Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.
If I speak in the tonguesof men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. I Corinthians 13:1-3
You really cannot have a complete discussion about unity in the church without talking about Spiritual gifts. They are, after all, an essential piece to the puzzle. The Spirit of God Himself, manifesting Himself through the believer, is a huge promise from Him…a promise upon which unity rests. Without the Spirit of God working in and through us, there would be no hope for unity because there is no other provision for unity other than the Spirit. How He chooses to manifest Himself, then, through believers (i.e., what we call Spiritual gifts) is a critical cog in the machinery of the church.
Paul begins his discussion of Spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12 with these words: “Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.” He then teaches the concept of Spiritual gifts wonderfully, including the whole metaphor of the church as a body. But then at the end of that chapter, he segues from that discussion with these words: “And now I will show you the most excellent way.” In other words, now he is going to paint a picture of how it all looks in a very practical, understandable way. And with that …