November 19 I Tuesday
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.…All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.” —1 Corinthians 12:7, 11
How can we have a Spirit-gifted ministry? Paul tells us first and foremost, a Spirit-gifted ministry magnifies and proclaims Jesus as Lord. The spiritual gifts and the ministry of the Holy Spirit draws people’s attention to the centrality of Jesus Christ. It will always lead people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and His finished work. Thus, we are reminded of the source of these gifts, as Paul tells us, “Now about the gifts of the Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 12:1). He does not say, “Now, about the gifts of Paul or the gifts of Peter or the gifts of Apollos,” but that these gifts are of the Holy Spirit.
Especially with the division within the church of Corinth Paul notes, “One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Christ’” (1 Corinthians 1:12). Yet, Paul stresses for unity within the church of Corinth under one head by stating this: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work (emphasis added).” Three times, Paul emphasizes on different but the same.
There are different gifts, ministries and workings within the church but they all come from the same source, provided that they are calling people’s attention to the finished work of Jesus Christ.
When Paul talks about the spiritual gifts in
1 Corinthians 12, he uses the Greek word, charisma, which stems from the Greek word, charis, which means “grace.” In other words, spiritual gifts are God’s grace gifts given to the church.
When we put our faith in the finished work of Christ at salvation, God gives us a saving grace by cancelling our sins, while at the same time, He gives us a serving grace. God deposits a spiritual gift within each person who puts their personal faith in Jesus Christ. This grace gift given to us is not to solely remain with ourselves but to be exercised for the good of the body.
The spiritual gifts are directed and given by God to whom He sees fit to give them. His grace gifts are to be exercised both within the church and within the world. Some of us may have a limited way of viewing ministry but Paul reminds us that even though the manifestation of our gifts may differ from one another, it is still the same God at work in and through us.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for Your saving grace when I declared my faith in You. May my serving grace be pleasing to You.