First Corinthians – Part 29
Last time we examined the Lord’s supper and its relation to the Acts economy — “till he come” helps to delimit the time frame and makes its upper boundary contingent to the “near at hand” parousia of the Lord. The new covenant was with the old given to Israel (Jer. 31, Heb 8) and was commemorated (initially by the Lord) through a re-interpretation of the passover with new elements added (like the cup). These traditions (ordinances) were all a part of Israel’s shadows and were never a part of the reality. In holding the “head”: as PAul tells the Colossians (Col 2) we see and enjoy the substance and reality. We are not living in the shadows but in the light of the word of God rightly divided.
This lesson will examine chapter 12 and the gifts.
1 ¶ Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
TBT 1 Corinthians 12:1 Περὶ δὲ τῶν πνευματικῶν, ἀδελφοί, οὐ θέλω ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν.
This first verse re-orients the reader to the subject of “spritual matters” (πνευματικῶν neuter plural adjective, 1Cor 2:13,15) which in this context must be referring to spiritual gifts. The last clause is literally “I do not wish you to be ignorant”. Paul is the great educator and dispeller of ignorance.
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
οἴδατε ὅτι ἔθνη ἦτε πρὸς τὰ εἴδωλα τὰ ἄφωνα, ὡς ἂν ἤγεσθε, ἀπαγόμενοι. (1Co 12:2 TBT)
They were Gentiles led away “ἀπαγόμενοι” (passive) to unspeaking idols — and this was done as often as they were led. ( ὡς ἂν ἤγεσθε ). This was the Gentiles common state — to be led away to dumb idols and this was done anytime they were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
The idea here is that if the source is the Spirit of God then the instrument (the Spiritual man) can only speak truth. No demonic spirit that might have previously led the Gentiles to dumb idols will leed them to the Lord and such a spirit will have as its object to curse Jesus.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Notice in verses 4-7 there is the unity of action of the trinity. Same Spirit, same Lord, same God and this is done to profit withal. This is very different to the spirits behind the leeding away to dumb idols. There is an interesting sidelight to this and that is that the manifestation of the Spirit was given to every man. There is a striking use of the word for “diversities” which repeat in verses 4-6
4 Διαιρέσεις δὲ χαρισμάτων εἰσί, τὸ δὲ αὐτὸ Πνεῦμα.
5 καὶ διαιρέσεις διακονιῶν εἰσί, καὶ ὁ αὐτὸς Κύριος.
6 καὶ διαιρέσεις ἐνεργημάτων εἰσίν, ὁ δὲ αὐτός ἐστι Θεός, ὁ ἐνεργῶν τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν. (1Co 12:4-6 TBT)
In vesrse 6 “But it is the same God who worketh THE ALL THINGS in all” — this is not a doctrine of Ying and Yang. The things that are a part of God’s goodness are made to have their way in all.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
Wisdom comes first. Then knowledge. So it is in this age.
Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1 Corinthians 12:11 πάντα δὲ ταῦτα ἐνεργεῖ τὸ ἓν καὶ τὸ αὐτὸ Πνεῦμα, διαιροῦν ἰδίᾳ ἑκάστῳ καθὼς βούλεται. (1Co 12:11 TBT)
These all enabled the Spirit of God to function correctly. The gifts were the means by which the Spirit would carry out His mission and work. Each man was allotted his gift personally and privately and was a decision of the Spirit.
Our gifts are very different