1 Corinthians 12:5
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
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12:1-11 Spiritual gifts were extraordinary powers bestowed in the first ages, to convince unbelievers, and to spread the gospel. Gifts and graces greatly differ. Both were freely given of God. But where grace is given, it is for the salvation of those who have it. Gifts are for the advantage and salvation of others; and there may be great gifts where there is no grace. The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were chiefly exercised in the public assemblies, where the Corinthians seem to have made displays of them, wanting in the spirit of piety, and of Christian love. While heathens, they had not been influenced by the Spirit of Christ. No man can call Christ Lord, with believing dependence upon him, unless that faith is wrought by the Holy Ghost. No man could believe with his heart, or prove by a miracle, that Jesus was Christ, unless by the Holy Ghost. There are various gifts, and various offices to perform, but all proceed from one God, one Lord, one Spirit; that is, from the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the origin of all spiritual blessings. No man has them merely for himself. The more he profits others, the more will they turn to his own account. The gifts mentioned appear to mean exact understanding, and uttering the doctrines of the Christian religion; the knowledge of mysteries, and skill to give advice and counsel. Also the gift of healing the sick, the working of miracles, and to explain Scripture by a peculiar gift of the Spirit, and ability to speak and interpret languages. If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any power to make it known, we must give all the glory of God. The greater the gifts are, the more the possessor is exposed to temptations, and the larger is the measure of grace needed to keep him humble and spiritual; and he will meet with more painful experiences and humbling dispensations. We have little cause to glory in any gifts bestowed on us, or to despise those who have them not.Of administrations - Margin, "Ministries." The word properly denotes "ministries;" so that there are different ranks and grades in the ministries which Christ has appointed, to wit, those specified in 1 Corinthians 12:9-10, 1 Corinthians 12:28.

But the same Lord - This refers evidently to the Lord Jesus, by whom these various orders of ministers were appointed, and under whose control they are; see the note at Acts 1:24; compare Ephesians 4:5. The term "Lord," when it stands by itself in the New Testament, usually refers to the Lord Jesus, the name by which he was commonly known by the disciples; see John 20:25. The fact also that this stands between the mention of the work of the Spirit 1 Corinthians 12:4 and the work of God 1 Corinthians 12:6, and the fact that to the Lord Jesus appertained the appointment of these various grades of officers in the church (compare Matthew 10:1 ff, and Luke 10:1 ff), is further proof that this refers to him. The design of the verse is, to show that all these offices had their appointment from him; and that since all were his appointment, and all were necessary, no one should be proud of an elevated station; no one should be depressed, or feel himself degraded, because he had been designated to a more humble office.

5, 6. "Gifts" (1Co 12:4), "administrations" (the various functions and services performed by those having the gifts, compare 1Co 12:28), and "operations" (the actual effects resulting from both the former, through the universally operative power of the one Father who is "above all, through all, and in us all"), form an ascending climax [Henderson, Inspiration].

same Lord—whom the Spirit glorifies by these ministrations [Bengel].

There are divers offices or ministries in the church of God; one ministereth in the office of an elder, another in the office of a deacon; one in one service of the church, another in another service; but there is but one Lord to whom they minister; they all serve the great Lord of the church, Jesus Christ, though in divers orders and places of ministration.

And there are differences of administrations,.... Or ministries; offices in the church, ministered in by different persons, as apostles, prophets, pastors, or teachers and deacons; who were employed in planting and forming of churches, ordaining elders, preaching the word, administering ordinances, and taking care of the poor; for which different gifts were bestowed on them, they not all having the same office.

But the same Lord; meaning either Jesus Christ, whom the believer, by the Holy Ghost, says is Lord; who, as the ascended King of saints, and Lord and head of the church, appoints different offices and officers in it; and having received, gives gifts unto them, qualifying them for the same; all which comes through the same hand, and not another's; or rather the Lord, the Spirit, who calls men to these several ministrations, separates and fits them for them, and constitutes and installs them into them, and assists them in the discharge of them; since he only, and all along, is spoken of in the context as the efficient of these several things.

And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:5-6. Continuation of the representation of the difference and yet relative unity of the χαρίσματα, illustrated in two characteristic forms of their action, in so far, namely, as they present themselves practically as διακονίαι and as ἐνεργήματα. These are not merely different names for the charismata (as the Greek Fathers held), nor yet distinct species of them (Estius and others), but different forms of expression in which they show themselves and appear to the observer.

And there are distributions of services, but it is the same Lord (Christ as Lord of the church) who is served thereby. To make the διακονίαι refer to the specific offices in the church, 1 Corinthians 12:28 (Beza, Grotius, Estius, Olshausen, and many others), is to narrow the meaning too much; for in accordance with the first sentence, and in accordance generally with the comprehensive scope of the whole three sentences, all charismata must be meant, in so far, namely, as all, according to the relation of their exercise to Christ, manifest themselves as services rendered.—“And there are distributions of workings (deeds of power), but it is the same God who works them all (ἐνεργήματα) in all (in all who are acting in the power of the Spirit).” Ἐνεργ. is as little to be taken in a special sense here as διακ. in the previous sentence; it is neither to be referred to the working of miracles alone (so most interpreters on the ground of 1 Corinthians 12:10, where, however, it is joined with δυνάμ.). nor to the healings of the sick (so Olshausen, quite arbitrarily). No, all charismata may manifest their operation in deeds (comp on ἘΝΕΡΓΉΜΑΤΑ, Polyb. ii. 42. 7, iv. 8. 7; Diod. iv. 51), whether these may be miraculous or not.


The Divine Trinity is here indicated in an ascending climax (comp on Ephesians 4:6), in such a way that we pass from the Spirit, who bestows the gifts, to the Lord, who is served by means of them, and finally to God, who, as the absolute First Cause and Possessor of all Christian powers, works the entire sum of charismatic deeds in all who are gifted. This passage has always (from Chrysostom and Theodoret onwards) been rightly adduced in opposition to anti-Trinitarian error (comp too Calovius against the Socinians); but it is to be observed also here, that with all the equality of nature and inseparable unity (2 Corinthians 13:13) of the Three, still no dogmatic canon can do away with the relation of subordination which is also manifest. Comp Gess, v. d. Person Christi, p. 158 f.; Kahnis, Dogm. III. p. 206 ff.

5. differences] The Greek word is the same in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6. It is used in the Septuagint (1 Chronicles 26:1; 1 Chronicles 8:14; Ezra 6:18) of the divisions or courses of the Priests and Levites.

administrations] Rather, as margin, ministeries, i.e. services rendered to Christ and His members by His disciples. Wiclif’s rendering is, and dyuerse seruyces ther ben, but it is al oo Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:5. Διακονιῶν, of ministrations) 1 Corinthians 12:28.—ὁ δὲ αὐτὸς Κύριος, but the same Lord) The Son of God whom the Holy Ghost glorifies by those ministers.

Verse 5. - Administrations. Different individuals render different services, and even apply the same gifts in different ways, as we see in Romans 12:6-8. The same Lord. Who, as Head of the Church, directs all ministries and assigns all functions. 1 Corinthians 12:5
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