SPIRITUAL GIFTS – 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Spiritual Gifts Sermon
September 7, 2022

SPIRITUAL GIFTS – 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Spiritual Gifts Sermon

Intro to Spiritual Gifts

Recent sermons by Pastor Eric have focused on the weapons God has provided us in order to combat the forces of evil, as well as how to deal with opposition. The focus of his message today is on the gifts the Lord has blessed us with that will allow us to serve, bless, and edify one another.

Read 2 Timothy 1:6  

Pastor Eric hopes that his message of encouragement today will stir our hearts and will have a positive impact on our lives. Furthermore, he prays that we remain committed to what God has entrusted to us and that the Lord will impart spiritual gifts to our congregation.

There is an inspiring passage in 2 Timothy where Paul, who is imprisoned and awaiting trial, encourages his spiritual son, Timothy. Paul reminds him in this passage that he has been blessed with a spiritual gift imparted by the laying on of hands. He encourages him to let it grow.

Read Romans 1:11

In Romans 1:11, Paul expresses his intention to strengthen the Roman Church through the impartation of spiritual gifts. It is Pastor Eric’s desire that some of us will be infused with the Spirit’s gifts and that we will keep fanning the flames so that we may edify and strengthen the Church.

Read 1 Corinthians 12:31

The apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 12:31,

You should earnestly desire the greater gifts.

We must, therefore, strive to receive the greater gifts and pray that God will enable us to serve in the capacity described in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14.

Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

It is evident from the passage above that Paul does not want the Corinthian Church to be ignorant of or inadequately informed about spiritual gifts. Today, Pastor Eric encourages us to identify and recognize the spiritual gifts we have been given. Do we have a clear understanding of what these gifts are? What is their purpose? What do they produce? Do we know how to utilize them effectively? Having an understanding of the gifts will enable us to bless and build up the Church. In this chapter, Paul explains how to effectively utilize these gifts which are spiritual and supernatural in nature.

Read 1 Corinthians 12:1, 4

Paul also explains that spiritual gifts come in various forms. They can be applied to a wide range of activities, services, and needs. In the same manner that different types of work require different types of tools, and our tools depend on the type of work we perform, our different gifts, which God has empowered us with, can be put to a variety of useful uses.

Read John 15:1-8 

According to the Bible, the Lord empowers us and gives us the ability to exercise our spiritual gifts through prayer. In the gospel of John, Jesus describes Himself as the Vine and us as its branches. In so far as Christ remains in us and we in Him, we will remain connected to Him and will bear much fruit. Those who are disconnected from the Vine, however, cannot produce good fruit or fruit that will last.

Living a Christian life without prayer and without connecting with Christ will prove to be extremely challenging. Perhaps this is the reason why our spiritual gifts are not discernible in our lives: we are not connected to Jesus. How do we establish a connection with Him? Through worship. As we focus our attention on God’s accomplishments rather than our problems, something happens within us. A strengthening and edifying event occurs in our lives. As a result, we are able to connect with the Lord through worship, fasting, and prayer in the Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit are more effective when there is an awareness and pursuit of God’s presence in our individual or collective lives.

Read 1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Peter 4:10, Ephesians 4:11, and Romans 12:6-8

It is clear from 1 Corinthians 12:7 that the Holy Spirit manifests Christ’s power through each believer as a means of helping the Church. If we have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God will flow through us like water from a faucet. Our power emanates from God and He is looking for channels through which His power can flow.

Although we do not own our gifts, the Lord uses them in us to benefit others. A similar statement can be found in 1 Peter 4:10. According to Peter, we are all endowed with spiritual gifts from God. There is a reference to manifestation gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. There is also mention of ministerial gifts in Ephesians 4 and motivational gifts in Romans 12.

Since they are not our own, the spiritual gifts bestowed upon us are not intended to be used for our personal gain. They are intended to benefit all believers. Our use of these gifts equip, edify, and empower the Church so that we can grow together in Christ to full spiritual maturity. They are a response to our faithfulness to God.

Read 1 Corinthians 13, 12:7

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul addresses the importance of love. Without love, spiritual gifts will not produce what they ought to. Love should be the filter through which spiritual gifts flow. If it is our desire to build up others, God will use us to help edify the members of the Church so that we may grow together to the full maturity of Christ.

