1 Corinthians 12:8
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
Note 16 at 1Co 12:8: There are nine gifts listed in 1Co 12:8-10, but it would be incorrect to take Paul's list here and assume that these are all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are not all of the spiritual gifts. In 1Co 12:28-29, Paul mentioned apostles, prophets, and teachers in combination with some of the nine gifts he dealt with in 1Co 12:8-10. This would imply that these ministry gifts are spiritual gifts also. So, the five ministry gifts listed in Eph 4:11 are also gifts of the Spirit. Paul listed seven gifts of the Spirit in Ro 12:6-8 as well.
Paul did not claim to deal completely with this subject in this chapter. As he said in 1Co 12:1, he just didn't want them to be ignorant. He specifically dealt with the more visible and audible gifts of the Spirit in this chapter, because these were being misused and abused in their meetings, and he gave some specific instructions in 1Co 14 about how to correct these abuses.
Note 17 at 1Co 12:8: The gifts of the Spirit are not meant to be a substitute for our own faith in the Lord. We are not to depend so completely on some individual with a spiritual gift that we neglect our own spiritual growth and maturity. We can receive anything we need from the Lord without a gift of the Spirit operating through another individual, if we know how to believe. Dependence on the Lord directly is superior to dependence on the Lord indirectly through someone operating in one of these gifts.
If that's true, then why do we need the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Should we just all receive directly from God and cut out the intermediary? Well, that would be nice, but the fact is that our souls do not reach instant maturity at the time of our conversion. There is a growth process in the Christian life (see note 3 at Lu 17:5).
What if there were no gifts of the Spirit and the Lord had established that the only way people could receive from Him was through their own faith? There would be some individuals who would become born again, but since they already had terminal diseases, they wouldn't have enough time left to mature in their faith. They would die if it weren't for others who would intercede for them or operated in the gifts of healing. That's why the Lord gave these gifts--to keep people encouraged and alive so they can mature (Eph 4:11-13).
However, if people don't mature in their personal faith in the Lord and become dependent on these gifts, that's wrong too. It is not right for someone to receive miracles through some person with the gift of miracles and then just struggle along until the next time that gifted minister comes through town. The Lord wants people to receive through these gifts but then mature themselves so that they can walk in God's best on their own.
This does not mean that we can mature beyond the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We can mature beyond a total dependency on the gifts to where we can hear and receive from God directly, but none of us will ever reach such a level of maturity in the Lord where there is nothing left to learn or receive.
Note 18 at 1Co 12:8: Notice that the Spirit gives a "word" of wisdom and a "word" of knowledge. The Holy Spirit does not impart to an individual all of God's wisdom or knowledge about a person or situation. He gives just a word, a tiny portion of His ability, to deal with the problem.
Some people who have not understood this point have thought that a person operating in the word of wisdom and/or the word of knowledge knows everything about them and are fearful that all might be revealed. That is not so.
On the other hand, some people who have sought to operate in these gifts and have not understood that the Spirit is giving them just a "word" of wisdom or a "word" of knowledge have spoken more than what the Lord has inspired. The Lord gave them a word, and they made a paragraph out of it.
Note 19 at 1Co 12:8: Wisdom involves understanding and the application of good judgment. Therefore, the word of wisdom is a supernatural imparting of God's understanding and direction for a given individual or circumstance. This gift of the Spirit is supernatural; that is, not based on human knowledge of the person or circumstances (see note 21 at this verse).
Jesus operated in this gift, although it was often so intertwined with the gift of prophecy and His personal teachings, that it is hard to distinguish. Two examples would be Mr 1:44 and Joh 5:14.
Note 20 at 1Co 12:8: The word of knowledge is a supernatural imparting of knowledge about an individual or about circumstances that the person operating in the gift did not discern naturally.
Jesus operated in this gift many times, even to the extent of telling people their names (see note 4 at Lu 19:5) and things about them that He could not have known otherwise (Joh 4:16-18, see note 3 at Joh 1:48). One of the most miraculous examples of this gift in the life of Jesus is the time He sent His disciples to prepare for His last Passover (see note 2 at Mr 14:13).
Note 21 at 1Co 12:8: The word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, and the gift of prophecy often work hand in hand. That is to say that when one of these gifts operates, the other ones will usually operate also to minister to the individual. For instance, the word of knowledge may reveal a problem, the word of wisdom may apply God's wisdom to the situation, and the gift of prophecy will give the results of obedience. They complement each other.
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