1 Cor. 12:4-11 Word of Wisdom & Word of Knowledge.


Intro Last Wednesday night we had a general intro to the subject of spiritual gifts.   Looking at verses 1-6


A)  We began by noting that Paul said that he didn’t want us to be ignorant-3 fold definition of that word IGNORANT


B) 1st  Don’t ignore – Don’t say that they don’t exist  Don’t say not for today-abuses  (Paul’s approach w/Corinth – here is how they function)


     2nd  Don’t be unaware – Don’t be UNAWARE  Instead need to understand – purpose function -

1)                           What they are & how they are to work  (not free for all)


3rd  Need to have a working Knowledge – Knowledge by experience

          1)Need to be active!!!!


Then we also noted in verses 4-6 that there is a Diversity within the Gifts

There are different gifts – they are not all the same  / VARIETY  VARIOUS KINDS


There are different ministries or operations of those gifts – not going to work the same way all the time.

1) Work differently in different situations as we will see tonight


C) And there are Different activities or expressions of those gifts because the Vessels that God uses are Different.

     1) Example in teaching of Gayle Erwin & Pastor Chuck – same gift






B)1 Corinthians 12:7  But the manifestation of the spirit is given

The word MANIFESTATION = a shining forth, an expression.


C) SO Spiritual gifts are in reality a shining forth of the Holy Spirit.

     They are an expression  NOT of man’s ability but an expression of the person and power of the Holy Spirit.


One commentator said that the term manifestation can literally be understood to mean that which may be laid hold of by hand.


A)   The OXFORD dictionary defines manifestation as: to show plainly to the eye or mind.


B)   Interesting because the Holy Spirit is always with us and we gather together in His name.  He is here in our midst  ( 2 or more…)

1) But He is clearly revealed to the senses through the gifts of the Spirit.


C)  Now some groups don’t feel like God has shown up until the gifts are clearly seen.  -  (Proceed to work it up)

          1)  They believe that unless they see some outward manifestation of the Spirit – God really wasn’t in the meeting.


D)  Now we do NOT walk into this place & suddenly come into the presence of the Lord.  We are always in the presence of the Lord.

     1)  In Him we live & move & have our being-


E)  Two or more are gathered in His name – HE IS THERE IN THE MIDST


F)  So when a gift is in operation, it simply means that the Holy Spirit has been made manifest through the gifts.

     1)  He Himself remains invisible, yet His presence is made manifest.



So the nature of Spiritual gifts is:   it is the shinning forth of the Holy Spirit or the means through which the Holy Spirit, who is already in our midst, makes His presence clearly Visible to our Human senses.



Now let’s consider the PURPOSE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS  Verse 7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:


A)  Listen, Spiritual gifts are NOT given to me for my own personal profit.


B)  God does not give to me the word of knowledge so I can bet on the NBA playoffs & make a bundle

     1)  Spiritual gifts are NOT given for us to get our kicks.


C)  Nor is purpose to gather together in order to attain some spiritual high.  We do NOT assemble for the sake of having some Charismatic party.


D) NO THE Gifts are to build up the body / body blessed & edified !!!


E)  NOTE:  There is only ONE gift that is said to be for personal spiritual edification.  That is the gift of tongues.

     1) 1 Corinthians 14:4  He who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself.


F)     So that the rest of the church is NOT edified unless there is an interpretation of it.

1)  Needs to be an interpretation


So these gifts of the Spirit are not to let everyone know how spiritual I am, the focus is not me – but to build up & edify the Church.

A)  Now it is for this reason that I believe that spiritual gifts MUST be for today!!


B)  Because The Body of Christ still needs to be edified and the individual believer STILL needs to be edified.

     1)  So God has graciously given these gifts to achieve that purpose!


C)  Spiritual gifts exist to outfit ministry.  They are God’s enablings for God’s calling.

     1)  Spiritual gifts are the means whereby man is enabled by the Holy Spirit to do those things which are not humanly possible.


D)  Understand that a true work of the Kingdom of God  true ministry is a work that is outside of mere human capacity  not natural process - talents

     1)  Example- A person might be a great math – teacher- way with numbers or history, but unless that person is anointed & gifted by Spirit – can’t teach Bible.


E)  Because the work of the Kingdom has eternal – ramifications  In order to teach the Word or minister in any kind of capacity it takes supernatural gifting by the Holy Spirit.


F)     THEREFORE all of the ministry MUST be accomplished in and through the power of the Holy Spirit.


