Spiritual gifts, the church and love

March 12th, 2009

I was reading through 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 recently and I found that it gives us some very useful information on how the Church (or Body of Christ as it is sometimes known) as a whole should use their spiritual gifts and how we need each other to function properly. The TNIV separates these two chapters with three main headings.

1. Concerning Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)

In this passage verses 4-7 Paul tells the Corinthians that there are many types of spiritual gifts and they are used in different ways. However, the purpose of these gifts is to build up the body for the common good of all. Verse 11 reminds us that it is the same Spirit that is behind all the gifts and He gives to those as He sees fit. As Christians today we need to remember that He has distributed these gifts as He has chosen and that we must all to work together to bring His plans to pass.

2. Unity and Diversity in the Body (1 Corinthians 12:12-30)

This section tells us that in the same way the human body is made of many parts, the church is one body that is made up with a diversity of gifts (v12). Because of this diversity of gifts all members of the body are useful and necessary to each other. In this passage we are reminded of the importance of all Christians being in fellowship too. This is because we all need each other for all the gifts to be displayed and for the church to function properly.

3. Love is Indispensable (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13)

In 1 Corinthians 13 we see the importance of love when using our spiritual gifts. Verse 2 and 3 says that we if we don’t exercise love we “are nothing” and we “gain nothing”. When we exercise of spiritual gifts without love they can become defective and selfish in the way we use them. This passage tells us that as Christians our love for God, our love for each other and the desire to build up the church needs to be our overriding heartbeat as we exercise our God given spiritual gifts.