God’s Glory–the One God

Pray:

Lord, thank You that You love not because of what I accomplish, but because I am Yours.

 

Read: 1 CORINTHIANS 12:1-11

[1] Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. [2] You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. [3] Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. [4] There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. [5] There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. [6] There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. [7] Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. [8] To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, [9] to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, [10] to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. [11] All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

 

Reflect: Who decides how the gifts are dispersed?

Paul has already addressed the pagan worship practiced by the Corinthians in chapters 8 to 10, but now he returns to it (2). Ancient religions embraced a variety of gods for different occasions and needs–“mute idols.” Christians, however, by rejecting old ways of thinking, declare a radically different formula: Jesus of Nazareth is God himself. What is more, he is the God who goes on communicating and revealing himself. This is so unlike the silent, lifeless gods portrayed in the Old Testament (see Jeremiah 10:2-5) or in the Greek and Roman world. It is also so unlike contemporary society’s search for “a spirituality that works for me,” picking up aspects of other faiths and philosophies.

The one true God comes to transform their understanding as well as their worship of him. He comes by the Spirit who gives different gifts. These are not gifts given randomly (11) nor are they available on a pick-and-mix basis. They do not encourage passivity, nor give grounds for pride. They are gifts for service (5). Such a contrast to pagan expectations! They come directly from the one generous God, to be shared with everyone else.

 

Apply:

The Spirit has given gifts to each person in a community of believers. What’s your role and response?

 

Pray:

Spirit of God, thank You for the gifts You have given me. Help me move with You and use them to Your glory.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union

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