1 Corinthians 12:12-13 – Even as the body is one and yet has many members, by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
The Apostle Paul uses the illustration of the human body to illustrate Christ’s spiritual body. The human body is one, but it has many members. Paul is saying that by one Spirit we have all been baptized into Christ’s body. He expands his thought by mentioning Jews, Greeks, slaves, and free men. Every person that has put his or her trust in Christ is drinking of the one Holy Spirit. Our unity is not by all having the same understanding, nor is it in our form of worship, but in the fact that we are all drinking of the same Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the unifying factor in the body of Christ.
Are you drinking of the one Spirit the Father and the Son have given? He is the Spirit of the Father and He is the Spirit of the Son. The Godhead remains a mystery because we are speaking of God. All we know and experience of God is through the Holy Spirit. In Corinthians, Paul spoke of the water that flowed from the rock in the wilderness. He called it “a spiritual drink” which was Christ. Paul taught that our spiritual drink is the Holy Spirit through Christ our Rock. The Holy Spirit ministers all that Christ has provided for us. Drink deeply of the spiritual water that you have been given! Receive all that the Holy Spirit has for you! Remember, it is spiritual, but it becomes manifested in tangible ways. Whether it is righteousness, peace, joy, or a particular gift that the Holy Spirit chooses to release, it all comes from Him.
Today, drink of the Spirit! The Lord Jesus, by His sacrifice, has made it possible for us to receive all that the Holy Spirit has to give. Receive your portion today.
1 Corinthians 12:11 – One and the self-same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
We have spent a number of days in our devotion considering the work of the Holy Spirit. We have especially considered His work as it relates to the gifts He gives in the body of Christ. Paul wrote that the one Spirit works everything according to what He wills. As believers, it is not necessary to strive over the gifts the Holy Spirit distributes. We must learn how to rest in His provisions. As our relationship with the Holy Spirit matures, we will become more available for Him to work through us for the sake of others.
A considerable challenge for a believer is to traverse the relationship between the spirit and the soul. The spirit of a person is drawn to the mystical side. This embraces areas outside the natural realm and focuses on the unseen realm. Paul calls this “spiritual” and not natural. At the same time, it is important that we do not throw our reasoning out the door. A key is to consistently bring our natural thought process to the Holy Spirit and invite Him to affect how we reason. This means that we need to study the Word of God. The Word of God reveals God’s viewpoints. The Spirit of God will help affect our reasoning through His Word. At the same time, be bold to ask the Holy Spirit to allow His supernatural gifts to be given to you as He wills. I have prayed for over forty years, “Lord, give me heaven’s point of view, and help me see things from Your perspective.” I have asked many times for the Holy Spirit to help me by giving me an operation of His gifts. He has been so faithful to help!
Father, I surrender my natural mind to the Holy Spirit. I ask You to open my understanding of Your Word and freely distribute Your gifts through my life as You choose. Holy Spirit, I give You complete control of my life. I pray that I may be a faithful steward of what You entrust to me.
1 Corinthians 12:10 – To another, the interpretation of tongues.
The gift of interpretation was very important in the early church. There were many languages spoken throughout the Roman Empire. In Acts 2, we read about all those from around the empire that had come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. They spoke the language of their homeland. Those speaking in tongues were speaking of the kingdom of God in the many languages represented. Tongues were a sign gift to the Jews that the Spirit had come and the Kingdom was being established. In Acts 10, we see this sign gift of tongues given to the Gentiles. As the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues, it was a sign to the Jews that God had accepted the Gentiles in His kingdom. Supernaturally, the message of the Gospel was given in an understood tongue by some but needed interpreting for those who did not understand the language by which the Spirit was speaking.
Today, the gift of interpretation is still relevant. There are testimonies from the mission field of tongues and interpretations being helpful in the sharing of the Gospel. From time to time, a message in tongues will come in a gathering of believers. If only the gift of tongues is exercised, there will be no edification for those who do not understand the language spoken. Interpretation provides others an opportunity to be encouraged as understanding is brought to the hearers. Paul encouraged tongues in the corporate gathering, but only if the gift of interpretation is exercised. Paul went on to say, some speak in tongues, some interpret, but all can prophesy. The Holy Spirit has made provision for the many languages spoken in the nations to hear the Gospel and has given an opportunity to receive Christ’s offer of forgiveness and life.
