June 26, 2021

Gifts of Knowing

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge. . . .

—  1 Corinthians 12:8

In the distribution of spiritual gifts, the Spirit of God pours out knowledge and gives wisdom and discernment for the use of that knowledge.

For example, the Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon “that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah” (Luke 2:26). And when Jesus was born and his parents, Mary and Joseph, brought him to the temple, Simeon saw the Christ child with his own eyes. Then Simeon used words of wisdom to say a blessing and to prophesy about Mary’s future (Luke 2:28-35).

Paul received a gift of discernment of spirits when he was on his first missionary journey. The Holy Spirit sometimes works in powerful and miraculous ways when the gospel, the good news of Jesus, is being introduced in a new area. That’s because those areas tend to be influenced by evil powers that want to resist the spread of God’s Word. On Cyprus Paul met a man named Elymas who was a sorcerer and a false prophet. Rebuking Elymas, Paul said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of every­thing that is right! . . . Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:10). Then Paul said Elymas would be blinded for a time, and immediately Elymas couldn’t see. All of this took place in front of a military commander who had wanted to hear the Word of God—and “when he saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed about the teaching of the Lord” (Acts 13:12).

Spirit of God, we ask for knowledge, wisdom, and discernment so that we can represent you wisely. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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