Here are the “Gifts of the Spirit” in the KJV and the NRSV translations:
(KJV) 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 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.
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 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: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
(NRSV) 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses
HERE is a LIST:
working of miracles
discernment of spirits
various kinds of tongues
the interpretation of tongues
Now let us begin with a few facts about the book of Corinthians:
Author: The Apostle Paul, to: Audience: The Church at Corinth, at: Date: circa AD 57; Location Written: Ephesus (Information Obtained from JFB Commentary)
According to Matthew Henry’s Commentary, we see:
The Corinthian church contained some Jews, but more Gentiles, and the apostle had to contend with the superstition of the one, and the sinful conduct of the other. The peace of this church was disturbed by false teachers, who undermined the influence of the apostle. Two parties were the result; one contending earnestly for the Jewish ceremonies, the other indulging in excesses contrary to the gospel, to which they were especially led by the luxury and the sins which prevailed around them. This epistle was written to rebuke some disorderly conduct, of which the apostle had been apprised, and to give advice as to some points whereon his judgment was requested by the Corinthians. Thus the scope was twofold.
1. To apply suitable remedies to the disorders and abuses which prevailed among them.
2. To give satisfactory answers on all the points upon which his advice had been desired.
The address, and Christian mildness, yet firmness, with which the apostle writes, and goes on from general truths directly to oppose the errors and evil conduct of the Corinthians, is very remarkable. He states the truth and the will of God, as to various matters, with great force of argument and animation of style.
DISCUSSION: The utterance (speaking) of Wisdom. Wisdom is, essentially, the properly and practically applied use of KNOWLEDGE, which we see clearly here to be the second gift mentioned by Paul. We can logically infer that Wisdom and Knowledge go hand in hand here. Without KNOWLEDGE, how can one have Wisdom? And without the Spirit, how can one have the ability to apply KNOWLEDGE?
FAITH: As we saw in the “Fruits of the Spirit,” Faith is defined in the Bible as: “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1) To have Faith is certainly a GIFT, given to us by the Holy Spirit, and one that is also necessary to: “Be Saved / Accept Jesus as Savior / Be converted to Christianity / Believe in Jesus as Savior, etc.” FAITH is therefore necessarily a Spiritual Gift that certainly is given to those who would follow Jesus. Without FAITH, how would we even attempt such a thing? I mean, would we follow something we cannot see for the sake of following itself? I think not. Therefore, I deduce that FAITH is a NECESSARY GIFT of the Spirit for us ALL. It is by FAITH that we are saved! It is by FAITH that we walk the narrow path of the Christian life. And finally, in my own estimation, FAITH is therefore essentially THE key that unlocks the ability to gain eternal life by and through our Savior Jesus, the Risen Christ!
HEALING: How many times did our Savior Jesus heal people (that we know of) through Scripture….in the a-synoptic Gospel of John, we are basically told that all the books of the world could not contain the things that Jesus did. So how many times do we “know of” that He did heal? And He also said that, “…you will do even greater things…” in the same book of John.
How many Christians really and truly believe in healing do you suppose? And how many actually have the GIFT of Healing? THAT is hard to estimate!! I would say that, by default, every Christian believes IN healing, but there are plenty of Christians that obviously do not have the GIFT of Healing! IF we ALL had the gift of healing, where would lie the need for doctors and hospitals? Are we taking the Gift of Healing to mean ONLY PHYSICAL healing? I think so. However, it is my opinion that “Healing” comes in many forms, and that most of those forms are of an unseen nature, such as emotional, psychological, or spiritual healing. For example, Jesus cast seven demons out of Mary…as it translates to our modern language, this can very well mean that he healed her of several psychological/spiritual/emotional “demons,” which I would personally call “conditions” of the Mind, Heart, and/or Spirit, that were HEALED (or “cast out”).
Again I submit to you that, if the Gift of Healing means ONLY physical healing, then we are underestimating God Himself! I am in dire desire of discussion on this point!
WORKING OF MIRACLES: Let us attempt to define “Miracles” to start.
From Easton’s Bible Dictionary we can better understand what “Miracle” means, both in the context of Scripture, as well as for us today.
an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38). It is an occurrence at once above nature and above man. It shows the intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power.
“The suspension or violation of the laws of nature involved in miracles is nothing more than is constantly taking place around us. One force counteracts another:vital force keeps the chemical laws of matter in abeyance; and muscular force can control the action of physical force. When a man raises a weight from the ground, the law of gravity is neither suspended nor violated, but counteracted by a stronger force. The same is true as to the walking of Christ on the water and the swimming of iron at the command of the prophet. The simple and grand truth that the universe is not under the exclusive control of physical forces, but that everywhere and always there is above, separate from and superior to all else, an infinite personal will, not superseding, but directing and controlling all physical causes, acting with or without them.” God ordinarily effects his purpose through the agency of second causes; but he has the power also of effecting his purpose immediately and without the intervention of second causes, i. e., of invading the fixed order, and thus of working miracles. Thus we affirm the possibility of miracles, the possibility of a higher hand intervening to control or reverse nature’s ordinary movements.
