1 Corinthians 13:1-13 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, May 31, 2015, is from 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

(1 Corinthians 13:1) If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

The Apostle Paul wrote “The Love Chapter” (1 Corinthians 13) in his letter to the Corinthians. Paul addressed the issues of speaking in tongues and interpreting tongues (languages others probably could not understand, unless they were speaking a foreign language for people who would understand that foreign language, as on the Day of Pentecost). Paul said some accused him of being a poor speaker. Paul began chapter thirteen by saying that someone can speak with eloquence and sophisticated spiritual languages; but, if they do not have love for those they speak to; then, they will eventually sound like an endlessly repeated noise that can give people a headache.

(1 Corinthians 13:2) And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

Some Christians claimed to be able to foretell the future. They could proclaim the gospel message with power and sound reasoning. Some claimed to understand the spiritual realities that most cannot comprehend. Others claimed to be able to know things that others could not know. Some claimed to have enough faith to work astounding miracles. Even if these claims were true, if they did not love God and others, they were nothing.

(1 Corinthians 13:3) If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Paul argued that we can make any sacrifice, even sacrifice our own body by giving it over to torture, imprisonment, burning, or martyrdom as an expression of our faith, but if we do not have love, we will gain nothing. “Having love” means more than doing a “loving or caring” action from time to time. “Having love” is having something we possess. “Having love” means love for God and others is the mainspring or supreme motive or ultimate intention for all of our actions.

(1 Corinthians 13:4) Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant

Paul defined love and listed the attributes of love to make clear the kind of love he meant. When love is my motive in the way I treat others, I will choose to be patient with others. If I fail to treat others with patience, I will repent and strive to be patient because I have love for all people. Love will motivate me to treat people (and even animals) with kindness. Love will lead me to rejoice in the good others receive, rather than resent them for the good that comes to them. Love will motivate me to spend less time thinking and speaking about myself and my accomplishments and “patting myself on the back.” Love toward God and others will motivate me to give more time to thinking and speaking about Jesus Christ and His grace. Love will motivate me to be Christ-centered instead of self-centered.

(1 Corinthians 13:5) or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

No matter what the situation, love will restrain me from being rude towards someone – even when provoked by them to treat them rudely in return. Love will motivate me to seek what is best for all concerned, to listen to other points of view to learn from them and show them consideration. Love will restrain me from expressing irritability or resentment and move me to pray and seek ways to develop healthy personality traits and relationships.

(1 Corinthians 13:6) it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

Some people rejoice when they see someone doing wrong; especially if that wrongdoing is done against someone they disagree with or hate. Some people will rejoice when they see someone doing wrong, because they too want to enjoy doing that wrong; if others are doing that wrong, they think it is “less wrong” and they can enjoy doing it too. Love helps us restrain ourselves whenever we see any wrong being done. Love rejoices in the truth, even when it may prove that our beliefs or someone else’s beliefs and loyalties are wrong. We rejoice when the light overcomes darkness.

(1 Corinthians 13:7) It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love bears or keeps on loving when things go wrong, when suffering, or when under attack. Love bears all things, knowing that all things work for the good of those who love God and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Love believes all things that are according to and consistent with the truth (see verse 6 above) as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and reality. Of course, love will not choose to believe falsehoods or the idea that by doing wrong we will not hurt others or ourselves. Love continues to hope for the best, because love for God moves us to trust God. Because we love and trust God, we can endure suffering and persecution.

(1 Corinthians 13:8) Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.

God is love. God loves us, enough for Jesus to die on our behalf to forgive us and free us from slavery to sin; therefore, for these reasons and more love never ends. Prophecies will end after they are fulfilled. Speaking in tongues will cease, because someday we will all understand what others speak. Knowledge (claiming to know special or hidden truths unavailable to others) will cease. Paul did not mean that believers will not grow in the knowledge of God forever as they continue to understand more about the infinite God throughout eternity.

(1 Corinthians 13:9) For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part;

Our true knowledge is not exhaustive knowledge. Truths that we know to be unchanging truths can be found exclusively in the Bible as infallible truths. Sometimes we learn infallible truths from observing what God has created. Still, our knowledge is not complete. Only the infinite and personal God knows all things. Some prophecies are not fulfilled yet; and these prophecies will not be fully understood by us, even if they are fulfilled in our lifetime.

(1 Corinthians 13:10) but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.

When Jesus Christ comes a second time into our world to fulfill the partially fulfilled prophecies about Him, then the complete has come. When we remember and learn more about the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled the first time He came, we love God and Jesus our Savior even more. When we see how all of the prophecies about Jesus fit together as a whole, we will love the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit even more.

(1 Corinthians 13:11) When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.

