Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
--Be not conformed—shaped to a pattern. if your faith is about lining up with a group, or a guy who has it all right, or based on your parent’s opinions, anything other than God’s Word, then you’ll be off.
Since conformity is out, then you would expect believers to be different!
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
Many/one—diversity with unity.
Office—function, practice, business. Not talking about beliefs but what you do.
Differences are not an issue of pride or who is better than who—Verse 3—don’t think too highly of yourself, think soberly about you.
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Christianity is not a lone ranger activity. If your spiritual maturity isolates you, you don’t have spiritual maturity.
Members of one another—same as members of the body in Romans 6. Connected together in Christ and helpful to each other.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Gifts and grace—charisma and charis. Gifts are a sign of grace to you.
Prophecy--delivery of warning, exhortation, instruction, judging, and making manifest the secrets of the heart.
Proportion of faith—faith and grace go together. God grants the requisite faith to carry out the gift given. Can’t be an issue of pride then, but solely what was given to you by God to edify the body. Going beyond that will not work well.
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Ministry—service, a practical ministry more in action than words.
Wait on—be occupied with, absorbed in, devoted to.
Teaching—helping people understand.
Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Exhorteth—to urge to duty and comfort in trials. Aimed at the heart and will.
Giveth—doling out private benevolence, giving earthly possessions.
Simplicity—honesty, integrity, sincerely, not hypocritically. Not to be seen by others.
Ruleth—superintend, protect, the one in the lead, ranked over, prominence, importance.
Mercy—to help the afflicted, show compassion.
Cheerfulness—not begrudgingly, not as chore but with true joy. Rejoicing in the opportunity. Hilarotes—with hilarity, bringing joy into an otherwise depressed situation.
--I can’t do it because it’s not my gift. If the church needs that gift, then desire to get it!
Being helpful is best done by doing things that are actually helpful.
1 Corinthians 12:31
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Covet earnestly—jealousy, zeal, envy.
Best—useful, advantageous, excellent. What is most useful to the body.
Better way—into chapter 13 about love—gifts without love is just self-seeking. Love will always lead you to serve others, which is what gifts are for.