1 Corinthians 12:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 12:7, NIV: Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

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

1 Corinthians 12:7, KJV: But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

1 Corinthians 12:7, NASB: But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:7, NLT: A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

1 Corinthians 12:7, CSB: A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good:

What does 1 Corinthians 12:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul does not want the Corinthians to misunderstand the truth about spiritual gifts. He seems to be answering a question from them, written in a letter that has since been lost (1 Corinthians 7:1). Some speculate their question revealed a misunderstanding: that some Christians were given gifts while others were not, because "gifted" Christians were more spiritual than others.

Paul is making clear that this is a false idea. First, he has shown that every Christian is spiritual because every Christian has the Spirit with them (1 Corinthians 12:3). Next, he pointed out that the spiritual gifts are not about enriching the people who receive them. Spiritual gifts are about God's power at work through the Holy Spirit and under the authority of Christ. In other words, spiritual gifts do not make some people more important or impressive than others.

Now he adds two more ideas. First, each believer is given some manifestation of the Spirit. What does that mean? What is a spiritual gift, anyway? One way to describe a spiritual gift is the ability to do something that is beyond the normal human capacity. In other words, a spiritual gift is a specific supernatural ability. This does not mean something the secular world would call a superpower, or a magical skill. However, that gift "manifests" itself in the life of a Christian, often becoming noticeable to other people. Paul will list some of those abilities in the following verses.

The other revelation in this verse is that these gifts are given to Christians, all Christians, by God for the common good. The purpose of the gifts is to build up the church, to serve other Christians.