Summary: Paul teaches about spiritual gifts and shows us The Most Excellent Way.
In one Corinthians 12, Paul writes concerning spiritual gifts. The miraculous gifts present as a result of the laying on of the hands of the Apostles. There were many different kinds of spiritual gifts and Paul makes it clear that all of these gifts came from God. It is evident from Paul’s discussion of these gifts in 1 Cor. 12—14 that the Corinthians were abusing their gifts and placing undue prominence on certain ones, namely speaking in tongues.
In this same discourse, Paul reminds them that these spiritual gifts were given for a specific purpose. He reminds them that soon that purpose will cease to exist, along with these gifts. For this reason, he leads them to desire greater gifts, to seek the most excellent way.
I. The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts
A. Spiritual gifts were given for the common good. 1 Cor. 12:7
1. The Edification of the church. 1 Cor. 14:1—12
2. The Confirmation of the gospel.
(1) Mark 16:20
(2) 1 Cor. 14:22
B. Spiritual gifts led the church until it matured. 1 Cor. 13:10—11
II. The Passing of Spiritual Gifts
A. These gifts were to lead the church until God’s word was complete. 1 Cor. 13:8—13
B. These gifts were only given in accompaniment with the laying on of the hands of the apostles.
1. Acts 8:14—19
2. Acts 19:1—7
III. Pursuing the Greater Gifts
A. While miraculous gifts have passed, there are gifts that are "most excellent." 1 Cor. 12:31
B. Love is the most excellent way.
1. 1 Cor. 13:1—10
2. Perfection pertains to God’s word. Psalm 18:7
C. Christians should desire faith, hope, and love.
1. 1 Cor. 13:13
2. Galatians 5:5—6
Mitchell Skelton, Minister-Midway church of Christ