1 Corinthians 12:7-11
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit with.…
By the word "manifestation" is intended the same thing as is set forth in the phrases, "gift," "administration" and in this context, doubtless, the allusion is to miracles. By the phrase, "profit withal," is to be understood, for the advantage of others, i.e., as the context proves, of the Church in the first instance, and then, through the Church, of the world at large. The transition from the miraculous gifts of early times to the graces in which the Spirit is now more commonly manifested, is easy and. appropriate; the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every one of you to profit withal. What, then, are the manifestations of the Spirit which are peculiar to no one age of the Church? There is a manifestation of the Spirit in the miracle of a changed heart, evidenced by a holy life, and by this manifestation of the Spirit, God now speaks to men, and calls upon those thus gifted to profit the brethren. Is a man meek, gentle, longsuffering, temperate, and kind? He is so to use these graces as to profit others. Is a man blessed with joy and peace? He is, through the instrumentality of these gifts, to profit others. Has a man a strong faith? He is to exercise it to the general benefit. Has a man clever and vigorous hope, well grounded on Christ; he is to exercise himself to the general advantage. Is one full of charity? Such a one needs not to be told he is to be solicitous for his fellows. Let us see in what manner this may be done, and let us take the several particulars in the order just enumerated. Is any meek, gentle, longsuffering, temperate, and kind? Let him remember that his example is much needed in an age of retaliation, impatience, and extremes! I will pass on now to consider the case of him who is blessed with joy and peace. And let those who thus are warranted in relying on the favour of God, and who derive an awful joy, and not fear alone, from the contemplation of His holiness, let such love to recollect how they may profit the Church by speaking of their own consolation to the mourning penitent. Have you the gift of faith? It is that yon may profit others. First, by its instrumentality in keeping your spiritual life vigorous, whereby you may be an example in all things. One holy example is better than a thousand sermons. The former may convince, the latter must. But there is another way in which we are called upon to exercise our faith to the advantage of all. Faith alone can give our prayers audience in the presence chamber of Divinity. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much; but prayer is not, cannot be effectual unless it be the prayer of faith. Pray for the conversion of sinners, and the good estate of the Church through the guidance of her great and glorified Head, Christ Jesus. So those whose hope is strong will do well to let their conviction that they are walking humbly with their God incite them to build others up in the same reverent confidence; while those whose love comes up to the gospel's standard will be fain to benefit others; nay, in benefiting others it is that this manifestation of the Spirit is made. He who believes, and he who hopes, may forget that the Body is not one member, but; many; and so they may come to forget that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to them to profit others; but he who loves cannot forget this; hence "love is the fulfilling of the law." Hence, charity is the chiefest grace, the most valuable for time, no less than the only one needed in eternity! He who loves is using the gift of grace for the general good; he is a living member of the Body of Christ.
(A. Watson, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.