The Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 12-14

I plan to teach the fifth and last lesson on The Holy Spirit tomorrow for an adult elective class at The Sanctuary UPC in Hazelwood, Missouri. Mitchell Bland is our pastor.

These lessons are drawn from my newest book, The Holy Spirit: A Commentary. The book was published in 2020 by the Pentecostal Publishing House, and it is available in hardback and as an e-book at It is also available as a Kindle download at and also as an Apple Book. In addition, I discovered this past week that it is available as an audiobook on the Apple Book app.

The study guide for tomorrow’s lesson is posted below, and I plan to post the video from the class by Monday, February 1.

If you are interested  in the previous four study guides and videos, they are all posted on this blog as shown on these dates:

Lesson 1: The study guide was posted on January 2 and the video on January 3.

Lesson 2: The study guide was posted on January 8 and the video on January 10.

Lesson 3: The study guide was posted on January 15 and the video on January 17.

Lesson 4: The study guide was posted on January 22 and the video on January 24.

The Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 12-14

January 31, 2021

Daniel L. Segraves, Teacher

Twitter: @danielsegraves

Beginning at least in I Corinthians 7:1, Paul answered questions from a letter the Corinthians had written to him. Some of their questions required a lengthier response than others, and the most comprehensive seems to be their questions about spiritual gifts. Paul’s answer required three chapters, I Corinthians 12-14.

[2] Paul’s response begins in I Corinthians 12:1. His statement in I Corinthians 12:3 shows that the terms “Spirit of God” and “Holy Spirit” are synonyms: “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” We first discussed this verse in Chapter Two, “The Deity of the Holy Spirit,” and we recommend reading that discussion before moving on to the remaining references to the Holy Spirit in I Corinthians.[1]

[3] Paul’s opening response to the Corinthians’ questions about spiritual gifts continues in I Corinthians 12:4: “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. . . . But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit . . . . But one and the same Spirit works in all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (I Corinthians 12:4, 7-9, 11). The failure to link each of the nine gifts with the Spirit does not mean that those not linked—the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues—do not bear the same relationship to the Spirit as the others. This is a stylistic issue only. As I Corinthians 12:11 has it, “all these things” are the work of “the same Spirit.”

[4] We can also see from this opening summary that each member of Christ’s body is gifted. This is reiterated in the analogy of the human body that follows in I Corinthians 12:12-27. Just as each member of the human body has a specific purpose, so all members of the body of Christ are gifted so as to be equipped for their specific function as it relates to spiritual gifts. This does not mean their only function in the Church is found in the exercise of their spiritual gifts, but it does mean there is a function that can be fulfilled only by their spiritual gifts.

[5] The next time the Spirit is mentioned is in I Corinthians 14:2: “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” Neither the KJV nor the NKJV render the word “spirit” here as “Spirit,” but some translations do. There is nothing in the Greek text to demand one reading or the other, but since one can speak with tongues only as the Spirit gives utterance (Acts 2:4), it seems best to recognize that this is a work of the Holy Spirit. Even though no one can understand what this person is saying—without an interpretation, whether by the exercise of the gift of the interpretation of tongues or by translation given by someone who knows the language being spoken in tongues, as on the Day of Pentecost—it is still useful to the person speaking with tongues.[2] This person is, after all, speaking to God, and that is a good thing.

[6] Since it is more helpful for others to understand what has been spoken in tongues, Paul wrote, “I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied: for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification” (I Corinthians 14:5). We need to keep in mind that the context here is about spiritual gifts, one of which is “different kinds of tongues,” not the speaking with tongues that occurs upon baptism with the Holy Spirit. Although both uses of speaking with tongues may seem the same to those who are first introduced to this practice, a close reading of Scripture indicates this is not so. The speaking with tongues that accompanies Spirit baptism does not conform to the guidelines found in Paul’s discussion of spiritual gifts, and they are not for the same purpose. As it relates to the gift of different kinds of tongues, these languages should be interpreted. Therefore, “let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret” (I Corinthians 14:13). In addition, “If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God” (I Corinthians 14:27-28).

[7] On the Day of Pentecost, at the household of Cornelius, and among the disciples of John the Baptist, no one exercised the gift of the interpretation of tongues—although some present who were not baptized with the Spirit understood the languages spoken—and all who were baptized with the Spirit spoke simultaneously. The speaking with tongues that occurs upon being baptized with the Spirit is the sign that the baptism has taken place. The speaking with tongues when the gift of different kinds of tongues is exercised is for the edification of the church, and this occurs only when the “message” in tongues is interpreted by someone with the gift of the interpretation of tongues. These two gifts together accomplish essentially the same thing as the gift of prophecy.

[8] When we read I Corinthians 14:13-15 together, we see that it is useful to an individual to pray and sing in tongues, just as it is to pray and sing in a language one knows: “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.”

[9] The final reference to the Spirit in I Corinthians is in I Corinthians 15:45, which we discussed in Appendix 3.[3]


  1. Paul’s preaching included the demonstration of the Spirit and power so that the faith of the Corinthians would not be in human wisdom but in the power of God.
  1. The Spirit is a teacher, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things because the natural person cannot comprehend the things of the Spirit of God.
  1. The temple of God is the temple of the Spirit, showing that the Spirit is God and God is the Spirit.
  1. Both the name of the Lord and the Spirit are involved in regeneration.
  2. Much of I Corinthians, beginning at chapter seven, consists of Paul’s answer to a letter written to him by the Corinthians.
  1. Three chapters of I Corinthians are given to instructions on the identity and use of spiritual gifts. The Corinthians had all the gifts, but they abused them in such a way that minimized their effectiveness in edifying the church.

[i]Daniel L. Segraves, The Holy Spirit: A Commentary (Weldon Spring, MO: WAP Academic, 2020), 9.

[2] One of the things that convinced Andrew D. Urshan of the legitimacy of the Pentecostal movement is that he observed Abraham, a young Persian man, fall into a trance after fervent prayer, and then begin to speak fluently in the ancient Syriac language, which he did not know. Urshan, however, knew the language and was able to interpret what Abraham said. See Daniel L. Segraves, Andrew D. Urshan: A Theological Biography (Lexington, KY: Emeth Press, 2017), 38-39.

[3] Segraves, The Holy Spirit, 247-264.

Daily Wisdom 258: Proverbs 12:11

Proverbs 12:11 (NKJV) — 11 He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.

Working and loafing. A person who works diligently will not lack the basic necessities of life. But the person who turns away from honest work for worthless, frivolous pursuits displays a lack of understanding. It is possible to tell much about a person by observing what he does more: working or talking.


My students . . . my peers.

Yesterday’s mail delivered my copy of the hardback Word Aflame Lesson Manual, The Living Word, 2020-2021, Volume 3. All writers who contribute to this project receive a complimentary copy.

As I usually do, I checked to see which lessons I had written. I write lessons somewhere around two years before they are published, so I can’t remember offhand which ones I wrote.

I looked them over, and I noticed something I don’t think I had seen before. I wrote lessons for two quarters, a total of four lessons. Three lessons were for the Winter 2020-2021 quarter. The lessons are titled “Walking in the Light,” “Rejecting the World,” and “Fight the Good Fight of Faith.”

But here’s what I noticed: There were six writers for this quarter, and three of them were students I had the privilege of teaching, one graduate of Christian Life College and two graduates from Urshan Graduate School of Theology. All in all, five of the contributing writers for the entire year were people I had taught.

I am genuinely grateful to our Lord for the opportunity to participate in the writing ministry, and I am thankful that some I have taught have taken up the same mantle. They are no longer my students; they are my peers.