Paul reminded his readers to think about themselves when they were children. Children think, act, and speak according to their nature and age level. Unhappily, some old enough to be adults remain childish. Paul wanted adults to act like adults. New believers need to grow into spiritual maturity, and their actions will demonstrate their level of maturity.

(1 Corinthians 13:12) For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Even though we may be spiritually mature, we need to remain humble. Eventually, we will know ourselves as we really are. God the Father and Jesus Christ know us fully as we are today, and they still love us. Someday we will know ourselves fully as they know us. Love motivates God to love us even after knowing us as we are. God knows what we will become through faith in Him and love for Him by His grace and the work of His Spirit in our life.

(1 Corinthians 13:13) And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

These three attributes or qualities of the Christian life continue among all true believers in Jesus Christ. They may all continue throughout eternity. We will see the reality of what God has promised, and what we have hoped for when God fulfills our hopes – these experiences will increase our love for God and thanksgiving for what God has done and does in our lives. Throughout eternity, God may say and do things that further develop and increase our faith, hope, and love. Love motivates us to trust in and obey God; love is the greatest of the three attributes of Christian living. Without love, especially the love of God in Christ for us, we would have no faith and no hope.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. Why do some eloquent speakers make little impact on their listeners?

2. What can understanding all mysteries lead to, if a person does not have love?

3. What qualities of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13 do you like to see the most in others?

4. What are some of the childish ways in adults that can cause problems?

5. Give one reason you are grateful that love will never end. Give thanks to God for love.

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.


The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

1 Corinthians 13
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

1 Corinthians 13
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

1 Corinthians 13
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class


International Bible Lesson

The Holy Spirit Brings Spiritual Maturity

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11—KJV).

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11—NIV).

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways” (1 Corinthians 13:11—NRSV).

Sometimes parents and grandparents see other people’s children as impatient, unkind toward other children, demanding, and insistent on having their own way. Paul wrote that the spiritually mature do not act in these ways; they resolve to put an end to childishness and act as adults. Those in Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and the spiritually mature will not passively wait for the Holy Spirit to do in them what the Holy Spirit expects them to do for themselves with His help. They will keep their faith in Christ strong as they study the Bible. They will abide in hope as they remind themselves of God’s many promises (many already fulfilled) in the Scriptures. But most importantly, their faith and hope in Jesus Christ will inspire a greater love for God and others. As mature Christians, their love will lead them to pray for patience and become more patient; more often than not they will respond with patience when provoked. Love will lead them to share words of kindness to build up others instead of tear them down. Love will move them to rejoice when they see God’s gifts bestowed abundantly on any of His children. Love inspires humility with joyfulness—the humility that puts Jesus first, others second, and yourself third. Though we often see these spiritual fruits and gifts in the children raised in Christian homes, the Apostle Paul expected all the fruits and gifts of love to be evident in the life of anyone who claimed to be led by Jesus Christ.  – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

Acts 2:1-7, 12 & 1 Corinthians 14:13-19 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, May 24, 2015, is from Acts 2:1-7, 12 & 1 Corinthians 14:13-19. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Acts 2:1-7, 12

(Acts 2:1) When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

The disciples obeyed Jesus and they waited in Jerusalem until they had received the promised power from on high (the Holy Spirit). Because Jesus had been raised from the dead 50 days earlier, and had appeared to them, they were no longer scattered and hiding. They were all together in one place, probably so they would not miss the sending of the Holy Spirit as a gift from God and so they could encourage one another as they prayed, waited and wondered what would happen. They knew from their time spent with Jesus something of what to expect when the Holy Spirit came upon them in power, because the Holy Spirit had empowered Jesus. In some sense, they already knew the Holy Spirit personally within them, because Jesus had breathed the Holy Spirit upon them before He ascended into heaven: “When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22). By His Spirit, Jesus had not left them from the day of His ascension to the Day of Pentecost.

(Acts 2:2) And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

The Holy Spirit did not come quietly. If He had come quietly, that might have left some doubt among some as to whether or not the Holy Spirit had been sent or received. The Holy Spirit came from heaven (from a location above them or outside of this material world as the sound came into the room). It might have sounded similar to a roaring tornado or a sudden loud gust of wind. Notice: the Spirit “filled the entire house;” therefore, everyone in the house heard the Spirit’s coming and everyone could talk about their experience. Everyone in the house was surrounded by the Holy Spirit, and all of Jesus’ disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and His power. Everyone heard the Holy Spirit when He came, and they could describe the sound He made. No one had a doubt about His coming, just as Jesus’ disciples had no doubt about the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus. Whereas Jesus had gently breathed the Holy Spirit upon them, on the Day of Pentecost He came like the sound of a rushing wind.

(Acts 2:3) Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.

