For the common good.
October 27, 2019
For the common good
Chapters 12-14 :what it means to be spiritual and how believers should exercise their gifts in the congregation.
They illustrated a variety of ways that the Spirit manifested Himself in the Corinthian congregation at that time.
The emphasis in chapter 12 is on the Spirit and His work to build up the one body using a variety of gifts.
The Spirit reveals Himself in the gifts. They involve public, observable actions and speech.
The Spirit has one role: to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by making Him known.
Limit the scope to how they operated in the church at Corinth during the first century AD.
Hold the question of whether these gifts have ceased operating until Paul addresses it in chapter 13.
Accept that Paul gives very little information about the nature of these gifts.
We can’t assume that the practice of these gifts today has anything in common with how they operated in Corinth in the first century.
Verse 7 captures everything that Paul wanted to get across to them about the exercise of spiritual gifts in the congregation.
Who? Each one. Not a privileged few.
How? By grace. God graciously gives them.
What? The manifestation of the Spirit.
Why? For the common good.
Let’s now see some of the manifestations of the Spirit in evidence in the church at Corinth in the first century AD.
Paul created this list to address the situation in Corinth.
Each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
A majority (6 out of 9) of these gifts related to speech.
The Greek text divides these 9 gifts
allo means another of the same kind;
The word of wisdom and the word of knowledge go together.
These next five gifts are grouped together.
They showed that there were a variety of other gifts besides the ones the Corinthians highly prized.
Faith, gifts of healing, and the effecting of miracles were sign gifts.
It’s not at all clear what role these sign gifts played in the congregation at Corinth.
Prophecy can be summed up in four words:
The gift of tongues was unique.
It was part sign gift, but also a private gift. And - in a very limited manner - a revelatory (speaking) gift.
Prophecy and tongues each needed a corresponding gift to regulate their use.
This gift of tongues is not mentioned in any of the other New Testament letter besides 1 Corinthians.
In verses 7-11, Paul highlights the Spirit. through the Spirit, according to, by the same, the one Spirit.
The message here ? DON’T make a big deal out of the gifts themselves.
The Spirit enables all of the gifts to work together to accomplish His purpose.
Paul won’t give any details at all about the nature of these gifts until chapter 14.
He takes for granted that the gifts are at work in the congregation at Corinth, in a public fashion.
In the variety of gifts, we see one God at work in the body for His purpose and pleasure.