First Corinthians 12:7 states,

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given by grace; therefore, they cannot be earned. Neither are they presented as awards at church on Sundays. Possessing a spiritual gift does not elevate an individual above another or enhance his or her standing with God. Whether or not we exercise a spiritual gift says little about our godliness. We are not deserving of them. However, our spiritual gift must be in harmony with our spiritual walk. It is essential that we conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of our calling. As servants of Christ, we are only used for a season. No matter how much we have been given, ultimately, we will all account to God for what He has entrusted to us.

It is important to note that Paul was not writing to godly people. His letters were addressed to the corrupt Corinthian believers who worshiped other gods and were known for their rampant prostitution. In a nutshell, the Church in Corinth was in need of order and wisdom which is why he wrote several letters of correction to the members of that congregation. In spite of this, they were told that they lacked no spiritual gifts. We can therefore conclude that spiritual gifts cannot be earned. In no way are they merited. It is by grace that they are provided. Certain spiritual gifts may appear prestigious and may lead people to believe the person is extremely godly, but make no mistake: they are not indicative of the degree of godliness of that individual. They are simply an expression of God’s grace towards the Church.

Read 1 Corinthians 12:8-11

The spiritual gifts listed in the above verses are generally classified into three categories. The first category consists of revelation gifts: the Word of Knowledge, the Word of Wisdom, and the discerning of spirits (spiritual discernment). Although these gifts play a significant role, they do not invalidate, annul, alter, or replace Scripture. Spiritual gifts will never contradict the Bible since they are not the Word of God. They are a word from God. These gifts are intended to edify and equip the members of the Body of Christ.

Besides revelation gifts, there are also vocal gifts: tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy; and power gifts: healing, faith, and miracles, for a total of nine spiritual gifts.


Read James 1:5 and 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

What is the Word of Wisdom?

Knowledge and wisdom are listed first in 1 Corinthians 12. As a general rule, knowledge is the discovery of truth, while wisdom is the application of that truth to everyday life. The gift of wisdom, which comes from a supernatural source, is enlightenment that extends beyond natural human wisdom. It enables a person to know what to do or say in a given situation. It is a gift from the Lord. Godly wisdom enables us to resolve problems, meet needs, and deal with circumstances supernaturally. This principle applies equally to individuals and to the Church.


Read 1 Corinthians 12:8

The Word of Knowledge is information or a revelation regarding a problem or need that cannot be gained about a person, a group, or a situation through natural means. This information is not normally disclosed to us. Prayer activates this spiritual gift that benefits both individuals and the Church.

Though it may appear that the Word of Knowledge and the Word of Wisdom are interchangeable, they are not the same. Someone described this as “the difference between a medical researcher and a physician. The person who has the gift of knowledge is similar to a medical researcher who acquires new insight into physiology, genetics, and vaccines, and the person who has the gift of wisdom is equivalent to a physician who is able to diagnose a patient’s illness and apply medical science resources to resolve the issue.” Both are complimentary and both are useful when they are used together.


Read 1 Corinthians 12:9

It is well understood that we are to live by faith and not by sight. As Christians, we are commanded to pray and trust the Lord. Despite the fact that faith cannot be felt or seen, we choose to live by faith and proclaim the Word of God over a given situation.

There is also the gift of faith which is the ability to believe that the Lord can accomplish the impossible. It is not our ability: it is God’s ability working in us. It is the kind of working or wonder-working faith that moves mountains and waits expectedly for results to unfold. It’s a wonderful and needful gift.

Read Romans 10:17

As believers, we are called to live by the faith described in Romans 10:17. Christian faith is nurtured through the Word, through hearing the Word, studying the Word, meditating on the Word, and spending time in the Word.

In order for us to become accustomed to and enjoy the above discipline, it must become a habit. Daily Bible study and listening to the preaching of God’s Word are essential to our spiritual growth. Despite the fact that the church’s ministries are meant to equip, edify, and strengthen our faith, the gift of faith is not something that can be earned or improved. It is activated through prayer. God gives us the ability to believe in the supernatural and that He can perform miracles beyond our wildest dreams.


Read 1 Corinthians 12:9

It is important to note that when the Lord Jesus healed, He did not always heal in the same manner, nor did he heal in the same manner twice. In light of this, we should refrain from putting Jesus in a box. His sovereignty is absolute. He is capable of healing by means of mud and spittle, as well as through a touch, a word, and even from a distance.

