One in the Spirit

MEMORY SELECTION: “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” —I Corinthians 12:7

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians 12:4-7, 12-18, 26, 27

PENTECOST marked the time of special revelation to Jesus’ disciples—giving them the Holy Spirit. It was of importance because it showed that Jesus had accomplished the work the Heavenly Father had given him to do and also that his sacrifice had been accepted by God on our behalf, and on behalf of the whole world of mankind, to be testified in due time.

The gifts of the Spirit proved that God’s favor had been manifested through the giving of his only begotten Son and that in him the work of redemption had been centered. It also served as a witness and encouragement to those who were drawn to Christ. And, more particularly, it was a special gift to the disciples themselves, who needed reassurance that they were being led and taught by God.

The variations in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit suggest the infinite power of God. It has been working throughout the Gospel Age and is still working toward the development of the body members of Christ. There has always been one divine purpose, and that is the building up in the most holy faith of the entire church of God throughout the age.

This matter is brought to our attention by the Apostle Paul, who explains: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”—I Cor. 12:4-6

Paul suggests to the Corinthian brethren some of the different ways in which the Spirit is manifested. He says: “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.” (vss. 8-10) All these manifestations of divine power were especially important for the growth and establishment of the Early Church. “But all of these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (vs. 11) They are manifestations of the diversified wisdom and power of God.

These various gifts enabled the different members in the Early Church to serve one another. By helping each other grow in spiritual things, the brethren worked together in much the same way as the members of a human body work together. That is, as Paul points out, the various members of the body perform their individual functions for the mutual up-building of all. All the members of the body remain under the direct control of the head, which represents our Lord Jesus’ control over all things pertaining to his antitypical body.

During the early years of the church’s experience, there was a particular need for such manifestations of the Holy Spirit. At that time no one had access to the written Word of God, and all had, therefore, to rely on other means. These other means included the speaking in tongues and other miracles which served the peculiar needs of the earliest followers of our Lord.

Paul explains to the Corinthian brethren that the special revelation of speaking in tongues was for a limited time only; it was given only for the duration of the apostles’ lives. When the apostles died, the special gifts that marked their ministry passed away with them. He says: “But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”—I Cor. 13:8

Once the Early Church became established and the written Word of God was made available to the followers of Christ, there was no further need for miracles. Since that time the Spirit’s manifestations have been along the lines of Christian fruitage of grace and knowledge. These are evidence that we may detect in all God’s people who are being led by the Spirit even now, in the very end of the age. Praise God for his blessings that have brought us together in the one spirit of our high calling in Christ Jesus!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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