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1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 12

KJV    NAS

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1-3 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed "; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

 

1Cor 12,1-3

(74k) Thy kingdom come >> Heart of man is sinful >> The heart determines which light is in you – Paul reminds the Corinthian Church that they were once pagans and were led astray by mute idols. The implication is that spiritual gifts can be confused with paganism in that when we don't pay attention to our faith, it can degenerate to such primal beliefs. They have done much harm in our churches, not spiritual gifts but people using them without knowledge. We know that paganism is the worship of other gods that don't care if we worship them in ignorance, but God would not have us worship Him that way. People in the past have attempted to use spiritual gifts without knowledge leading to superstition and spiritual abuse, seeking approval and status in the Church, returning to idolatry and witchcraft, which is nothing more than self-worship. The purpose of spiritual gifts is to build up the body of Christ, not to build up oneself. Thus, there is a tale-tell sign that discriminates pagans from the true saints: whether they use the name of Jesus to glorify God.

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 >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil to suppress the word of God >>  Suppressing the truth with false doctrine

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) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> Glorifying the name of Jesus – Paul just used the phrase “Jesus is accursed,” so didn’t he just blaspheme? No he didn’t, because he didn’t mean it that way. So, it is the meaning behind the words and not the words themselves that is blasphemous, the fact that they believed it. Of course, the person who blasphemes the name of Jesus doesn’t believe in Him, so their belief is actually unbelief. Conversely, nobody who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him can blaspheme the name of Jesus; that is, “no one speaking by the Spirit of God says Jesus is accursed,” meaning that the Holy Spirit would never say that, but could a believer in Jesus say it? Yes, Paul just did, but the broader question whether he could mean it. Those who have the indwelling Holy Spirit love God and His Son Jesus Christ, and for that reason they would never say those words and mean it. To speak against Jesus does not condemn a person to hell, for it is not the words themselves but what we believe that has the power to save and to condemn.

(69b) Authority >> Discernment >> Discerning the Truth – A person can quote Scripture and if he doesn’t believe it, then it is not true to him. God has given us a spirit of discernment, being one of the spiritual gifts (v10), so we can better know a person’s heart. A person may confess to love God, but a keen sense of discernment will detect whether they actually do love Him. It is important to have a heightened sense of discernment, especially as endtime prophecy unfolds; we will need to know with greater certainty who are our true brothers in the faith and who are not. There are those who talk a big line, but we can’t just go by what they say. We need discernment to judge their hearts, and only the Spirit of God can do this. Discernment is something that transcends words and gestures; it transcends the look in a person’s eye, their general appearance and body language and their word choice. Discernment uses none of these things to make its determination about the true state of a person’s heart; rather, it is God Himself who reveals a person's heart to us, whether their faith is sincere. 

(85b) Thy kingdom come >> Your words can lead to your own demise >> How can you, being evil, speak what is good? – When Paul said, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit,” he suggested that unbelievers cannot say this and mean it. If we can say the words without the Holy Spirit, then we can also curse the name of Jesus as Christians and not mean it. Words merely represent meaning; they are just symbols; they have no meaning in themselves, but we assign meaning to them. When we say something really bad to people, our words represent how we feel, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we feel that way, and if they know we don’t mean it, they might just laugh. This is a common shtick among friends. They say some of the cruelest things to each other, all the while feeling just the opposite, but if they spoke that way to a stranger, he would have to assume they meant it. We can also say nice things to people and not mean it, such as in social settings. For instance, it is important to be polite and say "thank you", though it is just a formality, but it is more important to actually be thankful. If we are thankful we will say it, but to say it doesn't actually mean we are thankful. Therefore, to say that Jesus is accursed or to say that He is Lord only represents what we believe; it doesn’t prove we mean it, because words have no meaning in themselves. Meaning is contained in the heart and only God knows our heart.

(110b) Thy Kingdom Come >> Faith >> 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 – If we believe in our heart that Jesus is accursed, it will send us to hell, unless we repent of our unbelief. Many people think God is deeply flawed; in fact, everyone who goes to hell believes this; it is inherent to their condemnation to assume that they are less flawed in their character than God, for if they believed God were good, they would likely get saved. They think they can see the flaws in God, but what they really see is their own failing projected upon an image in their mind that they call god. What does Rom 2-1 say? “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” Therefore, whatever anyone says against God, they are inadvertently admitting about themselves.