There are instances in which healing occurs immediately and others in which it occurs gradually. Healing may occur in response to the spoken word, to the anointing of oil, to the touch, or to obedience. Healing takes place on many levels, including the physical and spiritual. The healing process can take many forms, and certain members of the Body of Christ are entrusted with varying degrees of healing. It is not uncommon for people around them to be healed. Pastor Eric was not implying that they intend to empty the hospitals, but rather that many people have been healed as a result of their gifts. It is not because they are special: it is a grace that is freely available to all believers. It’s a gift of the Spirit.

As Christians, we are to pray for those who are ill. It is important to recognize that God has the power to heal whether we have the gift of faith or not. Although we do not all possess the gift of faith, we are all called to pray with faith. Those with the gift of healing, however, tend to see a greater number of people healed.


Read John 14:12 and 1 Corinthians 12:10

Miracles are evidence of the Lord’s power and ability to transcend the laws of gravity and the laws of nature. Thus, anything that violates those laws is a manifestation of God. Christians should expect miracles because our Lord Jesus Christ is a miracle worker who never changes. He asserts that anyone who believes in Him will perform the same miracles He has performed – and even greater ones than those. The gift of miracles remains active despite the passage of time.


Read 1 Corinthians 12:10, 1 Corinthians 14:3 and 14:29-32

Pastor Eric reiterated how important it is to identify and seek out spiritual gifts. The gifts of the Spirit are not intended for us or about us: they are intended to benefit the Church. We are merely a vehicle.

The gift of prophecy serves what purpose? Prophecy-gifted individuals speak to people in a language they understand while encouraging, comforting, and leading them into deeper faith.


Read 1 Corinthians 12:10 and Acts 10:30-33, 16:16-18, and 8:9-10

It is important to understand that the gift of discernment is not about knowing how to read people or being street savvy. It’s a matter of discerning the spirits. It is the ability to discern what type of spirit is operating in a given individual or situation. A Christian who possesses this gift is able to discern whether the manifestation originates from God, the devil, or the flesh. Examples of this can be found in Acts 10:30-33, 16:16-18, and 8:9-10. Those who possess the gift of discernment are adept at detecting imposters in the Church.


Read 1 Corinthians 14:5

The apostle Paul stated in the above passage that he wished we all possessed the gift of tongues. It is quite astounding that most of the New Testament was written by someone who wished that we all spoke in tongues!

Read 1 Corinthians 12:10 and Acts 2:5-8

There are at least three different kinds of tongues mentioned in the Bible. The first type of tongue is the ability to speak a foreign language with which the speaker is not familiar, but which is understood by other nationalities. Acts 2:5-8 illustrates this point.

Read 1 Corinthians 14:2, 28

The second type of tongue is a prayer language. The apostle Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 14:2, that those who possess this gift speak not to people but to God. In verse 28, he goes on to say that those who possess this gift are to remain silent in the church if no interpreter is present. Therefore, they are to speak only to themselves and to the Lord. Those who are blessed with this gift have the ability to communicate mysteries to God because only He can understand them.

The third type of language is the interpretation of tongues. It is similar to prophecy in some respects. To illustrate, if someone wishes to convey a message meant to edify the Church, it will need to be decrypted since no one will understand what is being said. An interpretation is required. It is important to understand, however, that translation and interpretation are two distinct processes. In translation, meaning is conveyed word-by-word, while in interpretation, meaning is simplified and condensed.


Read 1 Corinthians 14:13 and 14:19

The term “interpretation of tongues” refers to the supernatural ability to convey the meaning of what is said in tongues. As a matter of fact, the apostle Paul actually encourages this practice in 1 Corinthians 14:13. According to him, a person who has the ability to speak in tongues should pray for the ability to interpret. Thus, those of us who speak in tongues may pray that the Lord will also grant us the ability to interpret. The primary objective of tongue interpretation, however, is to edify people. This is why Paul said, “I would rather speak five words I understand in order to teach others than thousands of words in a foreign language.” Paul chose to speak fewer words that would bless, edify, and comfort people rather than speak in a language they would not comprehend.

If you commit to serving God, He may equip you with spiritual gifts as well.

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