Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-26
When we come to 1 Corinthians 12, we see that Paul wanted to make sure that they had a proper understanding about spiritual gifts.
Paul next challenges us to incorporate diversity in our understanding of spiritual gifts in verses 4-6: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” We can see here that the wholeTrinity is involved in the giving of gifts: the Spirit, the Lord Jesus, and God the Father. While teaching about the Trinity is not the main point of this passage, these verses help us see how the entire Godhead is involved in the giving of gifts.
The key word in this passage is the word “different.” We all have different kinds of gifts, there are different ways to serve, and there are different workings. There’s not just one gift that fits all believers. The word “gifts” comes from the Greek, “charismata,” which is the root for the word “grace.” Grace gifts are those divine abilities distributed by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of “service.” This word speaks of opportunities for expressing our spiritual gifts in practical ways. The word “working” refers to the results or accomplishments that come when we use our gifts in meaningful service. Whether or not we are able to see the results, God does. We get the word “energy” from this Greek word. When we serve according to our giftedness, God gives us energy and we in turn energize the church through our service.
Philippians 2:13 reminds us: “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Because God is at work within us, we can accomplish His purposes. The Corinthians had elevated the more spectacular gifts and were giving more attention to the spiritual superstars. Paul challenges them, and us, to incorporate diversity in our understanding. We minister differently because we’ve been gifted differently. The same God is at work in us, but He customizes His work through us for His ultimate glory and the strength of the church. We’ve all been gifted differently and so we act differently and we serve differently.