Summary of passage: 1 Corinthians 12: Gifts given by the Spirit are different for everyone and to be used for the common good. All determined by God.
The body is made up of many parts but all forming one body. Just like mankind. We have many gifts but all of one Spirit. All parts depend on each other in order to properly function. We are all the body of Christ and have a part to play.
1 Corinthians 13: One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible. Paul describes love as indispensable. It must be present in everything we do or it is all for nothing. Love is a verb. It shows action. It is patient, kind, protects, trusts, and perseveres. It does not envy, boast, is proud or rude, or a score-keeper.
Love never fails and is eternal. In Heaven, faith and hope fall away. But love remains.
1 Corinthians 14: Paul says prophecy is better than speaking in tongues because prophecy can be understood by others and helps other. He who speaks in tongues only helps himself. Speak clearly and try to excel in gifts that build up the church and not just yourself.
If you do speak in tongues, pray you may interpret it for the benefit of others.
Prophecy helps the unbeliever for if an unbeliever heard you speaking in tongues he would think you are nuts! But an unbeliever can understand prophecy and will be convinced he is a sinner and repent and turn to God.
Worship should be for the strengthening of the church. An interpreter must be present when speaking in tongues. Prophecy should be instructional and encouraging. Women should not speak in the realm of church authority. This is the word of God.
9a) True conversion is where you are sincere in what you are saying and believing. If the conversion is true, the Holy Spirit will be inside of you and in your heart.
c) 1 Cor 12:7 says the Spirit is given for the common good. Different gifts but from the same Spirit. Through Paul’s analogy of the human body how every part is dependent on the other for survival, we see that every human is dependent on the other as well. Man was not meant to be alone or live alone. We are better together instead of alone (think of how easy it is to break one stick but how hard it is to break a bundle of sticks).
Verse 27: We are all the body of Christ and have a part to play.
10) The goal of the gifts is to foster love, not the gifts themselves (pride warning here). Love is ever-lasting. It will outlive any gift given. Love is eternal. And love is God. Not any gifts He bestows.
11) Follow love and use your spiritual gifts. Verse 12 says to try to excel in gifts that build up the church and strengthen it (verse 26). If you speak in tongues, make sure you can interpret what you say; otherwise, you are not helping others.
Conclusions: A lot to digest once again in these chapters. I like the reminder how God has blessed each of us individually but we are to use these gifts for the good of all.
I love the definition of love in Chapter 13. These days it seems people throw the word around way too much with no meaning behind it. Here we have it defined. Love is about actions. It reminds me of some things I need to work on when showing love.
Even in speaking in tongues it is to me used for good as Paul says over and over again it’s pointless if no one can understand your words and you end up helping no one.
Great lesson on why we’re here again: for others.
End Note on 1 Corinthians 14:34: Admittedly, this is the first time I have read this that women are to remain silent. So, of course, I read up on it and I found various interpretations.
1) This is only pertaining to women staying silent in relations to the role of women (which means men are the head of home and church)
2) This is actually Paul quoting a question the Corinthians asked him i.e. Paul is not saying this but the Corinthians are and Paul is again answering their question.
3) How this refutes everything Paul just said in 1 Corinthians 12 since all (men and women) have spiritual gifts they must impart to others.
4) What the original Greek word for silence actually meant. This argument I never believe for unless one of these opiners lived in first century AD and knew what the word meant he or she is only guessing. As we know with our own language, meanings and slang of words are constantly being changed and altered (take gay for example. No one can use this word any more in casual conversation because most people will miss the first definition of “happily excited; merry”. So I tend to discount these arguments altogether.
Here are two interesting sites I found: one supports the gender role and the other supports the refutation and Paul didn’t say this at all. You can be the judge.
The more and more I delve into BSF the more and more confused I get sometimes (not always, but sometimes). There are so many interpretations out there it’s hard to decipher what exactly God is saying sometimes.
I tend to lean towards the black and white/simple explanation more. I’m never trying to find a way to interpret what doesn’t need to be interpreted. Yet, I am highly cognizant of the “lost in translation” problem that does exist out there and sometimes it is hard to decipher what exactly God was trying to convey through the writers of the Bible.
I pray about an issue that’s bothering me and go with what my heart says is the right meaning when I feel God has impressed upon me His answer.
You definitely can’t believe everything you read out there especially when it comes to God’s word.
I do my best as I await the real answers to my lingering questions when I get to Heaven.