. . . a day late . . .
Now we get to the heart of the matter for the Corinthian church. The question of Spiritual gifts. Chapters 12/13/14 are all addressing the question of the appropriate use of spiritual gifts. Paul comes at the question from three angels: 1) everyone has spiritual gifts (chapter 12); 2) Spiritual fruit (especially love) are more important than spiritual gifts (chapter 13); 3) spiritual gifts do not function independent of the gifted person and must be used in the context of spiritual covering and orderliness.
Chapter 12 -- we are one body with many members is the subject of this Sunday's sermon at Christ Church in Amherst, New York. The discussion of spiritual gifts can be found in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4 and a few other places. There are 24 to 29 gifts mentioned (depending on what you count). None of that really matters, what matters is that Paul teaches that when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives at our conversion (baptism) the Holy Spirit arrives bearing gifts. These gifts are not for our sake or for our own personal aggrandizement. These gifts are not given TO us but are given THROUGH us for the building up of the whole church.
Everyone is gifted. Everyone. The church is most fully the church when everyone knows their gifts and everyone is using their gifts in mission and ministry. No exceptions. Notice in verse 4 and following some of the gifts, speaking wisdom, speaking knowledge, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. Notice also in verse 27 helps, leadership, apostles, prophets, teachers, deeds of power. Elsewhere we learn of mercy and hospitality, etc. The point, again, is that everyone is gifted and everyone should fully use their gifting for the building up of the Church of Jesus Christ.
How has God gifted you? Do you know your spiritual gifts? (they are different from talents and abilities).