Summary: THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS (Part 1) 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

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(Part 1)

1 Corinthians 12:1-11


A. Spiritual gifts are not talents.

1. Unbelievers have talents.

2. When people become Christians, they still use their talents. They often use them differently.

3. Spiritual gifts are for Christians. They are one of the results of salvation.

B. There are a number of different spiritual gifts (v. 4).

1. The gifts are for service (v. 5).

2. The word translated “worship” (v. 6) is the source for our word “energy.” God energizes gifts in different ways.

C. Did Paul emphasize the number of different spiritual gifts because the Corinthians had focused on the spectacular ones? (v. 7). Let’s look at the whole list of gifts.

I. Wisdom (v. 8).

A. This refers to the ability to apply the Gospel teaching.

B. Preachers and teachers need this gift in order to apply the Scriptural teaching to the needs of the congregation.

II. Knowledge (v. 8).

A. This gift may have been given to people before the New Testament was completed to help them understand facts they had not learned.

B. The gift may enable some to organize Gospel facts for great teaching.

III. Faith (v. 9).

A. We have to have faith to be a Christian.

B. This gift refers to some who have great vision and believe that God makes it a reality.

IV. Healings (v. 9).

A. This is a plural. I do not believe it refers to the ability to heal in all cases.

B. It may refer to different gifts required for different kinds of healing. There are other kinds of healing besides physical healing.

C. I admit that I have a problem understanding this gift.

V. Miraculous Powers (v. 10).

A. The signs of an apostle (2 Corinthians 12:12 and Hebrews 2:1-4).

B. Was this gift limited to the apostolic church? This is not to deny that miracles take place today. How can we limit God?

VI. Prophecy (v. 10).

A. “To speak forth” or “to proclaim” is the basic meaning.

B. This does not necessarily mean predictive prophecy.

VII. Distinguishing Between Spirits (v. 10).

A. The early church did not have the New Testament Scriptures. This gift enabled certain people to know whether preaching or teaching was from the guidance of the Holy Spirit, or some other spirit.

B. God may give some the ability to show false teaching for what it is.

VIII. Tongues and the Interpretation of Tongues (v. 10).

A. These gifts have been abused and confused.

B. The word “tongues” is a plural word. It speaks of different kinds of languages.

C. The word translated “tongues” was not used to refer to ecstatic speech.


The Holy Spirit brings unity through the variety of these gifts. The spiritual gifts show that God works through individuals.

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