About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
1 Corinthians 12 is
well known for its list of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit but there is
more to 1 Corinthians 12 than that. Verses
in the NIV through 6 state:
"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same
Spirit distributes them. There
are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
There are different kinds of working (or activities in other
versions), but in all of them and in
everyone it is the same God at work."
These verses tell
me that there are gifts given to the believer from the Holy Spirit,
services given to the believer from the Lord Jesus, and workings given to
the believer from God. Many of
us have noticed the gifts of the Spirit, but what are the services from
the Lord and the workings from God all about?
Have you ever noticed them?
"service" in the phrase "service from the Lord" is
translated from the Greek word "diakonia" which means to perform
a service for someone. Since
these services are given to the believer by Jesus I believe them to be the
services or ministries of Christ listed in Ephesians 4:11.
The text reads:
himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and
Our English word
"workings," or the word "activities in other versions, seen in the phrase "there are different kinds of
workings ... but the same God" is translated from the Greek word
word suggests the energy or ability that God gives someone to accomplish
In 1 Corinthians
12:28 Paul lists three services or ministries of Christ that we saw in
Ephesians 4:11. They are
apostles, prophets, and teachers. He
then lists two workings from God, which I understand to be God-given
talents given to everyone at birth. They
are the talent to be helpful and the talent to guide or administrate.
This passage tells
us that each believer, none excluded, possesses at least one of the gifts
of the Spirit, or a ministry from Jesus, or a talent from God to function
in his or her place of responsibility in the Body of Christ.
Only when each believer exercises his or her God-given gift,
ministry, or talent, will the local expression of church effectively be
the witness of Jesus to the community in which it lives.
We are all gifted in one way or another, so never neglect your
gift. Just be thankful and
honoured that Jesus has asked you to serve Him with it.