Aug. 8. Spiritual Gifts/Abilities Explained by Paul

I Cor. 12:1-31

As Jesus gave His farewell message to the apostles the night before His death, He promised them that He would send them a Helper (Holy Spirit) to guide them as they preached His gospel.

In order to strengthen and give credibility to the early church, God and Christ through the Holy Spirit gave the apostles the ability to deliver various spiritual gifts to the new Christians. The Corinthians had a problem dealing with these gifts because of ignorance, pride and envy. Some were boastful because they thought that their gifts were greater than others. Those with lesser abilities were envious of the ones with greater abilities.

The Corinthians had been converted from idolatry. They had looked for different blessings from each god that they had worshipped. Paul reminded them that there is only one God and that all spiritual gifts came from the same source, His Spirit.

To correct the misunderstandings of the Corinthians, Paul began by comparing the church of Christ with the human body. As the body has many members with different functions, the church also has many members from varying social and economic backgrounds with different duties to perform as one body.

A Christian with the ability to prophesy or to teach was no greater than one who could speak an unknown tongue (language). Neither could the foot say that since it was not a hand, it was not a part of the body. All parts of the body and works of the church are important.

When one injures a hand, the whole body reacts to that pain. If the church functions as it should, all members will suffer pain if one member suffers or if one member is honored, all members will rejoice in that honor.