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One God for Everything

1 Corinthians 12:4-6
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (NIVUK)

In Corinth there were many gods in different temples. Each one was supposed to have power in a particular area: love, fertility, communication or war; but the stone statues had no personality and no power. But God who is a real person with real power, is in charge of everything. When Corinthians trusted in God the Son they received God the Spirit. Indeed, belonging to Christ is only possible because of the indwelling presence of the Spirit (Romans 8:9).
God is not limited in any way. He is in command of all things, all the time; and can do whatever He wants. He desires to redeem human beings from their slavery to sin, adopt them as children in His family, and renew the spoiled creation one day. One way in which God achieves His objectives is through His people who are filled with His Spirit. Each believer is given one or more spiritual gift so that they can be God's agents, expressing His power in a sin-sick world.
There are many spiritual gifts and nobody has all of them. The gifts are distributed among God's people so that they have to work together to fulfil His commission in the church and in the world. They are not given to boost the 'spiritual profiles' of proud believers but to enable God's authority to be brought to bear in specific ways in this dysfunctional world, to bless other people. The gifts are all from the same One-and-Only God who authorises His power to be released. His gifts are to be used by His people, under His authority, for His purposes, so that He may have the glory.
The Corinthians had to learn that having the Holy Spirit working through them did not make them any more special than other believers, but proved how wonderful God is. Those who served and those who prophesied were equally precious to the same Lord. But they did not all see it like that. Instead of being grateful that the Lord should choose to use them, they became proud and boastful. They vied with each other about which gifts were more important. So the Apostle Paul had to teach them that spiritual gifts were all about serving the Lord, not themselves. What has the Lord given to you? Are you humbly thankful that He is enabling you to work for Him, or are you arrogantly seeking your own glory?


Lord God. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to live within me. Forgive me for grieving Him by using His gifts for my glory rather than Yours. Please help me to understand how the gifts You have given to me may be used alongside others so that Your kingdom will come and Your will be done where You have placed me, so that You will have the glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams