The Christmas season that has just passed, with its expectation of giving gifts to those we love and/or otherwise know, can be a source of anxiety and stress because it can be difficult to figure out what gift will be appreciated by the recipient we have mind. And since this gift-giving revolves around one particular day, there is the added stress of expense, as we seek to purchase items for numerous people, and of time, as we rush to stores or shop online seeking suitable gifts. Given these demands and stresses the Christmas season can also help us realize how we, as a culture and even as a body of Christ, have managed to lose our focus on the central meaning of Christmas in the first place.

But it wasn’t always so. In fact the origin of gift-giving is both beautiful and awe-inspiring. This custom can be traced back to the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the Magi brought the Christ child.[1] These wise men brought their best and most expensive gifts to honor and worship baby Jesus the King, our Savior and Lord. A few weeks ago I mentioned in one of Ron’s adult ed classes that one of my favorite Christmas songs, corny though it may be, is The Little Drummer Boy.[2] I love this song because in a few short stanzas it so beautifully captures part of the meaning of Christmas: A little drummer boy is invited to see Jesus, the newborn King, and is told that all are to bring their finest gifts to him. Yet when the boy comes to Jesus he confesses that he has no gift for he, like Jesus himself, is “a poor boy, too.” But though the little drummer boy has no material gift to bring what he can do is bring the gift of playing drums for baby Jesus—and so he does. I find this simple song to be such a poignant reminder of how we can give and share whatever gifts and talents we have to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and King.

Well our passage this morning happens to be about gifts, but it’s not about gifts we give but about gifts that God, by his Holy Spirit, gives us. Now in one sense all of our gifts—that is, all of our talents, abilities, energy, indeed all of our lives—are, of course, a gift from God. We didn’t choose to be born on this earth rather life was bestowed upon us by our Maker through our parents. And we had no more say in what abilities or talents we would have than we did in what color our eyes or hair or what size and shape our bodies. The abilities we’re born with are “natural” gifts in the sense that they are ours by nature. They’re inborn or hereditary characteristics that we may have opportunity to further develop.

But the gifts spoken of in our passage are “supernatural” for they are bestowed upon us not at the time that we are physically born but they are connected with our becoming spiritually born. As is the case with our natural birth, we cannot cause ourselves to be spiritually born for Scripture teaches that our spiritual birth is only possible, as Paul teaches, when we are saved by God’s grace and given the first and best gift—spiritual or otherwise—any of us will ever have, namely, faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son God sent into the world to take away our sins. And the purpose of this gift of salvation, Paul goes on to state, is that we might do those good works that God prepared for us to do beforehand.[3] So neither our salvation nor the good deeds that follow are a surprise to God for they’ve been part of his plan all along.

And when by God’s grace we come to recognize that God is not simply an impersonal Creator but our Creator and our Redeemer, we not only receive God’s salvation but also, as Jesus promised his first disciples, his Holy Spirit. And given that Jesus is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Spirit he sends is the means by which he continues to be present with and within us for he is Immanuel, God with us. And in speaking of sending his Spirit, the language Jesus used was that he would not leave us as orphans but would come to us.[4] His Holy Spirit is referred to as a deposit, a down payment, by whose seal we are guaranteed his promised redemption.[5] Therefore to have Christ’s Spirit means that now we, both individually and corporately, belong to Christ and therefore are to live by, through, and for him. These are truths Paul has already written about earlier in his letter to these Corinthians[6] as well as elsewhere in his writings.[7] And this indwelling of Christ by his Holy Spirit is how we are given these supernatural spiritual gifts. Now the gift given by the Holy Spirit is known, in Greek, as the charisma[8]—which may bring to mind the more general notion of a charismatic, or compellingly attractive personality or, the more specific notion of charismatic in the sense of divinely conferred gifts. This latter sense is what Paul is talking about in our morning’s passage. Specifically, as one commentator notes, it’s “some capability given through the Holy Spirit that enables one to minister to the needs of Christ’s body, the church.”[9]