In the New Testament these four Greek words are principally used to designate miracles:(1.) Semeion, a “sign”, i. e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message (Matt. 12:38, 39; 16:1, 4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8; John 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power.
(2.) Terata, “wonders;” wonder- causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
(3.) Dunameis, “might works;” works of superhuman power (Acts 2:22; Rom. 15:19; 2 Thess. 2:9); of a new and higher power.
(4.) Erga, “works;” the works of Him who is “wonderful in working” (John 5:20, 36).
Miracles are seals of a divine mission. The sacred writers appealed to them as proofs that they were messengers of God. Our Lord also appealed to miracles as a conclusive proof of his divine mission (John 5:20, 36; 10:25, 38). Thus, being out of the common course of nature and beyond the power of man, they are fitted to convey the impression of the presence and power of God. Where miracles are there certainly God is. The man, therefore, who works a miracle affords thereby clear proof that he comes with the authority of God; they are his credentials that he is God’s messenger. The teacher points to these credentials, and they are a proof that he speaks with the authority of God. He boldly says, “God bears me witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles.”
The credibility of miracles is established by the evidence of the senses on the part of those who are witnesses of them, and to all others by the testimony of such witnesses. The witnesses were competent, and their testimony is trustworthy. Unbelievers, following Hume, deny that any testimony can prove a miracle, because they say miracles are impossible. We have shown that miracles are possible, and surely they can be borne witness to. Surely they are credible when we have abundant and trustworthy evidence of their occurrence. They are credible just as any facts of history well authenticated are credible. Miracles, it is said, are contrary to experience. Of course they are contrary to our experience, but that does not prove that they were contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them. We believe a thousand facts, both of history and of science, that are contrary to our experience, but we believe them on the ground of competent testimony. An atheist or a pantheist must, as a matter of course, deny the possibility of miracles; but to one who believes in a personal God, who in his wisdom may see fit to interfere with the ordinary processes of nature, miracles are not impossible, nor are they incredible.
I certainly could not have put that any better than Easton…so there we go, the gift of performing miracles in a nutshell. If we have faith in God, then ALL things are possible through Him.
PROPHECY: Ok, here is one that can get really “interesting” in conversation among Christians. It can even be DIVISIVE to discuss, which turns such discussion into the antithesis of the union of the Spirit of God in Mankind, by the Grace of our Savior.
So, I will tell you MY belief on this one, and you just feel free to comment away, quote Scripture, whatever you like in return. Perhaps between those who might participate in the discussion, we can reach a solid and final result as to what the Gift of “Prophecy” really is! Wouldn’t that be cool? I think so. Regardless of denomination, we ARE the Christian Community that the world sees, and we should come together on a lot more than Biblical interpretation I think. IF we ALL worked together, there are no limits as to what we could achieve with the help of God!
GET READY! HERE IS SOME VERY IN-DEPTH STUFF!:
As for what the “Gift of Prophecy” is, I turn again, first, to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, wherein “Prophecy” is described as follows:
prediction, was one of the functions of the prophet. It has been defined as a “miracle of knowledge, a declaration or description or representation of something future, beyond the power of human sagacity to foresee, discern, or conjecture.” (See PROPHET.)
The great prediction which runs like a golden thread through the whole contents of the Old Testament is that regarding the coming and work of the Messiah; and the great use of prophecy was to perpetuate faith in his coming, and to prepare the world for that event. But there are many subordinate and intermediate prophecies also which hold an important place in the great chain of events which illustrate the sovereignty and all- wise overruling providence of God.
Then there are many prophecies regarding the Jewish nation, its founder Abraham
(Gen. 12:1- 3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:2, 4- 6, etc.), and his posterity, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants (12:7; 13:14, 15, 17; 15:18- 21; Ex. 3:8, 17), which have all been fulfilled. The twenty- eighth chapter of Deuteronomy contains a series of predictions which are even now in the present day being fulfilled. In the writings of the prophets Isaiah (2:18- 21), Jeremiah (27:3- 7; 29:11- 14), Ezekiel (5:12; 8), Daniel (8; 9:26, 27), Hosea (9:17), there are also many prophecies regarding the events which were to befall that people.
