Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – May 17, 2015
Theme: The Promised Holy Spirit
Topic: Overview of the gifts
Main Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1-31
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 12:4-5 – “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.”
Last Sunday, focusing on 1 Corinthians 14, we learnt The Right Use of Tongues. We saw that:
- There is a difference between tongues as an instrument for personal devotion and worship and tongues in ministration to a congregation;
- When Paul said he would like all Corinthians (read “all Christians”) to speak in tongues, he meant tongues in the context of personal devotion and worship.
- Praying in tongues is part of “praying with the spirit”; Paul says we can also “sing with the spirit”
- Tongues in ministration to a congregation must be accompanied by interpretation either by the one that speaks in the tongue, or by someone else in the congregation, unless the tongue is actually understood by people (such as on the day of Pentecost).
- Whoever is enabled by The Holy Spirit to speak in tongues is also in control as “the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet’s control”
- The gift of prophesy is superior to that of tongues unless the tongue is interpreted
- The key question in each mind should be, “Since the Holy Spirit has given different gifts to Christians, what gift has He given me?”
This Sunday we will focus on 1 Corinthians 12 to have an Overview of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We will identify the nine manifestations of the Spirit and categorise them appropriately. We will also discuss the different kinds of service that Apostle Paul wrote about. The study will lay the foundation for more in-depth study of the individual gifts in the coming weeks.
Without doubt, 1 Corinthians 12 is the most comprehensive passage in the Bible on the subject of the Holy Spirit. In verses 8-10, Paul lists nine gifts (or manifestations) of the Spirit, but before he lists them, he says in v7 that these gifts are “… given for the common good.” The nine gifts are usually grouped into three based on how they operate:
Revelation gifts (Gifts that reveal something):
- The Word of Wisdom (Or Message of Wisdom)
- The Word of Knowledge (Or Message of Knowledge)
- Discerning of Spirits (Or Distinguishing between spirits)
Power gifts (Gifts that do something):
- Gift of Faith
- Working of Miracles
- Gift of Healing
Utterance Gifts: (Gifts that say something)
- Diverse kinds of tongues
- Interpretation of tongues
Besides these, Paul goes on to talk of “different kinds of service” – what we commonly call Ministry Gifts. We read: “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” (1Corinthians 12:28 NIV). These gifts have to do with the role we play in the Church, and are different from manifestations listed above.
As we study these gifts in greater depth and against the background that “… to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7 NIV), the question in each mind should be: If God has given to each one the manifestation of the Spirit, which of these has He given me? While the Bible says that the Holy Spirit gives out these gifts “as He determines” (v11), it does say we should “eagerly desire the greater gifts” (v31).
- Which of the manifestations of the Spirit are evident in your church, and which seem absent? Why do you think some are absent?
- Paul deliberately forces an order of importance to the Ministry Gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:28. Why is this order significant?
Father, I earnestly desire the “greater gifts” of the Holy Spirit, but whichever You choose to give me, leave me in no doubt as to what they are, and help me manifest them responsibly. In Jesus’ name, Amen.