Again, because the gifts the Holy Spirit gives are supernatural, we can’t cause them to come about by our own powers or willing. And if God in Christ, by sending his Spirit, bestows his spiritual gifts upon us, surely we would want to know what those gifts might be, wouldn’t we? Well, we aren’t the only ones for Paul begins this chapter by saying “Now about the gifts of the Spirit,…” thereby indicating that what he is about to address is a matter concerning which the church has asked and, as is usually the case, knowing the circumstances and context of those to whom Paul is writing will help us better understand why he is writing.[10] So the first thing we can surmise is that these believers wanted to learn more about gifts of the Spirit. But before addressing these spiritual gifts specifically, in verse 2 we learn something more about his audience, namely that formerly they were Gentiles, nonbelievers from the Greek city of Corinth. So Paul reminds them, “You know that when you were pagans,[11] somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.”[12] Idols are images or representations of a god. Because they are made by humans, in and of themselves they have no power. They are mute. Silent. Unable to communicate. Unable to talk. Yet how different is the God who made us in his image and who seeks to redeem us for himself by taking away our sins through his Son for:

The God who made us is a God who is not mute but he delights in speech and communication;

The God who made us brought the world into being by his speech;[13]

The God who made us communicates with us by leaving his imprint upon the world he has made that we might turn to him;[14]

The God who made us sent his prophets that people might know and follow his good will for them;

And when his prophets were rejected, the God who made us sent his Son, Jesus the Christ—whom Scripture refers to as the Word of God, thereby bringing us full circle back to Creation—that we might know him in the flesh, God in human form.[15]

And when his Son died and rose from death and ascended to heaven, the God who made us sent his Holy Spirit that we might know and believe in him.

Again, the God who made us isn’t silent; he is a God who, unlike mute idols, speaks.

And so Paul goes on to note in verse 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.” This God who made us, this God who speaks, this God who communicates with us is the very God who enables us not only to speak—a natural gift—but who, by his indwelling, enables us to speak truly about who he is, a supernatural gift. For if we have believed in Christ and have thereby received his Spirit, it’s impossible for us to call Jesus cursed. No, we are only able to call him Lord since the Holy Spirit, who is one with the Father and Jesus, could never curse Jesus. The Holy Spirit can only speak truly about who Jesus is and therefore he testifies truly that Jesus is Lord. Again, belief in God is the first and most important supernatural gift we will ever receive for, as Paul teaches, the only way we can confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead and so be saved[16] is by means of the Holy Spirit he sends us. It is by this amazing, awesome, gift of grace that we’re enabled to become children of our heavenly Father and brothers and sisters to one another both now and for all eternity.

Therefore the gift of salvation is given in order that we might become family, together children of our one and only Father in heaven. And God gives us other gifts that we might function as the family he has caused us to be. As Paul states in verses 4­–6: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” Paul is making here a statement not only about the unity God desires for his people but also about how that unity is to reflect the unity that exists in the Triune God himself. The same Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit distributes different kinds of gifts; the same Lord, that is Jesus Christ, enables different kinds of service; and the same God, that is the Father, brings about different kinds of working.[17] We’re then told concerning these supernatural gifts that: First, they come from God’s Holy Spirit. He is the one who distributes them, who hands them out. These gifts are his idea, not ours. Second, these gifts vary. They would have to if we’re to function as a healthy family. Therefore we ought not worry about what gift we may have or what service or working we may do for they all come from the same God to whom we belong and who is at work within and among us. Therefore everything we do can and should be done for his sake and by relying upon him.

Starting in verse 7, Paul then enumerates some of the specific supernatural gifts that the Holy Spirit might give. But he begins with the reminder that “to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” This is one of the most important points Paul makes throughout his letter. These gifts are not for our own benefit or glory but for the benefit of God’s family to his glory. In other words, these gifts are given in order that we might love and serve one another. So far, so good. But now comes the hard part. In verses 8–10 the representative list of supernatural gifts noted by Paul are interpreted very differently by different believers and denominations. Therefore our brothers and sisters in more charismatic and Pentecostal churches, for example, tend to have very definite ideas about what each of these gifts entail. Worship in one of these churches might result in someone standing and telling you that God by his Spirit has a specific “message of wisdom” or a “message of knowledge” (verse 8). So, too, in these churches “gifts of healing” may be emphasized (verse 9) or other “miraculous powers” or “prophecy” (verse 10). So, too, they might emphasize “speaking in tongues,” tongues being a spiritual language in which our spirit speaks with God’s Spirit with words no one but God can know.

