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Gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 and Pentecostals

The Apostle Paul gives the ignorant Corinthians one criteria to determine genuine Christian spirituality: Holy spirituality looks like people confessing Jesus as Lord. Formerly they had been led and influenced be speechless idols. Now the power of the Spirit had led them to confess Jesus as their Lord. (v 1-3). This is the first thing they need to realize because it is the mark of what is actually genuinely spiritual.

Spirituality begins and ends with the Lordship of Jesus. His Lordship is what spiritual gifts are all about. In v 4-6 it is this same Spirit, the same Lord, this same God, who gives the diversity of the different gifts and service and workings in all of us. And all given for the good of us all, his church.

God is not only the author of spiritual gifts (and not us), they are also his working (not ours). And not only that, he uses the gifts he has given us to serve the good of others (not of ourselves directly).

What is Pentecostal spirituality? Whether or not we speak in tongues? Why are spiritual gifts so important to Pentecostals? Do spiritual gifts increase our own experience of spirituality? Are they given by God to esteem us? Do we become more and more spiritual, the more work we do in the church?

What is repeated and emphasised by Paul throughout the list of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 is the sovereignty of the Spirit; the Lordship of Jesus. To one is given this gift, to another that. But all are the work of the one and same Spirit: the Spirit who led us to confess Jesus as Lord.

And now he leads us to serve others with what he has given us. And he gives as he determines. He is Lord.

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