Each One Receives a Gift Individually

imagesFourth, it means that each one receives a gift individually. Paul wrote, “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills” (1 Cor. 12:11, emphasis added). The adjective “individually” (Gk. idios) is “a reference to each one individually.” (Louw-Nida) Thus, the Spirit gives a spiritual ability to each one on an individual basis, and not to the whole church. He gives a spiritual gift for one person and another spiritual gift for another person.

A workman was repairing a stained-glass window when the pastor came along, so they went outside together to admire the workmanship. “That looks very good, but isn’t that piece a bit loose?” asked the pastor.

Just as he finished saying it, a piece of glass dislodged, fell out of the window, and cut the workman’s ear off. “Aughh,” screamed the workman, “I’ve lost my ear.”

Immediately the pastor remembered the way Peter had cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, and how the Lord had healed him, and he thought, “This is my moment. I was born for such a time as this. I can be a man of faith and power.”

He bent down and picked up the ear, held it out to the workman and asked, “Is this your ear?”

“No!” the workman yelled. “That’s not mine! Mine had a pencil behind it.”[1]

The Spirit gives gifts “one by one.” (Robertson/Plummer) He distributes different gifts individually and separately.

[1] Tony Llewellyn, “Sermon Illustrations: Power.” Cited December 28, 2016. Online: http://hotsermons.com/sermon-illustrations/sermon-illustrations-power.html#sthash.AT1fHszO.dpuf

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