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As leaders we set an example in being spiritual people and we lead others in living their lives the same. To be spiritual, is to be led by the Spirit of God in our spirit that inspires the thoughts, reasonings, imaginations, emotions, and desires of our soul from within to empower us to demonstrate the life of Christ in our world in natural and supernatural ways. We cannot be truly spiritual without being responsible in the natural areas of our lives. We cannot be truly spiritual without being responsible in supernatural ways in our lives. Some are not meant to be natural, while others are supernatural. Christ in each of us empowers each of us to be natural and supernatural as a testimony of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:1-3 Now concerning spiritual
gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
As I wrote last week, the word ‘gifts’ in this text is not in the original Greek. It is an added word to explain the context of the letter. I believe that the translators have missed the point of this chapter by adding the word ‘gifts’. The chapter is about being spiritual in our identity, testimony, and purpose in life. It addresses the power of the Holy Spirit that empowers our human spirits, the expression of the ministry of Christ that reveals who we each are in Christ, and our corporate purpose in God our Father for His purpose filled will in our lives as His family in this world. The true subject of Paul’s writing is found in next verses of this chapter.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
Paul was dealing with the subject of gifts of the Spirit, ministries of Christ, and effects or workings of God in life. To be spiritual people we must have the power of the Spirit, know the uniqueness of who we are in being humans expressing the power of Christ, and we must know our divine connections for our purpose in life. All humans must be empowered by God’s Spirit in their spirits, led by their spirit to their souls, and reveal a spiritual testimony in life. Paul was not merely talking about how gifts of the Spirit function in an institution called the church. He was talking about how the life of the Spirit works to make human beings spiritual in their expression as the Church of Christ in life.
True authority is a testimony of life. God has called us all to be a part of a living body known as the body of Christ. That body is not a place we go to so we can escape from the world. That body is the corporate place of our abiding so we can become fruitful and effective in bringing life to one another and to our world. We must be spiritual people in all things. We must not be ignorant of being spiritual beings of authority. We do this by the power of the Spirit, the ministry of Christ, and as a part of a work of God in this world. This is the power, throne, and authority of our lives.
This chapter of 1 Corinthians reveals nine charismas that express the power of the Holy Spirit. Those charismas are expressions of the power of God’s Spirit to our own human spirit in order for us to be those who give life to others through the authority of our lives. In order to be spiritual, we must first be empowered in our spirits by the charisma of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
How much attention to we give to the Holy Spirit and His charisma in our lives? We are each invited, and even required, to manifest expressions of the power of the Holy Spirit in and through our lives. Supernatural words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues should be normal manifestations in our lives. I believe that each of us receives the Holy Spirit in our lives in order that we might have the power of Christ’s life to administrate Christ’s life to others through the uniqueness of each of our being and for the fullness of our authority of life to others. Any of the charisma of the Holy Spirit can manifest through us, but the Holy Spirit will work with each of us according to the uniqueness of our motivational gifting and our membership ministry in the Body of Christ (Rom. 12:6-8, 1 Cor. 12:12-26). I believe that the charisma of the Spirit is meant to empower us as human beings, not as workers of religious activities. We need the supernatural realities of the Holy Spirit within us so we can live with the power of Christ’s life in all that we are and do. Many who say they are Christians have decided that these things are optional, but I believe they are essential to the spiritual makeup of our lives as redeemed humanity with the power of Christ within us. Without them we lack the power for the full administration of Christ in our lives. Paul continues to address ministries and works in this chapter, but the first ingredient to being spiritual people fulfilling the authority of our lives is to embrace the power of Christ within us.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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