June 10, 2011 § 4 Comments
The core of the Christian message for people who live this side of Christ’s resurrection is clear: “no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). We don’t have a natural ability within ourselves to know God through Jesus. Nothing to boast about when the focus is on us. We need the Spirit of God to enable God’s work within us (12:6). We receive the knowledge and power of God as pure gifts from the Holy Spirit. As much as individuals are not the origin but only the recipients of this knowledge and power, individuals are also not the purpose of these spiritual gifts. The key for understanding the purpose of spiritual gifts is verse 7: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (3:8). Unfortunately, far too often the matter of spiritual gifts is individualized among Christians. We think to discover our spiritual gifts is all about ourselves. That is clearly not the case from Paul’s perspective. The gifts come from the Spirit and the gifts returns to the community (“for the common good”). What are your spiritual gifts? How do you make it work for the sake of the larger community (church and society)?