The Holy Spirit also came visibly into the house. Fire can represent cleansing. Fire is used to remove the impurities from precious metals, such as silver and gold. Fire lights up the darkness and reveals the reality of what surrounds it. John preached about Jesus the Messiah when He came: “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). When the Holy Spirit came, each follower of Jesus Christ could see the flames of fire upon one another. They saw that no disciple of Jesus was left out; all of them had received the gift of the Holy Spirit in power. The Holy Spirit filled the house in a general way, as air fills a house, and the Holy Spirit also related individually and particularly to each person in the house as He came to each person and gave them the precious gift of Himself. The Holy Spirit also gave a variety of different gifts to each person, as Paul later described the giving of the Holy Spirit and His gifts. The Holy Spirit came on Pentecost as the power from on high to help the disciples teach others about Jesus and lead them to believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

(Acts 2:4) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

The Holy Spirit rested upon each one and entered into each one, but not to manipulate them as a puppet master from the outside. The Holy Spirit not only gave them gifts, but the Holy Spirit also gave them Himself by coming into the life of each person and filling each person. No part of any person was left untouched by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was heard with human ears as He entered the house, and His effects were seen with human eyes. He gave the disciples the ability to speak various human languages on that day, languages previously unknown to each one of them so unbelievers could hear the truth with human ears. The Holy Spirit came as a spiritual and physical presence in human history, revealing His coming to believers and unbelievers alike; just as Jesus, the Son of God, came and revealed himself to believers and unbelievers alike in the Holy Spirit’s power.

(Acts 2:5) Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem.

Not only did Jews come to Jerusalem to visit on special feast days, but some also came to live in Jerusalem—some for business and work, some visiting family and friends, some who were happy to move from the land of their birth to Jerusalem itself. The Jews had been scattered the first time in 722 BC when the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed, and by later defeats by their enemies and through the exile of Jews to Babylon in 587 BC. By the Day of Pentecost, many had returned to Jerusalem for a variety of reasons, and many would return home with the amazing story of Jesus, the crucified and resurrected Messiah, and of how they had been there when the Holy Spirit came upon His disciples. Some would return home as dedicated followers of Jesus Christ and lead some in their family and some in their community to saving faith in Jesus Christ, so they too could receive the Holy Spirit. As Peter concluded the sermon he preached on the Day of Pentecost, he promised “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

(Acts 2:6) And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.

Perhaps those living near the house or passing by heard the sound of the Holy Spirit as a rush of violent wind in the house. Perhaps they heard many loud voices, and as they listened each one could distinguish a voice or voices that were speaking their own language. No wonder they were shocked and confused.

(Acts 2:7) Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

Thinking back to the Tower of Babel, where God confused the people’s language into many languages and scattered them into various language groups because of their sins. On the Day of Pentecost, everyone from any of these language groups could hear the good news of Jesus Christ preached to each one in their own language. In their own language, each one heard the good news of forgiveness for sin; and each one learned about God’s gift of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ. Each one heard Jesus’ disciples from Galilee teaching about Jesus, and they heard them, not in a Galilean accent or dialect, but in their own native languages.

(Acts 2:12) All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?

Praises to God would be heard in Jerusalem in languages from all of the above places. On the Day of Pentecost, the curse of the Tower of Babel (see Genesis 22) was reversed. Now, all of the Jews from all of these places heard Galilean Jews speaking in their own individual languages. No wonder they were amazed and perplexed and wanted to know what it meant. The Holy Spirit created eager listeners by His gift of tongues on the disciples of Jesus. Any Gentiles in Jerusalem at the time could have also heard the gospel in their own language. From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry to the Day of Pentecost and beyond, Jews and Gentiles have had the opportunity to hear and believe the good news about Jesus the Messiah, God’s only Son.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. Why do you think it was important for the Holy Spirit to come with the sound of a rushing wind?

2. Why do you think it was important for the Holy Spirit to rest individually upon each follower of Jesus in the house?

3. Why do you think it was important for the Holy Spirit to give the gift of speaking in tongues to Jesus’ disciples?

See two additional questions below in the Commentary on 1 Corinthians 14:13-19 that go with this Lesson.


1 Corinthians 14:13-19

(1 Corinthians 14:13) Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret.

After Paul wrote that God gives Christians different spiritual gifts, he wrote that if a person had the gift of speaking in tongues that he should also pray for God to give him the gift of interpreting what he prayed in tongues. He should pray for this additional gift and give God the reason that he wants this additional gift “for building up the church.” Otherwise, no one (including the person speaking in tongues) will know what was said or meant except God alone. No one may know the source of the tongues either because they may be uttered by demons who can talk through people (see Mark 5).

(1 Corinthians 14:14) For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive.

