每日诗歌: 懇求聖靈來 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hrkTeIEwvs)
Proverbs 1 [Read]
Proverbs 2 [Read]
Corinthians 12 [Read]
It has been over a century since the Azusa street revival took place in California, but the charismatic movement it kindled has forever changed the church culture. At the center of such controversial movement are the spiritual gifts, and the chapters we will be reading in the next few days are the bedrock of our understanding on this sensitive topic. There are a few things to note about today’s NT passage.
First, Paul thinks that a proper understanding of the spiritual gifts is essential in preventing the Corinthians to fall back to idol worshiping (1Cor 12:1-2). It seems that certain disorders were happening in their worship of God (14:40), and, as always, new believers were being distracted or even attracted by these phenomena. It’s clear that not all such phenomena were originated from the Holy Spirit (12:3), and the danger of causing people to worship idol was significant.
Second, Paul set the tone with Trinity right from the beginning. The Spirit gives the gifts (12:4), and he does it as he sees fit (12:11). The purpose of the gifts is to serve the one and only Lord, Jesus Christ (12:5), and not for boosting any one’s ego (11:21). Even with the gifts, God is still the one working with the gifts in the believers to accomplish his will in all things (12:6). Ultimately, all these gifts are for the common good of the believers (12:7). Indeed, “for from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever!” (Rom 11:36)
Finally, there is obvious risk of dividing the body due to the misuse and misunderstanding of such spiritual gifts (12:25). The body of Christ is one (12:12), but the gifts are given to different parts of this body to edify all (12:27). Some gifts are more visible than others, but all should “have equal concern to each other” (12:25). In fact, the ones who receive more should serve the others with more zeal knowing that “one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (12:26).
But the tendency of sinful human is to boast about our own gifts, and the natural path for such behavior leads to division of the body of Christ. Paul knew that. Before he gets deeper into the instructions about using such gifts, he reveals the “most excellent way” (12:31) to the fleshy Corinthians. And that’s what we will read tomorrow.
Keep on reading,