Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thoughts on Spiritual Gifts!

I was reading 1 Corinthians 12 today and a few things jumped out at me:

29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

No is the answer to those statements. Not everyone gets each gift since all gifts are given according to Gods sovereign will (see v18).

We are to seek the higher gifts that build up the body of Christ!

The issue Paul is dealing with here and one that is still quite prevalent in the Charismatic church is the gift of tongues or rather it's over emphasis. Clearly from this text not everyone has the gift. The higher gifts are those that build up the body. Since tongues is largely a personal gift unless brought publicly with interpretation it should not be considered a higher gift here.

Paul of course then goes on to explain that ALL of them without a spirit of Love motivating their use are worthless and that is the most important issue to consider.

It is so easy for us to get carried away with certain gifts we see as more important that it can make people with less obvious gifts feel second rate. This chapter 12 stands against that and we should always check ourselves against both chapters 12 & 13 regularly to see if we are in line with scripture.

Most of all remember that it is God we seek first and foremost not His gifts. God is our ultimate treasure to be sought after!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Anonymous said...

Everyone can speak in tongues, everyone should speak/sing in the spirit everyday. This is something that is most definitely under emphasied in the church. The whole 'I don't have the gift' is a lie from the pit that needs to be thrown out asap. There also needs to be more corporate singing in the spirit.


Andrew said...

James any argument must be supported in scripture. I didn't say don't ask for gifts or seek them but that all gifts fall under Gods sovereignty. Ergo in Pauls argument not everyone gets every gift including tongues. Read Chapter 14 where Paul details his thinking on tongues!

Mark@3-fold said...

Very well said Andrew! The misrepresentation/misuse of tongues within the charismatic church has definitely caused a great deal of division, as well as confusion. Many have equated to tongues to some sort of hyper-sovereignty, which has left many believers disillusioned, not to mention disenfranchised. A comprehensive Holy-Spirit led study through the book of Acts, and I Corinthians would clear this up for most believers.

Thank you for putting this up!

Three-Fold Cord---Meditations on God