Sunday, 7 December 2014
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 1 Corinthians 12:7
The word “but” which begins this sentence does not mean a contrast. It may be more properly thought of as “and” or “now” or some other word that various translations have chosen. Rather than a contrast, we are being given a further explanation of verses 4-6. Taken together they read –
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:…”
These “diversities of gifts” are made manifest in individuals not for the self to revel in or to be unduly self-pleased with, but to profit everyone as they partake of what the Spirit has granted through that person. Paul will explain in the coming verses to the Corinthians that most of the gifts are gifts which are geared specifically for Christians. However, there are those people that posses these same talents and abilities who are not Christians. Paul isn’t speaking about them. It is true that God formed all men; and who we are was given by God whether we acknowledge it or not, but until the gift or ability is directed towards Christ, it cannot be considered under this verse.
Paul is speaking of those gifts which benefit the church and the people of the church. As each of us bears abilities from God and as they were given by His wisdom, then we shouldn’t feel elevated over others because we have a gift which is perceived as “better” than others. Nor should we feel depressed because we feel our gift is less than others. We should be thankful and satisfied in that which was given by God.
Life application: Our use of who we are as individuals is to be for the glory of the Lord. So let us use our gifts to His honor. No matter what gift we possess, if it was given by God, it must be an honorable gift because it is intended to bring Him honor.
Heavenly Father, it sure makes me feel good to know that my abilities, whatever they are, are accepted by You because they came from You. If I use them for Your glory, no matter how insignificant they may seem to others, they are what You have graced me with. How can I not feel wonderful about my daily life, knowing that each step was ordained by You! And so who I am and what I do will be used to bring honor to You. Amen!