Paul revealed in his letter that if someone prays in a tongue his mind (or his reason and understanding) is unproductive (perhaps bypassed or not involved in the speaking). The spirit of the person moves their mouths rather than their minds moving their mouths. If they prayed with their minds, they would speak words and sentences that could be understood by them and those who speak the same language. Paul did not write that when praying in a tongue only the Holy Spirit spoke or prayed through someone, which the Holy Spirit can do. Demons can also bypass a person’s mind and speak through someone, as in some of the cases when Jesus and Paul cast out demons that spoke words of understanding (see Mark 5 and Acts 16). Paul wrote that the person’s spirit (a part of their psychological being as a person?) can pray using their tongue separate from the involvement of their reason and thinking processes. Those who speak in tongues should pray for the power to interpret so they and others can know if they are speaking words consistent with the teachings of the Bible or words that a demon has placed in their mouths. Words given by demons will not build up anyone, least of all the church.

(1 Corinthians 14:15) What should I do then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing praise with the mind also.

God had given Paul the gift of speaking in tongues. Others had received that gift and other gifts too. Some of those in the Corinthian church may have been tempted to pray only with their spirit in tongues without also engaging their minds and without any understanding of what they were actually praying to God. Therefore, Paul wanted those who prayed and praised God only with their spirit to pray and praise God with their mind as well, which would build up the church and also give meaning and purpose to them in their praying.

(1 Corinthians 14:16) Otherwise, if you say a blessing with the spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say the “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since the outsider does not know what you are saying?

An outsider might be someone who is not a Christian or a Christian without the gift of tongues and without the gift of interpreting tongues. The Holy Spirit gives His gifts as He wills and He gives a variety of gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12). When any person cannot know or understand what another is saying, and especially when praying, they should not say, “Amen;” which means, “May it be so,” because they may be saying “May it be so” about something that would do harm or destroy someone or the church or be contrary to the Bible rather than build up someone or the church. Paul never wrote that everyone should have the gift of speaking in tongues or the gift of interpreting tongues.

(1 Corinthians 14:17) For you may give thanks well enough, but the other person is not built up.

With tongues that no one can interpret, a person might thank God for something wonderful that God has done or he might praise God for Who He is, and God would appreciate their thanks and praises. But, Christians can also thank God and praise God in ways that will also build up someone or build up the church. Christians can pray for God to help everyone understand and give thanks to God for what God has done and for Who He is. A person and the church are best built up by engaging our minds as well as our spirits according to the Scriptures.

(1 Corinthians 14:18) I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you;

Paul had reason to thank God because his gift of speaking in tongues was a gift from God. He did not write this because he was arrogant or felt superior to others. He sincerely wanted to thank God. Some people are not better than other people or more favored by God than others because of the gifts God has given them. God gives gifts to benefit many people and for purposes that God alone may know until He reveals them.

(1 Corinthians 14:19) nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

Paul wanted Christians to use their gifts properly. It would do little good in a church worship service for Christians to pray and praise God in words that no one could interpret or understand but God alone. True prayer and praise in tongues could be made by believers at home. Paul emphasized that in church a few understandable words of instruction given with a mind actively committed to God for building up people in the church would be better than thousands of words that no one could understand.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. Why do you think Paul wrote so much about the gift of speaking in tongues?

2. Why should both the spirit and the mind be engaged and work together when believers preach, teach, and praise God?

See three additional questions above in the Commentary on Acts 2:1-7, 12 that go with this Lesson.

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.


The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Acts 2 & 1 Corinthians 14
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

Acts 2 & 1 Corinthians 14
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

Acts 2 & 1 Corinthians 14
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class


International Bible Lesson

Speaking in Tongues in the Church

“Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:19—KJV).

“Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:19—NRSV).

In his first letter to the Corinthian Christians, the Apostle Paul wrote carefully about speaking in tongues; still, the debate about speaking in tongues has troubled the Church for many years. When the first apostles spoke in tongues on the Day of Pentecost, they spoke languages that others from other nations could understand. When the crowds wondered why they could understand these Galileans in their own language, they asked, “What does this mean?” Because the Bible is the only sure guide to spiritual truth and reality, Peter explained the Scriptures, and about three thousand people were added to the church that day (see Acts 2). Paul wrote that people need to understand what is said before they agree with an, “Amen” or a “So be it.” If someone speaks in tongues, then they need to pray for the interpretation so they can explain what they said. People make a mistake when they try to separate their mind from their spirit in their spiritual exercises or worship. They can easily be misled when they do not have their minds to help them discern the spirits that may be talking through them. People need their minds to evaluate what they are thinking, so they will believe and speak according to the Bible with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Paul wrote that he would pray and praise God with his spirit and his mind together. Furthermore, in church, he would rather speak five understandable words to instruct people than ten thousand words that no one could understand. We could solve many problems by following Paul’s advice and example.  – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on Acts 2:1-7, 12 & 1 Corinthians 14:13-19 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, May 17, 2015, is from 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

