveys Jesusí authority >> Discernment >> Test the spirits

(95c) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude >> Speaking in tongues >> Tongues are a spiritual gift -- This verse goes with verse 28. The gift of tongues is probably the most abused of all the gifts. There are churches that allow everybody to speak in tongues all at the same time. This is an abuse of the gift, for where there are tongues, there must also be an interpretation (except in your private prayers). A person who speaks in tongues doesnít know what he is saying, otherwise he would prophesy, but since he feels something in his spirit, though he doesnít know what it is, he speaks in a tongue. However, if he does speak in tongues, then there must be an interpretation, otherwise there is no edification, and edification is the golden rule of spiritual gifts. The purpose of tongues is for those frequent times when we donít know what to say, but can somehow sense the truth tickling the back of our minds, but canít get it to come out of our mouths. So, God has given us tongues to speak in its place to help us understand the thoughts of God. Isnít the person giving the interpretation of tongues prophesying? Why then do we need tongues? Tongues and their interpretation are a two-step process to the thoughts of God, just like taking two steps will get you higher than one step. When we sense the word of God towering over us seemingly unattainable, we can pull up the step stool of tongues to help us achieve the knowledge of God. For this reason the tongue and its interpretation should be more dynamic than the stand-alone prophecy, this fact can be used to judge this spiritual gift in the assembly.

(152i) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> The church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing -- This verse goes with verse 28. The gift of prophecy is probably the one that is most prevalent in the church. The Old Testament also had people who would prophesy, but they were not prophets, such as Elijah. The difference between a prophet and one who prophesies is the difference between what that person does and who that person is. The word of the Lord does not garnish to a prophet's life. Rather, it is his very essence. For example, the Old Testament Scripture reported that there were those who prophesied, but their prophesies were never recorded, in contrast to the prophesies of say Isaiah and Jeremiah, which were indeed recorded. To have a gift of prophecy, you can decide to walk in the gift or not, but to be a prophet, you do not have that option. Rather, a prophet is born a prophet and is groomed by God Himself throughout his life. Moreover, the ministry of the one who prophesies is to help the church that he attends to stay on course, whereas the ministry of the prophet is to help the church throughout the world to stay on course, even as it was the ministry of Elijah to help keep Israel on course with God, though he and all the prophets were never heeded. Some people ask where are all the prophets today? To the degree that prophets are heeded is the degree to which they are apparent. Therefore, the reason Godís prophets seem non-existent is that they are completely unheeded in this evil and perverse generation. With the gift of prophecy, once the person has finished prophesying, every personís life in that room should be changed, because this is God speaking through that person, and God isnít going to tell them what they already know as we have heard in so many times in the past. The one who prophesies will never conflict with Scripture, but the prophecy should add to our understanding of God and His truth. We should keep this in mind as a way of judging all prophesies. If the prophecy adds no understanding or wisdom to the church, then the person is speaking from his own mind, regardless of the hype he used to bring forth the word. 

1Cor 12-11

(31k) Gift of God >> Gift of His grace >> Grace is the work of God -- This verse goes with verse 18

(68a) Authority >> Doing Godís work under His authority >> Ministry of helps >> Help Godís people -- This verse goes with verse 18

(71h) Authority >> Ordained by Godís sovereign will >> God chooses to work in you -- This verse goes with verse 18

(72g) Transferring authority >> Receiving the delegated authority of Christ -- This verse goes with verse 18

(216k) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Godís will over man >> God Is Independent Of His Creation >> You cannot control Godís desire for you >> man is not in control of Godís gift -- This verse goes with verse 18

(227h) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Dependence on Jesus >> Depending on Jesus to impart His gifts into us >> To give us what we give to each other -- This verse goes with verse 18. You can just about imagine a church that is operating in the gifts of the spirit, where all these things are happening in their services. For this reason order is necessary. How important are these gifts? They were mentioned only once in the New Testament in chapters 12 and 14 of 1Corinthians. Paul taught spiritual gifts to the undisciplined and immature church of the Corinthians. Therefore, anyone who wishes to walk in the gifts of the spirit may be pursuing them under the same pretext. The other churches were either already walking in these gifts or were pursuing the more excellent way outlined in 1Corinthian chapter 13. Nevertheless, it is important to come together as a body of believers and fellowship, because we have things to offer one another. However, church should not be the only place where the gifts can flow, since there are those who do not feel comfortable operating their gifts in the assembly.

(229d) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> Kingdom grows according to the will of God -- This verse goes with verse 18

(241b) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Obstacles in the way of the kingdom >> Ask but donít receive >> Asking for something that is not in His will -- This verse goes with verse 18

1Cor 12,12-27

(131j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Many members but one body

(135l) The Body Of Christ (Key verse)

(136h) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Body of Christ consists of individual members Ė Paul changes the direction of his dissertation from speaking about the gifts to speaking about the body of Christ, saying that all these gifts make up the body. Most context of Scripture implies that without the people there is no body, but in this context he is saying without the gifts there is no body, for itís what each individual part supplies that makes it a viable member.  

