1 Corinthians 12:9
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
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(9) Faith.—This cannot mean the faith which is necessary to salvation, for that belongs to all Christians; but such faith as is mentioned in Matthew 17:20, Luke 17:6, the results of such a faith being here enlarged, and not embracing miracles alone, but prophecy and the discerning of spirits. In the Greek “the word of wisdom” is said to be given by the Spirit; “the word of knowledge “according to the Spirit; and “the faith and gift of healing” in the Spirit. By the use of this variety of expression the Apostle probably means to indicate the variety of methods of operation of the Spirit, as well as the diversity of the gifts which He lavishes.

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.To another faith - Another shall he distinguished for simple confidence in God; and his endowment is also given by the same Spirit. Many of the most useful people in the church are distinguished mainly for their simple confidence in the promises of God; and often accomplish more by prayer and by their faith in God than others do who are distinguished for their wisdom and learning. Humble piety and reliance in the divine promises, and that measure of ardor, fearlessness, and zeal which result from such confidence; that belief that all obstacles must be and will be overcome that oppose the gospel; and that God will secure the advancement of his cause, will often do infinitely more in the promotion of his kingdom than the most splendid endowments of learning and talent. Indeed, if a man were disposed to do good on the widest scale possible, to do the utmost that he possibly could in saving people, he would best accomplish it by seeking simple "faith" in God's aid and promises, and then under the influence of this, engage with ardor in doing what he could. Faith is one of the highest endowments of the Christian life; and yet, though all may obtain it, it is one of the rarest endowments. Perhaps by many it is despised, because it may be obtained by all; because it is a grace in which the poor and the humble may be as much distinguished as the man of splendid talents and profound learning.

To another the gifts of healing - See Mark 16:18. This was promised to the disciples of the Saviour; and in the early church was conferred on many; compare Acts 5:12, Acts 5:15-16; Acts 19:12. It would seem from this passage that the gift of healing was conferred on some in a more eminent degree than on others.

9. faith—not of doctrines, but of miracles: confidence in God, by the impulse of His Spirit, that He would enable them to perform any required miracle (compare 1Co 13:2; Mr 11:23; Jas 5:15). Its nature, or principle, is the same as that of saving faith, namely, reliance on God; the producing cause, also, in the same,' namely, a power altogether supernatural (Eph 1:19, 20). But the objects of faith differ respectively. Hence, we see, saving faith does not save by its instrinsic merit, but by the merits of Him who is the object of it.

healing—Greek plural, "healings"; referring to different kinds of disease which need different kinds of healing (Mt 10:1).

To another, he saith, is given faith: by which cannot be understood that faith which is common to all Christians, for he is speaking of such gifts as were given to some Christians, not to all; he must therefore mean, either a faith of miracles, that is, a persuasion that God would work a miracle in this or that case, or a great knowledge in the matters of faith, or a great confidence and boldness in the discharge of their office.

To another the gifts of healing, of healing diseases miraculously, without the application of ordinary rational medicines.

To another faith by the same Spirit,.... Not the grace of faith, which is common to all believers, though given by the same Spirit: but rather the doctrine of faith, and ability to preach it, and boldness and intrepidity of spirit to assert and defend it in the face of all opposition; all which are from the Spirit of God, and are more or less given to pastors and teachers, the third office in the church. Though generally this is understood of a faith of working miracles, as in 1 Corinthians 13:2 but the working of miracles is mentioned afterwards as distinct, unless it can be thought that this is the general name for miracles, and the rest that follow the particulars of them.

To another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; of healing all manner of sicknesses and diseases: this power Christ gave his disciples, when he first sent them out to preach the Gospel, and which he repeated when he renewed and enlarged their commission after his resurrection; and which was exercised with effect, sometimes only by overshadowing the sick with their shadows, as by Peter, Acts 5:15 sometimes by, laying hands on them, as the father of Publius, and others, were healed by Paul, Acts 28:8 and sometimes by anointing with oil, James 5:14. Now these gifts were bestowed in common, by the Spirit, on apostles, prophets, and pastors, or elders of the church, in those early times: the Alexandrian copy, and the Vulgate Latin version, read, "by one Spirit".

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1 Corinthians 12:9. Ἑτέρῳ] not ἄλλῳ again, because introducing another class which differs in kind from the preceding one. Comp on Galatians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Matthew 16:14.

ΠΊΣΤΙς] cannot be the fides salvifica in general, seeing that this is a possession common to all and required of every Christian, not a peculiar charisma of certain individuals. Hence it has been understood by most commentators, following the Fathers (see in Suicer, Thes. II. p. 727), to refer to the fides miraculosa, Matthew 17:20. But this is clearly too narrow a meaning, since not only the ἰάματα and ΔΥΝΆΜΕΙς are ranked under this head, but also the ΠΡΟΦΗΤΕΊΑ and the ΔΙΑΚΡΊΣΕΙς ΠΝΕΥΜ. What is intended, therefore, must be a high degree of faith in Christ produced by the Holy Spirit, a heroism of faith,[1949] the effects of which manifested themselves in one in healings, in another in wonders, in a third in prophecy (Romans 12:6), in a fourth in discernment of spirits.

