We are currently working our way through a verse-by-verse sermon series on 1 Corinthians entitled Holiness Through Humility. As we’ve studied chapters 12-14, we’ve learned much about spiritual gifts, the local church, our roles as members of the body of Christ, and most importantly, the preeminence of love. Below is a list of a dozen thoughts for meditation that will help us to think maturely about these matters, all drawn from 1 Corinthians 12:1-14:25.
Twelve Lessons About Spiritual Gifts from 1 Corinthians 12-14
#1. Spiritual gifts are possessed by a diversity of people, both Jews and Gentiles—people from every nation and tribe and people and language, who are united by a common profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
#2. Among the people of God there is a diversity of gifts united in a common Provider, who is the Holy Spirit who indwells us and empowers us.
#3. Among the people of God there is a diversity of abilities united in a common purpose, which is the building up of other believers. No spiritual gift is ever given for personal edification.
#4. Through our union with Christ, all believers are part of the body of Christ, and because we are all different and have differing gifts, we are a unity of diversity.
#5. This unity of diversity is uniquely designed by the Lord so that we are a community of necessity. This means that we need the gifting of other Christians, and other Christians need our gifting, in order to grow up both individually and corporately into the of measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
#6. The Lord has ordained that this reality be worked out by believers who have covenanted themselves together in a local church.
#7. There is no gift that is unimportant or unnecessary to the growth of the body.
#8. Although all gifts are equally important in essence, there are some gifts that have a higher priority of function because they are the gifts that minister the word of God.
#9. Christians should be eager to mutually exercise spiritual gifts, but must always do so with the attitude of love. They are useless without love.
#10. Ultimately, spiritual gifts are a means to the end of the corporate maturity of the church, and when the Lord returns, spiritual gifts will cease because they will no longer be needed, yet love will remain for eternity because it is the mark of true spiritual maturity.
#11. Part of exercising gifts in the spirit of love is rightly defining them, understanding their intended purpose, and using them correctly in the right context.
#12. We must always seek to be a benefit, and never a barrier, to the building up of others.