Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 1 Corinthians 12:1
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 KJV
God does not want us to be ignorant about spiritual things. He wants us to know and understand and operate in them. The Greek word translated “spiritual gifts” is “pneumatikos,” which literally means “spirituals,” or “things of the Spirit.” They are gifts in the sense that they are given by God and do not originate with man.
Diversities of Gifts:
The word “gifts” here is “charisma,” which means: a (free) gift; a (divine) gratuity; (specifically) a (spiritual) endowment; (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty. These gifts are bestowed by the Holy Spirit and cannot be merited or earned. They operate through Spirit-filled people, but are gifts to the Body of Christ. They all originate from, and are given by the same Spirit.
Differences of Administrations:
There are differences of administrations – or ministries. The word “administrations” is the Greek word, “diakonia,” meaning: services; ministries; offices. The spiritual gifts are “gifts” because they come from God, but as “ministries” as they are applied. The person who exercises his/her spiritual gift in the Body of Christ, also ministers to the Body. As many spiritual gifts and spiritual offices there are, so are there also as many spiritual ministries, and they are all by the same Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritual gifts are not given as rewards or payment, or primarily to bless and benefit the possessor, but the Holy Spirit imparts the gifts that the Body may receive ministry. Their value is in their capacity to bless, profit, and edify the Body of Christ.
Diversities of Operations:
The Greek word translated “operations” is “energema,” which means: operation: working. It also means an effect; or active principle. Our English word “energy” comes from the same root word. The activities of the Spirit, through us, produce spiritual gifts, which result in spiritual effects. The Spirit energizes the operations, which produce effects in the Body. All of these are under the control of one and the same God, Who is head of all.
The Manifestation of the Spirit:
The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. The Greek word “manifestation” is “phanerosis,” which means: exhibition; or making visible. The visible manifestations would be the things we can see: healings, miracles, prophecies fulfilled, tongues, interpretation, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, discerning of spirits, and other spiritual discernment. Every operation of the spiritual gifts is a manifestation of the Spirit. A manifestation is defined as an outward evidence. The gifts of the Spirit bring the Holy Spirit into manifestation, or into outward evidence, where His work can be seen. The operation of the gifts in the Body causes believers to become aware of the presence of God, producing in them the desire to praise and worship Him – it brings glory to Him.
Every Spirit-filled believer has the capacity to operate in these gifts / manifestations. It is given to every man to profit all. The exercise of the gifts is a manifestation of the Spirit, not of the person it flows through. The fruit of the genuine gift is that it edifies and profits the whole Body of Christ.
The Greek word translated “difference” and “diversity” is “diairesis,” meaning: a distinction or (concretely) variety. Every believer should make themselves available to be used by the Holy Spirit in these things. There is a great variety of gifts, administrations, and operations, but only one Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – the Trinity – who originate all of these spiritual things.
Dividing to Every Man Severally as He Wills:
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11 NKJV
The Holy Spirit operates these gifts, distributing them to individuals, as He wills. You cannot operate these gifts by your own will-power or desire. You must yield to Him and allow Him to flow through you and use you as He sees fit. Do not strive – be content with what He gives you.
The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts:
Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12 KJV
The purpose of the spiritual gifts it for the edification of the Body of Christ. “Edify” means: to build up spiritually. If they do not edify and build up, then they are useless.
Let all things be done unto edifying. 1 Corinthians 14:26b KJV
But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 1 Corinthians 14:3 KJV
The Gifts Operate Through Love:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV
The gifts and manifestations are fruitless – worth nothing – without love. Do everything in generosity, and the agape love of God, and to bring glory to Him alone.