Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
1 Corinthians 12:1 (NLT)
Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this.
One of the greatest tragedies of the modern church is that there is such a poor understanding of spiritual gifts. On the non-Pentecostal/Charismatic side of the fence there is either total ignorance or even worse the false assumption that they no longer exist. On the Pentecostal/Charismatic side we seem to concern ourselves with tongues, thus assuming that is all there is, and therefore we don’t need to know about the others. So we are either totally ignorant or disinterested. What a tragedy! As we will see, according to Paul (and the Holy Spirit), we need to educate ourselves on the things of the Spirit. He wanted the Corinthian church to not only have a firm grasp on what the gifts are, but also how they are to be used. What he doesn’t want us to misunderstand are “Spiritual gifts,” which is one word in the Greek pneumatikon, a word used for the totality of the spiritual gifts. This emphasizes two things: 1) the gifts are supernatural in their essence, and 2) they emanate from the Holy Spirit (Horton, I and II Corinthians). What Paul is trying to stress to them, and therefore us, is that because they are supernatural and from the Spirit we must hold them in the highest esteem. We must not use them in a way that is contrary to the purpose for which they were intended, and we must not use them to draw attention to ourselves (which was a major problem for the Corinthians). The Holy Spirit always wants to honor Jesus and draw our attention away from ourselves and onto Him. Furthermore, since they are supernatural, from the Spirit, and intended to point us to Jesus, we must not be ignorant or misinformed about them. We must study them, understand them, and most of all, use them to their fullest extent. What a slap in the face it must be to both the Holy Spirit and Jesus that we either ignore the gifts they have for us, or show a total lack of concern about them. What are the gifts of the Spirit? How should we use them? What is their purpose? Don’t you think it’s time to find out?