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Among the problems in the church at Corinth was the abuse of spiritual gifts.

Ignorance as to the purpose of the gifts, coupled with selfish pride led to such abuse. One

particular gift being abused was the gift of speaking in tongues. Some brethren

apparently gave more honor to this gift, consequently giving less honor to other spiritual


In this section of study, we see Paul emphasizing the purpose of spiritual gifts by

illustrating the proper relationship between these gifts and the body of Christ (chapter

12), and their intended goal of edification (14:5, 12, 26). In order to reach this end, Paul

stresses the proper attitude and action that should accompany the gifts: love (Chapter 13).


A. The origin of the gifts (1211-6)

B. The list of the miraculous gifts (1217-11).

C. The One body into which all are baptized (12:12-23)

D. The Many Members (12:14-30).

1. The many functions of the body (v. 14-18)

2. The mutual need of the members (v. 19-21)

3. The importance of all the members (v. 22-26)

4. Members functioning with distinct gifts (V. 27-30).

E. Spiritual gifts and love (12:31-13:13).

1. The necessity of love (12:31 — 13:13)

2. The nature of love (1314-7)

3. The permanence of love (1318-13).

F. The contrast between gifts of prophecy and tongues (14:1-40)

1. In purpose (v. 1-5)

2. In understanding — Edification (v. 6-20).

3. ln Evangelism (v. 21-25)

4. In God’s regulations (v. 26-40)


1. The Gentiles in Corinth had been led away in times past by idols? Why are idols described in this way?

2. What two absolutes does Paul give in connection with one “speaking in the Spirit”? Why was such a standard needed?

3. List and briefly describe the miraculous spiritual gifts:

4. The gifts were distributed according to whose will?

5. Does Paul use the term “members” to represent denominations making up the one body? Please explain your answer.

6. What was the purpose of God in tempering or blending together the members of the body?

7. How do we know that tongues speaking was never the sign from heaven that one has been saved?

8. What was “a most excellent way” Paul would show the brethren?

9. If we do great things, but without love, what are we? How can you know you are doing things out of love?

10. Explain what love DOES:

11. Explain what loved DOES NOT DO:

12. What two ways does Paul describe the spiritual gifts as being temporary?

13. Define and explain the word “perfect” and how it is used in 12:10:

14. Of the three things that abide, why is love the greatest?

15. What gifts should be desired above tongue speaking? Why?

16. What was the goal for using the spiritual gifts?

17. When could tongue speaking ever be edifying to the assembly?

18. When a man spoke in tongues, did he understand what he said?

19. What statement by Paul shows that true tongue speaking was not a “heavenly language” or “ecstatic utterances”?

20. What does Paul mean by tongues being a sign to unbelievers and not believers?

21. Were the people with the gift of tongues all to speak at once?

22. What statements show that the people with miraculous gifts could control their use?

23. What were the women forbidden to do in these assemblies?  Who were these women?

24. Paul’s instructions were the ____________________ of the _________________.  Why does Paul emphasize this fact?

25. From Paul’s summation in verse 39, what was he forbidding?