Bible Reading Day 246

by markburlinson

Day 246: September 3 (1 Corinthians 12)

Good morning !

Today Paul turns from correcting error to directly teaching what is right, and his focus is spiritual gifts. The Corinthian church had gone overboard on spiritual gifts so that much of Paul’s teaching in this chapter is designed to correct and refocus their enthusiasm for spiritual things. It is wise to seek spiritual gifts, but foolish to exalt them above the other gifts God gives, especially His Word. The ideal is to unite the scripture with the operation of the Holy Spirit’s gifts.

Paul begins by stating something that seems obvious to us, but which must have been twisted in Corinth: no-one can curse Jesus if they are speaking by the Holy Spirit, and no-one can say Jesus is Lord unless the Holy Spirit helps them. This helps us to pray for those we know need to confess Jesus as Lord of their lives: “Holy Spirit I invite you to help _____ to confess Jesus as Lord.”

Then Paul describes the range of gifts, ministries, and works of God, which are given to the people of God so that God can work through them. Notice that the purpose of these gifts is for us to help one another (and not to compete with one another)!

So the gifts Paul lists are ‘manifestations’ of the Holy Spirit’s presence. These are not permanent talents or individual qualifications, but specific indications that the Holy Spirit is present and working. As you read the list in verses 8 through 10, ask yourself if you have seen each gift given by God to you or someone else.

These gifts are given for the purpose of equipping the body of Christ for the work of God. And just as a body has many parts, so we are ALL essential to the functioning of Christ’s body. Whether you consider yourself a minor or a major part is irrelevant; every part is needed and has a part to play. As God’s giftings grow and are manifested in our lives, we grow into the part of the body God intends us to be.

God plans how His body will be equipped, and He gives the roles listed in verse 28. These are not positions of power, or marks of achievement, but gifts of God to the whole body. We all need the Spirit’s power at work in us to make us useful to others and helping us fulfill the role God has designed.

Have a great day!
Mark.

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