Monday, October 14, 2013

Spiritual Gifts

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul mentions the gifts of the Spirit. In fact, it probably goes into more detail than any other section of the Bible on such things. It ends with an interesting phrase, “And I will show you a still more excellent way.”
This is followed by 1 Corinthians 13, which, as many know, is the chapter that so eloquently and dutifully defines love by its actions and heart (this being the “more excellent way;” to prophesy without love does no good. Love does good, and it gives fruit to the gifts). He says, in chapter 12, to “earnestly desire the higher gifts.”

As he points out two chapters later, prophecy is the greatest gift because it speaks to people to build them up and to encourage them. I wish to stir in a little bit of my own interpretation of this.

The gifts, he measures by their usefulness to the congregation of believers. Prophecy is better than speaking in tongues unless there is an interpreter. Speaking in tongues is pointless to the congregation if they can't understand what's being said, so the interpreter (also by himself is without use, for he has nothing to perceive) brings to fulfillment the gift of speaking in tongues, and likewise the speaker to the translator.

God created two humans; He obviously has design in nature that two (read: fellowship) are required for the greatest manner of things to come unto fruition.
The second eye gives depth to sight; brings us into the third dimension of perception. Otherwise, we could see that distance exists, but it's incredibly difficult to grasp distance with only one eye open. Likewise, ears; a third would not be beneficial as it would only serve to confuse and disorient. With but one, we'd have to spin in a circle to tell what direction a sound originated from.
I don't know if this is universal, but I can lift over twice as much using both arms as opposed to using only one (for the sake of grip and balance).
So of course the fellowship in the gift creates a new dimension, an entirely new level of Spiritual gift, one that impresses upon the receivers to love due to fellowship. Without love, the gifts are empty and fruitless. But when a gift inclines to love, it will be the greatest, no doubt.
But still, of the solitary gifts, prophecy is the greatest.
Not only is it the most beneficial to the whole, it also has a unique quality about it.

Angels, I believe, can understand the speaking of tongues, and interpret. I think it's a Heavenly language and that it's their first language. All the gifts come from the “same Spirit,” and so are from the Holy Spirit alone. They're not something to throw away nor to disregard.
But angels can be wise, intelligent, faithful, etc. They can manifest all the gifts of the Spirit—except one. The “Heavenly Hosts” cannot glimpse the future, nor can Satan or any of his minions. They are stuck in the “now.” God alone knows the day and the hour in which Christ will return; no one and no thing else could guess or know.
Foreknowledge is a gift wholly manifested by God the Father, and by Him alone.
When we receive the gift of prophecy, of true prophecy that details events yet to occur, we are granted something unique to God, withheld from angels and beasts.
This gift is greater not only because it benefits the whole, but because it is only God who can see what is to come to pass and, in so, the intimacy with God that comes with prophecy would be that which is incomparable because it is solely between God the Father and His child.

With this being said, the intertwining of chapters 12 and 13 must not be overlooked; prophecy, without love, makes us a clanging cymbal; a noise and nothing more.
So, as said in the introduction of chapter 14, “Pursue love.” Just as with the gift of speaking in tongues' requisite of an interpreter, so does any gift require love. Love fulfills these gifts, resolves them, and brings the intercourse of believers (in terms of a body of believers being as one in Spirit) to fruition and wholeness.

In short, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, pursue love, and earnestly desire the Spiritual gifts (namely those that bring the furthered level of fellowship with other believers, and greater unity and intimacy with their Source).

No comments:

Post a Comment