Is writing a calling? This morning I read Robin Johnston’s excellent article “The Spiritual Discipline of Paying Attention” in the January 2021 issue of Pentecostal Life. Dr. Johnston referred to a book he recently read, Andrew T. Le Peau’s Write Better: A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art and Spirituality. The third section of the book is titled “The Spirituality of Writing.” Le Peau asked, “Are people called to write?”

My immediate response is, “Yes!” All Scripture was written by those who were called to write. Specifically, The LORD said to Habakkuk, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2).

As with all other gifts, God gives some people a desire to write, and whenever He gives desire, He also gives ability. (See Philippians 2:13.)

Who knows? Exercise your gift, and you may someday discover that those who have been recipients of that gift are now your peers.

© 2021 by Daniel L. Segraves




Daily Wisdom 257: Proverbs 12:10

Proverbs 12:10 (NKJV) — 10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

The treatment of animals reveals character. A righteous person will regard life wherever it is found, for all life is from God, including the life of animals. This does not mean righteous people will not hunt for food; God created animals and gave them to humanity for food. (See Genesis 9:2-4.) But righteous people treat animals (whether working animals or pets) with respect and dignity. They will see that the animals are fed and properly protected and cared for.

While the righteous person is kind even to animals, the wicked person finds it difficult to be tender and kind in any situation. Even in their attempted expressions of tenderness and mercy they will be cruel.


A big discovery!

From time to time, people ask if my books are available in audio format. I have regretfully told them they were not, except for Reading Between the Lines, which was released in print, e-book, Kindle, Apple Book, and CD formats. But this was at the end of the usefulness of CD technology for audiobooks.

But today, I discovered that my newest book, The Holy Spirit: A Commentary, is available in the audiobook format from Apple Books! All you need to do is tap on the Apple Book icon on your iPhone, iPad, or wherever you access the app. At the bottom of the screen, tap  on “Audiobooks.” Then, tap on “search,” enter “Daniel Segraves,” and the book will come up. If you wish, you can tap on “Preview” to hear a portion of the book before you decide to purchase it.

I’m thankful the book has been made available in this way from the Pentecostal Publishing House.


Daily Wisdom 256: Proverbs 12:9

Proverbs 12:9 (NKJV) — 9 Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, Than he who honors himself but lacks bread.

Humility is better than pride. This verse speaks of those who are lightly esteemed or held in contempt, perhaps because of their humility. If they are able to provide for their needs and have someone to serve them, they are in a much better position than proud people who lack the basic necessities of life. By exalting themselves, they may drive away those who would help them.

Humility tends to draw the right people; pride tends to drive them away. No one was more humble than Jesus, yet He had many willing to serve Him. At the same time, He was despised by those who do not value humility. (See Isaiah 53:3.)


Daily Wisdom 255: Proverbs 12:8

Proverbs 12:8 (NKJV) — 8 A man will be commended according to his wisdom, But he who is of a perverse heart will be despised.

Commended or despised. People will receive commendation according to their wisdom. The wiser they are, the more they will be commended. But if one’s heart is perverse, that person will be despised. Wise people commend wisdom and despise perversity. Those who are perverse will not commend the wise; they will commend the perverse. Thus, what kind of person someone is, is often revealed by what kind of people admire that person and what kind of people that person admires.


The Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 2:1-5, 10-16; 3:16; 6:11, 19; 7:40; 12:1

This coming Sunday, January 24, 2021, I will teach the fourth in a series of lessons about the Holy Spirit at The Sanctuary UPC in Hazelwood, Missouri, where Mitchell Bland is pastor. These lessons are drawn from my book The Holy Spirit: A Commentary, published by the Pentecostal Publishing House. The book is available in hardback and as an e-book at It is available from Amazon as a Kindle download and as an Apple Book.

The study guide for January 24 is posted below. I plan to post the video of the lesson no later than Monday, January 25.

If you would like to read the previous study guides and to see the videos of the lessons, you can do so here on this blog. The study guides and videos were posted on the following dates:

Lesson 1: The study guide was posted on January 2 and the video on January 3.

Lesson 2: The study guide was posted on January 8 and the video on January 10.

