1 Corinthians 12:1-31
Saturday, 18 December 2021
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” -1Cor.12:1
Ignorance, brings in darkness where as revelation brings in light into the soul of a person. This is the reason Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles, starts this chapter with a striking note pointing towards the ignorance the church had about Spiritual gifts. There are three instances where Paul talks in a similar manner:
Rom. 11:25: For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, ----until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
1Cor.12:1: Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
1Thes.4:13: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, --, even as others which have no hope.
Now the Corinthian church came into formation from a pagan background. So even for spiritual matters, they had their minds tuned to their old customs and practices. There was a lot of light that was needed to be shed in order to bring them to the right understanding and to keep them balanced. Paul brings this to their attention (1Cor.12:2: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.) Ignorance is the rule for many and hence people bow before dumb idols and follow their own perverted imaginations. On the contrary in Christian faith, nothing is left to be decided by the wild imaginations of man, but we have the written Word of God and the beloved Holy Spirit within us to lead us in all the truth.
Even though we have this Wonderful Counselor with us, some are tempted to imagine things of their own and put their foot on to slippery ground. This happens especially regarding the Spiritual gifts. We need to avoid this as this brings in dangerous conclusions and directions in our life.
Clarke defines spiritual gifts as “Gracious endowments, leading to miraculous results . . . these all came by the extraordinary influences of the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus has said about Holy Spirit – ‘He will testify about me’ (John 15:26: But when the Comforter is come, ------, even the Spirit of truth, -- he shall testify of me). Secondly Jesus said ‘He shall glorify me’ (John 16:14: He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.) So the Holy Spirit through the varied gifts testifies and manifests Jesus in our midst with these miraculous and divine interventions.
Another thing to note is that every spiritual gift given to the body of Christ is for the glorification of Jesus. So with these boundaries given to us, we can easily differentiate the true one from the false. God has not called us to be ignorant. Even speaking in unknown tongues is given for the edification of the person and for exaltation of our Lord for we speak mysteries of God. Therefore it is required of us that we understand spiritual gifts and receive from God according to His plan and use it for the glory of God; not for our glorification. All the spiritual gifts given to the Church has one underlying source that is love—1 Corinthians 13 clearly underlines this. If not, we can become selfish and puffed up. Divine love is expressed in all these gifting and love is the path to use the gifts.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I beseech You to give me all the spiritual gifts You intend for me but help me to understand it and operate in it for Your glory. In Jesus name. Amen.