1 Corinthians 12, 1-3
Something to read
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.
You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says `Let Jesus be cursed!' and no one can say `Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit.
New Revised Standard Version
Something to think about
Do you find yourself uncomfortable when the subject of ‘spiritual gifts’ is mentioned? If so, be assured you are not alone - even preachers have been known to avoid the topic.
However, the truth is spiritual gifts and experiences are an integral part of the history of the Christian church, and Paul in our opening verse underlines their importance with the words ‘I do not want you to be uninformed’ about them.
Then Paul also in verse 3 writes, ‘no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit’ (‘Lord’ is a title that was used for Jehovah in the Greek Old Testament), which means if we acknowledge Jesus as Lord we are already a part of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.
Did not Jesus tell his disciples that when he leaves them he will send ‘another Advocate’ [KJB has ‘Comforter’] who will teach them and remind them of what he had said, and subsequently reveal to them the reality of Christ (John 14 &15)?
The story of Pentecost (Acts 2) shows us such a moment of revelation; loud praise broke out, and Peter preached a very powerful sermon.
So having read these verses, can we ignore the subject of ‘spiritual gifts?’
Something to do
Make a list of any moments of spiritual revelations or experiences that you have had in your life. It does not matter how small they were or the age you were. How did they come about? Were they from within you, or was it something more?
Something to pray
Spend some time meditating upon each part of the name and title ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour of the world.’ What do they say to you? As you do so, quietly pray: Holy Spirit deepen my understanding of who Jesus is, Deepen my love for Him, Let praise and worship well up within me.
Today's contributor is The Rev Frazer Hawkes, a retired Methodist minister.