Friday, July 22, 2016

"Do it with Love"

1st Corinthians 12.31 NASU

“But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I will show you a more excellent way.

This is a transition verse connecting two unique biblical themes...
  1. The right use of spiritual gifts.
  2. Our expression of God’s love.
In chapter 12, Paul concludes his remarks on how to properly express spiritual gifts in the church. These gifts are called 'manifestations of the Spirit' (v.7) and include the expression of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. The Apostle clarifies these gifts are imparted by God for the benefit of the whole body. “Greater gifts” then would be those which more greatly benefit the greater portion of the body of Christ.

The author shifts his emphasis in chapter 13 to a “more excellent way” which, of course, is the way of love. Love’s expression to those around us becomes the ultimate test of a man or woman’s devotion to Christ.

Chapter 12 deals with my giftedness, passion, and desire to perform the will of God in the body of Christ. Paul tells me to “earnestly desire” to perform the will of God according to the gifts and talents Jesus has given me.

Chapter 13 centers on the “more excellent way” of love which must become the motivating principle behind every demonstration of my giftedness. I must never confuse inactivity or passivity with love, but proactively fulfill my calling with the gifts God has given me, and always do so in the spirit of love.

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