1 Corinthians 12:1-11


The Holy Spirit does not give special powers just to special people as a reward for their holiness. He gives to each believer a special power or ministry or way of working - showing that he is at work - for the benefit of all. Those listed here are by way of example only; other lists appear e.g. in Romans 12:6-8. Some gifts are obviously supernatural; others appear to be natural; yet all show the Holy Spirit at work, and he is the one who decides who gets what, and when (v.11). These gifts are not explained. It is probable that 'wisdom' and 'knowledge' were intuitive gifts, not taught (knowledge is knowing truth, wisdom is knowing how to achieve something); the gift of 'faith' is faith that a specific event would happen, rather than the faith in Jesus which every Christian has; 'miracles' differs from 'healing', so it probably refers to all miracles other than healing; 'discernment' is proabably the ability to sense the specific spiritual nature behind a person or activity; 'tongues' is a language unknown to the speaker, whilst 'interpretation' is the ability to understand (intuitively) that unknown language.

Notice that only one of these gifts is for personal benefit - the gift of speaking in tongues. The speaker is the one who benefits (see 1 Corinthians 14:4), which may be one reason why this is often the first gift a new Christian receives (e.g. Acts 10:44-48). The other gifts are mostly for the benefit of others. They are not therefore 'personal possessions', 'my gift, to use as I wish.' The gift is given to fit the need - the Holy Spirit does not give healing when no-one is sick! However, the fact that the Holy Spirit gives his gifts to each person (v.11) implies that there always is a need for him to be at work, and that each one of us needs to be ready for him to equip us to do that work.


1. Do you see the gifts of the Spirit both in your cell group and in your daily life? If not, why not?
2. Give out a piece of paper and a pen to everyone and ask them to write their name on the top. Then ask them to pass the paper to the person on their left. Each person then writes on the paper a gift they think the one whose name is at the top has been given by God. Pass the paper and repeat, until the paper returns to the one it beliongs to. Let each person read it silently, and comment only if they wish to.


Welcome question: If there was one gift or talent that you would like to have, what would it be and why?

Worship: Before the worship contact each member of the cell and ask them to bring a short contribution towards worship that they would enjoy doing. Some may have musical gifts; encourage them to bring their instrument or a song to sing. Some may enjoy reading - let them choose a passage to read. Some may be artistic in other ways and bring something to look at or touch; some may have a word of encouragement or praise; others may want to pray. During the worship ask the members to share their contribution in any order, and see how the Spirit fits everything together.

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