1 Cor. 12:1-11 Introduction to Gifts of Spirit.


Intro Tonight we are going to begin a study on a very important aspect of scripture – dealing w/ the manifestations of the Spirit in the Church of God and in the People of God. 


V.1 Now concerning spiritual gifts [but actually that is not a good translation   It is, "Now concerning the spiritualities" or spiritual matters  brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant .


Beginning here, in Chapter 12 right on through Chapter 15, we have some great insight & info into Spiritual matters.  


A)   In This chapter will deal with the first of these spiritualities, the gifts of the Spirit in the Body of Christ – identified in v. 4

1)   Then Ch. 13, the great love chapter, deals with the fruit of the Spirit;


  B)  Chapter 14 deals with order by the Spirit in the Christian assembly; and

    Chapter 15, the resurrection chapter, deals with glory by the Spirit.



PAUL BEGINS BY SAYING I DON’T WANT YOU TO BE IGNORANT .  ( Many are ignorant – for various reasons)


B) Now this word ignorant has a 3 fold definition in the grk. Language.

1)   1st it mean IGNORE  I don’t want you to ignore spiritual gifts – don’t act like they don’t exist .


A)    Now there are those in the Christian Church today that – ignore spiritual gifts – they say gifts are not for today .

1 ) They were for the apostolic age & the starting of the Church & we

          don’t need them today .


B)   Problem is they can’t support that thinking scripturally at all . Stretch.

 QUOTE: Martyn Lloyd-Jones “The Scriptures never anywhere teach that these things were temporary - never!”


C)   For most/  the reason why they hold this position – Fundamental Evangelical Churches – is because of the abuses going on today.


D)   Because to those abuses – because some churches allow things to go on in their assemblies that have no biblical base

1)   they throw out the whole thing. / Baby w/ the Bath water



My Response to those who think that way is always –Look at Corinth – Corinth was a Church that was established some 25 yrs after Pent.

A)   And they were a Church in which there was a lot of abuses going on over the subject of spiritual gifts & manifestations in the Church.


B)    Paul doesn’t write to them & say – Listen these gifts are not for today & you shouldn’t be using them – you’re  abusing the gifts –


C)   No He corrects them & instructs them as to how they were to be used in the Church.



So the First Def. Of Ignorant means don’t ignore – don’t close yourself off to these things – by ignoring them.

A)   The 2nd Def. Of Ignorant – means – You need to have a proper knowledge & understanding .  Don’t be unaware.


B)    This speaks of our need to know about these spiritual gifts & to properly understand these spiritual gifts

1)   To  understand & be aware that these are absolutely & positively essential for fulfilling our calling as Christians.



C)   It is what equips us to do what we are called to do. 

            1) If I try to Live my Christianity in the power of my flesh or serve God in

         the power of my flesh I am going to miserably fail/ totally frustrated


Eric Little : Sister -  Missionary field  All I Know is that God made me fast – and I feel his pleasure when I run.


D)   So too you & I have been given certain  natural talents by  God & when we use those talents we feel His Pleasure : Mechanic

1)   But we also have a place in His body the church in the family of God


E)    and for that purpose God has given us not natural talents but supernatural giftings so that we might bless his body & Bring Him pleasure.


THEREFORE:  Our Knowledge of Spiritual gifts will be paramount to our spiritual faith- & for the fulfillment of our purpose & place in the body of Christ. 


A)   Now on one side of the fence there are those who ignore – spiritual gifts –say they are not for today.

1)   But on the other side to the fence are those who believe in them but are ignorant in their understanding & Knowledge of gifts & their function


B)   They have not been properly taught or have properly studied the scriptures to see that they are certain guidelines concerning gifts.

1)   In Ch. 14: 40 Paul writes let all things be done decently & in order.


C)   They only adhere to the first part of that verse – Let all things be done – as a result there is mass pandemonium & chaos in their fellowships


CLASSIC EXAMPLE: Paul in Ch. 14 gives specific instructions about the gift of tongues in the public assembly – 2 or at most 3 / w/ interp.

A)   If someone w/ the gift of interpretations is not present – then remain silent.

B)   But it is not uncommon to go into many Churches today where there will be a mass speaking in tongues / no biblical basis.

1) Unfortunately what takes place in many of those situations is not the Spirit being manifested but the flesh.


C)   Paul would say listen don’t be ignorant understand the gifts / their purpose & their function.



3rd Part of this 3 fold def. Speaks not just of understanding what the gifts are & how they are to function but of EXPERIENCE.

