1 Corinthians 12:9 MEANING

1 Corinthians 12:9
(9) Faith.--This cannot mean the faith which is necessary to salvation, for that belongs to all Christians; but such faith as is mentioned in Matthew 17:20, Luke 17:6, the results of such a faith being here enlarged, and not embracing miracles alone, but prophecy and the discerning of spirits. In the Greek "the word of wisdom" is said to be given by the Spirit; "the word of knowledge "according to the Spirit; and "the faith and gift of healing" in the Spirit. By the use of this variety of expression the Apostle probably means to indicate the variety of methods of operation of the Spirit, as well as the diversity of the gifts which He lavishes.

Verse 9. - To another. Various attempts have been made to classify the gifts thus enumerated, as:

1. Intellectual.

(1) The word of wisdom;

(2) the word of knowledge.

2. Pertaining to exalted faith (tides miraculosa).

(1) Healings;

(2) miracles;

(3) preaching;

(4) discrimination of spirits.


(1) Tongues; and

(2) their interpretation.

These attempts are not very successful. St. Paul probably uses the phrases "to one" and "to another" (α}λλῳ δὲ... ἑτέρῳ δὲ) merely for variety of style (as in Hebrews 11:35, 36), with no very definite classification in view, as he does not mention all the charisma (see ver. 28). Faith. Faith in its highest energy, as a supernatural power; the faith that removes mountains (Matthew 17:19, 20). The gifts of healing. Not, that is, by medical knowledge, but by supernatural power (Mark 16:18; Acts 5:15, 16; James 5:14, 15).

12:1-11 Spiritual gifts were extraordinary powers bestowed in the first ages, to convince unbelievers, and to spread the gospel. Gifts and graces greatly differ. Both were freely given of God. But where grace is given, it is for the salvation of those who have it. Gifts are for the advantage and salvation of others; and there may be great gifts where there is no grace. The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were chiefly exercised in the public assemblies, where the Corinthians seem to have made displays of them, wanting in the spirit of piety, and of Christian love. While heathens, they had not been influenced by the Spirit of Christ. No man can call Christ Lord, with believing dependence upon him, unless that faith is wrought by the Holy Ghost. No man could believe with his heart, or prove by a miracle, that Jesus was Christ, unless by the Holy Ghost. There are various gifts, and various offices to perform, but all proceed from one God, one Lord, one Spirit; that is, from the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the origin of all spiritual blessings. No man has them merely for himself. The more he profits others, the more will they turn to his own account. The gifts mentioned appear to mean exact understanding, and uttering the doctrines of the Christian religion; the knowledge of mysteries, and skill to give advice and counsel. Also the gift of healing the sick, the working of miracles, and to explain Scripture by a peculiar gift of the Spirit, and ability to speak and interpret languages. If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any power to make it known, we must give all the glory of God. The greater the gifts are, the more the possessor is exposed to temptations, and the larger is the measure of grace needed to keep him humble and spiritual; and he will meet with more painful experiences and humbling dispensations. We have little cause to glory in any gifts bestowed on us, or to despise those who have them not.To another faith by the same Spirit,.... Not the grace of faith, which is common to all believers, though given by the same Spirit: but rather the doctrine of faith, and ability to preach it, and boldness and intrepidity of spirit to assert and defend it in the face of all opposition; all which are from the Spirit of God, and are more or less given to pastors and teachers, the third office in the church. Though generally this is understood of a faith of working miracles, as in 1 Corinthians 13:2 but the working of miracles is mentioned afterwards as distinct, unless it can be thought that this is the general name for miracles, and the rest that follow the particulars of them.

To another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; of healing all manner of sicknesses and diseases: this power Christ gave his disciples, when he first sent them out to preach the Gospel, and which he repeated when he renewed and enlarged their commission after his resurrection; and which was exercised with effect, sometimes only by overshadowing the sick with their shadows, as by Peter, Acts 5:15 sometimes by, laying hands on them, as the father of Publius, and others, were healed by Paul, Acts 28:8 and sometimes by anointing with oil, James 5:14. Now these gifts were bestowed in common, by the Spirit, on apostles, prophets, and pastors, or elders of the church, in those early times: the Alexandrian copy, and the Vulgate Latin version, read, "by one Spirit".

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