Well, if one of the largest branches of Christ’s church emphasizes these supernatural gifts of the Spirit in this particular way, why doesn’t the entire Church do so? Why don’t we do so here at Linebrook Church? The reason is because Paul doesn’t ever define what, exactly, is entailed in each of these gifts. Therefore those who are understanding them in such a distinct manner are interpreting them in ways that may go well beyond what this passage states. The fact of the matter is that we don’t know what Paul means by many of these statements. Therefore caution is called for. So here are some general points that can help us navigate these gifts while seeking to remain faithful to Paul’s text.

First, given how much attention Paul gives to speaking in tongues both here and elsewhere in his letter, it’s likely that this gift was being abused and unduly exalted in the church at Corinth. It may be that because the paganism away from which these believers were converted incorporated ecstatic speech, speaking in tongues was being prized in an unhealthy manner. Alternatively, given that some of these believers had worshipped “mute idols,” they may have been concerned that when they spoke in tongues, they were cursing God and so Paul assured them this wasn’t possible since the Holy Spirit would never curse Jesus.

Second, as already noted, the list Paul provides is not only intended to be representative but also probably reflects spiritual gifts that had been given—and were perhaps being abused—in the Corinthian church.

Therefore, third, we need to understand that Paul isn’t simply responding to concerns raised by the Corinthians but also, where necessary, he’s offering a corrective.

With these points in mind, let’s turn to verses 8–10. Beginning with the gifts listed in verse 8, according to various sources I used, “a message [or utterance] of wisdom” “may have been an ability to resolve difficult spiritual problems and ‘the [message or] utterance of knowledge’ a special revelation of some sort, but we cannot be certain.”[18] Another commentator observes, “Some understand these to be miraculous gifts…by which a speaker is given supernatural ‘wisdom’ or ‘knowledge’ from God to impart to a situation. Others take these to be more ‘natural’ gifts: the ability to speak wisely or with knowledge into a situation.” And yet because these phrases don’t occur anywhere else “in the Bible, and Paul does not give any further explanation, …it is difficult to be certain.”[19] So we can begin to appreciate why caution is needed.

As to the gift of faith listed in verse 9, in all likelihood this isn’t referring to saving faith since, as we’ve already noted, saving faith is the starting point of salvation and is given to all believers, Instead, one suggestion is that the faith listed here is “…faith to meet a specific need within the body of Christ.”[20] Similarly, this gift of faith may be “a special endowment of faith for accomplishing some task.”[21] As to the gifts of healings, the use of the double plural “may suggest different kinds of illnesses and the various ways God heals them”[22] or “that different people may be gifted regarding different kinds of healing.”[23]

The “miraculous powers” noted in verse 10 are “[p]robably the ability to work various kinds of miracles, includ[ing] but not limited to healing.”[24] As to prophecy,

The word ‘prophecy’…as used by Paul in 1 Corinthians refers generally to speech that reports something that God spontaneously brings to mind or ‘reveals’ to the speaker but which is spoken in merely human words, not words of God. Therefore it can have mistakes and must be tested or evaluated….[25] An alternative view of this gift…is that it involves speaking the very words of God, with authority equal to the OT prophets and equal to the word of Scripture. A third view is that it is very similar to the gifts of preaching or teaching. This gift is widely indicated throughout the NT churches….[26] Prophecy is used to build up, encourage, and comfort the gathered community.[27] Prophecy is used evangelistically to disclose the secrets of the hearts of unbelievers and lead them to worship God.”[28]

As to the reference in verse 10 to “distinguishing between spirits” this may best be understood in light of chapter 14:29 in which Paul, addressing the context of proper order within a worship service, states “Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.” Another possibility is that this gift may be “A special ability to distinguish between the influence of the Holy Spirit and the influence of demonic spirits in a person’s life. Those who claim to speak under the Spirit’s prompting could be mistaken, and so God also gives gifts of discernment to the Christian community.”[29]