There is in like manner a large number of prophecies relating to those nations with which the Jews came into contact, as Tyre (Ezek. 26:3- 5, 14- 21), Egypt (Ezek. 29:10, 15; 30:6, 12, 13), Ethiopia (Nahum 3:8- 10), Nineveh (Nahum 1:10; 2:8- 13; 3:17- 19), Babylon (Isa. 13:4; Jer. 51:7; Isa. 44:27; Jer. 50:38; 51:36, 39, 57), the land of the Philistines (Jer. 47:4- 7; Ezek. 25:15- 17; Amos 1:6- 8; Zeph. 2:4- 7; Zech. 9:5- 8), and of the four great monarchies (Dan. 2:39, 40; 7:17- 24; 8:9).
But the great body of Old Testament prophecy relates directly to the advent of the Messiah, beginning with Gen. 3:15, the first great promise, and extending in ever- increasing fulness and clearness all through to the very close of the canon. The Messianic prophecies are too numerous to be quoted. “To him gave all the prophets witness.” (Comp. Micah 5:2; Hag. 2:6- 9; Isa. 7:14; 9:6, 7; 11:1, 2; 53; 60:10, 13; Ps. 16:11; 68:18.)
Many predictions also were delivered by Jesus and his apostles. Those of Christ were very numerous. (Comp. Matt. 10:23, 24; 11:23; 19:28; 21:43, 44; 24; 25:31- 46; 26:17- 35, 46, 64; Mark 9:1; 10:30; 13; 11:1- 6, 14; 14:12- 31, 42, 62; 16:17, etc.
It logically follows that, one who has the gift of “Prophecy,” IS a Prophet. Again I turn to Easton’s for the definition of a “Prophet”:
(Heb. nabi, from a root meaning “to bubble forth, as from a fountain,” hence “to utter”, comp. Ps. 45:1). This Hebrew word is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the time of Samuel another word, ro’eh, “seer”, began to be used (1 Sam. 9:9). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel. Afterwards another word, hozeh, “seer” (2 Sam. 24:11), was employed. In 1 Ch. 29:29 all these three words are used:”Samuel the seer (ro’eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi ‘), Gad the seer” (hozeh). In Josh. 13:22 Balaam is called (Heb.) a kosem “diviner,” a word used only of a false prophet.
The “prophet” proclaimed the message given to him, as the “seer” beheld the vision of God. (See Num. 12:6, 8.) Thus a prophet was a spokesman for God; he spake in God’s name and by his authority (Ex. 7:1). He is the mouth by which God speaks to men (Jer. 1:9; Isa. 51:16), and hence what the prophet says is not of man but of God (2 Pet. 1:20, 21; comp. Heb. 3:7; Acts 4:25; 28:25). Prophets were the immediate organs of God for the communication of his mind and will to men (Deut. 18:18, 19). The whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature might be. The foretelling of future events was not a necessary but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the people was “to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim the great moral and religious truths which are connected with the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his government.”
Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers of God’s message (Gen. 20:7; Ex. 7:1; Ps. 105:15), as also Moses (Deut. 18:15; 34:10; Hos. 12:13), are ranked among the prophets. The seventy elders of Israel (Num. 11:16- 29), “when the spirit rested upon them, prophesied;” Asaph and Jeduthun “prophesied with a harp” (1 Chr. 25:3). Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses (Ex. 15:20; Judg. 4:4). The title thus has a general application to all who have messages from God to men.
But while the prophetic gift was thus exercised from the beginning, the prophetical order as such began with Samuel. Colleges, “schools of the prophets”, were instituted for the training of prophets, who were constituted, a distinct order (1 Sam. 19:18- 24; 2 Kings 2:3, 15; 4:38), which continued to the close of the Old Testament. Such “schools” were established at Ramah, Bethel, Gilgal, Gibeah, and Jericho. The “sons” or “disciples” of the prophets were young men (2 Kings 5:22; 9:1, 4) who lived together at these different “schools” (4:38- 41). These young men were taught not only the rudiments of secular knowledge, but they were brought up to exercise the office of prophet, “to preach pure morality and the heart- felt worship of Jehovah, and to act along and co- ordinately with the priesthood and monarchy in guiding the state aright and checking all attempts at illegality and tyranny.”
In New Testament times the prophetical office was continued. Our Lord is frequently spoken of as a prophet (Luke 13:33; 24:19). He was and is the great Prophet of the Church. There was also in the Church a distinct order of prophets (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 2:20; 3:5), who made new revelations from God. They differed from the “teacher,” whose office it was to impart truths already revealed.
Of the Old Testament prophets there are sixteen, whose prophecies form part of the inspired canon. These are divided into four groups:
(1.) The prophets of the northern kingdom (Israel), viz., Hosea, Amos, Joel, Jonah.
(2.) The prophets of Judah, viz., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah.
(3.) The prophets of Captivity, viz., Ezekiel and Daniel.
(4.) The prophets of the Restoration, viz., Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
SUMMATION: THE GIFT OF PROPHECY ENABLES ONE, THROUGH THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, TO FORETELL.