(225l) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about the body of Christ

1Cor 12-12,13

(135n) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Similarity in the body >> The things we have in common >> Common Lord -- These verses go with verses 4-6. Jesus has a soul like the rest of us. However, unlike us His soul and Spirit are one and the same, giving Him the identity of the Holy Spirit, who in turn is the exact representation of the Father. In that way you could almost say that Jesus doesnít have a soul; the Holy Spirit doubles as His soul and His Spirit. Before we were born again we had a soul but no spirit, but now we have a body, soul and spirit. We all have a unique soul, which makes us all different from each other, but those of us who are born of the Spirit have the same Spirit abiding in us, which binds us together, giving us all what we have in common.

1Cor 12,13-21

(1g) Responsibility >> Become all things to all men >> Blending together Ė Just as God has made male and female to be interdependent on each other, so He has made the church to depend on one another for its vitality and growth. He gives something special to each one of us that the entire body needs in order to grow healthy and strong, so that we must work together in order to receive from each other what we need to be whole as a church. Had He designed the church in a way that one man had everything the church needed, the pastor would invariably hold it over the body and force it to do its bidding before he would finally relinquish the gifts that actually belonged to the people. This goes on enough as it is, only because the people are unaware that the key lies within themselves to feed the church and to help it grow strong and vibrant.

1Cor 12-13

(230d) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking >> Partaking of the power of God >> Partaking of the ministry of the Holy Spirit

1Cor 12,15-27

(235f) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Giving (your inner self) >> Giving preference to one another

1Cor 12,15-26

(130k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Accept one another >> Love tears down social differences in the church

1Cor 12,15-25

(24h) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Being envious of your brother Ė Paul is talking about being jealous of each otherís spiritual gift. One person may have the gift of wisdom, while another may have the gift of knowledge, and so should the foot or the gift of wisdom say to the hand, because I do not have the word of knowledge, I am not a part of the body? Paulís answer is, ďHe is not for this reason any less a part of the body.Ē He thinks because he does not have the word of knowledge that he is nothing, but this is not the case, for every member makes a significant contribution to the church. The bigger question is why are we having this conversation? If we are so immature as to envy one anotherís gifts, then we are too immature to operate in them. When does Paul address this? He has been saying it throughout all the chapters in his discourse to the Corinthian Church, starting in 1Cor 1-11.

1Cor 12,15-21

(17d) Sin >> Judging in the flesh >> Accusing God and others of sin

(95g) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> An attitude that fosters unity -- These verses go with verse 24

(196h) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to love God

(199a) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Frustrating the grace of God >> Frustrating Jesus >> Frustrating Jesusí ministry

1Cor 12,15-20

(121b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Contentment >> Content with seeking God

1Cor 12-15,16

(56j) Paradox >> Opposites >> He who exalts himself shall be humbled

(246hh) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of Godís kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Materializing the inner man -- These verses go with verses 21-25

1Cor 12,17-20

(130m) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependent on each other >> Depend on your brother to walk in the gifts of Godís calling -- These verses go with verses 29&30

1Cor 12,18-27

(131d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Brother depends on you >> To help build the temple

1Cor 12-18

(31k) Gift of God >> Gift of His grace >> Grace is the work of God -- This verse goes with verse 11

(68a) Authority >> Doing Godís work under His authority >> Ministry of helps >> Help Godís people -- This verse goes with verse 11

(71h) Authority >> Ordained by Godís sovereign will >> God chooses to work in you -- This verse goes with verse 11

(72g) Transferring authority >> Receiving the delegated authority of Christ -- This verse goes with verse 11

(216k) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Godís will over man >> God Is Independent Of His Creation >> You cannot control Godís desire for you >> man is not in control of Godís gift -- This verse goes with verse 11. The gifts of the spirit are not the acts of men, but the acts of men through the spirit. The gifts are dependent on the spirit for their manifestation. If the gifts were dependent on the man, then it would be paganism. The difference is whether we are following God, or whether we want God to follow us.

(227h) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Dependence on Jesus >> Depending on Jesus to impart His gifts into us >> To give us what we give to each other -- This verse goes with verse 11

(228g) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> God is working in you to place you in His will >> To lead you in His purpose

(229d) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> Kingdom grows according to the will of God -- This verse goes with verse 11

(241b) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Obstacles in the way of the kingdom >> Ask but donít receive >> Asking for something that is not in His will -- This verse goes with verse 11

1Cor 12-20,21

(180j) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Rebellion >> Rebelling against Godís narrow way >> Rebelling against the ways of God

1Cor 12,21-25

(246hh) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of Godís kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Materializing the inner man -- These verses go with verses 15,16

1Cor 12-21,22

(223d) Kingdom of God >> The elusive kingdom of heaven >> Conceit >> Imposing your opinion of self on others >> Thinking you are more important than others Ė Still referring to the gifts of the spirit in light of the each member of the body, these gifts that donít seem as significant are just as important. Paul is comparing the church to the human body, saying that some of our less seemly members, the ones we make sure to cover, are given greater honor. For example, our hands can do a million things, but our less seemly members can do only a couple, yet those couple things are vital to the rest of the body. This balances the gifts in the body with the people in the church, so that there is no one more important than another.

