Monday, January 18, 2010

1 Corinthians 12:32-13:13 (Appraising Gifts Part 1)

One of the problems with the current Spiritual Gifts craze is the way some try to impose their gifts on others. If they are gifted in some way, then all Christians should also exhibit that gifting. This is the opposite problem to that which Paul had just addressed in referring to the church as a body. However, here Paul does say that people should desire to have the greater gifts. This implies that (a) you can have other/more gifts at some point in the future and (b) that some gifts are indeed better or more useful/beneficial than others. How are gifts judged? In the way that they are used and the results they bring the church.

Just as the answer in Galatians to the legalistic issues was that we are governed by love and not law, here in Corinthians the answer to judging ministry in the church is love and not giftedness.

Gifts relate, always, to ministry and service. They are a benefit to us only in the context of serving God and others. The judgment or rating of our servant value lies not in how gifted we are, nor in which gifts we posses, but rather in how much love we exercise. That is the measure of how gifts are used.

Then there is also the judgment of results, which Paul begins to address in the next chapter…

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