1CORINTHIANS 12:1-11 (NIV – UK)
Concerning spiritual gifts
1 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to dumb idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
FOR THE COMMON GOOD
Followers of Jesus have the wonderful privilege of being the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who wants to point us constantly to Jesus. He is the one who makes our relationship with Jesus possible – and so when we are listening to Him, we can’t say bad of Jesus, but only good (v. 3). In fact, nobody can truly say good about Jesus except those who have received the Holy Spirit.
God wants to bestow great gifts on his church by his Spirit – wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues [further lists of different spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8, 1Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11, 1Peter 4:11 – including serving, teaching, giving, leadership, mercy, helps, administration etc.]. All of these are through the work of ‘the same Spirit’ (v. 11). These gifts, however, aren’t for us to keep to ourselves. They are for a specific purpose – ‘Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good’ (v. 7). They are given for the common good – for the good of the church as a whole – to enable the church to fulfil its purpose. Paul wants to see unity in all things, including the use of spiritual gifts.
Question: Have you seen spiritual gifts used for the common good in your church?