1Corinthians 12:27-31 Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.
‘You are the body of Christ, and members in particular.’ You and all in Christ as you make up the true Congregation or the body of Christ (1Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:19-22; 4:1-6; Col. 1:18, 24).
‘First apostles’ [Greek: apostolos] a delegate, one sent with full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of Christians it means God sends them to do what He, Himself would do if He went. It is found 81 times and translated apostle 78 times; messenger twice (2Cor. 8:23; Php. 2:25); and once he that is sent (John 13:16). The apostles were sent as representatives of Jesus Christ and His ministry to complete the writing of the New Testament. The last apostle chosen by Christ was Paul and the apostle that wrote the last books were John who wrote the gospel John, 1, 2 and 3 John (90 A.D.) and Revelation (96 A.D.).
‘Prophets’ – The Old Testament was written by prophets (Heb. 1:1) and the last writing prophet was John the Baptist (Matt. 11:12-13; Luke 16:16).
‘Miracles’ [Greek: semeion] a sign or token by which something is known; a token of confirmation of a divine work or call. It is translated sign 50 times; miracle 23 times; wonder 3 times; and token once. Generally used of miracles and wonders done by people to confirm their call and mission from God (Matt. 12:38; 16:1-4; Mark 8:11; 16:17-20; Luke 11:16, 29; 23:8; John 2:11, 18, 23; 3:2; 4:54; 6:2, 14, 26, 30; 7:31; 9:16; 10:41; 11:47; 12:18, 37; 20:30; Acts 2:22, 43; 8:6; 1Cor. 1:22; Rom. 15:19). It is also used of the power by which false teachers seek to confirm their fallacies to be of God (Matt. 24:24; Mark 13:22; 2Thess. 2:8-12; Rev. 13:13-18; 16:14; 19:20). The last scriptures above refer to the satanic powers in these last days to cause men to accept false teaching and be lost. Christians were promised power over all satanic forces (Matt. 17:20; 18:18; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; 16:15-20; Luke 10:19; John 14:12; Acts 1:8).
‘Gifts of healings’ This is supernatural power to heal all manner of sickness without human aid or medicine (12:9; Mark 16:18; John 14:12).
‘Helps’ [Greek: antilempsis] a support; help; succourer; an aid. Only in 1Corinthians 12:28 and refers to every kind of help God sets for Christians. It does not refer to persons only, but to the various spiritual gifts which fill people with power to help. It is mentioned in the midst of references to certain gifts. Gifts will always be something through which God is glorified and never to put individuals in the spotlight or bring us any form of glory or followers. To be continued…