John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 12:9 - 12:9

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John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 12:9 - 12:9


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1Co 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, 1Co 12:8, and 1Co 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. 1Co 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. 1Co 14:37); Rom 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, Mat 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, Eph 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, Act 5:15; Act 19:12; Act 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.