Last week in my sermon based on 1 Corinthians 12.1-11, which focussed on spiritual gifts, I referred to a study I had heard the day before, whilst at SUTS, based on Ephesians 4.1-24. This was easily done as both passages refer to gifts from God for ministry in his church.
These studies and the passage we have today from 1 Corinthians 12.12-31 stress oneness in the church despite the various gifts and the concerns of individual members. Christians will disagree on many things, but mature Christians will work to maintain bonds of peace.
As individual Christians we often ponder the best way forward for the church. Done in isolation this is dangerous. At SUTS Wei-Han Kuan recalled his days at college and the thoughts he had, “If I were writing the Bible …” He would then give thought to the issues he considered most important. We face the danger of our hearts being drawn to our own pet issues. Yet, of course, we have fallen hearts and so at times we react negatively to the scriptures or wish to change the place of emphasis.
The passages in the Bible that refer to spiritual gifts speak of the individual’s role in building up the congregation. Using our gifts makes it possible for others to do the same with their gifts, which are different to ours.
And we were asked how well we used our gifts. Four questions were put to us:
To keep everything in focus we need to go a little beyond Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12. Chapter 5 of Ephesians commences with stress on love. What do we read about in 1 Corinthians 13?
Bless you as you give thought to your gifts.