Manifestation Gifts: 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
“7) 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, 10) 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.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭7‬-‭11‬
As I travel within the international body of Christ, the whole subject of spiritual gifts has become fascinating for me. All three categories are needed and must work together. Their combined goal when properly understood in to promote the Great Commission and move the body of Christ to functional maturity.
The goal of Freedom Quest workshop is to “put off the old self” so we can help people “put on the new self.” (Ephesians 4:20-24) Spiritual gifts are intended to function on the level of Zoe life with the renewed inner man functioning. When that happens the potential is incredible.
I have seen the marvel of Spirit filled churches moving in the power of the Holy Spirit. God works in and through these churches very much like in the early church described in the book of Acts. (See Acts 2:37-47) Such is the case with the rapidly growing Ethiopian Church today.
However, when the flesh and soul are in control, the results can be disastrous. It is even worse when the leadership is sinful, compromising, ignorant of the Holy Spirit, immature and self focused. It can become the breeding ground for all kinds of worldliness, conflict, biblical error and confusion. It results in an apostate church that holds to a form of godliness, but denies its power. (2 Timothy 3:5) I have seen this in the United States and around the world. It is putrid!
God used Paul to write 1 Corinthians 12-14 to correct the carnal use of the spiritual gifts in the local church at Corinth. He did not deny them nor did he overly promote them. Rather he moved the church to proper order and function in the use of the gifts.
The entire context of 1 Corinthians 12-14 was intended to correct the misuse of these gifts and not deny nor overly promote them. Paul began his discussion of these gifts with a strong admonition to test the spirits. (1 Corinthians 12:1-3) Satan can both imitate and agitate in the context of all three categories of spiritual gifts. Paul stressed that the manifestations of the Spirit were for the common good… that is contrary to the notion that the some gifts are bad. 1 Corinthians 12:7 Spiritual gifts were given for the building up of the body of Christ. In context, the discussion of each of the three categories of spiritual gifts is about building up the local church. (See Romans 12:3-21; Ephesians 4:1-16; I Corinthians 12-14) Paul made it clear that agape love and not the manifestation of these gifts was the indication of spiritual maturity. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13) Paul exercised restraint with the public use of these gifts during church services, especially his personal gift of tongues in public. (1 Corinthians 14:6-19) Every believer should have some degree of proficiency in each area of these gifts, but the person with the gift will have a much greater grace. (For example, we are all called to witness, ask for wisdom, be good stewards, exercise faith and pray, but the person a gift in that area excels.) When properly understood, each of these gifts serve an evangelistic or Great Commission purpose. (Acts 2-3) As you study the life and ministry of Jesus, He manifested all of the spiritual gifts. He was the fulness of God in bodily form. (Colossians 2:9) The full spectrum of spiritual gifts can be understood as the tool box the Holy Spirit has available to promote the gospel and build up the body of Christ in this age. (1 Corinthians 12:7 and 11) Stop denying Him of His tools. Some spiritual leaders with the gift of apostle or modern missionary may have many manifestation gifts. (Acts 12:12) Generally understood, most people have one or two manifestation gifts that are dominate, but the Holy Spirit can use any gift as needed through any believer if occasion merits. Spiritual gifts grow, develop and mature as they are exercised in faith. Don’t suppress or ignore your gifts. Spiritual gifts are given by God for the spread of the gospel throughout the entire church age. (See Hebrews 2:1-4)
I. Word of Wisdom: (1 Corinthians 12:8a) Though every believer is invited to ask for wisdom from God (James 1:5), the person with this gift brings Godly wisdom in timely and unifying ways.
Example: James in Acts 15:13-21 at the Jerusalem council
II. Word of Knowledge: (1 Corinthians 12:8b) Though every believer is admonished to study and grow in the knowledge of Christ (I Peter 1:2-4), the person with this gift brings a key of knowledge into a situation.
Example: Acts 5:1-11 Peter knowing the deeds of Ananias and Sapphira
III. Faith: (1 Corinthians 12:9a) Though every believer is instructed to put on the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16), the person with this gift has extraordinary faith in the face of otherwise impossible situations.
Example: Acts 27:21-26 Paul admonishing the ship crew.
IV. Gifts of healing: (1 Corinthians 12:9b) Though every believer is commanded to pray for healings in the authority of Jesus Christ (James 5:13-18), the person with this gift may be used in a broader ministry in the context of bringing the gospel to the unsaved.
Example: Acts 8:4-13 Philip the evangelist in ministering in Samaria.
V. Effecting of Miracles: (1 Corinthians 12:10a) Though every believer has Gods protective grace and power (I Peter 3-5), the person with the effecting of miracles often has extraordinary events take place.
Example: Acts 28:1-6 Paul with the snakebite.
VI. Prophecy: (1 Corinthians 12:10:b) Though every Christian should be wise and discerning to counsel others (Galatians 6:2), the person with this gift speaks to people with amazing edification, exhortation and consolation.
Example: 1 Corinthians 14:3 Paul ‘s explanation of one who prophesies
VII. Distinguishing of spirits: (1 Corinthians 12:10c) Though all believers are commanded to test the spirits (1 John 4:1-4), the person with this gift can quickly discern the activity of a demonic spirit and set people free.
Example: Peter discerning the spiritual bondage of Simon the magician. Acts 8:18-24
VIII. Kinds of Tongues: (1 Corinthians 12:10d) Though all believers have language and communication skills and are admonished to pray and express praise to God (Ephesians 6:18-20), the person with the gift of tongues seems to have a unique unction for prayer and praise. (1 Corinthians 13:1 mentions “the tongues of men and of angels”… I am not sure every gift of tongues needs to be a know human language.)
Example: 1 Corinthians 14:2 & 17-18 Paul’s explanation of one who speaks in a tongue and his own use of this gift.
IX. Interpretation of Tongues: (1 Corinthians 12:10e) Though all believers should be able to enter into the spirit of what God is doing in a given context (Romans 8:26-30), the person with the gift of interpretation allows others to understand what God is saying through a public utterance in a tongue. (There may be a difference between a public gift of tongues and praying in the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:24-15)
Example: 1 Corinthians 14:6-19 Paul’s explanation of the futility of the public use of tongues without an interpreter.
The subject of spiritual gifts may be awkward and threatening to some believers. This is most likely because their church background rejects or is silent about the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. I came from such a background myself. But through years of memorizing Scripture and studying the Bible as a whole, I could not ignore the sheer volume of biblical teaching on this subject. I have also been blessed with years of ministry in the broader body of Christ around the world. It has radically changed me and my understanding of spiritual gifts.
As you grow in your understanding of Zoe life, the Holy Spirit will lead you into a growing understanding of this subject. To reject or be ignorant of spiritual gifts is a sentence to live a carnal life on the level of the flesh and soul and deny the power of God in and through your life. (Review: 1 Corinthians 2:4-3:3 and Galatians 3:2-5)
If God is not working in supernatural ways in and through you and your church, something is tragically wrong! I strongly and biblically suggest the problem is with you and not with God! You need to go back and diligently review this whole teaching on spirit/Spirit life.
Living as a carnal Christian is a mockery to God and a disservice to the body of Christ and the world God has called you to reach. There is no excuse for biblical ignorance no matter your church background. Pick up your Bible and start studying. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you! The end times we are moving into demands every believer and local church function with biblical maturity and Spirit anointed power.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global