I’ve written on this subject multiple times, taught on it multiple times, and apparently, so has Paul. Spiritual gifts are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4. Paul uses the illustration of the church being like a body multiple times as well, but I’m struggling at the moment to remember all of those sections. Regardless, the topic is obviously important to Paul and a source of confusion or strain at all of these churches.
That’s why Paul writes on it: Regarding the spiritual gifts, I don’t want you to be ignorant. I don’t want you to lack knowledge in this area. I don’t want you to forget to use your brain and intellect here. This is essentially what he is saying. It is also why I’m so passionate about these sections of Scripture.
I won’t go into every aspect of this teaching in 1 Corinthians 12, but I do think there are a few important points to drive home:
- The gifts come from God’s Spirit.
- The Spirit distributes to each person as God wishes. It’s not for us to decide. It’s his decision.
- God distributes them when he sees fit and to the extent he sees fit.
- Everyone has a different part to play and a different combination of gifts.
- Don’t be jealous of other people’s gifts/parts/roles.
- The body, aka the church, must work together to be effective.
- The body, aka the church, has parts/roles that are “on display” and others that are “behind the scenes.”
- The body, aka the church, feels the pain and the joy of other parts.
The last thing worth mentioning is that chapter 12 cannot be read in isolation. You have to read chapter 13 and beyond to get this in its full context. That’s what we’ll do tomorrow.