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.
‘Governments’ [Greek: kubernesis] steering; piloting; guiding. Used only here and refers to all the means of guidance God has set for Christians. It has no reference to the power to rule, but to men of extraordinary wisdom, knowledge, and discernment to guide individuals in all their problems, when they chose to turn to God. The gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and discernment of spirits are all involved in this ability of guidance.
‘Diversities of tongues’ This is simply the supernatural ability to interpret in the native tongue what is uttered in other languages not known by the one who interprets by the Spirit (12:10; 14:5, 13-15, 27-28). Be aware for those who try and teach you to speak in another language or teaches you a specific phrase that you must repeat over and over – it must come to the individual through the Holy Spirit; other canals are human interference that is not from God.
‘Do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?’ These questions reveal that all believers are not apostles (they were the New Testament writers and preachers of Christ’s gospel; chosen by Christ in person, Luke 6:13; 1Corinthians 15:9; 2Corinthians 11:13; Ephesians 2:20; 3:5), prophets (Old Testament writers and preachers of prophecy; called by the Father in person, Hebrew 1:1; Matthew 11:13 and Luke 16:16), teachers, and all do not have all the gifts of 1Corinthians 12:8-10. This does not mean that believers cannot attain to any and all these if they desire to glorify God in all areas.
‘But covet earnestly the best gifts’ – Here is a command for all believers to covet earnestly the gifts (14:1).
‘Covet’ [Greek: zeloo] eager rivalry; strong passion for a thing.
‘Best’ [Greek: kreitton] stronger; better; greater; superior. All the gifts are necessary for the proper and complete operation of the body of Christ (12:12-28).