1 Corinthians 12:12-31

(1 Corinthians 12:12)  For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

Jesus Christ has one body on earth, the Church, often written with an uppercase “C” to signify the one true Church that is greater than a congregation or a collection of congregations or churches. The resurrected body of Jesus Christ resides in heaven at the right hand of God. The human body as a whole is considered one body. The one human body has many parts or members, and each part was created by God for the benefit of the body and so the body can benefit itself as a whole and also benefit others. So believers could better understand the role of individual Christians with a variety of gifts in the work of the Church, Paul compared a human body created by God with many members to the Body of Christ on earth, the Church, which God also created with many members. Individual Christians are parts of the Body of Christ, not the Body of Christ.

(1 Corinthians 12:13)  For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

The one Holy Spirit completely surrounds or clothes the believer spiritually when he or she repents and trusts in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, just as the waters of baptism surrounded those baptized by Jesus’ disciples. The one Holy Spirit also enters and nourishes spiritually all true believers once and for eternity when they trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, just as the Lord’s Supper enters those who partake of the bread and the wine; though Christians repeatedly receive the Lord’s Supper, they receive the Holy Spirit once and then are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). People of all racial and economic backgrounds (Jews and non-Jews; slaves and free) are brought into (or baptized into) the Body of Christ on earth, the Church, by the Holy Spirit who surrounds and fills believers by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit spiritually permeates the entire spiritual being of every believer; who nevertheless is commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

(1 Corinthians 12:14)  Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.

The human body has many parts or members and each organ, part, or member plays an important role in the perfect functioning of the body. In a perfectly healthy body, each part functions in perfect harmony and cooperates with every other part of the body for the benefit of the whole body and to fulfill the purposes of God for that human body. After sin entered the world, no human body is perfect, but every human body still shows forth the image of God who created it. When the members of Christ’s body on earth, the Church, work in harmony and unity according to the Scriptures as the Holy Spirit leads, the Church shows forth the image of Jesus Christ; though not perfectly, the Church does show forth the image of their Lord and Savior substantially.

(1 Corinthians 12:15)  If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

In comparing body parts to Church members, Paul wanted to teach that just by saying or thinking you do not belong to the body, because you are not some other body part, does not make it true. A lowly “foot” may think it does not belong to the body because it is not like the “hand” which is above it. Paul wanted all believers to know they are not less than any other believer. No matter what we once were, as members of the Body of Christ, whether a foot or a hand, we are all important to God and can serve God’s purposes for the glory of God and the benefit of all.

(1 Corinthians 12:16)  And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

The “ear” might think it is not as important or as valuable to the body as an “eye.” It may think of itself as inferior, and may have been told so by other members, and it may feel or say, “I do not belong to the body,” but the Bible says even the most humble Christian (who may think they are unimportant to God and others) is nevertheless an essential part of the body that God designed to glorify Him and to express His love for all of His creation.

(1 Corinthians 12:17)  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?

An “eye” cannot hear and an “ear” cannot see. If the whole body were an eye or an ear much important work could not be done, and the whole body would be impaired compared to a human body as created by God. An eye does not have hands and feet, neither does an ear. An eye alone may see the work that needs to be done; an ear alone may hear the command of Christ, but neither an eye or an ear alone could do the kind of work that God wants done through the Body of Christ with many carefully designed members organized and empowered by the Holy Spirit according to God’s will.

(1 Corinthians 12:18)  But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

God designed and created the human body with a purpose for each member and each part. God created each individual part and put it perfectly where it should be to do the perfect work needed beside every part around it. God did this as He chose, not as the uncreated part may have wanted to be created before or after God created it. God designed the human foot and He put the feet where He chose to benefit the whole body. God also places the members of the Body of Christ where He wants them and He gives them the gifts He wants them to have in order to benefit the whole Body of Christ and achieve His purposes through the Church in the world.

(1 Corinthians 12:19)  If all were a single member, where would the body be?

If every single body part were an eye or an ear or a hand or foot, where would the human body be? How much could it achieve? What could a huge collection of eyes or ears accomplish to glorify God compared to a human body with eyes, ears, hands, and feet doing God’s will?

(1 Corinthians 12:20)  As it is, there are many members, yet one body.

Paul used an analogy or comparison that any believer could easily understand or apply. There are many members in and a part of the Body of Christ. Each member is important and no member is less important than any other member. Each member is surrounded by and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and together all the members make up the Body of Christ.

