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without which a Christian, with all his spiritual gifts, is nothing, chap. xiii. 1–13.
5. In the comparison of spiritual gifts, he gives those the precedency, which edify most; and, in particular, prefers prophesying to tongues, chap. xiv. 1–40.
SECTION IX. NO. 1.
CHAPTER XII. 1-3.
TEXT. I Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ig
norant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols,
even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man, speaking by the
Spirit of God, calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say, that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
1 As to spiritual men, or men assisted and acted by the Spirit",
I shall inform you; for I would not have you be ignorant. 2 You yourselves know, that you were heathens, engaged in the
worship of stocks and stones, dumb, senseless idols, by those, 3 who were then your leaders. Whereupon let me tell you,
that no one, who opposes Jesus Christ, or his religion, has the Spirit of God b. And whoever is brought to own Jesus to be the Messiah, the Lord', does it by the Holy Ghost.
NOTES. 1 * flyeupelixūv, “ spiritual." We are warranted, by a like use of the word, in
several places of St. Paul's epistles, as chap. ii. 15, and xiv. 37, of this epistle, and Gal. vi. 1, to take it here in the masculine gender, standing for persons, and not gifts. And the context obliges us to understand it so. For if we will have it stand for gifts, and not persons, the sense and coherence of these three first verses will be very hard to be made out. Besides, there is evidence enough, in several parts of it, that the subject of St. Paul's discourse here is ayeunaloxol, persons endowed with spiritual gifts, contending for precedency, in consideration of their gifts. See ver. 13, &c. of this chapter; and to what purpose else, says he, chap. xiv. 5, Greater is he that prophesieth, than he that speaketh with
tongues ? 3 6 This is spoken against the Jews, who pretended to the Holy Ghost, and yet
spoke against Jesus Christ, and denied that the Holy Ghost was ever given to the Gentiles : vid. Acts x. 45. Whether their Judaizing false apostle were at all glanced at in this, may be considered. Lord. What is meant by Lord, see note, chap. yiii, 5.
PARAPHRASE. And, therefore, upon account of having the Spirit, you can none of you lay any claim to superiority; or have any pretence to slight any of your brethren, as not having the Spirit of God, as well as you.
For all, that own our Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in him, do it by the Spirit of God, i. e. can do it upon no other ground, but revelation, coming from the Spirit of God.
ANOTHER consideration, which St. Paul offers, against any contention for superiority, or pretence to precedency, upon account of any'spiritual gift, is, that those distinct gifts are all of one and the same Spirit, by the same Lord; wrought in every one, by God alone, and all for the profit of the church.
TEXT. 4. 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.
PARAPHRASE. 4 Be not mistaken, by the diversity of gifts ; for, though there be
diversity of gifts among Christians, yet there is no diversity of 5 spirits; they all come from one and the same Spirit. Though
there be diversities of offices in the church, yet all the officers 6 have but one Lord. And though there be various influxes,
whereby Christians are enabled to do extraordinary things , yet it is the same God, that works all these extraordinary gifts,
• They were very properly called évepraualam" in-workings;” because they
TEXT. 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 heal
ing, by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to ano
ther discerning of spirits; to another, divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.
PARAPHRASE. 7 in every one that has them. But the way, or gift, wherein
every one, who has the Spirit, is to show it, is given him, not for his private advantage, or honour', but for the good and
of the church. For instance; to one is given, by the Spirit, the word of wisdom, or the revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in the full latitude of it: such as was given to the apostles: to another, by the same Spirit, the knowledge of the true sense and true meaning of the Holy Scriptures of the
Old Testament, for the explaining and confirmation of the 9 Gospel: To another, by the same Spirit, is given an undoubt
ing persuasions, and stedfast confidence, of performing what
he is going about; to another, the gift of curing diseases, by 10 the same Spirit: To another, the working of miracles; to
NOTES. diate operation, as St. Paul assures us, in that parallel place, Phil. ii. 13. In which chapter, ver. 3 and 14, we find that the Philippians stood a little in need of the same advice, which St. Paul so at large presses here upon the Corin
thians. 7 . Vid. Rom. xii. 3—8. 8 € sopía. The doctrine of the Gospel is, more than once, in the beginning of this
epistle, called “the wisdom of God."
