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Posts Tagged ‘1st Corinthians 12’

“For to one is given by the Spirit … divers kinds of tongues” – 1st Corinthians 13:8a, 10d

This gift has always been a little controversial so the apostle Paul goes into great detail in later in his letter.

Tongues is the prophetic utterance in a human or angelic 1 language unknown by the speaker 2 and sometimes the hearers.

Not engaging the speaker’s language, it doesn’t affect the speakers thinking unless it is interpreted2 – so what is its purpose?

Paul lists several, but primarily as a tool to strengthen the participant’s inner man.3

Originating from the speaker’s human spirit (inner man) it is a direct prayer link between the speaker and God4 unhindered by the person’s preferences and paradigms.

We dare not discount the importance of that; how and what we think affects our spiritual growth! If everything must be filtered through our thought processes much won’t make it through!

This is so important Jesus’ own brother wrote

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost keep yourselves in the love of God” – Jude 1:20-21a

Who can have this gift? As a manifestation of the Holy Spirit all in Christ have the equal access, as any spiritual gift.

We are admonished to seek the “best” gifts.5 Which is best? The one you need at the time, of course!

Do you need to be built up in your faith and kept in the love of God?

– fritz
1 – 1st Corinthians 13:1
2 – 1st Corinthians 14:14
3 – 1st Corinthians 14:4a
4 – 1st Corinthians 14:2
5 – 1st Corinthians 12:31

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“For to one is given by the Spirit … to another discerning of spirits” – 1st Corinthians 12:9a, 10c

At least part of “Discerning of Spirits” is our need to know if our internal promptings arise from God’s Holy Spirit or our own human spirit.

In prayer we need to ask for the Holy Spirit to intervene, showing us with an overwhelming peace the source of our stirrings. This, too, is a gift of God, essential for today.

– fritz

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“For to one is given by the Spirit … prophecy” – 1st Corinthians 12:9a, 10b

This is not the same gift as in the Old Testament.

Then, prophecy was reserved just for special holy men.  When normal people wanted to hear from God they would go to a prophet and ask him to pray and to speak for God.

Now, everyone in Christ can prophesy!

“For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.” – 1st Corinthians 14:31

Prophesy now has three main purposes –

“But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” – 1st Corinthians 14:3

Long ago I heard a preacher Ferguson, Kentucky, say this verse means prophecy is to

Build up,
Stir up, and
Cheer up.

So how is that different from preaching?

Preaching is a (hopefully) prepared lesson from the mind and heart of a preacher whereas prophesy, like the other spiritual gifts, is given at the moment specifically for a circumstance often unknown by the speaker.

It, like the other verbal gifts, is accompanied by a strong urge to speak hard to shake but able to be ignored by the one called to give.

A wise pastor will encourage his flock to begin speaking these urgings, understand inevitable mistakes, and without condemnation teach how to recognize God’s wonderful gift of Prophesy.

– fritz

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For to one is given by the Spirit … faith” – 1st Corinthians 12:7a, 9a

Faith has the distinction of being both a Gift and Fruit of the Holy Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, – Galatians 5:22

The difference? Fruit is grown, starting small and increasing over a period of time. A gift doesn’t grow, it is either fully there or not.

Faith, the gift, is a deep sense that, in spite of doubts of mind and logic, a particular desire shall be accomplished and/or an impossible obstacle shall be removed. It’s described by the Apostle Paul’s in his “Love” Chapter,

“though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains …” – 1st Corinthians 13:2a

There is, usually, a sense of excitement with it, and a decision has to be made to either hold on to it until the desire is accomplished, or let go of it.

If you hold on it will be an amazing ride full of wonder at God’s greatness; and when it’s done the fruit of faith will have grown a lot!

– fritz

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“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. – 1st Corinthians 12:27

God works through symbols – a piece of bread, a drop of oil, some sprinkled water, but it is the reality which is holy, the symbol is only a poor representation.

We who have placed our faith in Christ are, individually, a part his body and have a part in touching one another with and for Christ. The gifts of the Holy Spirit work in that endeavor, helping us do our part.

– fritz

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