(1 Corinthians 12:21)  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

Just as some members may feel inferior to other members, so some members may think they are superior to or more important than other members of the body. Either way of thinking is wrong and can harm the body and other parts or members in the body. Imagine an eye saying to the hands, “I do not need you,” and then a spec of dirt blows into it that needs to be removed and no one is around to help it. Imagine a head saying to the hands and feet, “I do not need you,” and then it’s eye looks up and sees a raging bull charging toward it. Imagine a nose saying to the hands and feet, “I do not need you,” and then it smells smoke in the burning building where it sits. Though a member of the Church may not see the importance of some of the other members, God has placed each member in the Church where He wants them to glorify Him and achieve His plans.

(1 Corinthians 12:22)  On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,

Sometimes the body does not know it needs certain parts or organs until it faces a problem or a missing part or an injured part presents the body with a problem. Those in the Church who seem to be weaker than others in the Church are indispensable; especially from God’s point of view because He chose them and created them for an indispensable purpose. Members in a church need to see the Body of Christ from God’s point of view, and then they should thank God for one another.

(1 Corinthians 12:23)  and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect;

Some body parts are associated with cleansing the body of waste materials, and we put clothes over those parts. Other body parts we associate with the creation, bearing, and feeding of children, and we put clothes over those parts – all to show respect for those parts and our bodies. But imagine what a human body and the world would be like if these parts were eliminated from the human body that God so perfectly designed and organized just because we cover these parts with clothing.

(1 Corinthians 12:24)  whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member,

Arms, legs, hands, feet, eyes, and ears do not need to be covered and if covered may not function as well to achieve the purposes of the head of the body. Once again, the Bible emphasizes that God arranged the body as it is, and what we may consider inferior and cover with clothing is absolutely essential for the body to survive and for human beings to multiply and fill the earth.

(1 Corinthians 12:25)  that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.

The hands can care for the feet, and the feet can take the body where it needs to go for food and shelter, especially if the hands have properly cared for the feet. Each member in the Body of Christ needs to care for every other member. Each member is indispensable to the Body of Christ. No member of the Body of Christ should consider itself superior or inferior to other members or do anything that would harm another member – which would harm the whole body.

(1 Corinthians 12:26)  If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

If one member of the Body of Christ suffers, every member of the Body of Christ suffers. We will not escape suffering in the Church until Christ comes again, but that is no reason for any member of the Body of Christ to be the cause of ungracious and unjust suffering in any other member of the Body of Christ on earth. Whenever a member of the Church is honored, especially by God, all the members of the Body of Christ rejoice that one member is so honored. The one member that is honored brings honor to the whole body of which it is a part.

(1 Corinthians 12:27)  Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

When Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth, he said, “You are the Body of Christ.” No matter how large or small, each congregation is the Body of Christ and a member of the larger Body of Christ, the Church around the world. In some sense, each congregation in the Church is the Body of Christ, and in another sense each congregation is a member of the Body of Christ that has grown and spread throughout the world. Each individual Christian is a member, an indispensable member, of the Body of Christ locally and around the world.

(1 Corinthians 12:28)  And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.

As the Head of the church, the Body of Christ, Jesus Christ directs the working of the members of the body and provides all of their needs by directing their activities. God has appointed officers in the Church who are neither superior nor inferior to any other Church member. Everyone has a function to fulfill for the benefit of the whole body, of each member, and those God has called and directed the Church to serve.

(1 Corinthians 12:29)  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

Apostles saw the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, and they were responsible for writing the New Testament, for church government and order, and among other things the preservation and spreading of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Not every church member had the experience and responsibility to serve as an apostle. Prophets proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ and sometimes foretold the future. Not everyone had the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be prophets. Some church members were not able or inclined to teach though all church members need a teachable spirit to follow Christ. Paul did not expect every church member to be able to work miracles, though some could with the help of the Holy Spirit. What would a church be like if everyone in the congregation was a gifted teacher, and no one had any other gifts other than teaching in the church?

(1 Corinthians 12:30)  Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

Paul asked these questions expecting the answer to be “No.” No one possesses, nor should they expect to possess, all these gifts and appointments and experiences. No one should require another believer to possess any particular gift of the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit gives His gifts as He chooses and when He chooses. No particular gift is a sign that a person is a Christian and qualified to be a member of the Body of Christ. No congregation will have all of the appointed offices and gifts that Paul wrote about. For example, no one has walked today with Jesus during His public ministry and then seen Him raised from the dead before He ascended into heaven, a requirement for the apostles. The church in Corinth had no apostles, but apostles for the Body of Christ did reside in Jerusalem and other places when Paul wrote as an apostle who had met the risen Lord on the road to Damascus. What if everyone in a congregation spoke in tongues, but no one had the gift of interpretation or teaching?

