I Corinthians 12:4 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.

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.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members 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 Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily proph- ets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. (Also Romans 12:3-8.)


MEMORY VERSE: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. —Ephesians 4:12


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The Spirit was given to personally infill each believer for the purpose of the edification and profit of the entire church; He endues different people with different gifts and unique administrations and operations of those gifts.




I Corinthians 12:5 “Administrations”: literally, attendance or waiting upon a table; aid or service; ministry, especially executing the commands of others. “The ministration or service of all who, endowed by God with powers of mind and heart peculiarly adapted to this end, endeavor zealously and laboriously to promote the cause of Christ among men, as apostles, prophets, evangelists, elders, etc.” Also, “ the ministration of those who render to others the offices of Christian affection.” —Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

I Corinthians 12:6 “Operations”: a working; an effect; a thing wrought. Properly, “energizing (‘operations’), focusing on the results of God’s
‘energy’ (power) in people living in His faith.” —HELPS Word Studies

I Corinthians 12:7 “Manifestations”: exhibition; expression; announcement; a “coming to light.”

I Corinthians 12:8 “Wisdom”: Insight; skill. “An understanding of the deep mysteries of God, and His redemptive plan.” —D. O. Teasley, The Holy Spirit and Other Spirits. “Knowledge”: science; functional “working” knowledge from experience. “An understanding of the simple teachings of the gospel and the types and shadows of the Old Testament; a general knowledge of the doctrine of salvation.” —D. O. Teasley, The Holy Spirit and Other Spirits.

I Corinthians 12:28 “Apostle”: one sent or commissioned by Jesus Christ, as the twelve apostles, and Paul and Barnabas in the New Testament. “Prophet”: one who speaks forth the message of God under inspiration, sometimes foretelling the future. “Teacher”: instructor; master; fitted for teaching the things of God and the duties of man. “Miracles”: power; mighty or marvelous works. “Helps”: those who aid or assist. “Governments”: properly, someone who steers (guides) a ship; (figuratively) the divine calling which empowers someone to lead in affairs relating to the Church. “Diversity of tongues”: gift of speaking or interpreting actual languages.

Ephesians 4:11 “Evangelists”: missionary; bringer of good news; one who does so as a vocation. “Pastors”: shepherd; feeder, protector, ruler of a flock of men.

Ephesians 4:11 “Evangelists”: missionary; bringer of good news; one who does so as a vocation. “Pastors”: shepherd; feeder, protector, ruler of a flock of men.




In our first lesson of this series, we studied the way the Holy Spirit came upon different individuals in the Old Testament at various times and for specific reasons—for prophecy, government, military strength, craftsmanship, prayer and praise. These different operations seem to foreshadow the far greater dispensation of the Spirit upon the New Testament church, in gifting the disciples with their various gifts and callings.

After the Holy Spirit was given, the apostles and other disciples went about preaching the Gospel with boldness. Thousands began to be added to the church through the new birth. The work spread to other cities. There were duties that naturally occurred with such large gatherings of people—distributing the mutually shared and donated food and necessities of life, appointing leaders and instructors of the new converts, and sending forth of missionaries to new fields. The book of Acts, written by Luke, gives an overview of the massive work of the early church, and how it was accomplished so successfully under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It openly shares the mishaps and “hitches” in the organization, the conflicts between personalities and how they were resolved, and the many facets of the opposition, both from the Jews and from the pagans.

In Paul, the converted Pharisee and former persecutor of the Christians, Christ had a true Apostle who was sent by the Holy Spirit to establish new congregations throughout Asia and into Europe. He also sent letters to the congregations, instructing them in the ways of God. The first letter to the Corinthians set in order many of the errors and conflicts of that church, and in it we read the clear explanation of the different offices of the Church of God and how they should operate. Similar letters of instruction about the gifts of the Spirit were sent to Ephesus and Rome.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



  1. Differences: Explain why it is important to understand and appreciate the different ways in which the Spirit works in different people.
  2. Who’s the Head? All kinds of problems arise when a human tries to usurp the place of God. According to the Scripture, who is the Head of the church?
  3. What God Hath Chosen: Are divine gifts necessarily the same as human abilities? Would God sometimes call someone without natural ability to fill that place? Give Scriptural principles.






It is always safe to go back and study the example of the early church. We need to keep our emphasis on the leadership of the Holy Spirit and implicitly follow His guidance in all affairs. We can see how Paul and Barnabas were either led to go or forbidden to go to the different areas of missionary work. We read how Peter was given the ability to discern the wickedness in Ananias and Sapphira and the authority to pronounce judgment.

It is always dangerous to assume we can manage these affairs all on our own, and to begin usurping the authority that is only given by the Holy Spirit to those who are vessels of honor, sanctified and fit for His use. Human ability does not mean a divine calling. Human frailty doesn’t mean one cannot serve. Humility is the key, and earnest prayer is the way we will find the guidance that is so vital.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



The saints have a rich heritage of brothers and sisters who lived and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. As I reflect over the past, I am often moved to tears when I consider how deeply I have been blessed by their gifts, consecration and love; wondering where would I be today if they hadn’t yielded and answered the call of the Holy Spirit.

I remember Bro. Clifford Wilson, my first pastor; he also married my wife and I. A quiet and reserved man—he was not an evangelist and he very seldom preached at camp meetings—but as a pastor he could sure feed your soul with the dynamics of Christian living. I have fond memories of times we prayed together.

Bro. Willie C. Murphey had a special way of bringing comfort, hope and encouragement. One of his messages to his children was, “If you see me do it, it is okay; if you don’t see me do it, you better refrain.”

Bro. Louis Williams had a very special gift of song. He would bring the songs to life with his smile and enthusiasm for song; I would call it electrifying. “There is a message in every song.”

Bro. Mart Samons had a real gift of reaching and calling the lost. I remember many of his messages, but two that stand out are “A Know-So Salvation” and “Laying Your All on the Altar” (sanctification). The conviction brought many to the altar seeking more of God.

Sis. Katherine Williams had a real gift of ministering, exhortation, and rejoicing. She was a woman of faith who would stand with you through affliction.

Bro. Chuck Elwell was a very tender, compassionate man whose burden was on forgiveness and the love of God enabling us to love our fellow man. He was also gifted in prayer; when he prayed, heaven seemed to come down.

Bro. Ostis Wilson was very gifted with knowledge and understanding of the deeper mysteries of the scriptures. It was said that when he first started some felt like he had missed his calling. However, his mother asked them to give him a little time. Oh, the wealth the church would have missed, if he hadn’t followed on!

I feel like the Hebrew writer—”. . . what shall I more say? for the time would fail me” to tell of Bro. O.C. Porter, Bro. Richard Madden, Sis. Fern Stubblefield, Bro. Louis Kimble, Bro. Archie Sowder, Bro. Stanley Dixon, Bro. Herschell Hargrave, Sis. Ruth Murphy, Bro. Vada McMillan, Sis. Margaret Eck, Sis. Opal Wilson, Bro. Isaac Chandler, Bro. Murphy Allen, Bro. Ira Stover, Bro. Darius Gibson, Bro. Ulysses Phillips. . .They are gone from us, yet their lives and messages still live on.

—Bro. Bob Wilson