Welcome! We are excited to announce a new series that we are debuting this week on Thursdays: Throwback Thursday with our founder, Dr. Spiros Zodhiates. Each week we’ll share one of his old radio teachings with a section transcribed. Below is the first section of a sermon entitled A Variety of Gifts, but only One Giver.
1 Corinthians 12: 7-11:
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 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: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
In this passage, there are three words used in the Greek text to which we must call particular attention. The first is Ἑκάστῳ which verse seven begins. In the Authorized version it is translated “To every man.” A better translation would be “To each one.” If “To everyone” were the meaning, the Greek word would have been “παντὶ”, which is inclusive of all. But Ἑκάστῳ, to each one, individualizes the work of the Holy Spirit, making this verse refer to the personal distribution of the Holy Spirit.
It is not all people who have this particular manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Only a certain class of people. Those who have experienced the grace of God, and therefore can be the recipients of the products of this grace, can receive the spiritual gifts of the χαρίσματα.
The meaning of Ἑκάστῳ, “to each one here,” is that not a single individual who has been the recipient of any part of the spiritual gifts, small or large, has grasped it on his own. To each one is given, and the Greek word is δίδοται, the manifestation of the Spirit for prophet. The subject is the Spirit undoubtedly refers to the Holy Spirit.
The verb δίδοται is given, occurs again in verse eight, where reference is made to “the word of wisdom.” And it is understood in respect to the word of knowledge. The same verb is also understood in relation to the gifts that follow: faith, gifts of…healings, energies of powers, prophecies, discernments of spirits, species of languages, interpretation of languages. Each one of these is given by the Holy Spirit to individual believers. The Holy Spirit delivers gifts to individuals, not to groups and not to all.
The verb δίδοται, which indicates the Spirit’s giving, is in the present tense, not the [past]. This indicates that Paul is speaking not of something that occurred once and for all in the past, but of something that the Holy Spirit gives now, and continues to give. Again, it is direct giving without the intermediacy of man.
The gifts of the spirit are neither conferred from man to man nor are they taught by one man to another. Δίδοται is the verb from which another Greek word meaning “gift”. “δῶρον” is basically derived. This is not anything man deserves, but is something that God bestows of His own volition as a pure gift, not a reward or merit. Besides the word Ἑκάστῳ in verse seven, meaning “to each one,” we find a word in the middle of verse eight with a similar connotation. It is ἄλλῳ, which is translated “to another,” which refers to another of the same quality. The idea is that to two people possessing the same capacity to receive the same things, all gifts, God the Holy Spirit gives different ones.
Two people capable of possessing wisdom or knowledge are chosen by the Holy Spirit, each to possess one of the two gifts. In other words two individuals who are equal can be differently gifted. We see this to be true today. Two individuals who are equally brilliant will be found to perform two different functions. We conclude from this that equal people may be differently endowed by the Holy Spirit. This teaches us not to disparage each other’s gifts, or to be puffed up about our own.
Verse nine, if read in English translation, might give the impression that the same word is used as in verse eight since it is also translated “to another.” But it is a different word, ἑτέρῳ, from which we get our English word heterogeneous, meaning the opposite of homogeneous. It denotes a different kind as opposed to the same kind. We drink homogenized milk, which means that every part of it remains the same consistency as to its fat content and other qualities. Ἑτέρῳ means “another,” not merely numerically, as ἄλλῳ does, but different quality. This clearly indicates to us that the Holy Spirit discerns what we, as the potential recipients of His gifts are made of, and therefore what we can profitably use in our lives as His gifts. Interestingly enough, the second “to another” in verse in is ἄλλῳ, and not Ἑτέρῳ, and in verse ten every repetition of the phrase “to another” is ἄλλῳ. More of us are alike as recipients of the gifts of the Spirit than are different in our constitutional makeup.
To sum it all up the basic sum of all verse 7 to 11 is the sameness of the Giver. Whatever the variety of the gifts and the diversities of the recipients, though my gift may differ from yours, I must not conclude that it has a different source. And since it has the same Source, having been given directly by God, I must conclude that He knows what He is doing and it is all apart of a central purpose that He wants to accomplish in which all believers play a part. It is therefore incumbent on each of us to discern where we fit, in and to perform our personal and God appointed part toward accomplishing the whole plan and purpose ordained of God.