“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.” 1 Corinthians 12:1
We have now come to a new section of Paul’s amazing letter to the Corinthians. I would like us to keep in mind that the key verse of this letter is 1 Corinthians 1:9: “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” In reality, this is not only the the key verse of this letter, but is also the key verse of the Christian life. The key to the Christian life is walking day by day, moment by moment, in fellowship with Christ. Our strength comes from Jesus being the center of our lives. He is the abundant life He came to give us.
To help us experience the abundant Christian life, the Spirit has given us spiritual gifts. It is interesting that Paul states that he does not want us to be ignorant of these spiritual gifts. The word ‘ignorant’ simply means ‘uninformed, lacking awareness or understanding of the facts.’ Like many Christians in Corinth, many Christians today lack understanding of the existence and purpose of spiritual gifts - mainly that they were given for the profit of all.
We learned in 1 Corinthians 1 that the Christians in Corinth were experiencing all the spiritual gifts, but were using them like children with toys rather than adults with tools. In other words, they were using their gifts for themselves rather than for others. As a result, they became complacent in their fellowship with Christ which led to them behaving carnally toward each other. They were suing one another, sexual immorality was spreading like wildfire, and divorce was at an all time high. Sound familiar?
The Greek word for ‘spiritual’ in 1 Corinthians 12 is ‘pnematikos’ which means ‘non carnal’ or ‘spiritual manners’. This means that when we seek to use our spiritual gifts, we are to leave carnal behavior behind and enter the abundant spiritual life Christ has given us. Join us on Sunday as we open 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 together with the hopes of gaining a fuller understanding of the “Manifestations of the Spirit”. God bless you all and hope to see you there!