(1 Corinthians 12:31)  But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

Some gifts attract crowds of people; such as gifts of healing and working miracles. Some gifts require teaching about Christ and the Scriptures faithfully, truthfully, and dependably. Paul did not write what the greater gifts were, but said believers should strive for greater gifts – that the Holy Spirit chooses to give for the benefit of the Body of Christ to achieve God’s goals of service to believers and unbelievers. Believers can strive for greater gifts to be of greater service to God and the Church, to promote and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to lead sinners to saving faith. As valuable as striving for greater gifts might be, Paul wrote that there is a still more excellent way to live as a Christian – the way of love as Paul would soon teach them in First Corinthians 13.


Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. Why might a foot say it is not a part of the body because it is not a hand?
2. What are some limitations the church might face if everyone only had one gift and every person was exactly the same as the other with the one same gift?
3. Who arranged the members of the body and how was it done?
4. What can be a consequence when some members of the body think they do not need other members of the body?
5. What are two things members of the Body of Christ can do together that we have learned from this lesson?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

1 Corinthians 12:12-31
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

1 Corinthians 12:12-31
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

1 Corinthians 12:12-31
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class

International Bible Lesson

Christians Are Part of the Body of Christ

“And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26—KJV).

“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26—NRSV).

Paul compared the Church to a human body with many parts connected and depending on one another. The Church is not like a collection of robots working side by side in a factory to produce a product. Members of the Church are parts of the Body of Christ, and Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body. Christ gives life and growth and directs the movement of His Body. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ gives spiritual life to the Body of Christ so all the members can function and serve the whole Body as the Head directs. But, Christians are not programmed to work as a computer software program. Every Christian knows that they study the Bible, pray, and seek the Lord’s will as a vital part of their daily life in order to do whatever the Head of the Body wants them to do; they know they make significant choices. Still, when they look back and review their past, they know that Jesus Christ was guiding them as the Head they sought to obey. Every part of the Body of Christ works together to achieve the purposes of Christ, and the Holy Spirit uses the Body of Christ to draw more parts to the body from every racial and economic background to serve the world, to make disciples, and to teach everything that Jesus commanded. Throughout the 2,000 year history of the Church, some parts of Christ’s Body have suffered while other parts have been honored, but joined together by the one Holy Spirit, when one member suffers, all suffer, and when one member is honored, all rejoice together.  – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, May 10, 2015, is from 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

(1 Corinthians 12:1)  Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.

The Bible teaches that God is one God in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The heavenly angels and God’s children love the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and they seek to serve God according to His will using the gifts that God has given them. God the Father and Jesus the Son of God give spiritual gifts to God’s children through the Holy Spirit who indwells them and who will never leave them. Other principalities and powers that hate God and His children also exist in the spirit realm; and the heavenly angels and God’s children face their opposition when they use God’s gifts. The devil also gives his children spiritual gifts, and demons will sometimes indwell the devil’s children, who will attack the children of God using the devil’s gifts. For these and other reasons, Paul does not want any believer uninformed about spiritual gifts.

(1 Corinthians 12:2)  You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak.

The Christians in Corinth were Gentiles (not Jews, for the most part) who came from pagan backgrounds, and who came to love and serve the one true God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; therefore, they became members of God’s family, the Church. They would remember how demons and those who served the devil had enslaved them to sin, led them to worship idols that could not speak, and prevented them from finding the true God, who alone could empower them to do good and bless others and themselves.

(1 Corinthians 12:3)  Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

Paul wanted believers to evaluate their own past experiences and the experiences of others. He wanted them to be aware of what was going on around them. Inspired by evil spirits or false teachings, in one way or another, if not in these exact words, some religious people were saying, “Let Jesus be cursed!” They cursed Jesus and tried to lead others away from trusting in Jesus. Those who were truly members of God’s family; that is, true Christians, proclaimed and lived according to the reality, “Jesus is Lord.” True Christians obey Jesus as Lord and they keep His commands because they love Jesus. The Holy Spirit fills Christians with love for Jesus as their Savior and He guides them to follow Jesus as their Lord.

(1 Corinthians 12:4)  Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;

So believers are not enticed and led astray by demons offering demonic gifts that promise them the power to achieve all their desires, the Bible stresses that we keep our focus on learning the truth about God and true spiritual gifts from the Bible; then, we can use our gifts wisely and recognize any counterfeit gifts. The Holy Spirit has many gifts for God’s children, and the Spirit bears spiritual fruit from within God’s children. The one and the same Holy Spirit gives many gifts to the Church and God’s people. The varieties of God’s gifts do not mean that true believers are indwelt by a variety of spirits. As a counterfeit, the devil’s children are indwelt by a variety of spirits that give a variety of self-destructive gifts. To save people from destruction, Jesus cast out many demons.

(1 Corinthians 12:5)  and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord;

The “same Lord” is the one and only Lord Jesus Christ. God’s children do not serve a variety of principalities and powers: they serve the one Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gives God’s children a variety of ways or services so they can serve God and others using the variety of gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to bless them and to serve God and others.