Lesson 3: The study guide was posted on January 15 and the video on January 17.

The Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 2:1-5, 10-16; 3:16; 6:11, 19; 7:40; 12:1

January 24, 2021

Daniel L. Segraves, Teacher

Twitter: @danielsegraves

Paul’s ministry was characterized, wherever he went, by the confirmation of the word with signs following. In his letter to the church at Rome, Paul said his ministry to the Gentiles included “word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:18–19). In much the same vein, he wrote to the Corinthians, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (I Corinthians 2:1–5, ESV).

[2] In I Corinthians 2:10–16 Paul interacted with a paraphrase of Isaiah 64:4, which appears in I Corinthians 2:9: “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’” The New Covenant is not characterized by the kind of obscurity to which Isaiah referred. Instead, the Spirit makes the New Covenant an era of revelation:

These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. . . . For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:10–16, ESV)

[3] The comparison in I Corinthians 2:11 between human knowledge and God’s knowledge provides insight on the oneness of God. No man is distinct from or separate from his spirit. One’s spirit is an integral part of who a person is, one’s identity. Likewise, the Spirit of God is essential to who God is, not distinct or separate from God in any way.

[4] The Holy Spirit is a teacher, further confirming that the Spirit is not a force, influence, or merely an attribute of God. To the natural man, that is, a person who is not led by the Spirit, the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness, for they are spiritual.

[5] Paul’s conclusion of this section is remarkably clear: “But we have the mind of Christ.” With its contextual references to the revelatory work of the Spirit, the “mind of Christ” is parallel with the Spirit of God. To have the Spirit of God is to have the mind of Christ, and the mind of Christ is the mind of the LORD.

[6] To compare I Corinthians 3:16 with I Corinthians 6:19 is to see that the term temple of God is synonymous with temple of the Holy Spirit: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16); “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (I Corinthians 6:19).

[7] The role of the Spirit in transformation is seen in I Corinthians 6:11. After identifying the kinds of behavior that bar a person from the kingdom of God, Paul wrote, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Both the name and the Spirit are essential elements of regeneration.

[8] In his response to a letter from the church at Corinth that asked various questions concerning marriage, Paul said a widow “is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment—and I think I also have the Spirit of God” (I Corinthians 7:40). In this chapter, Paul gave his opinion about matters Jesus did not address. (See, e.g., I Corinthians 7:12, 25–26.) In the case of a widow, Paul thought his judgment was in agreement with the Spirit of God. We should keep in mind here that some of Paul’s judgments were influenced by “the present distress” (I Corinthians 7:26). We may not know the nature of this distress, so we should remember that in God’s creative work, He said, “It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Marriage is a gift from God, and even Paul noted that a widow is free to marry (Romans 7:1–3).

[9] The questions from the church in Corinth were not limited to matters of marriage. A clue as to what these questions were and where Paul began to answer them is seen at places in I Corinthians where Paul wrote, “Now concerning.” The first is at I Corinthians 7:1. The second is at I Corinthians 7:25, “Now concerning virgins.” Next is at I Corinthians 8:1, “Now concerning things offered to idols.” Fourth is, “Now concerning spiritual gifts” (I Corinthians 12:1). Fifth, “Now concerning the collection for the saints” (I Corinthians 16:1). Sixth and final is, “Now concerning our brother Apollos” (I Corinthians 16:12).

[10] Some of their questions required a lengthier response than others, and the most comprehensive seems to be their question about spiritual gifts. Paul’s answer requires three chapters, I Corinthians 12–14.

(c) 2021 Daniel L. Segraves


Daily Wisdom 254: Proverbs 12:7

Proverbs 12:7 (NKJV) — 7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand.

The fate of the wicked; the future of the righteous. Continuing the theme of Proverbs 12:2-3, this verse reveals that the wicked will be overthrown. The house they have built will come down. But the structure erected by the righteous will endure. No storm will be able to destroy it.