A)    I can be totally ignorant of gifts even though I have a Knowledge of how what they are & how they work


B)    I can be ignorant in the sense that I have never experienced them personally

1)   The Knowledge is to be a WORKING KNOWLEDGE – Knowledge by experience .


C)    Lets say given a Boat. – Big 30 foot cruiser – but you don’t believe that boats are for today.

1)   They were for a time & an era before cars & planes & were to only means of traveling from on continent to the other.


D)   But now we live in age of Cars & Planes / Boats are not for today.

1)   Someone gives you boat. Parks trailer in drive way . But you ignore it

Each day drive right by it .


E) Neighbor says Nice Boat – WHAT BOAT – Oh that thing – I really don’t believe in boats -     STUPID


Or lets say you didn’t study at all & took boat down to water – didn’t know boaters etiquette – wild free for all -   DANGEROUS


Or Lets say that you decide that you are going to learn all that you possibly can about Boating – so you take a class by corresponds – read book – A’s

A)    Sometimes sit in drive way behind the wheel / take trailer down  to beach & sit in boat on trailer & imagine / read about other boaters


B)  But never put your boat in the water ! – That would be tragic



So When Paul says Don’t Be IGNORANT of spiritual gifts He is saying :

1st Don’t ignore them – don’t act like they don’t exist.

A)   2nd You need to understand them / their place purpose & function


B)   And 3rd you need to be experiencing them – working knowledge.

1)   Don’t ignore / don’t be lacking in your understanding / & don’t neglect the experience.


Now in the Rest of our time tonight we want to consider 4 things about the gifts of the Spirit as to not be ignorant – next week break down.

1.)Diversity of Spiritual Gifts.

2.)The Nature of Spiritual Gifts.

3.)The Purpose of  Spiritual Gifts.

4.)Desiring of  Spiritual Gifts.



1st thing we want to note  about the gifts of the Spirit & that is there is a THE DIVERSITY OF GIFTS

(1 Cor 12:4-6 NKJV)  There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. {5} There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. {6} And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.


A) In v. 8-10 Paul lists for us NINE different gifts.

 But This is NOT the exhaustive list of gifts.

1)   He will add to this list of gifts at the end of the chapter. In Romans 12

     Paul adds to the list of the gifts of the Spirit. – Eph. 4 gifts


A)   Differences speaks of – variety – 31 flavors all ice cream / made of the same stuff – but there is a variety.


B)   When it comes to the gifts of the Spirit there is a variety – not all teachers / in order for body to function there has to be variety.

1)   Same stuff from the same source .   All from the Lord – See the Unity of the Godhead.


There are different gifts, but the same Spirit... There are different ministries, but the same Lord,

                                different operations, but the same God.


C)  But there not just a variety there is a DIVERSITY – meaning the way in which these gifts are going to be manifested is not going to be the same.


C)   It will Differ w/ the time / place / person. – NO FORMULA


LISTEN :These gifts are initiated by God but are implemented by men.

They are distributed by God – but delivered by men.

A)    The gifts follow a form but not a formula – the form is the fruit of the Spirit & the glorification of JESUS


B) Watch formulas because we end up manifesting the works of the flesh – striving / lack of peace & no self control -

1)   Because we are following a man made formula – My mother got a Honda


C) That is why  Testimonies are beneficial to the Body of Christ but they can also be a hindrance.


EXAMPLE: Someone can stand up and give their testimony as to how they received the baptism of the Spirit. As they share their testimony you can begin to think: “That’s not how it happened to me”.... Or maybe you haven’t yet received the baptism of the Spirit and you think: “THAT is what will happen to me when I am baptized with the Spirit.”

D)   The work of the Spirit is marked by diversity because God is NOT limited  to one particular pattern.


EXAMPLE: The way in which Jesus dealt with lepers.

Mat 8:3  And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I am willing be cleansed.  And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.


Luke 17:14  And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.


EXAMPLE: The way in which Jesus dealt with blind people.


Mark 10:51,52 So Jesus answered and said to him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" The blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight."  52  Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.


Mat 9:29-30  Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened;


Mark 8:23 / spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him,


John 9:6-7  Made MUD w/ Spit  


KEY INSIGHT: We are so anxious to limit God and formulate the work of God.


NOTE: God DEFIES our attempts to do this. I believe primarily because formulas eliminate FAITH.

So God ELIMINATES formulas so that we will live by faith.


