This past week we read about Saint Paul instructing the Corinthian Church about spiritual gifts. We learned that there are two words he uses for spiritual gifts:
πνευματικῶν (pneumatikon) - gifts-of-the-Spirit
χαρισμάτων (charismaton) - gift-of-divine-grace
Saint Paul makes the point that “being spiritual” as a Christian is much different that the spirituality of the world (whether it be pagan or otherwise). The devil seeks to entrap but God seeks to free and bring to fullness - completely different goals.
Another contrast he makes is between the spirituality of this world which seeks to puff itself up and the spirituality of the Christian. The different source, the different goal yields a different purpose. It is to build up the Church and santicfy the individual.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
(1 Corinthians 12:7)
In addition to this the Holy Spirit seeks always to bring glory to Jesus Christ. Jesus, however, chooses to use Christians in every era, location, and nationality to bring himself to others. We are not our own. We belong to each other in Christ.
Saint Paul uses the word “belong” (verse 15), he says that the body is “arranged” by God (verse 18), it is “composed” by God (verse 24), and people in it are “appointed” (verse 28) to different positions in it. God has placed people together with a task and given them divine gifts to accomplish it.
As we look at Lakewood Anglican and ourselves, we ask:
How do I see myself as part of a God-arrange, God-composed congregation?
How does this change how I act toward others in the congregation?
How might this change how I interact with others and their families?
Where do I see the Holy Spirit giving me gifts to function in the congregation, Am I using them or do I hear him?
What does the Church see in me?
When we are able to lay aside our pride and competition, God is able to work drawing us together, but like the Corinthians, we still struggle with this. Let us pray for the god-given grace and gifts.
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