1 Corinthians 12:27-31

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

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

30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

All believers together are the one body of Christ, and each believer is individually a member of that body (v.27).

apostles (v.28) — those who had seen the Lord, especially after His resurrection, and were called by God to witness to that fact

prophets (v.28) — those who received supernatural revelation from God to give believers

teachers (v.28) — replaced prophets after Scripture was complete — received revelation from the Word

miracles (v.28) — supernatural powers

helps (v.28) — support, assistance

administrations (v.28) — steering, guiding

Verses 29 and 30 consist of rhetorical questions all of which have a negative answer.

It should be observed that the first part, at least, of the list of verse 28 is given strictly in order: “first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly, teachers, after that miracles, then gifts,” etc. This should be clearly borne in mind in interpreting Ephesians 4:11 as well as in determining the value of tongues in this passage, for there are also differences in the value of “the gifts of the Spirit.” Thus the apostle urges these saints to “covet earnestly the best gifts” (v.31). — Stam, page 217.

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