1 Corinthians 12:7
- To each person has been given the ability to display the Spirit for the common good. (ISV)
- A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. (NLT)
- The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. (CEV)
- The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all. (GNB)
- The evidence of the Spirit’s presence is given to each person for the common good of everyone. (GW)
- (MSG) Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!
While Eugene is overly free in his translation in the Message version you can’t escape the one essential point. This is to show who God is and everyone gets in on it and everyone benefits. I like that point being emphasized. It is an important point Paul is making. It was an important point to be made in the Corinthian context and it is an important point to be made in this modern day setting as well. The first thing to note is that each of these gifts are given for the common good, so we can help each other, for the purpose of building the body up. How like God. These are gifts. They are not indicators of spirituality! They were freely given, they were not given by merit or to indicate the importance or otherwise of the person practising them. They were given to manifest the presence of God and to build up the body. That point needs to be front and centre in all of our thoughts on the gifts. It is the opening statement Paul makes specifically about the charismata – the manifestation gifts of the spirit.
The gifts are not for you, even though you might be blessed with one of the gifts. They are for the body of Christ. Keep that thought in mind as you practise it.
Another point I would like to make at the outset is this is a long passage on an important topic. I will attempt to cover all the aspects of Paul’s treatment of it. But some aspects I will keep in store to deal with at the right time. “The right time” being in the flow of what Paul has to say. But by all means give me your comments and your input or reactions but realise too I may be putting “that point” on hold until a more opportune time.
When You Keep Your Spiritual Gifts To Yourself, You Make A Negative Impact On The Church.Robb Thompson
For it would have been better that man should have been born dumb, nay, void of all reason, rather than that he should employ the gifts . . . to the destruction of his neighbour.Marcus Fabius Quintilian (35 – 100 AD)