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4-6 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.

 

1Cor 12,4-30

(136d) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Variation in the body – Christians should be gifted, and the fact that we don’t see this indicates there is something wrong with the Church overall. Paul said that everyone is endowed with at least one spiritual gift. Diversity in the body of Christ is its strength; we can see this in every aspect of the creation. Diversity is everywhere; therefore, how much more should we see it in the Church, His finest creation?

1Cor 12,4-14

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

(230i) Kingdom of God >> God’s 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 – These verses go with verses 28-31. We have a choice whether or not to exercise our gifts (1Cor 14-32), but we don't have a choice to suppress them as we see today in most churches. Entire denominations don’t even believe in the gifts of the spirit as they are explained in this chapter. People are afraid to walk in them and afraid to believe in God for them.

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

(35ja) Gift >> God gives Himself to us >> Gifts from the Holy Spirit >> Spiritual gifts >> Possessing gifts from God -- These verses go with verses 28-31. Walking in the gifts of the Spirit is the first thing that disappears when disobedience and rebellion seeps into the Church, and what is ironic is that people who rebel against God often want to walk in the gifts. They are disobedient to God, and they know if they had the gifts, they could better control people. Ironically too, people who seek the gifts often don’t have much of a relationship with God. So much of their giftedness is fabricated; most are shysters, passing off their charming personalities as charisma, though charisma is not one of the gifts of the Spirit. They figure if they can throw a pseudo-charismatic halo around themselves, it will cloak their lack of giftedness, while inviting people to presume they are gifted because of their charm. Charlatans are very talented at fooling people; to them it is like riding a bicycle, while the rest of us scratch our heads and wonder how they do it.

(115f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through your ministry >> In your gift 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. Most churches do not even recognize the gifts. It is no wonder people avoid them, for in pursuing them it has led to doing all kinds of weird and far-out practices. People have tried to become spiritual in the flesh 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, ‘no more spiritual gifts!’ If it weren’t for the Scriptures we wouldn’t even know about spiritual gifts, and if it is in the Scriptures, then not only are they the will of God, but Paul is actually promoting them! For so many thousands of churches to not do what Scripture recommends proves they have thrown 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 (Spiritual fellowship) -- These verses go with verses 25-31. Just a chapter earlier it said in verse 30, “For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep,” so what have we done? We have practiced communion in wrongful ways, weakening and sickening the Church, and then discarded the gifts of the spirit, so no one can be healed. Any spirit that would lead the Church to abandon entire chapters of the Bible such as this one is not from God.

(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 God’s 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 12-27

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

 

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7-9 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

 

1Cor 12,7-11

(250k) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Lists >> Terms of graduating to the next level >> List of spiritual traits in descending order -- These verses go with verse 28. There is a difference between the spiritual gift of faith (v9), and faith in general that God gives us to believe in Him. The gift of faith is like a supercharger that funnels air into the carburetor so more fuel can be used to make the car run faster. Hence, the gift of faith supplements our general faith in God, and this is the purpose of all the gifts of the Spirit. The gift of faith is sometimes what we need to get over a hump or to rise above a force that is opposing our spiritual progress.

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 – Wouldn’t it be nice if the Church had a little wisdom? No, we’re going to throw that out. Wouldn’t 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 must throw that out too. To be able to lean on someone who knows things from the Spirit is comforting. When we are feeling spiritually weak, we can depend on them to tell us something that goes beyond human reasoning and our capacity to 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 >> Faith >> 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 >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Pursue the healing power of God – 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 solve our problems will become increasingly more difficult, and we will need to depend on God, and miracles will take a place in our lives as a way of survival. When all our needs are met and we see a miracle, we say, ‘That was cool,’ but when people are down on their luck and darkness is overtaking the light, miracles are not a sideshow.

 

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

10&11 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

 

1Cor 12-10

(70c) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Being sensitive to the Spirit >> 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 common and most abused of all the gifts. For example, 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 in church (not in our private prayer closet). A person who speaks in tongues doesn’t know what he is saying, otherwise he would prophesy. For the one who senses a word in his spirit but can't reach it with his heart can speak in tongues, hoping that God will eventually reveal to him what he is thinking. Edification is the golden rule in spiritual gifts. Isn’t the person giving the interpretation of tongues prophesying; why then do we need tongues? Tongues and their interpretation are a two-step process to prophesying, like dividing one large step into two little ones.