Last, the “various kind of tongues” may be ecstatic speech or the ability to speak in foreign, human languages as occurred in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit was first sent at Pentecost fifty days after Jesus ascended to heaven.[30] If the former, tongues may be understood as “[s]peech in a language the speaker does not know, and that sometimes does not follow the patterns of any known human language.[31] Paul sees this gift as a means of expressing prayer or praise to God[32] in which the speaker’s human spirit is praying even though the speaker does not understand the meaning.[33] The normally unintelligible nature of tongues makes their interpretation necessary if the gathered community is to be edified by them.[34] Paul probably placed the last two gifts at the end of the list because an overemphasis on tongues in Corinth had led to the neglect of those with other gifts.”[35]

So here’s our dilemma: What are we to make of these supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, if we can’t be certain of what they entail? Well, verse 11 is an important restatement by Paul. Already in verse 4 Paul said that the Holy Spirit is the one who distributes these supernatural gifts and as a kind of bookend, he again reminds these believers that it is the Holy Spirit who “distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” Again, we don’t get to decide which spiritual gift we have. That is God’s choice, by “one and the same Spirit.” As one commentator notes, “It is the Spirit who sovereignly provides for the people of God. That factor may explain why no New Testament passage[36] gives a complete catalog of gifts or a precise definition of them, since they may vary significantly according to God’s plan in changing situations. A church may appropriately pray for God to grant gifts to meet its needs, but such prayers must be offered in submission to His sovereign will and perfect wisdom.”[37] And, again, “Our inability to determine the precise function of some of these gifts is not an obstacle to understanding the thrust of this passage, which aims not at giving detailed instruction about them but rather at emphasizing the variety of God’s endowments to His church (v. 11).”[38]

The main take-away in all of this is that to live as the children of our Father in heaven can only be done as we turn to and rely upon him. And first and foremost God in Christ has sent us his Holy Spirit that we be one as he is one and that we be holy as he is holy. To be holy as God is holy means that we love him and love and care for each other as he intended. It means that we embrace our oneness, whatever our differences, and use our gifts and abilities, whatever they may be, to minister to one another’s needs. For ultimately the gifts the Holy Spirit gives are for the common good. They’re for the sake of acknowledging that Jesus is Lord and therefore they’re a call for us to point others to Jesus by living as Jesus did so that whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we do it all for his glory, the glory of God.[39] For the God who made us desires that we, his disciples, his children, might communicate as he, the living Word has, and share our testimony with others, in word and deed, that they, too, might come to a saving faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ. By God’s Holy Spirit we are called to speak and act truly that our faith in Christ might be strengthened and that others, too, might come to desire and receive the most important gift anyone could ever receive, faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who has come not to this world not to condemn it but that the world, through him, might be saved.

Let us pray.

[1] Matthew 2:1–2, 11–12: 1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him….” 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

[2] According to Wikipedia, The Little Drummer Boy was originally known as Carol of the Drum and was written by American classical music composer and teacher Katherine Kennicott David in 1941. Fun fact: It was first recorded by the Trapp Family Singers (of Sound of Music fame) in 1951. The lyrics are as follow: 1. Come, they told him (pa rum pum-pum-pum); A newborn King to see (pa rum pum-pum-pum); Our finest gifts we bring (pa rum pum-pum-pum); To lay before our King (pa rum pum-pum-pum, rum pum-pum-pum, rum pum-pum-pum); So to honor him (pa rum pum-pum-pum); When we come. 2. Little baby, (pa rum pum-pum-pum); I am a poor boy, too, (pa rum pum-pum-pum); I have no gift to bring (pa rum pum-pum-pum); To lay before my King (pa rum pum-pum-pum, rum pum-pum-pum, rum pum-pum-pum); Shall I play for him? (pa rum pum-pum-pum) On my drum? 3. Mary nodded (pa rum pum-pum-pum); The ox and lamb kept time (pa rum pum-pum-pum); I played my drum for him (pa rum pum-pum-pum); I played my best for him (pa rum pum-pum-pum, rum pum-pum-pum, rum pum-pum-pum); Then he smiled at me (pa rum pum-pum-pum); Me and my drum.

