God Assigns Spiritual Gifts

This story was related by Donald Grey Barnhouse. Several years ago, two students graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The highest ranking student in the class was a blind man named Overton, and when he received his honor, he insisted that half the credit should go … More

Spiritual Gifts

For a third time, Paul stresses the fact that God, not man, assigned the gifts (vv. 18, 24, 28). God gives to each person and each congregation just the gifts it needs when they are needed. No individual believer possesses all the spiritual gifts. Each believer has the gift (or gifts) assigned to him. The stress is on quality and quantity. In verse 28 Paul gives a further listing of the gifts with some additions to those included in verses 4-11. It seems that the list is arranged in order of the most important first and the least important last. In this arrangement apostles, prophets and teachers are the first three listed and tongues are last. These first three gifts may have been greater because of their extensive value to the whole body of Christ. Just as a body possesses many different members, even so the members of the church possess a variety of gifts. It is foolish to expect otherwise (vv. 29-30). The question is asked, “Do all speak with tongues?” The implied answer is no! If all these had the baptism of the Spirit and not all had spoken in tongues, then tongues cannot be the confirming factor of Spirit baptism! 

The gift of tongues, on the other hand, tended to bring pride and self-centeredness to the people involved. This also manifested itself in other areas such as eating sacrificial foods, women in worship, celebration of the Lord’s Supper, etc. Love for others was an essential need in the Corinthian church. He commanded that love should prevail among the members (I John 15:12).  This was the ingredient which would maintain unity within the diversity.


My spiritual gifts are not for my own self-advancement. They were given to me for the purpose of serving God and enhancing the spiritual growth of other believers.

I Corinthians 12:27-31 (English Standard Version)

Warning: MagpieRSS: Failed to parse RSS file. (EntityRef: expecting ';' at line 50, column 103) in /var/www/html/familytimes/includes/magpie6-1/rss_fetch.inc on line 230

Warning: array_slice() expects parameter 1 to be array, null given in /var/www/html/familytimes/includes/rss/esvLookup.php on line 15

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

More I Corinthians commentaries

I Corinthians 14:33b-40
Rapping Up Spiritual Gifts

I Corinthians 9:1-10
The Rights Of a Person Who Labors

I Corinthians 9:11-18
Paul Surrenders His Rights

I Corinthians 9:19-23
Being a Servant To All Men

I Corinthians 9:24-27
Dealing with Christian liberty

I Corinthians 10:1-5
The Dangers of Overconfidence

I Corinthians 10:6-13
God Will Help You Resist Temptation

I Corinthians 10:14-22
Eating Meat Offered to Idols

I Corinthians 10:23-33
Principles that Govern Christian Liberty

I Corinthians 11:1-16
Head Covering in the Church

I Corinthians 11:17-22
Conduct surrounding the Love Feasts

I Corinthians 11:23-34
Conduct surrounding the Lord’s Supper

I Corinthians 12:1-11
Speaking Various Languages

I Corinthians 12:12-20
Diversity of Spiritual Gifts

I Corinthians 12:21-26
Spiritual Gifts That Unite

I Corinthians 12:27-31
God Assigns Spiritual Gifts

I Corinthians 13:1-7
Qualities of the Greatest Gift

I Corinthians 13:8-13
The Supremacy of Love

I Corinthians 14:1-9
Preoccupation with Tongues

I Corinthians 14:10-17
Tongues Must Be Interpreted

I Corinthians 14:18-25
Tongues a Sign to Unbelievers

I Corinthians 14:26-33a
Instructions for Tongues Speakers

I Corinthians 15:1-11
Three Proofs of the Resurrection

I Corinthians 15:12-19
Consequences of Denying the Resurrection

I Corinthians 15:20-28
The Resurrection of Christians

I Corinthians 15:29-34
Effects of Denying the Resurrection

I Corinthians 15:35-44
What Our Resurrection Body Will Be Like

I Corinthians 15:45-50
Comparison of the Natural and Spiritual Body

I Corinthians 15:51-58
Victory is Coming