1 Corinthians 12:28-31
And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings…
These which were so highly valued by the Corinthians are now no longer found in the Church, but there are other endowments to which all may lawfully aspire, so long as they are not substituted for the more excellent way.
I. THE POWER OF POPULAR ADDRESS — the faculty of arresting attention and of exciting at will emotions of fear, hope, trust, joy, is indeed a commanding quality.
II. THE LITERARY GIFT — the ability to inform the understanding, direct the judgment, by means of the press.
III. THE INFLUENCE OF A WINSOME MANNER, We meet with some, chiefly, though not exclusively, of the gentler sex, who, by the exercise of peculiar tact, charm, and grace, obtain access to rude and rugged hearts, which refused to yield to all ordinary influences. Conclusion:
1. It may be said that these are natural gifts, and do not depend on cultivation. But here the rule holds good, "to him that hath shall be given." The man of moderate powers, by diligence rises above the expectations of his friends, while the man of genius often disappoints them.
2. The precept directs us to form a due estimate of the value, of these gifts, and our responsibility for the use of them, and cautions us not to depreciate or exaggerate gifts of which we have a very limited portion.
3. These gifts are not the essential characteristics of Christ's kingdom; however slender may be our pretensions to the possession of any of them, we may all pursue the more excellent way.
(W. Webster, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.