What does it mean in 1 Cor 12:29 when it says that not all are apostles, prophets, or teachers, and that not everyone has the power to work miracles?


1 Corinthians 12:29

ESV - 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

Clarify Share Report Asked January 13 2017 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The passage cited in the question is part of an extended analogy by Paul starting at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 12.

Paul is saying that, in the same way that the human body has parts that are different from one another, but that all make essential individual contributions that are uniquely their own to the health and functioning of the body as a whole, the members of Christ's "body" (that is, the church) have received a variety of individual gifts (abilities and talents) from the Holy Spirit, the full use of which by each member is essential to the functioning of the church as a whole in the manner that God intends.

He then emphasizes this point by indicating (in the verse cited in the question), through the use of rhetorical questions, that it is evident that none of these individual gifts or abilities (that is, attributes such as faith, wisdom, and knowledge, or the ability to serve effectively as apostles, prophets, teachers, performers of miracles, healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in other languages, or interpreters of those languages) is possessed by every member of the congregation, or that no one individual member possesses all of them, but that each of these gifts has been selectively bestowed among the individual members at the discretion of God the Holy Spirit, and that the full participation of all members in using their individual gifts is therefore essential to producing the greatest overall cumulative benefits for the congregation as a whole.

January 14 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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