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Tuesday: Spiritual Gifts for Unity — 9 Comments

  1. Our God given gifts are for service in the spreading Of the gospel.

    Are we spreading the gospel?

    When was the last time you did that?

    Is your church spreading the gospel?

    If we don't spread the gospel, Satan will easily turn us to be members of the church at Corinth.

    • What is the Gospel? Does this Old Testament Quote help us understand it a bit better?

      Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:7-8

      It is not how we relgious we sound but whether we live the gospel.

  2. Let me first start by stating that there's a lot of interpretation when it comes to the story of "Cain and Abel"; on why one offering was accepted and why the other wasn't. I have chosen not to go deep into that, for that may be a matter for another day, and may not be relevant to why I am making this comment. Instead, I am thinking more in relevance to the topic for today, in relation to the counsel God gives Cain in Genesis 4:6-7

    (So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”)

    Both Cain and Abel were gifted by God, but Cain seemed to have invested in a wrong attitude. His pride took over and God's counsel to him shows how dangerously he was heading towards actual disaster.

    There is something, I have been thinking about here, and maybe something that we can learn. First, our gifts vary for one reason only, to be play a role in the vast service of God. Secondly, both small or little God treasures all our gifts. Thirdly, a gift misunderstood or used incorrectly may attract us to sin, through our attitude to God; we may end up being angry with God, like Cain or end up priding ourselves above God, like Lucifer. Fourthly, our variety of gifts are to be used to foster unity, bringing God's people (the church) closer to God.

    Both Paul and Apollos were brisk and audicious serving the Lord, that attracted followers to them. Apollos was a New,Charismatic and Young leader, while Paul was Wise, Experienced and Mature in his service. However, their services were subjected to a moment of confusion amongst the followers and found themselves in a rare moment of competition and confusion. However, we see Paul taking up his role as a leader, and immediately addressing the issue, reminding the followers, that the different gifts are intended to serve God and come from God, and should not be used for conflict or competition against God's service.

    Today, each of us is gifted and each of us has a role to use our gifts to unite the church of God. Can I sing? Then sing for the advancement of God's mission. Can I bring people together? Then bring them together to exalt and glorify God. Can I preach? Then preach only what God requires of us to, and reach out to all.

    A gift is a great thing when we use it wisely, but when we use it for selfish gain or undervalue/waste our gifts (Matthew 24:24-30) then we stand in conflict with God's will. We are called to identify our spiritual gifts and invest it in God's work of uniting His church (God's people).

  3. "...how can we learn the unselfish attitudes that are necessary in order to maintain our oneness in Christ?"

    1) Pray at the start of each day (and again during the day as often as is necessary) confirming your choice to renounce self-based living (lust of the flesh, eyes and boastful pride of life: 1 Jn 2:16) and for the Holy Spirit to create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within (Ps 51:10).

    2) Consciously and intentionally learn more about the foundational importance of self-renouncing love as THE basis for every aspect of life and living. And learn to contrast this basis with selfishness as THE basis for non-sustainable 'life'. Doing this will help you develop a 'filter' through which to look at life differently. As you read your Bible, notice examples of self-renouncing love in action and also selfishness in action. As you go through daily life, notice examples of these 2 ways of living. The aim/outcome of this is training yourself to be more consciously and intentionally aware of the choice you have in each and every situation to take the self-renouncing or selfish option. After a while, it will start to become habitual to be aware of this as you go about your day.

    This is not about developing a 'perfectionistic' or works based mentality. It is about "keeping in step with the Spirit" (Gal 5:25) who wants to help grow you into being Christlike - if that is what you desire.

    And where you slip up, don't beat yourself up and become discouraged. Remind yourself of Paul's attitude towards his slip-ups in Phil 3:12-15 and get back up and keep on keeping on. For further encouragement, keep Luke 22:31,32 handy where Jesus 'predicted' that Peter would slip up, and let Peter know that even though He knew Peter would slip up, He also encouraged Peter to re-turn and get back in the game rather than give up in despondency. Peter therefore had firsthand experience of God's compassion - which is why he was able to write 2 Pet 3:9 from personal experience.

    If you do the above regularly, you will develop a habit. And it will make a difference in your life.

  4. the singular focus of the Christian is on the Cross and telling the world about the Life, Death & Resurrection of The LORD Jesus Christ.

    • Focusing on the Cross is a great idea if we put the lessons learned into action. If there is no action we may as well live in the isolation of a monastery.

    • I wonder about phrases such as "focus...on the cross". I've heard such phrases 1000's of times over the years, but never known what they actually mean. So, maybe you could help me out.

      What is it specifically about the cross that I should be focussing on? What exactly should I be seeing when I do focus on this?


  5. As Paul says many in Corinth had deep problems, we need to understand these local problems and Paul's remedies before we apply them to our situations.

  6. SSQ "What principles does Paul outline in 1 Corinthians 3:5-11, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, and 2 Corinthians 10:12-15 for healing and restoration, which are so vital to church unity?"

    In essence, all eyes/hearts on Christ, following wherever He leads. In this, we will not become divided over which human agent in our favorite, nor will be be found unfaithful in the proper use of our gifts as a faithful member of Christ's body.

    SSQ“...how can we learn the unselfish attitudes that are necessary in order to maintain our oneness in Christ?”

    Be yoked together with Jesus, denying self, taking up our cross daily, and following Him. He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Wasn't this the essence of Paul's, and most likely, Apollos' teaching?


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