There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.1 Corinthians 12:4-6
In verse three Paul clearly is talking about spiritual gifts. He could well be talking about spiritual gifts from verse one but he starts more generally. As we saw a couple of days ago he begins with the word πνευματικῶν [pneumatikōn], things to do with the Spirit. Now he is referring to the χαρισμάτων [Xarismatikōn] or the Charismata. The charismata are the gifts that come from the Spirit.
- 1) a favour with which one receives without any merit of his own
- 2) the gift of divine grace
- 3) grace or gifts denoting extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating on their souls by the Holy Spirit.
This is why some churches are called charismatic churches. They are open about the gifts of the Spirit and freely practise them. This is not the belief of other churches. So there are charismatic churches and there are non-charismatic churches. I personally am open to the practice of the gifts of the Spirit believing them to be for use for us today. I feel it is good for me to say that from the outset so you know where I am coming from irrespective of whether you agree with me or not. I have openly stated my belief and my stand on this aspect of Scripture. So you know you can balance what I say against my perceived “bias” if you think differently. No doubt within this section of Corinthians I will give you some examples within the Bible Gems of how God has manifested Himself to me through the gifts of the Spirit.[I don’t know now what I will say and what I won’t – I write these Gems without preconceived plans but of course with years of study behind me on the matter of exegeting Scripture.] Some call the gifts listed in Corinthians 12 “the manifestation gifts” because they manifest God openly in ways the other gifts which I covered in Romans 12 ( Bible Gem 243–255) don’t. I won’t repeat the things I said in those Gems. Read them for yourself.
Paul is simply saying in these verses (1 Cor 12:4-6) that there are different gifts but God’s Spirit is behind them all. There are different ways of serving Him. We don’t all have to serve in the same way. God is a God of variety. Paul repeats the last concept twice in different words. He is the source of all these multiplicity of gifts. I suspect that the Corinthians likely asked Paul about the different gifts and whether we all had to be the same or have the same gift by the nature of his answer but of course I don’t know for sure. Another question for him when I see him. He may well have been asked about also about the spiritual manifestations within the church and those people could see outside of the church given his opening comments.
I’ve learned one important thing about God’s gifts – what we do with them is our gift to Him.Robert Wagner
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.Garth Brooks