POINT: So we have this diversity in the way that the Holy Spirit chooses to work. He may work in your life in an entirely different way than in someone else’s life./ Doesn’t mean that you haven’t had a Valid experience 

. It just means that that gift of the Spirit is working in a different way.

Teaching Gift: Informational – Chuck Missler / W/ Evangelism Bob Coy / W/ Prophecy Pastor Chuck or Damian Kyle / Exhortation – Raul

A) This diversity is because the Spirit is manifesting Himself through diverse vessels.


B) God respects the uniqueness of the vessel and uses the uniqueness of the vessel.

1) APPLICATION: We need to leave the door open for God to sovereignty move as He wills.


C)Our problem is that many times we close the door to God. We do NOT want Him to move in a certain way.

  1) Or we will lay out the parameters for God to move within/


D)We must NOT get our eyes on the method OR THE VESSEL  that God chooses to work,

 1) but rather get our eyes on God and be OPEN to whatever it is that God is desiring to do in our lives.


2nd THE NATURE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL GIFT? 1 Cor 12:7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given

A) MANIFESTATION = a shining forth, an expression.


B)    Awesome thought  Spiritual gifts are in reality a shining forth of the Holy Spirit.

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


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

1) Example today teaching Word of Knowledge – I had no idea





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

A) Therefore  - To attempt to do the work of the Kingdom of God WITHOUT spiritual gifts is pointless.


B)The work of the Kingdom of God is a work that is outside of mere human capacity. SPIRITUAL WORK

1)   It is a work that MUST be undertaken by God because it is a work that is eternal in scope and consequence.


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


APPLICATION  Because spiritual gifts are NOT tied to man’s ability it means that ANY man or woman can effectively serve God.

A) Spiritual gifts mean that God can use ME even if I feel inadequate because the job that needs to be done is NOT dependent upon my human ability.


B)   That is why we as a Church are not into what is commonly called Networking in the Church today

1) Placed in a ministry that is suitable to your NATURAL ABIILITIES”


C)What we see in the N.T. is God working beyond people’s natural abilities

1)   Disciples didn’t have natural ability – but they were gifted & empowered supernaturally by the HS


D)I look at my own life – Being a Pastor is the Last thing that I ever pictured myself doing – I was not into speaking in groups

    1) Quiet leader in sports – Let your play do the talkingDad raised me






See what Satan lies to us in an attempt to convince you that YOU can't be used.

A)But when we understand spiritual gifts are in reality a SHINING FORTH of the God the Holy Spirit,

1)   then realize that no matter how inadequate you feel - God is able! 


B)This also takes care of the glorifying of self.

1)   When I recognize that my ministry is a shining forth  of the Holy Spirit I'm kept from pride.( Not me but the Lord)




A)   1 Cor 12: 7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 


B)  Spiritual gifts are NOT given to me for my own personal profit.

B)   God does NOT give to me the word of knowledge  so that I can go to the race track and clean up.


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

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


C)   The rest of the church is NOT edified unless there is an interpretation of it.



So these gifts of the sprit are not to let everyone know how spiritual I am – but to build up & edify the Church.

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


A)   Because The Body of Christ still needs to be edified and the individual

     believer STILL needs to be edified.




A) In v.s 8-10 Paul  lists NINE of these gifts in triplets.

          Gifts of POWER and gifts of FAITH and gifts of UTTERANCES.


B)   When he gets to the end of this list Paul declares 1 Cor 12: 11  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.


C)   And When we get to the end of the Chapter Paul tells the Corinthians.

          1 Cor 12: 31  But earnestly desire the best gifts.


D) Best is a relative word. The best gift for what?

                    The best gift for whatever ministry you have.


E)Best gift is the one that is needed for the right situation.

1)   Baseball mitt / Catcher / 1st base/ out field –big  / SS- small


KEY INSIGHT: The TASK at hand determines the best gift.


NOTE: As we study these gifts we hope to show what the value of the gift is dependant to the specific situation. We can see how, perhaps the gift of tongues, would be the best gift for one situation, whereas in another situation it would be the worst gift.



A)Though we are to covet earnestly the best gift, the Spirit is sovereign in the distributing of them.


1 Cor 12:11 11  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.


B)I do NOT chose which gifts I should have. That is up to the Holy Spirit who is perfect in knowledge.


QUEST If the Spirit is sovereign in the giving of gifts, what am I to do?

Pray -


A)Talking w/ Bob Coy – Pulpit Evangelism – Never used – more used


B)Praying that God would use me in Personal Evangelism