ἘΝ Τῷ ΑὐΤῷ ΠΝ.] in the same Spirit, so that, contained in this Spirit, the χάρισμα is given, and the Spirit thus includes in Himself the gift.

ΧΑΡΊΣΜ. ἸΆΜ.] gifts, through means of which healings are effected. The instances in the Acts of the Apostles show that this does not mean natural skill, but cures wrought by spiritual power upon bodily maladies (miraculous cures). Comp Mark 16:18; Acts 4:30. It does not, however, exclude the application of natural means in connection with the power that wrought the cure (Mark 7:33; Mark 8:23; John 9:6, al[1951]; Jam 5:14). The plural χαρίσματα points to the different kinds of sickness, for the healing of which different gifts were needful.[1952]

[1949] “Ardentissima et praesentissima apprehensio Dei in ipsius potissimum voluntate, ad effectus vel in naturae vel in gratiae regno singulariter conspicuos.”—BENGEL.

[1951] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[1952] As Baur rationalizes all these charismata: πίστις being, according to him, a peculiarly strong faith in Divine Providence; the χάρισμα ἰαμάτων being the gift of praying with special power and fervency for the sick, with more or less confident promise of recovery, if it please God; and the ἐνεργήμ. δυνάμ. being proofs of extraordinary mental fortitude and energy in the interests of Christianity.

9. faith] Not the rudimentary principle which was the essential condition of all Christian life, but that higher realization of things Divine which enables a man to remove mountains (St Matthew 17:20; ch. 1 Corinthians 13:2).

the gifts of healing] As in St Mark 16:18; Acts 3:7-8; Acts 5:15-16; Acts 9:34; Acts 19:11-12; St James 5:14-15.

1 Corinthians 12:9. Πίστις, faith) The faith here spoken of is not that, which is common to all the saints, but it is a peculiar gift, and distinguished too from the four species, which immediately follow; and yet it is joined more with them, than with that first and third genus of gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:8, and 1 Corinthians 12:10 at the end. This faith then is a very earnest and vividly-present apprehension of God, chiefly in regard to His will, as to the effects, that are particularly conspicuous either in the kingdom of nature or of grace; therefore it is connected with the operation of the miraculous powers, ch. 1 Corinthians 13:2 (of which the principal, because the most useful to others, was the power of curing diseases), and with prophecy (to which the discerning of spirits was closely related, ch. 1 Corinthians 14:37); Romans 12:6. And from this description, which we have now given, it is evident, how common or saving faith, and miraculous faith, which is a peculiar gift, may either agree or differ, how the one may, or may not be, without the other, and either of them may, or may not be, without love. Men even without righteousness and love may have an intelligent perception of the omnipotent will of God in Christ, Matthew 7:22 : but none but holy men can apprehend the will of God reconciled to us in Christ: and in these things [as respects this apprehension] there is not one faith working miracles, another saving faith, but one and the same faith. In its first act it always has a miraculous power; for it is something entirely supernatural, Ephesians 1:19, although not always in such a degree, or on such a particular occasion, as that it should exert itself conspicuously; see Note on Chrys. de Sacerd., § 416.—χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων, gifts of healing) “Not only miraculous cures are meant, Acts 5:15; Acts 19:12; Acts 28:8, but also the gracious blessing on the cure of the sick, by natural remedies; as it cannot be denied, that some physicians are more fortunate than others, which should be attributed not merely to their skill, but especially to Divine grace;” E. Schmidius. This remark may also be applied to other gifts; for as the king of Judah substituted shields of brass for those of gold, which had been lost; so after the Church lost what were purely gifts, grace still lends its aid more secretly beneath the guise of human efforts and instrumentalities, and that too the more abundantly, in proportion as the more opportunity is given to it.

Verse 9. - To another. Various attempts have been made to classify the gifts thus enumerated, as:

1. Intellectual.

(1) The word of wisdom;

(2) the word of knowledge.

2. Pertaining to exalted faith (tides miraculosa).

(1) Healings;

(2) miracles;

(3) preaching;

(4) discrimination of spirits.


(1) Tongues; and

(2) their interpretation.

These attempts are not very successful. St. Paul probably uses the phrases "to one" and "to another" (α}λλῳ δὲ... ἑτέρῳ δὲ) merely for variety of style (as in Hebrews 11:35, 36), with no very definite classification in view, as he does not mention all the charisma (see ver. 28). Faith. Faith in its highest energy, as a supernatural power; the faith that removes mountains (Matthew 17:19, 20). The gifts of healing. Not, that is, by medical knowledge, but by supernatural power (Mark 16:18; Acts 5:15, 16; James 5:14, 15). 1 Corinthians 12:9Faith

Not saving faith in general, which is the common endowment of all Christians, but wonder-working faith.

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