Friday, December 7, 2012

1 Corinthians 12

But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them as he chose.
   1 Corinthians 12:18

The twelfth chapter of first Corinthians talks about spiritual gifts in the context of the body. Paul develops one of the most important Christian doctrine in this chapter. It is expressed in verse seven, "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." The body of Christ includes all those who God has saved, is saving, and will save. This chapter we are studying says that each one of us has a spiritual gift (most more than one). These spiritual gifts are given to us by the Holy Spirit and empowered by God. The gifts are given for the common good. The gifts are for us to help each other. Verse eleven says "All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills."(ESV) The body of Christ is one body with different parts, Paul compare it to the human body, all the parts are different but taken together make a whole. The spiritual gifts we have are given so that we might be able to help another member or part of the body. It is not given so that the individual might feel superior as some of the Corinthians did. It is not given to exalt the person with the gift. It is given to be utilized to help other Christians. God is the one who empowers the gifts. The member of the body does not empower the gift. Just as we have learned earlier the glory of God is the ultimate reason and the final destiny of creation. The manifestation of the spiritual gifts to the body of Christ is for that reason also.

When we gather together to worship God, everyone does not preach, everyone does not teach, but everyone can pray, everyone can make a point to express genuine concern and love for one another, when we gather after worship to eat a meal and share in fellowship, just as God empowers the preached Word to touch each of our spirits in an encouraging way, He also empowers our fellowship in ways that causes us to greet, encourage, edify one another. That is the common good. Our prayer are empowered by the Spirit so that they are in line with the will of God and they are for the common good as well. We are encouraged to pray by the Holy Spirit for this very reason, God wants us to pray, because we will pray for the common good. It is a mystery but the Scriptures are clear that God somehow uses our prayers to carry out His Sovereign will.

It is important for us to use our gifts and to remember they are for the common good.


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