The Giver of Gifts is Holy and therefore let us reciprocate this great love for the church and look beyond ourselves in love.

Now I decided to go over this section again.  I felt that it was important to look at some key words that can help us get deeper into the text.  So, the first thing I will do is just give a word list based on the text below.  Once we have gotten acquainted with the words, we can start to find out what Paul was really trying to say to the Corinthians.  When I do give the list of words don’t fret.  Like in English a word can have several meanings or interpretations.   But I felt it was important for you to see other ways it has been translated in the Bible.

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of  miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the  distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

EnglishGreek
Varieties  3xg1243. διαίρεσις diairesis ; from 1244; a division:–   varieties(3).
Gifts x2g5486. χάρισμα charisma ; from 5483; a gift of grace, a free gift:–
favor(1), free gift(3), gift(5), gifts(7), spiritual gift(1).

Ministriesg1248. διακονία diakonia ; from 1249; service, ministry:–
ministries(1), ministry(19), mission(1), preparations(1), relief(1), serve(1), service(7), serving(2), support(1).
giveng1325. δίδωμι didōmi ; redupl. from the root δο- do-; to give (in various senses lit. or fig.):–
add(1), allow(2), bestowed(4), cause(2), commanded*(1), dealing(1), drew(1), gave(79), give(122), given(117), gives(14), giving(12), grant(15), granted(10), granting(2), leave(1), make(1), offer(2), pass(1), pay(5), permitted(1), pour(1), poured(1), produce(1), produces(1), producing(1), put(6), puts(1), putting(1), show(1), struck*(1), utter(1), venture*(1), yielded(3).

So in verse 4 Paul  says that there  are a varieties of gifts.  It just means that there are various gifts.  The word for gift here is χάρισμα charisma which is to do with grace. In other words a free gift from God that has positive implications and is supposed to benefit the whole church.   I went on to Wikipedia and I found it interesting that this word come from being happy (from χαίρω (khaírō, “I am happy”)) + -μα (-ma).) . 

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CF%87%CE%AC%CF%81%CE%B9%CF%83%CE%BC%CE%B1

Anyway, we should be happy that God loves us so much that he meets all our needs.  From the point of view of the 21st century however, people can interpret this in a selfish manner.  For example, this is a gift for me.  God wants to bless the whole church and not just the individual although I am not saying that you are not important.  When you are given a gift what do you do with it?  Perhaps you were given some money for some new clothes; Did you spend it on alcohol instead?  The gifts that are given here are by God, so we ought to show them the greatest of respect for we stand on holy ground.  If we stand on holy ground, then the gifts must be holy and must be used in a holy manner and how the Giver intended them to be used.

These gifts whatever they are those mentioned here and elsewhere have been given by the Holy Spirit for the Church.  Not any one person has all the gifts.  They are shared out.  Paul keeps saying ‘to another’ 4 or 5 times. 

The gift that has the most contention I suppose in the 21st century outside of Pentecostal and charismatic circles is tongues. Glossolalia from my point of view ought to be understood as a divine language rather than a foreign language.  Why do I come to this conclusion?  The reason is that as well as Christian glossolalia there were other mystic religions at the time that used it.  It was part of the ancient universal culture of the Middle East at the time. 

This article is interesting even if you don’t agree with it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossolalia

I don’t claim to really understand what is going on in these chapters but I can say that God is bigger than us, his love is bigger than us, and his gifts are bigger than we could imagine or think.  God became a man and died in our place so that we could be in an eternal relationship with the divine.  What a blessing. Let us look beyond the gifts to our great Trinitarian God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: