Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Gifts, Ministries and Effects

Some observations and thoughts came to mind from today’s daily reading of the scriptures in the New Testament section of I Corinthians 12.

The saints in Christ often think and talk about those things which they would like to live out in their daily lives. They want to do so in the knowledge and confidence that they do so in the Spirit who indwells them. One thing which is common in the apostle Paul’s teaching is that each individual is a part of a greater whole; the body of believers. What’s more Paul may sometimes be difficult to understand, as the apostle Peter himself noted, (I Peter 3:15,16) but he is never vague or superficial.

He wrote to the church in Corinth as to what the “same Spirit” “same Lord” and “same God” had done, but he also specified what they each one had done. Quite likely, some might infer from that reference to Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but that is not what I take away from the passage. Rather, it is another instance of Paul’s seemingly vague or superficial (not Paul by any means) reference on which he elaborates.

One thing with which Paul’s messages always resound is the unity from diversity. In this instance, it is the gifts, -by the same Spirit, -the ministries, by the same Lord, and -the effects, by the same God. Each one of these, gift, ministry and effect, reflects a move from the lesser to the greater; the individual to the group. Is a gift less than an effect? It is if that which one has received from the Spirit remains ineffectual in him or her as though they had not received anything or something too small and of little significance from the Holy Spirit.

What Paul notes about these is that they are for the common good, (verse 7) not a personal exaltation by the individual Then, in true form, Paul specifies how that common good of my gift in our ministry shows its effect among others. It is in that the members may have the same care for one another. (verse 25) This should be no surprise for the saints in Christ because love for one another as Jesus commanded is ultimately to care for one another.

No comments:

Post a Comment