Goals and Gifts of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Jerry A Collins




Ø      What is a   spiritual   gift today?

Ø      How can I use a spiritual gift today?

Ø      What difference does a spiritual gift make?


Did you know that when you received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, that there were at least thirty three things that happened? One of those was that the Holy Spirit gave you what is called a spiritual gift (1 Cor 12:7). This, by the way, is the next subject Paul takes up with the Corinthian believers in that city 12:1.  In 1:10 it was now agree and no divisions. Then immorality 5:1; then lawsuits 6:1. Now concerning touching women 7:1. Now concerning things sacrificed to idols 8:1. Then head coverings and communion 11. Now concerning spiritual gifts 12:1. Eventually now concerning the gospel 15 and now concerning the collection for the saints 16. One subject after another each addressing issues and concerns for the church. Here we will discover 1-3 the HS affirms Jesus Christ; 4-6 HS is the source of spiritual gifts; 7-11 HS gives gifts for common welfare of church.


First, in their former manner of life they were misled as unbeliever’s vs 2.  Misled and carried away they only worshipped dumb or silent idols which had no ability to talk or utter a word. These idols had no ability to pass on any kind of giftedness to these people. As matter of fact, demons were behind all of this (10:19-20). Second, the test as to the real origin of what is of the HS and what is not is how Jesus is viewed. Whoever was saying ‘Jesus is accursed’ was certainly not of the HS. Any phrase which blasphemes Jesus Christ is not of God. No one could curse Jesus name by means of the HS. The HS always emphasizes and exalts Jesus the Lord not the HS. The HS would never deny Jesus’ sovereign lordship. This provides the evidence of what spirit is energizing their speech and their ministry. So the difference between the influence of demons and the influence of the HS is what these say about Jesus Christ. This, then serves as the test as to the origin of the spiritual gifts.


There is only one source of he gifts 4-6. Yet there are a variety of gifts hat are given. (1) There is a variety of or distinctions or differences of gifts 4. These are uses in a variety of ministries 5 to accomplish a variety of effects 6. (2) While there are a diversity of gifts and effects there is only one God behind it all. This is noted as the same spirit 4, the same Lord 5 and the same God 6, who works in all members of the body of Christ. There is no competition for all are from the same God. Notice the emphasis upon the godhead unique to the Xian faith: the Spirit, then the Lord (Jesus), then God. The unity here is stressed in relation to the different gifts. So while there are a diversity of gifts and effects there is but one God behind it all working thru all three persons. We do not manufacture our gifts. We do not choose our gifts. A ministry is effective only when God is working through us and using us. It is a God-given ability for service that makes my ministry valuable. So God supplies me with the tools, the resources, and the God-given ability to make a difference for the kingdom of God. I cannot make that difference all on my own. Spiritual gifts given to me and used in service are the means by which my ministry uniquely works.


First, we are given these gifts for the common good of the body of Christ. This is not a local, isolated good. This is not only for specific groups or else the body of Christ could not benefit. It is good to be a part of other groups of believers. I am part of this group and a group of men I disciple and an overseas group of believers and a teaching team at school group and my family group. All of these groups and persons in them can be served a common good as I use my giftedness I each of them. Al of these are the body of Christ and I should never withhold my ministry from them as God gives me opportunity. You also have your groups and persons and though they may not be part of other groups you are part of they are still the body of Christ. Serve their common good and let God use you with your gifts to minister and serve. And what are these gifts we have? He lists some for us. They include:

(1) Word of wisdom—spiritual insight and ability to communicate spiritual truths with insight. (2) Word of knowledge—ability to comprehend and communicate knowledge about God and His Word. (3) Faith—ability to lay hold of God with unusual measure of trust. (4) Healing—ability to restore health. (5) Miracles—ability to validate   God’s message as true with powerful effects. (6) Prophecy—ability to speak message directly from God. (7) Discerning of spirits—ability to detect false teachers and teaching. (8) Tongues—ability to speak a different language. (9) Interpretation—ability to translate unlearned language spoken by someone. The bottom line is we are uniquely gifted a certain way for common good of believers.  One common theme of these gifts is that they are revelational in nature meaning that they were used to both confirm something God was doing as well as foundational to the establishment of the church. So many of these may have been temporary in nature until the church was established and the Bible available. However, the one and same spirit works in it all and continues to distribute His gifts as He decides for the common good of the church vs. 11.

Here are some things we should know about spiritual gifts:

(1) They are for serving others. A spiritual gift is a God-given ability for service. In OT service primarily by official positions like kings, prophets, priests and so on. But for the church Jesus changed all of that. Whoever wishes to be great….shall be your servant mark 10. Jesus gave us a new foundation from which to serve. The apostles gave us the new platform for service which was spiritual gifts (1 Pt 4:10). (2) They are God-given. Not achieved by human effort. They must be developed by effort tho. But no one can get gift of teaching for example because worked hard to get it.

(3) They are spiritual not natural talents. A talent like music is connected to our personality. We are born with ability hat encourages such talents. Yes they are fro god who created us but come by natural birth. Spiritual gifts by re-birth.

(4) No one has all the gifts but every believer has some. Each of us will wrap our natural talents and personalities around our spiritual gifts in such a way that our gifts will all be developed differently. And whatever gifts we have been given are designed for equipping and building up the whole church.

(5) You discover your gifts as you serve people. Ministry is serving people with eternal values in mind. So the way to discover your gifts is probably not by taking a written test or class. The best way to discover how the HS has gifted you is to begin serving people in various ways. Then after some time ask yourself (1) in what areas does God seem to be using me? (2) What do I enjoy doing—what brings joy and contentment? (3) What draws me closer to god as I do it? So look back over your shoulder as you progress spiritually in service.