(152ia) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing >> Delivering a prophetic message from God -- This verse goes with verse 28. The gift of prophecy along with speaking in tongues are the two most prevalent gifts in the Church. The Old Testament also had people who prophesied, but they were not prophets any more than people in the Church today who prophesy are true prophets in the strictest sense of the word. The difference between a prophet and one who prophesies is the difference between what a person says and what is the very essence of a prophet. For example, the Old Testament spoke about many who prophesied, but their prophesies were never recorded, in contrast to the prophesies of say Isaiah and Jeremiah. Moreover, to have the gift of prophecy, we can decide to use it or not, but a true prophet did not decide to be a prophet; rather, that was God's choice. That is, a prophet is born a prophet, groomed by God throughout his life. Moreover, the ministry of the one who prophesies is to help his local Church stay on course with God, whereas the ministry of the prophet is to help the Church throughout the world stay on course with God, even as it was the ministry of Elijah to keep Israel on course, though he and all the prophets were never heeded. Some 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 God’s prophets seem non-existent is that they are completely unheeded. With the gift of prophecy, once the person has finished prophesying, every person’s life in that room should be changed, because this is God speaking through that person, and His word never returns to Him void, nor would He speak things that people already know, nor does the one who prophesies contradict the Scriptures but adds to our knowledge without violating His word. We should keep this in mind as a way of judging all prophesies.

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 God’s work under His authority >> Ministry of helps >> Help God’s people -- This verse goes with verse 18

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

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

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

(227h) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Dependence on Jesus >> Depending on Jesus to impart His gifts into us >> He gives us what we give to each other -- This verse goes with verse 18. We can just about imagine a church that operates in the gifts of the spirit, where all these things are happening in their services; for this reason order is necessary. How important are the gifts of the Spirit? They were mentioned only twice 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 may be pursuing them under the same pretext. The other churches were either already walking in the gifts or were pursuing the more excellent way outlined in the next chapter, 13, the Love chapter. It is important to come together as a body of believers and fellowship, because we have things to offer.

(229d) Kingdom of God >> God’s 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 don’t receive >> Asking for something that is not in His will -- This verse goes with verse 18

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12-14 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many.

 

1Cor 12,12-27

(131j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Many members but one body >> Many partakers but one loaf of bread – No matter what position God has given us, whether great or small, we need to realize that no one else can do what we do. “She” will be beautiful, the woman as it is written in the Song of Solomon, highly prized and desired by her lover. She will shine like the sun and individually as the stars of heaven. Here on earth where nothing is perfect, we're not surprised there's a lot of patchwork involved, but in heaven everything will be made perfect, and every person will be given a position in the body, and we will all faithfully do God's will. The less noble members are just as necessary as those who are in the limelight, so regardless of our nobility, each person is critical for the body’s overall health and function. The position that Christ assigns us will be permanent; so if we are faithful in this life but unseen, we will have a more visible ministry in heaven; and if our ministry is highly visible in this life but faithless, our ministry in heaven will be less visible.

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

(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. The soul of Christ is the Spirit of God, giving Him the identity of the Holy Spirit, who is the exact representation of the Father. In this way we could say that Jesus doesn’t have a soul; this is the purpose of the Church; collectively we are the soul of Christ. We each have a unique soul that makes us different from each other, but before salvation we were incomplete, for we had no spirit. Now that we are born of God we have the Spirit of Christ that binds us all together.

(136hb) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Body of Christ consists of individual members >> We are being fitted together – Paul integrates the subject of Christ's body into his teaching about the gifts of the Spirit, saying that without the gifts there would be no body, for it is what each part supplies that makes it a viable member. Coming to the knowledge of His will is a mystery; it uniquely happens to each person, and the way God reveals His will defines us and shapes us into specific members of His body. Nobody’s story is the same; there is no recipe for coming to know Christ. Everyone has undergone an intense pursuit of Christ to discover his specific gift, leading to different ministries. Some people are designed to do things that only the hand can do; others are designed to do what only the foot can do, or the ear or the eye or the nose. These are extraordinary members of the body, but there are many other members that have less visible purposes but are just as important, such as the kidneys, liver and pancreas; these are unseen members that keep the whole body alive and healthy. Other members are more visible but have a lesser function, such as the navel. For every member of the body that does the will of God there are a hundred that are unseen that ensure its overall health, such as prayer warriors, enabling Christ to work in the world through the Church.

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

(245a) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm is imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Literal manifestation of Jesus Christ >> Manifesting the body of Christ – We the Church are many members but one body. The “body of Christ” is different from the Church. For one thing, people confuse the building with the people, as though they bore a resemblance, but if they call the building a Church, who are the people? The people are the Church, but the “body of Christ” goes one step further and associates the people with Christ Himself. In various passages it teaches that the things we do represent what God does in the world; we are His feet and His hands; the things we do in His name and for His glory are how God accomplishes His will on the earth. We the body of Christ will continue being His hands and feet throughout eternity.

1Cor 12,13-21

(1g) Responsibility >> Become all things to all men >> Blending together – Just as God has made male and female to be interdependent, so He has made the Church to be dependent on each other for its vitality and strength. He gives something special to each person that the entire body needs, so we must work together to receive from each other and become a healthy body. The Lord did not design the Church for one man to have everything the Church needed, who invariably holds himself over the body without relinquishing the gifts that belong to the members, yet this is a regular occurrence in most churches and will only be corrected when the people realize that the ministry belongs to them and not to one man in the pulpit.

1Cor 12-13

(230d) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking >> Partaking of the power of God >> Partaking of the ministry of the Holy Spirit – One Spirit baptizes us all into one body, and we are all made to drink from the same baptismal water that originates from the springs of life, originating from the throne of God (Rev 22-1). In practice, baptismal ceremonies line up the new converts who wish to be immersed into the Church, and those who are in attendance bear witness as they do at weddings. Baptism is an earthly marriage ceremony between God and the believer being baptized; and if there is an earthly marriage ceremony, then there is also a heavenly one, called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, when we will corporately be immersed in one Spirit and made to drink from the same, so that God surrounds us as water surrounds the swimmer and dwells in us as one imbibes the water. The amount we consume is nothing compared to the volume required for immersion, and the water we drink refers to the indwelling Holy Spirit who lives in us, acting as the seal of our salvation. God desires His indwelling Spirit to manifest in our lives in the natural realm, like setting a lamp on a table and giving light to all who are in the house.

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15&16 If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.

 

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

(95g) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> An attitude that fosters unity

(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 – Some people are jealous of other people’s ministries, but it is like the stomach wanting to do the work of the hands. Some people are called to be apostles, while others are called to be prophets, “some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph 4-11,12). Most, however, are called to fulfill very mundane ministries, and those who want a more significant ministry must seek God for it who says, “Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as your possession” (Psalm 8-2). Also Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (Jn 16-23), yet a person’s calling cannot rise above His search for God. The apostle and the prophet have sought God intently, also the teacher that he may know what to teach, and God has given them ministries as a result of their pursuit.

1Cor 12,15-21

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

(196h) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to love God – Paul is talking about being jealous of each other’s spiritual gift. One person may have the gift of wisdom, while another may have the gift of knowledge, and so should the foot say to the hand, because I do not have a word of knowledge, I am not a part of the body? No, “He is not for this reason any less a part of the body.” 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 another’s gifts, then we are not mature enough to exercise our own. When does Paul address this? He has been saying it throughout his discourse to the Corinthians, starting in 1Cor 1-11, "I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you."

(199a) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Frustrating the grace of God >> Frustrating Jesus >> Frustrating Jesus’ 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 God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Materializing the inner man -- These verses go with verses 21-25

 

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17-21 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19 If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now there are many members, but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."

 

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 God’s 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 God’s work under His authority >> Ministry of helps >> Help God’s people -- This verse goes with verse 11

(71h) Authority >> Ordained by God >> Ordained by His 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 >> God’s will over man >> God Is Independent Of His Creation >> You cannot control God’s desire for you >> man is not in control of God’s gift -- This verse goes with verse 11

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

(228g) Kingdom of God >> God’s 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 >> God’s 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 don’t 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 God’s narrow way >> Rebelling against the ways of God

1Cor 12,21-26

(76k) Thy kingdom come >> Desires of your heart >> Desiring to be among the people of God – All these things are based on desire. What do we want from God? The mother of the sons of Zebedee wanted Jesus to place her sons next to Jesus, one on His right and one on His left in His Kingdom, but Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking” (Mat 20,20-23). Not every position in the body of Christ is He willing to give us, suggesting that our calling is also based on destiny. However, if a person had a destiny to be a prophet but never sought God for the position, he could not be a prophet. Conversely, if he were destined to be something else, all his seeking to be a prophet would be in vain. So our calling is based on both the will of God and the will of man. What good would it do if God gave us a ministry that we didn’t want? There is God’s desire and there is man’s desire, and these two must match in order for our calling to manifest in the world.

1Cor 12,21-25

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

1Cor 12-21,22

(223c) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Conceit >> Imposing your opinion of self on others >> Cliques make people seek your acceptance – Still referring to the gifts of the Spirit in light of the each other, these gifts that don’t seem as significant are just as important. Paul is comparing the Church to the human body, saying that some of our less seemly members are given greater honor. For example, our hands can do a million things, while our less seemly members can do only a couple, yet those couple things are vital to the health of the body and to the human species as a whole. This balances the gifts, so there is no one more important than another.

1Cor 12-21

(21f) Sin >> Disobedience opposes unity in the Church – Everyone has a piece of the truth to contribute, and when we all put our pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle and lock them in place, we can see the big picture, otherwise we can't see God's overall purpose for the Church in the world. The pastor would say he can’t trust anybody with the word of God, but this is just an excuse, though admittedly there really are many flakes and nuts out there. He probably has a point, but the Church has not been trained for thousands of years to seek and pursue the truth of God and make a contribution, and for that reason people are not seeking spiritual maturity. After all, what would they do if they attained it? They learn as much as it takes to get saved and then stop growing, because there is no need for spiritual maturity. It would only become a point of frustration and get in the way of everyday life. There is no further need for the truth other than to merely get saved, since their contribution is neither needed nor wanted in the Church. Why should we pursue the truth or the gifts if we will never have an opportunity to share them? It is no wonder the Church is in such shambles.

(22m) Sin >> Pride glorifies self >> Comparing yourself with others – There are many pastors who are saying to their brothers and sisters in Christ, ‘I have no need of you (except your tithe).' The pastor who would say this figures he has no need of anybody's help, unless of course they are asking to help fold chairs or to clean bathrooms or swab floors. All these slots are certainly open; otherwise the pastor is self-sufficient. This speaks from pride and arrogance; he is unaware how much people could contribute to the body of Christ. Pastors like this lack vision. Paul is talking about a lot more than mowing lawns and shoveling sidewalks when he writes about each member contributing to the Church; rather, the contribution pertains to the truth. It takes the entire body of Christ to understand God’s purpose for His people, but as it is we have the pastor who stands behind the pulpit every week and preaches sermons every Sunday, and no one else is given an opportunity to share his gifts. This is the way the Church is set-up today, but this is not how Paul wanted it from the beginning; he wanted everybody to be active members in the Church, not just in the field of grunt work, but actually contributing to understanding God’s truth.

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22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 

 

1Cor 12,22-31

(231a) Kingdom of God >> God’s 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 – There are people in the background whom we never see, and they do vital tasks that if not done, the rest of the body suffers. If our unseemly members wanted more attention, it would actually be a crime (public nudity, for instance). Everyone gawks in fascination or disgust, because these body parts sought to become more popular than they should, and if they constantly demanded attention from the rest of the body, it might be called irritable bowl syndrome or overactive bladder, prohibiting anything else from getting done. Conversely, if these certain members refused to fulfill their duty, the body would get constipated, which can be life-threatening. Here is a conversation with the various body parts: "'I should be in charge' said the blood, 'because I circulate oxygen all over so without me you'd all waste away.' 'I should be in charge, ' said the stomach,' because I process food and give all of you energy.' 'I should be in charge' said the legs, 'because I carry the body wherever it needs to go.' 'I should be in charge' said the eyes, 'because I allow the body to see where it goes.' 'I should be in charge, 'said the rectum, 'Because I'm responsible for waste removal.' All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight. Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was bloated, the legs got wobbly, the eyes got watery, and the blood was toxic." With a little levity we have made the point that Paul was making, that the unseemly members are just as important as members that get the most attention. See also: unseemly members; 1Cor 12,22-24; 82g

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

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

1Cor 12,22-24

(82g) Thy kingdom come >> Three elements of prayer >> Where to pray (prayer closet) – The unseemly members are very important to the body. Although we keep them under wraps, they are the spice of life, and they give us reason for living in a world of frequent misery. They give us children and grand children, and if it weren’t for our unseemly members, mankind would go extinct! Paul was making the point that although nobody ever sees them, yet they are vital to the body of Christ and to the future of the Church. Nobody wants to be one of these people that performs great functions but is never publicly recognized; everybody wants to be in the limelight, but we can’t both perpetuate the species and be in the limelight. Therefore, we must choose between being recognized or performing one of the most fundamental and necessary functions of the body, something that no one else can do, yet with no possibility of recognition from anybody except Christ. We are referring to the prayer warrior, who tarries for the people and for God to get His way in the world and for the overall health and well-being of the Church. The various ministers of the Church perform their duties, but the prayer warrior gets the credit for their success, and “and his praise is not from men, but from God” (Rom 2-29). See also: unseemly members; 208ja

(208ja) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Being married to God >> Knowing God >> Church knows Christ as a woman knows a man – Think about our private parts for a minute; no one ever sees them, but everyone thinks about them. Teenage boys especially are possessed with thoughts about the opposite sex; probably 85% of their thought-life is devoted to girls, and so these “less honorable” members we consider the most important body parts of all. Think of the vacuum that sex would leave if it were curtailed from the human experience. There is no sex in heaven as we know it, and for that reason most are not in a hurry to go there. However, God will replace our current sexual experience with something far greater, and we know it will happen between Christ and the Church (Rev 21-9). Since we know that the result of sex is children, there will be a type of proliferation that will result from spiritual intercourse with Christ. We have no idea what that will entail, but we know by analogy that everything in this life that originated from God was meant as a type of that which is to come, and spiritual intercourse will be at the very forefront of our heavenly experience. See also: unseemly members; 1Cor 12,22-26; 56c

(227a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> God rewards us for obeying Him >> God rewards what we do for Him in secret

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23-27 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.

 

1Cor 12,23-25

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

1Cor 12,25-31

(137m) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturity >> Maturing with our brothers >> Employing your gifts to mature the body (Spiritual fellowship) -- These verses go with verses 4-11. Paul shifted his context from the gifts of the spirit to 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 instance, apostles were not mentioned, nor prophets, so he mixed the gifts with leadership positions. 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. The closer we get to the bottom of the ministry pyramid, the more we are alluding to spiritual fellowship. “Fellowship” is a word that is underrated and misunderstood. That is, most churches when they fellowship end up merely socializing, with our conversations mostly revolving around issues of this life, which is not the same as spiritual fellowship. Rather, true spiritual fellowship maintains a conversation that surrounds our faith in Christ. People like to conform to society, but Paul said in Rom 12-2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We are to conform to the image of Christ, which requires a transformation process. Conformity is something that is hardwired into our genes; we have a desire to conform; we want to be part of a group, so God says, ‘Be a member of My group.’ There is more fulfillment in Christ than anything the world can offer.

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 – God still heals in the 21st century, but it is on a case-by-case basis. The reason He heals one person and not another is not something we can answer at this time. God wants us to walk by faith, and He wants to see His people healthy, but God’s view on sickness and all forms of suffering is quite different from ours. We see it as negative, whereas God doesn’t see sickness and suffering as inherently negative but as an opportunity to exercise our faith. Someone might say they are walking by faith when they ask for healing; and if we are healed, it is proof that we believe. That is one form of faith, but another form of faith is actually enduring the sickness even if it ends in death. God has a perspective on death also that is different from ours; again, He doesn’t see death as negative. We want to be healthy and alive, but we all know this will not continue indefinitely. We will all die someday, and there is a chance that before we die we will get sick, and we haven’t failed because of it. God is good even though He doesn't always heal. We think the best demonstration of God’s love is healing the sick, but this is not God’s perspective. Instead, He plans on rewarding us in eternity for our endurance, trusting Him in our sickness. Like job said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13-15). God is looking for people who will trust in Him like Job, for the same person probably gave Him a life of faith in his healthy years. God wants us to trust in Him that His viewpoint is higher than ours, and the best time to teach us these lessons is right hear and now. He is wondering if we will accept these conditions, for if we accept them in this life, how much happier will we be in heaven when such horrible things don’t exist? Pain and suffering are temporary, and eternity is forever, and for us to suffer now for a little while means nothing in light of eternity.

 

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28-31 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.

 

1Cor 12,28-31

(6j) Responsibility >> Being spiritual >> Ministering to each other by the strength in your Spirit – These verses go with verses 4-11. Paul enumerates the gifts in verses 8-10, and then he speaks of the greater gifts: apostles, prophets and teachers. Paul says to pursue the greater gifts. In other words, don’t 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 to it, so be it, and if not, then you will know.

(35ja) Gift >> God gives Himself to us >> Gifts from the Holy Spirit >> Spiritual gifts >> Possessing gifts from God -- These verses go with verses 4-11. Paul said, “I show you a still more excellent way” to edify the body of Christ, and that is through love. So, the Church today depends on love to determine whether a person is saved, though we can fake love just as easily as we can fake the gifts of the Spirit. The more we love God and our fellow man, the more we show evidence of our salvation. This is validated throughout the epistles, and Jesus said it too. People shun the gifts because they are afraid of them, as the children of Israel witnessed the manifestation of God and became afraid of Him, who led Israel with a strong arm from the bondage of Egypt. They were happy to come out of bondage, but they were not ready to serve Him.

1Cor 12-28

(14c) Ministry of helps (Key verse) -- Those with this gift help the existing ministry. Notice that this topic is right next to the topic "Angels," because they are both servants. The anointed position of the ministry of helps is someone who makes a career of helping people on a volunteer basis in Christ’s name and in His Church. They are an encouragement to everyone. One of the fondest ministries is hospitality. They also sometimes act as a pastor’s aid in freeing up the pastor so he can spend more time in the word of God and prayer. Note also that the ministry of helps is a spiritual gift, suggesting that these are spiritual people who take this ministry to heart.

(14o) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Position of helpers is anointed – We know that being committed to prayer is a calling of all the saints and is truly what makes us spiritual. Prayer is therefore one of the main features of every person’s relationship with God. People can be spiritual in other ways too, whether they operate in the gifts of the Spirit as outlined here or are committed to the word of God. We must recall, though, that back in the days that the New Testament was written a handful or manuscripts floated between the Churches, and that was the extent of the Scripture’s availability, meaning not everyone had a Bible as we do. For them, to be proficient in the word of God was not exactly an option in the sense that we know. In fact, a person couldn’t even transcribe the books of the New Testament to obtain a personal copy, for writing utensils were not readily available at the time, so the only way to be proficient in the word of God back then was to commit the Scriptures to memory, which has remained a spiritual ministry to this day. When done in faith, these things make us spiritual, and being spiritual is what God expects from us, living for the Lord. People who walk in these gifts are not necessarily leaders of the Church but are regular folks, for the ministry belongs to the people and not to the leaders per say. Instead, leaders shepherd the flock and manage it, while the people themselves actually do the ministry. A healthy church is one where more than just a handful of people are involved in ministry but where everyone gets involved in some way. Not all operate in the gifts of the Spirit, but some enjoy ministering to people using their hands to help in various ways. These are all viable aspects of ministry.

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

(152ia) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing >> Delivering a prophetic message from God -- 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 >> God’s prerequisites >> Lists >> Terms of graduating to the next level >> List of spiritual traits in descending order -- This verse goes with verses 7-11

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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 God’s calling -- These verses go with verses 17-20

1Cor 12-31

(41j) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Be godly toward one another – People try to interpret the Bible through the gifts of the Spirit, but it is more effective to interpret the Bible through the fruits of the Spirit. “Yet I show you a still more excellent way,” refers to love, which is the primary fruit of the Spirit. God endows people with certain gifts, but we don’t readily achieve those gifts by pursuing them. The better way to edify the body of Christ is through love, which produces godliness, which enlightens the believer through the wisdom of the Spirit, by which God reveals the mysteries of Christ. In other words, godliness engages giftedness as a spiritual offshoot of the believer’s godly nature.

(232k) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Seek the essence of his kingdom >> Seeking the righteousness of His kingdom – Paul will reveal to us a more excellent way to edify the body of Christ in the love chapter. That is, the things he says in the next chapter will trump everything he said in this chapter, for love not only trumps but 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, or Paul may not have mentioned them, since he didn't mention them in any other epistle. The Corinthian Church was a very carnal, fleshly people. They wanted 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 Corinthians needed instruction to walk in them, being immature; hence, the gifts are meant for edification and to prove that they are the true children of God. The Church needs proof that they are walking in the right Spirit, and this is the function of love, since the wrong spirit would never lead us 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 walking in Him.

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