Explaining Spiritual Gifts (Part 2)

The Holy Spirit empowers people with special gifts that are designed to build up the body of Christ.

A strong and united church is necessary to help the surrounding world to better experience God’s love.

Yesterday’s article and YouTube video covered some of the gifts. We will finish Paul’s list in 1 Corinthians today.

1 Corinthians 12.27-31Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

The last three gifts in Paul’s list are as follows:

(1) Forms of Assistance – This gift describes how the Holy Spirit empowers and inspires people to help, aid, or assist others.

In today’s YouTube video I recalled a time when former Mayor Don Reimal and many other people worked to clean up an illegal tire dump.

We filled every city dump truck and still had much more to do. Don’s efforts were a snapshot of his willingness to serve throughout the time I knew him.

He had many gifts, but one was a willingness to serve his community and other people.

My wife used to help staff the church nursery. Our church sang a favorite Hillsong tune,

Jesus, I believe in You
And I would go to the ends of the earth
To the ends of the earth
For You alone are the Son of God
And all the world will see
That You are God
You are God.

After hearing the song one Sunday, Toni remarked, “I just wish people walk down the hall from the auditorium and sign up to serve in the nursery.”

Cleaning up tires and working with children in the nursery is not as impressive as healing, deeds of power, prophecy, and tongues.

However, the church functions because of the many people who value the spiritual gift of helping where needed.

(2) Forms of Leadership – The Greek word for leadership refers to someone who pilots a ship.

Jeremiah, like Ezekiel, had a strong word of correction for leaders.

Jeremiah 23.1-2Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord.

Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them.

So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord.

When the spiritual gift of leadership is abused, the church suffers. Jesus’ vulnerable followers are destroyed and scattered.

On the other hand, leaders who are guided and powered by the Spirit build up the church and extend the good news of God’s love.

I am indebted to the many people who have prayed for me over the years. I believe God has used your prayers to help me exercise the gift of leadership properly.

Please pray for leaders to be activated, captivated, and motivated by the Holy Spirit.

(3) Various kinds of tongues – I believe that the Spirit grants the gift of tongues for at least two purposes.

— Tongues are a prayer language.

This is not a gift the Spirit has seen fit to give me, but I understand from other people that praying tongues increase their prayer life.

I wrote about Dr. Bill Beachy in yesterday’s article. Bill was part of the Charismatic awakening in the Episcopal Church.

Bill told me that the spiritual gift of tongues transformed the formalism of Episcopal worship into a personal love relationship with God.

Bill was a great man of God, who used the gift of tongues to increase his relationship with God. His exercise of the gift never distracted from a groups’ full attention on God.

— God communicates through tongues.

Acts 2.4-12 describes what took place on the Day of Pentecost.

On the Day of Pentecost, God used tongues to get the attention of the crowd and to communicate the good news to them.

We will see in chapter 14 that Paul has instructions for the interpretation of tongues.

When God is communicating through tongues, there needs to be someone to interpret.

Diversity and Unity

Paul ended this chapter with a series of questions with “no” being the answer to each question.\

No one has all of the gifts. We need each other in the body of Christ.

No church has all of the gifts. We need the other expressions of the church to show the character of God to the world.

Paul ended the message with a promise of a “more excellent way.” Chapter 13 will explore the “more excellent way” of love.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube. You can see our video on the Bob Spradling channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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