Discernment of Spirits
FROM THE ISBE:
Discernings, of Spirits
(di- zurninz hdiakriseis pneumaton, “judicial estimation,” “through judgment or separation”):Occurs in 1 Cor 12:10 as being one of the gifts of the Spirit. The Greek word occurs in Heb 5:14; and Rom 14:1:”But him that is weak in faith receive ye, yet not for decision of scruples.” This translation scarcely expresses the meaning, which Thayer has freely rendered, “not for the purpose of passing judgment on opinions, as to which one is to be preferred as the more correct.” Taking these three passages together it is evident that the Greek term which is rendered “discerning” means a distinguishing or discriminating between things that are under consideration; hence, the one who possessed the gift of “discernings of spirits” was able to make distinction between the one who spoke by the Spirit of God and the one who was moved by a false spirit. This gift seems to have been exercised chiefly upon those who assumed the role of teachers, and it was especially important in those days, because there were many false teachers abroad (see 2 Jn 1:7; Acts 20:29, 30)
THERE WE GO! The Gift of “Discerning of Spirits” as related by the Greek text, is: ONE WHO IS ABLE TO MAKE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE ONE WHO SPOKE BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND THE ONE WHO WAS MOVED BY A FALSE SPIRIT.
This was especially true in the time Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians, as there were many false teachings there at the time that competed with the TRUE teachings of God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit.
VARIOUS TYPES OF TONGUES & THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES:
I, having been raised in a Pentecostal Church, feel especially qualified to comment on these gifts, which are not surprising listed as the LAST two.
We see in the Scripture, on the Day of Pentecost (the First one), that the Disciples spoke in languages they did not know, and thereby communicated with people of myriad languages (tongues). This would be in Acts 2 methinks.
Paul states elsewhere, that he would rather give one word of prophecy, than a thousand in tongues, and also that he spoke in tongues “more than you all.” That said, remember that in the Book of Corinthians, Paul is writing to reprise the people of Corinth, who were a mixed congregation of Greek and Jew. I repeat, HE WAS WRITING TO REPRISE THEM.
Allow me to ask a question here: IF there is no translation when the gift of tongues is exercised in a congregation, especially a congregation that includes those who are not familiar with, or endowed with, the interpretation of tongues, what purpose then does that gift serve for the Church? Does it edify? Does it make things more clear to those listening? I think not. It was my experience in the Pentecostal realm, that when someone spoke in tongues, and there was not an interpretation, it was nothing to me but “jibber jabber.” And that my friend, is a shameful thing for the House of God!
Therefore, if one speaks in tongues, then another should be given, and speak the interpretation of the spoken tongue, otherwise it serves no edifying purpose!
That leads me to the next thing I noticed in the Pentecostal realm….a LOT of people allegedly speaking in tongues, and after doing so, there was not an interpretation.
If there is no interpretation, then there is no understanding. If there is no understanding, then it is impossible to receive knowledge, and if it is not possible to receive knowledge from such a message, then why would the message be given in public?
I absolutely DO believe in the gift of tongues, and the gift of interpretation. However, I also have seen it used in a confusing manner, and SATAN is the Author of Confusion. Hence it is safe to say that such uses were not valid examples of this gift.
What I really believe in very strongly, is the gift of tongues being exercised as a means of praying directly to God. A “prayer language.” He certainly understands such prayer, and the Holy Spirit gifts the prayers to someone in order for them to speak them, so I can only presume that, in our modern society, at least in America where we have English as THE major and official language, there is currently no need for tongues in public, and therefore no need for interpretation of said tongues.
This is NOT to devalue the gifts, but rather to communicate that they are often used improperly and confuse people outside of our little “folds,” when in fact, if anything, we should be exercising the Word of Knowledge, so that we may edify the body of believers and reach out to the world.
The very last point I want to make about “Speaking in tongues” is that I absolutely detest those who say that it is the ONLY evidence of “being filled with the Holy Ghost,” hence indicating the completion of what “they” feel to be the “process” of “being saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost.” That entire line of thought and irrational, non-scriptural theology just really gets under my skin. I should simply be meek and humble and not say anything about it maybe, but then again, the Spirit in me is one of boldness, so in this I must speak as I have on the topic.
Okies, well, that’s it for the Gifts of the Spirit. It would really tickle me to have some conversation on this topic, but I fear a lack of response as well. Whatever the case may be from this point on, I feel I have done my part now to educate as well as I am able to do. If indeed you have input or differing opinions, please do feel free to comment. After all, that is what blogging is about right? The exchange of ideas following a Blog entry? I think so, and hope you do as well. We could possibly learn some stuff from each other. I am NOT close-minded, and will discuss anything with anyone here.
Peace & Blessings be Upon You ALL,