f Trūcis is used, by St. Paul, for such a knowledge of the law and the prophets. 9 & In this sense risin, “ faith,” is sometimes taken, in the New Testament, par
ticularly chap. xiii. 2. It is difficult, I confess, to define the precise meaning of each word, which the apostle uses in the 8th, 9th, and 10th verses here. But if the order, which St. Paul observes, in enumerating by 1st, 2nd, 3rd, the three first officers set down, ver. 28, viz. “ first, apostles ; secondly, prophets ; thirdly, teachers ;" have any relation, or may give any light to these three gifts, which are set down in the first place here, viz. “ Wisdom, Knowledge, and Faith,” we may then properly understand, by copía, “ wisdom," the whole doctrine of the Gospel, as communicated to the apostles : by yoñois, “ knowledge,” the gift of understanding the mystical sense of the law and the prophets; and, by wisis, “ faith," the assurance and confidence, in delivering, and confirming, the doctrine of the Gospel, which became 8.800x6mous, “ doctors, or teachers." This, at least, I think, may be presumed, that since copia and yoñois have dóyos joined to them, and it is said the word of wisdom, and the word of knowledge;" wisdom and knowledge here signify such gifts of the mind as are to be employed in preaching
TEXT. 11 But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to
every man severally, as he will.
another, prophecy "; to another, the discerning by what spirit
men did any extraordinary operation; to another, diversity of 11 languages ; to another, the interpretation of languages. All
which gifts are wrought in believers, by one and the same Spirit, distributing to every one, in particular, as he thinks fit.
NOTE. 10 b“ Prophecy” comprehends these three things, prediction, singing by the dic.
tate of the Spirit, and understanding and explaining the mysterious, hidden sense of Scripture, by an immediate illumination and motion of the Spirit, as we have already shown. Avd that the prophesying, here spoken of, was by immediate revelation, vid. chap. xiv. 29–31.
SECTION IX. No. 3.
CHAPTER XII. 12-31.
CONTENTS. From the necessarily different functions in the body, and the strict union, nevertheless, of the members, adapted to those different functions, in a mutual sympathy and concern one for another; St. Paul here farther shows, that there ought not to be any strife, or division, amongst them, about precedency and preference, upon account of their distinct gifts.
TEXT. 12 For, as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the mem
bers of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For, by one Spirit, are we all baptized into one body, whether we be
PARAPHRASE. 12 For as the body, being but one, hath many members, and all
the members of the body, though many, yet make but one
body; so is Christ, in respect of his mystical body, the church. 13 For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one church, and are
thereby made one body, without any pre-eminence to the
TEXT. Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free ; and have been all
made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many, 15 If the foot shall say, “ Because I am not the hand, I am not of the
body;” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, “ Because I am not the eye, I am not of the
body;" is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the
whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now bath God set the members, every one of them, in the body,
as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
PARAPHRASE. Jew * above the Gentile, to the free above the bondman: and the blood of Christ, which we all partake of, in the Lord's supper, makes us all have one life, one spirit, as the same
blood, diffused through the whole body, communicates the 14 same life and spirit to all the members. For the body is not
one sole member, but consists of many members, all vitally 15 united in one common sympathy and usefulness. If any one
have not that function, or dignity, in the church, which he 16 desires, He must not, therefore, declare that he is not of the
church; he does not thereby cease to be member of the 17 church. There is as much need of several and distinct gifts
and functions in the church, as there is of different senses and members in the body; and the meanest and least honourable
would be missed, if it were wanting, and the whole body 18 would suffer by it. Accordingly, God hath fitted several per
sons, as it were so many distinct members, to several offices and functions in the church, by proper and peculiar gifts and
abilities, which he has bestowed on them, according to his 19 good pleasure. But if all were but one member, what would
become of the body? There would be no such thing as an human body; no more could the church be edified, and framed
into a growing, lasting society, if the gifts of the Spirit were 20 all reduced to one. But now, by the various gifts of the
Spirit, bestowed on its several members, it is as a well organized
NOTE. . 13 • The naming of the Jews here with Gentiles, and setting both on the same
level, when converted to Christianity, may probably be done here, by St. Paul, with reference to the false apostle, who was a Jew, and seems to have claimed some pre-eminence, as due to him upon that account; whereas, among the members of Christ, which all make but one body, there is no superiority, or other distinction, but, as by the several gifts, bestowed ou them by God, they contribute more, or less, to the edification of the church.