1Cor 12-21

(21f) Sin >> Disobedience opposes unity in the church

(22m) Sin >> Pride glorifies self >> Comparing yourself with others

1Cor 12,22-31

(231a) Kingdom of God >> Godís kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Solving the mystery of godliness >> The church discloses the mystery of Christ

1Cor 12,22-26

(56c) Paradox >> Opposites >> Humble yourself to be chosen of God

(108d) Thy kingdom come >> Balance >> Faith is the balance between freedom and law

(123h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Ministry of the saints >> Caring f or each others needs

1Cor 12,23-25

(58f) Paradox >> Opposites >> The less honor they seem, the more honor we deem

1Cor 12-24

(95g) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> An attitude that fosters unity -- This verse goes with verse 26

1Cor 12,25-31

(137m) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing with our brothers >> Employing your gifts to mature the body -- These verses go with verses 4-11. Paul has shifted his context from the gifts of the spirit to the members of the body of Christ, saying that God has appointed people to hold various important positions in the body, though some of those positions were not listed in the gifts. For example, an apostle is not a gift of the spirit, nor is a prophet, but he mixes the gifts with identities in the church who lead. The apostle Paul was a master shepherd, and below him were prophets, and below them were teachers, and below them were the members of the body who operate in the gifts of the spirit.

1Cor 12-26,27

(136b) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Similarity in the body >> The body suffers together

1Cor 12-26

(95g) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> An attitude that fosters unity -- This verse goes with verses 15-21

1Cor 12,28-31

(6j) Responsibility >> Being spiritual >> Ministering to each other by the strength in your Spirit Ė These verses go with verses 4-11. There are the gifts, which start in verse 8 (the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, etc.), and then there are the greater gifts, apostles, prophets and teachers. Paul says to pursue these things. In other words, donít sit around waiting for God to make you an apostle or a prophet or a teacher, but attempt to assume one of these roles, and if God is calling you there, it will fit, but if it is not Godís will that you should be one of these, then no matter how hard you try, you will not receive the grace from God to fit into one of these roles.

(35j) Gift >> God gives Himself to us >> Gifts from the Holy Spirit >> Spiritual gifts -- These verses go with verses 4-11

1Cor 12-28

(14c) Ministry of helps (Key verse) Ė If you will notice, it is not a coincidence that this topic, "Ministry of helps," is right next to the topic "Angels," because there are a lot of similarities between the two. First, they are both servants, and second, the kind of services they render have many similarities. The anointed position of the ministry of helps is someone who makes a career of helping people on a volunteer basis in Christís name. They act as a great encouragement to everyone. One of their fondest ministries is hospitality. They also sometimes act as a pastorís aid. In this case they free up the pastor so he can spend more time in the word. The main difference between the ministry of helps and a regular minister is the ministry of helps does not by definition have a ministry of its own, but helps the existing ministry; though that itself is a ministry.

(14o) Servant >> Position of helpers is anointed

(95c) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude >> Speaking in tongues >> Tongues are a spiritual gift -- This verse goes with verse 10

(152i) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> The church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing -- This verse goes with verse 10

(239i) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> The gift of teaching >> Teachers are a gift to the body

(250k) Priorities >> Godís prerequisites >> Lists >> Terms of graduating to the next level >> List of spiritual traits in descending order -- This verse goes with verses 7-11

1Cor 12-29,30

(130m) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependent on each other >> Depend on your brother to walk in the gifts of Godís calling -- These verses go with verses 17-20

1Cor 12-31

(232k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Seek the essence of his kingdom >> Seeking the righteousness of His kingdom Ė Paul will reveal to us a more excellent way to edify the body of Christ in the love chapter. The things he says in the next chapter will trump everything he said in this chapter. Love triumphs over all things. Paul was saying that as much as we should pursue the gifts of the Spirit, we should pursue love even more. He was talking to the Corinthians who were interested in the gifts; otherwise Paul probably would not have mentioned them, since he never mentioned them in any other epistle. The Corinthian Church was a very carnal, fleshly people. They would want to walk in the gifts, but then so did Jesus want His people to walk in the gifts (Mk 16,15-18; Jn 14-12 146i). The reason Paul addressed the gifts in his letter to the Corinthians was because they needed instruction to walk in them, since they were so immature. Hence, the gifts do not prove spiritual maturity or immaturity, or anything for that matter to the church, but proves to the world that the people of the church are the children of God. The church does not need proof of this, but they do need proof they are walking in the right Spirit, and this is the function of love, since the wrong spirit would never lead you to walk in love. So, the gifts of the spirit are a sign to the world that we are the children of God, while love is a sign to the church that we are listening to the right spirit.

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