Now Quickly a few Notes on DESIRING OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS  11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

V 31  But earnestly desire the best gifts.


A)  Note 3 things. 1st note  /  we are told verse 31 to earnestly Desire spiritual gifts-


B)  And when we consider their purpose it is only logical that we would desire them if we want to be effective in ministry.

     1)  Because we Can’t be effective without them.



2nd ly NOTE – We are to desire the Best Gift – but the word Best is a relative word.  Because the TASK at hand determines the best gift

A)  If someone needs a healing – a word of Knowledge would not be the best gift.


A)   So we are to Desire the Best gift – which is the one that fits the need at hand.



3rd ly The Holy Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.  He is sovereign!



A)  He gives the gift that He determines is right for that situation.  And when He determines


B)  Example If I have the gift of healing I can’t just go down to the hospital & start pulling people out of beds -

          1) Spirit is Sovereign is picking the time & place where the gift is to function.



          1) Never see that in the Bible  -  Can’t schedule the Holy Spirit.



Having said these things, let’s look at the Gifts of the Word Of Wisdom & Word of Knowledge.   (Break down our outline.)

A)  Definition Of the Gift  Seen in OT  Seen  in NT  Seen in the Church setting  seen  in individual  setting – (well rounded perspective.)


B) 1st  THE WORD OF WISDOM    1 Corinthians 12:8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom.



Before we define what a word of wisdom is – we should note that There is a difference between KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM.

A)      KNOWLEDGE has to do with FACTS while WISDOM tells you what to do with those facts.  Wisdom is the Application of Knowledge.


QUOTE:  Myer Pearlman  (One of the early Pentecostal movement’s finest Bible expositors)  -  “Knowledge is insight into Divine things, and Wisdom is the skill which regulates Christian life according to its foundation principles.”   Wisdom is the power of rightly using knowledge.  Wisdom is application of knowledge.


B)      That is why these gifts often work in conjunction with each other.


C)      So the gift of the word of wisdom is NOT a vast reservoir of wisdom that God gives to you that you can draw upon at will.


D)  It is an anointing of the Spirit that comes upon you in time of need giving to you the wisdom to rightly apply knowledge in a given situation.

          1)  It is supernatural wisdom given in a certain situation / something that didn’t come from you – (something you studied)


E)  And as we look at the Biblical examples of the Word Of Wisdom,  we see that it is a timely word that is spoken which defuses tension, resolves an issue, or settles differences.

1st  The Word Of Wisdom In The Old Testament



B)  This man who had received wisdom from God above any other man that ever lived

          1)  But in 1 Kings 3 we see a situation that took place in his life  /  where a word of Wisdom was in operation


C)  Problem:  Two women came to Solomon claiming to be the mother of the same child.

     1)  Both had babies- one rolled over in night suffocated her baby – took the other woman’s


D)  Dispute – Mine / no she stole it / -  Solomon responded by saying,  “Bring me a sword – cut baby in two 

          1)  False mom said, “Great-Divide him” / But the real mom said, “No!  Let her have the baby.


E)  Now this was a word of wisdom – I don’t care how smart a person is, we just don’t come up with things like this

     1)  What if it didn’t work?  What if they both said – OK!!! I take top half


F) POINT  God’s Wisdom always works!!!!!!




A)  In Acts 15 a problem had arisen among the believers in Antioch because of certain men who had come from Jerusalem that were legalistic Jews.


B)  They saw the liberties that the Gentile believers had in Jesus.

     1)  They told the believers in Antioch that they could NOT be saved unless they were circumcised.


C)  These guys represented themselves as official representatives of the Church in Jerusalem.

     1)  So Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to meet with all of the elders & settle this issue once and for all.


D)  Now This was a very sticky problem.  It was a very DIVISIVE issue in the Church.  There was some heavy discussions -


E)  Paul, being the champion of Grace, said that you did NOT have to keep the Mosaic Law to be saved,

     1)  There were others that insisted that you MUST keep the Law to be saved.


F)  This dispute could have caused a major split in the early Church.  There is a danger that at this point the Church could have split in two.

     1)  Peter stood up and testified of how God had worked to save the Gentiles.


Acts 15:7-12  7 “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.”8  “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,”9  “and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”

10     “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?  But we believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”


Word Of wisdomàDiffused a tense situation

That statement was a word of Wisdom given to Peter – Don’t put yoke of bondage on them … …  .. able to bear.


11     Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.