Rejoice today in your time of devotion with the Lord, in how He has made provision for all people to hear and understand the good news of the Kingdom of God. If the gift of tongues is exercised in a public meeting, maybe the Lord would use you to interpret what was spoken for the edifying of the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians12:10 – To another, the distinguishing of spirits.
The Bible reveals four areas relating to the subject of “spirit.” The first is the Holy Spirit, for whom this devotional is dedicated. Next, the human spirit, which becomes regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit when one repents and is converted. The third is angels, who are called ministering spirits. The fourth is demonic spirits, who are associated with the realm of darkness.
In the Gospels, these spirits of darkness are referred to in a number of ways. They are called devils, evil spirits, and unclean spirits. The gift of discernment, translated in the NASB as “distinguishing of spirits,” is a gift the Holy Spirit gives so the body of Christ knows with what realm of the spirit world it is dealing. This is a necessary gift in helping to bring freedom to those bound by evil spirits. It is also beneficial to help an individual find God’s eternal purpose for their lives as they learn to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Because of the influence of the occult in society, both in Bible days and in ours, the problem of spirits is a real issue. Many people come to Jesus, but have not received ministry regarding their past, when evil spirits attached to their lives. The early church understood the spiritual battle in which they were engaged and ministered “deliverance” from evil or unclean spirits so that the new believers could walk in freedom in their new faith in Christ.
The gift of discernment is a powerful tool that the Holy Spirit wants to impart to willing believers. It can be used to discern spiritual realms in the corporate gathering, in times of ministry to an individual, and in our personal walk with the Lord. God wants us to know how the enemy is battling against our success in Christ. The Bible is clear about our warfare not being with flesh and blood. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Ask the Holy Spirit today to heighten your discernment of the enemy’s territories. Yield yourself to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to show you the battle in which you are engaged. Ask for discernment as you minister to others. Father, I thank You for Your Word that tells of our spiritual battles. Cause me to be discerning as I fight the good fight of faith.
1 Corinthians 12:10 – To another the gift of prophecy is given.
Prophecy is one of the greatest gifts the Holy Spirit gives to God’s people. Paul encouraged the Corinthians with the words “all may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:31). I believe what makes this a great gift is the fact that all can prophesy. Individuals learn and are exhorted through this gift. God’s people are encouraged to go forward and enter into all the Lord has appointed for them. Many times, the words are very specific and help in guiding a person in a particular direction. Prophecy is supernatural in its nature because it comes by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is not the natural words of encouragement or teaching, which can be beneficial. The prophetic gift operates as the Holy Spirit stirs up a believer to speak. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will speak one word to a person in order to “prime the pump” for speaking more. Other times it might be a vision that one sees. Most of the time, it is by inspiration and one does not know what will follow the initial word or words the Spirit has given. The Bible connects “faith” to the gift of prophecy. “Prophesy, according to the proportion of faith you have” (Romans 12:6).
The gift of prophecy is a great way to become familiar with the Holy Spirit’s leading and directing. The gift can operate while praying for another, while sharing the gospel, or just encouraging someone in the natural. All of a sudden, the Holy Spirit releases a supernatural word of learning and encouragement. The gift of prophecy can be helpful in leading to the operation of other gifts as the Spirit leads.
I have had prophetic words spoken over my life for the last forty-seven years. Many of these words were very accurate in the detail they contained. This has been helpful for me to continue in the Lord’s direction for my life. At times, these words called me to specific areas of ministry. The Lord had already placed the call in my heart, but others were used to confirm His leading. I have been honored to be used by the Holy Spirit to provide the same ministry to others.
Ask the Holy Spirit to heighten your sensitivity to His presence and to begin to use you in an ever-increasing way in the “gift of prophecy.” You will be astonished how often you begin to share under the anointing of the Spirit of God. How blessed people will be as the Lord uses you to be an instrument of encouragement and learning!