1 Corinthians 12
Delivered By
R. Scott Talley
Delivered On
March 6, 2016 at 9:30 AM
Central Passage
1 Corinthians 12


Overview: The beginning of a three-chapter unit on tongues, prophecy, and other “grace gifts” and the gifts relationship to love, which is the supreme “way” (not a gift) for the Christian.

  1.  Corinthians 12:4–6 affirms that there are diversities of gifts but one source.
    1. The implicit Trinitarian reference is striking,
      1. Different gifts are given by the same Spirit;
      2. Different kinds of ministries, but the same Lord [Jesus];
      3. Different kinds of results, but the same God
    2. All the diverse gifts and graces originate from one source: the triune God.
  2. Paul presents the principle of unity tying together diversity (12:7–12).
    1. The gifts are manifestations of the one Spirit, but their primary purpose is the common good (12:7).
    2. Paul says that Christians are to pursue the greater gifts (12:31),
      1. Paul insists that in the final analysis, the Spirit distributes the gifts as the Spirit sees fit
        1. There should never be pride in having a gift, nor covetousness toward another gift.
  3. The theme of the chapter is driven home in an analogy (12:12–20).
    1.  The body is one, but it is made up of many parts that must function together.(12:13-14)
    2. The analogy is apt, for Christians were all baptized by Christ in one Spirit
    3.  So the diversity and distribution of gifts in the church is to be cherished. (12:19-20)
  4. No body part has the right to say to another body part that it neither is wanted nor needed (12:22–26)
    1. There ought to be so much love among the diverse parts that if one part is honored, all are honored; if one part suffers, all suffer. (12:27) compare with the KEY verse (13:1)
    2. Paul takes care to apply them to the church (12:28–31).