Chapters 12–14 of 1 Corinthians deal primarily with the subject of the gifts of the Spirit:
“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge …; to another faith …; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:8-10).
All who surrender to Christ and become members of His church on earth, no matter what their nationality or social or economic status or intellectual attainments, have the assurance that the Holy Spirit will equip them with the gifts of the Spirit to enable them to perform their Christian duties with a high degree of effectiveness.
The Holy Spirit distributes His gifts to believers in accordance with His knowledge of their capacities and the needs existing in the experience of each individual. It is not an arbitrary division, but one based on supreme understanding. The great objective of preparing the church to meet God without spot or fault at the coming of Christ is the controlling factor in the distribution of the gifts (Eph. 4:12, 13; 5:27; Rev. 14:5).
Some people today are taught that everyone who is filled with the Holy Spirit must speak in tongues. But Paul counsels, “Desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God. for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine” (1 Corinthians 14:1-6). Among the gifts of the Spirit, Paul attached greater importance to the gift of prophecy than to the gift of tongues.
In His service,
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