The Spirit’s working for the common good
Pray: for God’s help as you look and think on his word now.
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:1–13
1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. 4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in one Spirit we were all baptised into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
Think: here are a few questions to help you think through this passage;
- what do these verses say the Spirit does in the body and the church?
- why does he work like this (v7)?
- how does what Paul says here compare to how you have previously thought of the Spirit’s work?
- what surprises or challenges your thinking here?
- how might this shape your expectation of what church should or could look like?
Pray: spend some time thanking God for the varied, body building work of the Spirit. You could write a prayer of thanksgiving, and then use it. Ask God that your view of church might be shaped by the picture you see here.
Today: think on how you have already seen the varied work of the Spirit manifested in our church. Why not message someone who you’ve seen use their gift for the common good to encourage them today?