V13  After they were done James arose & spoke,  “Men and brethren, listen to me:  14  “Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name:

15     “And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:

16     ‘After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;  I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up;

17      So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.’

18     “Known to God from all eternity are all His works.

19     “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 “but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.

21 “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

22 “Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who is also called Barsbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.


Now Notice The response of the elders to this Word of Wisdom.  Acts 15:22  Then it pleased the apostles and elders.

Those Words of wisdom given defused an explosive situation.




A) Without a doubt, one of the most vital ministries within the church is that of TEACHING and PREACHING the Word of God.


B)  Model of the Early Church – “they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine, teaching, fellowship, & breaking bread.”

     1)  Vital mark of the early Church.


C)  It is VITAL for the spiritual GROWTH of the individual believer and thus the growth of the Body Of Christ.

     1)  It is VITAL for the EQUIPPING of the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4 ).  Apostles / prophets / evangelist / Pastor / teacher


D)  And whenever the Church has given prominence to the preaching and teaching of the word of God it has been strong.


E)  But whenever it has left this priority and replaced it with a preoccupation with signs and wonders

1)               or with other programs (social work or political involvement), the church has declined in its effectiveness.


F)  A gift that is often seen in preaching & teaching is Word of Wisdom because teaching is vital to the growth and equipping of the saints.


In the course of a message something can be communicated that is the perfect solution to a problem going on in your life.

A)  That was exactly what you needed to hear – You cam in with some questions – left with answers


B)  Couple of weeks ago before 2nd service – a sister said to me – Would you talk to someone else but me today – (caught me off guard)


C)  I get that every week – people saying right to me – reading my mail – phone tapped

     1)  My favorite – We were talking about that very thing driving here & didn’t quite understand – You talked about that.


D) It could be application of a certain passage that comes ALIVE!!!

     1)Something didn’t understand – That makes perfect sense now  (Really awesome-I didn’t understand it.  God imparts wisdom-



A)  No clue – what to answer – God gives supernatural insight – amazing!


B) Another example in Church setting – Alan Osborn in leaders meeting was really leading – Now that we can’t I think He is into it




A)  We noted that the word of wisdom is NOT a vast reservoir of wisdom that you can draw upon whenever you want.


B)  But it is an ANOINTING OF THE SPIRIT in time of need giving the power to rightly apply knowledge in the settling of issues

     1) or in the understanding of the mysteries of God.


C) So too, the word of knowledge is NOT a vast reservoir of information that can be tapped into at anytime.




A)      The WORD OF KNOWLEDGE is the DIVINE IMPARTING OF KNOWLEDGE concerning a person or a situation that you could NOT know unless the Lord gave you that information.




C)  It is a manifestation of the Spirit that often times operates without your even being aware that it is in operation.

1)                 (You might say something and people will ask themselves:  “Who told him?”)



A) In the life of Elisha/  In 2 Kings 5 We read of a captain of the Syrian army named Naaman, who was a leper.  He was a brilliant military man


B)  It was told him by an Israelite woman (that was enslaved by the Syrians) that there was a man in Israel who could heal him.

     1)  So he went – wash 7 times …. healed


C)  Naaman praised God-  wanted to bless Elisha with some gifts & payment / Elisha refused.


D)  But Gehazi later went – my master changed his mind !!!!


2 Kings 5:25  Now he went in and stood before his master.  Elisha said to him,  “Where did you go, Gehazi?”  And he said,  “Your servant did not go anywhere.”  The he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you?  Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?


BUSTED !!!!!!!!  -  MOTHERS HAVE THIS GIFT !!!!!!!!!


A)      Now Elisha did NOT possess some unlimited reservoir of knowledge.  He only received such knowledge as the Lord would impart to him.



IN THE New Testament




A)   Direct insight into a person’s life – Teaching:  You were describing my life to a tee!


B)   Friend – You been telling him about me?


C)   Yet it is a person you have never met before


D)   Describing a situation that you knew nothing about



In The Church setting

A) 1st in counseling – College gal – Came to the Lord – prior to she was a real man Chaser – but no one gave her the time of day.





In the Church service – here is where often accompanied by words of Wisdom

A) Problem is presented – Word of Wisdom


B) Solution to the problem is also presented à



Gifts – today Build Up!!!!

A)      Desire – (God wants us to be seeking)  computer search seek & desire !!


B)  Desire – God will blow your mind!

     1)  If motive:  God just use me – bless my brothers


C)  Yrs ago C.M.  (prayer)

     1)God was there: