Call to Worship November 1 2020

Thoughts on 1 Corinthians 12:1-13

As previously noted there was contention regarding authority issues and with the Lord’s Supper at the church in Corinth. Then Paul turned his focus in the letter to another pressing matter, which concerned spiritual gifts. Paul laid a foundation for thinking through the subject of spiritual gifts before he gave any explanation of the gifts. His thought regarded their foundation in the Triune God. He reminded Corinthian believers of their past in worshipping idols with mouths that could not speak. Yet by the power of the Holy Spirit all believers were enabled to proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord. Furthermore, those who were changed by the same Spirit would not speak against Christ as one who is accursed. Those who had once extoled glory to speechless idols were now the worshippers of the true God, who spoke through His Word (vs. 1-3).

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. (1 Cor. 12:4-6 NAU)

The Spirit and His work could not be separated from the will of the Father and the Person and work of the Lord Jesus. No matter the type of gift or the personality of the person with the gift, it’s the one true God in three persons who is the focus of the spiritual gifts. Often people are more interested in finding a spiritual gift, rather than concentrating on the purpose and foundation of the spiritual gift. God established these gifts to bring glory to Himself in the Trinitarian work of salvation, not for people to make themselves the center of attention. God alone has granted gifts to believers in the church and enabled them to use those gifts for His glory.

11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:11-13 NAU)

Paul used the oneness of God as an illustration with regard to the functioning of the spiritual gifts. The gifts function inside the one body of Christ. Christ is the central focus of the church so the gifts must give glory to Him while used among the body, especially since it is the Holy Spirit who enables the gifts designed by the Father to bring glory through the Son to Himself. There are many members with several gifts, yet the body is not to be divided over the gifts or their uses in the church. These gifts, no matter their function, all have the same single-mindedness. They are to bring glory to God for saving His people through the work of His one and only Son the Lord Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. No matter the type of gift granted by God through the Spirit, the emphasis is all the same-Soli Deo Gloria!