[3] Ephesians 2:8–10: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

[4] John 14:15–18: 15 If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

[5] 2 Corinthians 1:21–22: 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come; 2 Corinthians 5:5: Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.; Ephesians 1:13–14: 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.; Ephesians 4:30: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

[6] 1 Corinthians 3:16: Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?; I Corinthians 6:19–20: 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

[7] Galatians 4:6: Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”; Romans 8:9–11, 15:You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you…. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”; 2 Timothy 1:14: Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

[8] χάρισμα, n

[9] Zondervan NIV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 1:7.

[10] For other instances of this see: 1 Corinthians 7:1a: Now for the matters you wrote about…; 1 Corinthians 8:1a: Now about food sacrificed to idols; 1 Corinthians 16:1a: Now about the collection for the Lord’s people

[11] Literally “Gentiles” or “ἔθνη” in Greek.

[12] Earlier Paul addressed idols in 1 Corinthians 8:4–6: So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.; also in 1 Corinthians 10:19–22: 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

[13] Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14–15, 20, 24, 26–27: And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light…. And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water….” And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so…. 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so…. 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so…. 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky….” 24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so…. 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

[14] Romans 1:20: For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

[15] John 1:14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

[16] Romans 10:9: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

[17] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:4–6: “The most common pattern in the NT [sic] Epistles is to refer to God the Father with the word ‘God’ (Gk. Theos, which is the normal Septuagint translation of the OT Hb.[sic] ’Elohim, “God”) and to refer to God the Son with the word ‘Lord’ (Gk. Kyrios, which is used in the Septuagint over 6,000 times to translate the OT Hb. Name YHWH, ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Lord’). Therefore both names are evidence of deity.” This is seen as well, for example, in 2 Corinthians 13:14: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

[18] The Reformation ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:8–10. Emphasis added.

[19] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:8. Emphasis added.

[20] Zondervan NIV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:9. Emphasis added.

[21] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:9. Other examples offered may be found in 1 Corinthians 13:2: If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.; Acts 14:[8]–9: In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed; James 5:15: And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

[22] Zondervan NIV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:9.

[23] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:9.

[24] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:10. Other examples listed include Acts 8:13: Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.; Acts 14:8–10: In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.; Acts 19:11–12: 11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.; Romans 15:-[18]-19: 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.; Galatians 3:5:  So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?; Hebrews 2:[3b]-4:This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

[25] Emphasis added. See 1 Thessalonians 5:19–21: 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

[26] See 1 Corinthians 11:2–5: 1 Corinthians 12:28–29: 28 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. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?  1 Corinthians 3:2, 8–9: 1 Corinthians 14:1–40: Acts 2:17–18: Acts 11:27­–28: Acts 19:6: Acts 21:9–11: Romans 12:6: 1 Thessalonians 5:19–21: 1 Timothy 1:18: 1 Timothy 4:14: 1 John 4:1:

[27] See 1 Corinthians14: 3

[28] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:10. All passages listed in this section are suggested by Crossway. See 1 Corinthians 14:24–25:

[29] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:10. See 1 Corinthians 14:29: 1 Thessalonians 5:20–21: 1 John 4:1–3:

[30] The Reformation ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:10.

[31] See 1 Corinthians 13:1:

[32] See 1 Corinthians 14:2, 14–17, 28: cf. Acts 10:46

[33] See 1 Corinthians 14:2, 11, 13–19, 23:

[34] Emphasis added. See 1 Corinthians 14:1–25:

[35] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:10. See 1 Corinthians 12:14–26: As noted in his commentary on 1 Corinthians, Gordon Fee similarly states, “It should be noted at this point that only tongues is included in every list of ‘gifts’ in these three chapters [12, 13, 14]. Its place at the conclusion of each list in chap. 12, but at the beginning in 13:1 and 14:6, suggests that the problem lies here. It is listed last not because it is ‘least,’ but because I is the problem. He always includes it, but at the end, after the greater concern for diversity has been heard.” p. 572.

[36] Other passages that provide lists of spiritual gifts include: 1 Corinthians 12:27–30: 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 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. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.; Romans 12:6–8: We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.; Ephesians 4:11–13: 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

[37] Emphasis added. The Reformation ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:11.

[38] The Reformation ESV Study Bible note on 1 Corinthians 12:8–10.

[39] 1 Corinthians 10:31: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.