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1 Corinthians 12:5

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Of administrations - Margin, “Ministries.” The word properly denotes “ministries;” so that there are different ranks and grades in the ministries which Christ has appointed, to wit, those specified in 1 Corinthians 12:9-10, 1 Corinthians 12:28.

But the same Lord - This refers evidently to the Lord Jesus, by whom these various orders of ministers were appointed, and under whose control they are; see the note at Acts 1:24; compare Ephesians 4:5. The term “Lord,” when it stands by itself in the New Testament, usually refers to the Lord Jesus, the name by which he was commonly known by the disciples; see John 20:25. The fact also that this stands between the mention of the work of the Spirit 1 Corinthians 12:4 and the work of God 1 Corinthians 12:6, and the fact that to the Lord Jesus appertained the appointment of these various grades of officers in the church (compare Matthew 10:1 ff, and Luke 10:1 ff), is further proof that this refers to him. The design of the verse is, to show that all these offices had their appointment from him; and that since all were his appointment, and all were necessary, no one should be proud of an elevated station; no one should be depressed, or feel himself degraded, because he had been designated to a more humble office.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Spiritual gifts were extraordinary powers bestowed in the first ages, to convince unbelievers, and to spread the gospel. Gifts and graces greatly differ. Both were freely given of God. But where grace is given, it is for the salvation of those who have it. Gifts are for the advantage and salvation of others; and there may be great gifts where there is no grace. The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were chiefly exercised in the public assemblies, where the Corinthians seem to have made displays of them, wanting in the spirit of piety, and of Christian love. While heathens, they had not been influenced by the Spirit of Christ. No man can call Christ Lord, with believing dependence upon him, unless that faith is wrought by the Holy Ghost. No man could believe with his heart, or prove by a miracle, that Jesus was Christ, unless by the Holy Ghost. There are various gifts, and various offices to perform, but all proceed from one God, one Lord, one Spirit; that is, from the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the origin of all spiritual blessings. No man has them merely for himself. The more he profits others, the more will they turn to his own account. The gifts mentioned appear to mean exact understanding, and uttering the doctrines of the Christian religion; the knowledge of mysteries, and skill to give advice and counsel. Also the gift of healing the sick, the working of miracles, and to explain Scripture by a peculiar gift of the Spirit, and ability to speak and interpret languages. If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any power to make it known, we must give all the glory of God. The greater the gifts are, the more the possessor is exposed to temptations, and the larger is the measure of grace needed to keep him humble and spiritual; and he will meet with more painful experiences and humbling dispensations. We have little cause to glory in any gifts bestowed on us, or to despise those who have them not.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Differences of administrations - Διακονιων· Various offices in the Church, such as apostle, prophet, and teacher; under which were probably included bishop or presbyter, pastor, deacon, etc.; the qualifications for such offices, as well as the appointments themselves, coming immediately from the one Lord Jesus Christ.

Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 379.3

God has put men and women in possession of precious gifts. To different ones He has given different gifts. Not all have the same strength of character or the same depth of knowledge. But each one is to use his gifts in the Master's service, however small this gift may seem to be. The faithful steward trades wisely on the goods entrusted to him. UL 379.3

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 53.4

Balance of Differing Minds Necessary—Here we are brought together—of different minds, different education, and different training—and we do not expect that every mind will run right in the same channel; but the question is, Are we, the several branches, grafted into the parent Vine? That is what we want to inquire, and we want to ask teachers as well as students. We want to understand whether we are really grafted into the parent Vine. If we are, we may have different manners, different tones, and different voices. You may view things from one standpoint, and we have ideas different from one another in regard to the Scriptures, not in opposition to the Scriptures, but our ideas may vary. My mind may run in the lines most familiar to it, and another may be thinking and taking a view according to his traits of character, and see a very deep interest in one side of it that others do not see.—Manuscript 14, 1894. 1MCP 53.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 29

The same spirit led the management of the publishing house at Battle Creek to take every step within its power to gain control of the literary products it handled, and this resulted in cutting off a fair royalty income to authors of the books published by the house. In this way the income of the publishing house was enhanced. It was argued that those in positions of management in the publishing house were in a better position to understand the needs of the cause, and know how to use profits which came from literature, than were the individual authors. The authors, they felt, might fall short in proper stewardship of royalty incomes. In several communications, Ellen White, writing to those in positions of management, pointed out that selfishness motivated such plans. Counsel in this area is found in Testimonies for the Church 7:176-180. TM xxix.1

The influence of selfish, grasping methods and the exercise of “kingly power,” as Ellen G. White termed it, were contagious. Elder Olsen, president of the General Conference, in his hope that he could stay the evil work of such influences, made available to the ministers of the church many of the messages of counsel which came to him and other leaders in Battle Creek during this critical period. These messages, published in pamphlet form, were sent out as special instruction to ministers and workers. They were often prefaced by an earnest statement signed by the president of the General Conference or by the Committee. In Elder Olsen's introduction to the second of these numbered pamphlets, written about 1892, he states: TM xxix.2

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