Message: 1 Corinthians 12 introduces the spiritual gifts and for years
I have read this as a how-to guide for being a spirit filled Christian. Today I
read this from the perspective of the Greeks Paul was speaking to at the church
of Corinth. Greeks were polytheists so when they were introduced to another
god, they simply added it to their collection of gods and worshipped them all.
Yesterday we talked about how the gospel of Jesus Christ was different from
anything they had ever heard before because it demanded that if they choose
salvation through Jesus, that they abandon all other gods. At the beginning of
chapter 12 Paul is telling them that it’s impossible to follow the other gods
and Jesus at the same time because the truth of Jesus is revealed only by the
Holy Spirit.You can’t hear from the Holy spirit and still be led off to
worship other gods at the same time. I don’t believe it was random that this
was his introduction into the gifts of the spirit. We have to be Holy spirit
led to operate in these gifts, but if we are still off chasing other gods we won’t
hear from the Holy Spirit. Other gods for the Greeks were idols they worshipped
and performed ritualistic sacrifices to in order to receive blessings or to
curse others. They didn’t have to love these gods. They were paying an
obligation in the hopes of getting their needs met.
Command: Stop acting like a polytheist by
offering God parts and pieces of myself as a sacrifice. He requires full surrender
and full control. This means abandoning the other “gods” in my life that I have
continued to run to and make sacrifices.
Promise: We only know the truth of Jesus by
revelation from the Holy Spirit, so when we are fully surrendered, we will hear
the Holy Spirit not only for salvation, but also in the gifts of the Spirit.
Warning: We can’t fully know God without the
Holy Spirit revealing him, but if we are still chasing other sources in our
lives, we won’t hear the Holy Spirit leading us, guiding us or revealing truth
to us. If he is not leading and guiding us into truth we won’t hear him lead us
into spiritual gift ministry either.
Application: We may not feel like we are
polytheists, but if we examine our own behaviors and the types of sacrifices we
make in the hopes of receiving blessings we might see this differently. Most of
us are guilty of acting as our own gods so when we got saved we simply added
Jesus to our lives and gave parts of ourselves to him without fully
surrendering or giving him full and exclusive reign in our lives. We pat
ourselves on the back for offering him pieces of control, but he requires all
of it. We read about the spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 and wonder why we
aren’t seeing that in the church. According to the first verse here, we can’t
hear the Holy Spirit if we aren’t fully surrendered. We have to renounce the
other “gods” in our lives and give ourselves exclusively to Jesus to even be
called his children. Instead we are like the Greeks Paul is talking to here about
being “led off to the idols that cannot speak”. This challenges me to really
evaluate the areas in my life that are not surrendered. It also challenges me
to take notice when I pat myself on the back for offering God parts of myself
because he requires all of me.