Wednesday, April 6, 2011

# 1: I Don't Think So

Are some spiritual gifts more important than others? When Paul lists spiritual gifts in a numeric order, is he referring to some gifts being more significant than others?

       I Don't Think So.
I agree with Ross Rhode @ The Jesus Virus.  The weight of the gifts as listed in  I Cor. 12:28:  "And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues," is not the issue. 

The operation of the Holy Spirit to place among us some individuals who have a extra measure of giftedness in these area falls in the realm of the practical.  God chose them for these specific works before their birth.  He supernaturally gifts them to operate by ministering in the Body of Christ with these gifts.  We create offices and name them after the gifts.  We start ministries and name them after the gifts.  But God's gifts in operation are work being done.

When we focus on the person, we cause trouble.  We fall into evaluating the Holy Spirit's and God's choice by our carnal minds and emotions.  One of the first signs of that carnality operating is the devaluing of God's choice of messager, God's choice of "gifting," by countering it with "we are all ministers in the Body of Christ."  A truth but not when the quote means, "Anybody can do what you do."

Not just anyone can do what the chosen person or persons do.  Not everyone is called to do so.  Not everyone operates as the Holy Spirit's empowered person.  Not all are chosen to be enabled by the Spirit for the work of any specific gift.  We may function in them from time to time.  We might have the human skill to perform the tasks through which these gifts function.  But, He gives gift to each one as He sees fit - not because we name it and claim it.  Not because we see fit to let them operate among us.
Have you seen persons operating within a clearly Holy Spirit given gifting?
Have you fallen prey to criticizing God's choice?
Have you confused "offices of the church" with the working of the Holy Spirit?
Have you, or those around you, taken a gift upon yourself rather than waiting for God to present His will in the matter?

Who runs the church anyway - the people, the "men in office," or God?  Who's in charge?  That alone has weight.  That alone has significance.

Photo Credits:
The Heart Of A Tupil by © chantalc  @

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