(1 Corinthians 12:6)  and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.

Within the family of God, God’s children follow Jesus as Lord and use the various gifts the Holy Spirit has given them, which results in a variety of activities and work being done in and through the Church. Ultimately God activates or empowers all of the gifts, services, activities, and works in every Christian. The Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work together in the life of the Church, in every godly activity, and in every true believer in Christ as Lord, so believers can achieve God’s plans in many ways.

(1 Corinthians 12:7)  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

The work of the Holy Spirit is manifest, or obviously present, or shines forth in the life, words, and work of every true Christian for the common good of every one inside and outside the Church. Jesus commanded believers to spread the gospel to everyone around the world, and the gifts and varieties of services and activities of Christians in the Church work together to achieve that goal for God’s glory and the good of all. Christians have turned from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness; therefore, they put God first and work together to achieve the purposes of Christ in the Church.

(1 Corinthians 12:8)  To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,

In the Church, some believers may be especially known for their wisdom, for the best and right application of the Scriptures to daily life and the work of the Church – this is one gift of the Holy Spirit. Others may know biblical facts and other truths so they can teach and help unbelievers repent, come to faith in Jesus Christ, and enter the Church; so they can help believers grow in their faith and faithfulness to Jesus Christ – this is a another gift of the Holy Spirit.

(1 Corinthians 12:9)  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

Some have the faith to achieve God’s plans and purposes in ways only God could inspire, begin, and complete for the benefit of the Church and others. They have the faith to move mountains, if only by one shovelful of rock at a time – the Holy Spirit has given them this gift of faith. Others know how to heal people by word or by touch or by medicine; some are physicians (as was Luke, Paul’s companion) – the Holy Spirit has given people this gift of healing; therefore, many glorify God for His abundant mercies.

(1 Corinthians 12:10)  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

Many in Corinth tended to focus on the gifts listed in this verse, because some of them seem extraordinary or spectacular. Demonic powers can also work miracles, foretell the future, carry out what they have foretold, and speak in tongues through unbelievers to mislead people away from a single-minded faith and devotion to Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Holy Spirit has given some believers the ability to discern the spirits or the source of many gifts and activities and works in human life. They can reveal or warn when demonic spirits are impersonating the Holy Spirit – this gift of discernment is another gift of the Holy Spirit for the common good.

(1 Corinthians 12:11)  All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

The Bible teaches Christians, members of the family of God, the body of Christ, to seek to develop a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and the leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit according to the Scriptures. Otherwise, believers might be misled by demonic powers and spirits. All of the activities, gifts, and services that Christians possess and use are from the Holy Spirit, not from a variety of lesser spirits. The Holy Spirit gives the gifts He chooses to give to believers, and He chooses to give His gifts for the good of many, and He knows what gifts are needed and where they are needed so the work of Christ can be done in the best ways possible on earth.


Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. What are some of the dangers from remaining uninformed about spiritual gifts?
2. How are pagans led astray to idols?
3. What is the only way someone can say “Jesus is Lord”?
4. What is a reason Paul gives for the giving of spiritual gifts?
5. Who chooses what gifts and activities are for each individual believer?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

1 Corinthians 12:1-11
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

1 Corinthians 12:1-11
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

1 Corinthians 12:1-11
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class

International Bible Lesson

The Holy Spirit Indwells Christians

“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (1 Corinthians 12:11—KJV).

“All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses” (1 Corinthians 12:11—NRSV).

The Holy Spirit gives every gift that every Christian needs to promote the common good of their families, their church, and their world. The Holy Spirit gives love, joy, and peace to everyone who trusts in Jesus as Lord, and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). Of course, it is one thing to say the words, “Jesus is Lord,” and quite another to obey Jesus as Lord (Matthew 7:21-23). God gives the Holy Spirit to indwell believers personally, and the one and the same Holy Spirit indwells every Christian. Wherever Christians go, they take the Holy Spirit with them, and He meets all of their spiritual needs. They may be fleeing persecution, fighting evil, or facing death; yet, the Holy Spirit remains with them to comfort, empower, and guide them from the very center of their being. Through the one and the same Holy Spirit, God gives many gifts to those who trust in Jesus. The one Holy Spirit is the only spirit anyone needs, and the Bible warns people to avoid conversation and fellowship with any other spirit than the Holy Spirit. Spirits other than the Holy Spirit can mislead people “astray to mute idols” (1 Corinthians 12:2). Jesus, Paul, and the other apostles had to cast these spirits out of people so they could learn the truth about God and be set free. Through Paul’s ministry, the Christians in Corinth had been saved from paganism through faith in Jesus Christ, and the Apostle Paul did not want anyone misled back into slavery to a multitude of spirits.  – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson