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1 Corinthians; The fellowship and the gifts of the Spirit

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posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 05:22 PM
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Among the writings of Paul, 1 Corinthians is the letter which teaches the church what it means to be a Christian community.
The opening verses (ch1 vv1-9) have the effect of defining where the church comes from and what it’s based on, and I will want to show how the rest of the teaching follows on from that.
I was drawing out a definition of the church in the attached thread;
Defining the church
Part of the definition was that the church is a “gathered assembly”, an EKKLESIA, richly endowed with “gifts” (CHARISMATA).
So the next concern is how this community relates to the activity of the Spirit. (ch12).

vv1-3 For these gifts are “things of the Spirit”, which means the Corinthians cannot understand them, unless they understand the importance of the Spirit in the Christian life.
It goes back to the beginning of Christian faith, since nobody can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
That is to say, the words themselves can be spoken by anyone, but only by the prompting of the Spirit will anyone make that claim with serious intention.

He’s already explained the reason for this in a previous chapter (ch2 vv9-14)
Without the Spirit, who knows the thoughts of God, we cannot know the Wisdom of God, and therefore we cannot come to any understanding of the gospel.
So every believer must have received the Spirit, since otherwise their faith would be impossible.

The other side of the coin is that only the non-believers, those not moved by the Spirit of God, will call Jesus “cursed”.

vv4-7 They need to understand that the gifts come in many different forms, but they all have the same source.
If we call them “gifts”, they’re all distributed by the one Spirit.
If we call them “ways of serving”, they’re all in the service of the one Lord.
If we call them “powerful effects”, it is the one God who makes them happen.
The Spirit is giving whatever is most appropriate for each person (v11), but always for the common good of the Christian community.

vv8-10 Then we get the famous list, in which Paul finds nine different categories for the phenomena that he knows about.
(He also finds nine ways of describing “the fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians, so the number clearly appeals to his half-Greek mind)
The list has been problematic in modern times, because these things had been missing from the standard life of the church.
When they re-appeared in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, they sometimes brought controversy.
I once belonged to a local church which had very divided sympathies.
So I’ll aim to tread carefully and focus on what Paul’s words are describing.

Most of the nine can be grouped in pairs.
The first pair in the series are named as “word of wisdom” and “word of knowledge”.
Commentators don’t find it easy to distinguish between them.
But “God’s Wisdom”, in the opening chapters, relates to the purpose of the Cross.
So the “word of wisdom” (LOGOS SOPHIAS) might be mainly theological, offering insights into the central message of the gospel which are not accessible to the human “wisdom of speech” (SOPHIA LOGOU, ch1 v17).
That would leave “knowledge” to cover other aspects of teaching and/or information.

“Faith” is another puzzle.
It can’t be the “saving faith” that every Christian would have.
In the next chapter Paul talks about the kind of faith which can “move mountains”, but that seems to be covered later in the list.
An ancient suggestion was “the faith which produces martyrs” (something else picked up in the next chapter).
So perhaps Paul is thinking of the kind of faith which promotes a willingness to undergo the hardships involved in evangelism.
In which case the first three gifts in the list could all be related to some aspect of the presentation of the gospel, which would account for their prominence.

The next pair of gifts are “healings” and “acts of power”.
It’s been observed that both these words are in the plural, suggesting that the “gift” is not “the power to heal” or “the power to work miracles”, but the individual act of healing or the individual miracle.
In other words, God does not delegate his powers, but “gives” the events which demonstrate his power.

Next come “prophecy” and “discernment of spirits”.
Prophecy, in the Old Testament, is not just speaking about the future.
It’s the medium for any message, of warning or encouragement, which God wants to give his people.
“Discernment of spirits” would be very closely associated.
If “messages from God” are being received, it would be important and valuable to be able to tell the difference between what comes from the Spirit of God, and what does not.

Finally “tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues”.
The discussion in ch14 suggests that “tongues” may be used for different purposes.
It is possible for people to “pray in the Spirit”, or “sing in the Spirit”.
The “tongue” might be expressing some “revelation of knowledge or prophecy or teaching” (ch14 v6).
But, as Paul points out, the church gets no benefit unless the message is also interpreted.
For if a man speaks in a tongue, without translation, the practical effect (rather than the purpose) is that he’s talking only to God (ch14 v2).
As for the reason why “tongues” are given at all; Paul regards them as a “sign” confronting the unbelievers, relating to God’s judgement upon them (in which case an assembly of believers is not really the right place)- ch14 v22.

vv12-26 But all these gifts come from the same Spirit, and should be serving a common purpose.
The fact that all the believers have “drunk from” or have been “immersed in” the one Spirit is one of the signs that they all belong to the one body, the body of Christ.
And therefore they should be working together, like the different parts of a physical body.
Nobody should be taking pride in their own functions and abilities to the extent of despising those who have different abilities.

These criticisms seem to be directed at the people speaking in tongues.
The implication is that they they were looking down on other gifts in the list, in areas like prophecy and healing.
Which may have been the case at the time.
In the first flush of the charismatic revival, there seemed to be a danger that people with any of the gifts on the list might be valuing themselves, or might be perceived as valuing themselves, more highly than those whose gifts were not mentioned at all.
But Paul has that angle covered as well.

vv27-28 Evidently the list of nine gifts was never intended to be exhaustive,
Paul now puts forward a different and slightly expanded list, a sample of different ways that people can serve the church.
The first rank are those who guide the church’s life through what they say.
The Apostle comes first, as the man who founds the church in the first place, then the prophets and the teachers.
We find miracles, and healing, and tongues in the second rank of activities.
But we also find “helpers and administrators”.
The first group would be helping the needy- the poor, the sick, the widows, the orphans.
The second group would be looking after other aspects of the practical life of the church.
In Romans, in another list of the gifts, we find people who are giving money and giving aid and “doing acts of mercy”.

On the principle that every believer has received the Spirit, the Spirit may be active in everything they do, including those things which are more practical and less obviously “supernatural”.
So there may be a way for any believer to serve the community in ”the gifts of the Spirit”.






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posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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Thank you Disraeli for another great thread. Again I find your writings of scripture helpful, very informative and a blessing.
Starred and I would flag if I knew how to, I presume I need more posts?



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 07:05 PM
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reply to post by jmc0007
 

Thank you for the encouragement.
There should be a flag symbol to click just above my mini-profile (top left of thread), but you may need twenty posts first.



edit on 11-11-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2013 @ 11:50 PM
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Ah right, yes, just read about the twenty post qualifier to be able to start or flag a thread.

Also just read this thread again.
I will share some personal insight I got, first a quick background.
I was baptised again in 1997, when I came to a belief in Jesus Christ for the first time really at the age of twenty seven. I had been raised a Catholic, though never knew Jesus personally, so to speak. (Such a cliche though I have met Him and all will.) I simply kind of believed in God, though mainly in a power of good and a power of bad.
Of the spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians I have desired healing, that demonstration of Gods power would be irrefutable I have believed; along with the joy it would bring to the benefactor. Though in times I have wanted that display of power I have been bound by fear, so I deduce not imbued with that power at that time. I believe a time may come where that power is awash on the earth, though in the meantime I believe I must concentrate on being successful in small administrations. Also your mention of people boasting of certain gifts I believe is possibly another stumbling block that affects the church.
I nearly got lost trying to share something with you there and hope my rambling is not too puddled. I have even more admiration for your soundly, structured explanations/clarifications of scripture, bringing me fresh insight on Gods word.
Thanks again and Shalom, in all it's fullness.

edit on 11-11-2013 by jmc0007 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 12:52 AM
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Dear Disraeli - wonderful post. Will be saving this. Thank you.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by jmc0007
 

My own experience is that I was introduced to "tongues" soon after being re-introduced to the Christian faith, both introductions coming through the medium of books. ("It's dangerous to lend you a book, isn't it?" she said, when I reported back).
The "tongue" seemed to be a specific language of some kind, distinct from anything I was doing; I noted use of the word "mana", and how repetitions of it "wound up" one of the conversations.
However, the experience stopped happening. Probably by neglect as much as anything else.
In any case, my "calling" is undoubtedly towards the "teaching" aspect of service.




edit on 12-11-2013 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 05:11 PM
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People sometimes ask "Who would have been saying 'Jesus is accursed' and when would they have been saying it?"
My own assumption is that Paul was quoting a slogan of the persecuting Jews.
He might even have said it himself in his persecuting days.
He would still see the conflict between Jews and Christians as a dispute within the same religious community, governed by whether an individual had or had not been touched by the Spirit of Christ.



posted on Nov, 12 2013 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by ccseagull
 

Thank you.
I'm don't know if you're aware that this is one of a series on 1 Corinthians, so you may be interested in the earlier episodes.



posted on Nov, 13 2013 @ 05:13 PM
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This thread is the sequel to;
The fellowship and the common Spirit



posted on Nov, 14 2013 @ 05:04 PM
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This series has been inspired, indirectly, by the commentary written by Hans Conzellman.
In his comments on the first verse in ch6 (a passage which I do not intend to cover) he remarks that “The criterion of conduct is accordingly found in the nature of the community”.
In effect, I have taken this dictum and made it a guideline for a major part of the epistle.
The premise is that Paul’s teaching here is largely about getting the church to live up to the description of itself which he supplies in the opening verses.
The way this works will become evident in the different stages.

(It has to be said, though, that I increasingly find Robertson and Plummer more reliable on points of detail).



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 05:08 PM
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The sequence of threads in this series is expected to be as follows;

Defining the church
The calling and the cross
The calling and the Spirit
The calling and the teachers
The saint and his holiness
The saints and the sinner
The saints and the idols
The fellowship and the common Spirit
The fellowship and the gifts of the Spirit (current thread)
The fellowship and the Supper
The fellowship and its love
The waiting and the resurrection



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 04:05 PM
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DISRAELI

This series has been inspired, indirectly, by the commentary written by Hans Conzellman.
In his comments on the first verse in ch6 (a passage which I do not intend to cover) he remarks that “The criterion of conduct is accordingly found in the nature of the community”.
In effect, I have taken this dictum and made it a guideline for a major part of the epistle.
The premise is that Paul’s teaching here is largely about getting the church to live up to the description of itself which he supplies in the opening verses.
The way this works will become evident in the different stages.

(It has to be said, though, that I increasingly find Robertson and Plummer more reliable on points of detail).


Your justification is a guessing game or whatever you decide? Which one of these guys is right? You must
finally see the importance of authority.

God did not make everyone their own pope brother (Protestantism). He established one faith and everything you know of Christ came from the faith, Roman Catholicism less the OT prophecies about
Our Lord.

The prophesied Great Warning, you will be shown, God wants you to believe in the Eucharist, He can do anything, Jesus' presence in the Eucharist is supernatural.

It still will be your free will choice, prayers for your conversion.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by colbe
 

This thread is about the gifts of the Spirit.
Please read the OP and confine yourself to the topic of the thread.
The points you put forward have been throughly answered on earlier threads where they were relevant to the discussion.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 04:28 PM
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DISRAELI
reply to post by colbe
 

This thread is about the gifts of the Spirit.
Please read the OP and confine yourself to the topic of the thread.
The points you put forward have been throughly answered on earlier threads where they were relevant to the discussion.



I kept to topic, you named a bunch of men and their opinions you agreed or didn't agree with. I commented.

The Holy Spirit does NOT give every person their personal view of God's revelation. This is not of God.

Stop quoting anything Roman Catholic and then continue to preach your view. Makes no sense.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 04:30 PM
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DISRAELI
reply to post by colbe
 

This thread is about the gifts of the Spirit.
Please read the OP and confine yourself to the topic of the thread.
The points you put forward have been throughly answered on earlier threads where they were relevant to the discussion.



No they haven't, how can you quote Roman Catholic saints who lived BEFORE the revolt October 31, 1517
and deny the faith?

You have got to put two and two together Disraeli, time is short.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by colbe
 

Please remain on-topic.
Any further off-topic posts will be ignored.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 04:38 PM
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DISRAELI
reply to post by colbe
 

Please remain on-topic.
Any further off-topic posts will be ignored.



I am on topic, which of the fellows you named is correct on the most important thing, the light of the
Holy Spirit, His God given revelation revealed?

We can know, there is one faith. You have no authority, showing it by your "lessons" threads Disraeli.

Will other Protestants disagree with your version? Yes.



posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 04:42 PM
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DISRAELI

This series has been inspired, indirectly, by the commentary written by Hans Conzellman.
In his comments on the first verse in ch6 (a passage which I do not intend to cover) he remarks that “The criterion of conduct is accordingly found in the nature of the community”.
In effect, I have taken this dictum and made it a guideline for a major part of the epistle.
The premise is that Paul’s teaching here is largely about getting the church to live up to the description of itself which he supplies in the opening verses.
The way this works will become evident in the different stages.

(It has to be said, though, that I increasingly find Robertson and Plummer more reliable on points of detail).


Who is correct Hans, Robertson, Plummer or you DISRAELI? Many, many Protestant ministers have converted
to the faith realizing they were preaching something different than the Protestant minister down the
street@!

They discovered the importance of authority and finally, humbly accepted there is one authority, not 40,000 plus views of Christ's teachings.

Our Lord wants you to become Roman Catholic. Follow these ministers example, you can change.



posted on Nov, 20 2013 @ 03:38 PM
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colbe
which of the fellows you named is correct on the most important thing, the light of the
Holy Spirit, His God given revelation revealed?

You are missing the point of the OP, possibly because you have not read it.
Every Christian, by definition, has been touched by the Holy Spirit.
We know that from ch12 v4, because "no man can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit".
The ability to discern and recognise the truth comes only by the Holy Spirit, not from any human individual.
This is one of the areas where the "gift" of the Holy Spirit needs to be exercised.

(This is also discussed in the thread on ch2-"The calling and the Spirit"-, where Paul shows that only the Spirit can give us understanding of God's message in the gospel, and in the thread on ch3- "The calling and the teachers"- where Paul points out that ALL human leadership has ultimately no importance. Our calling comes only from God.)



posted on Nov, 27 2013 @ 03:05 PM
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The most recent thread in this series is;

The fellowship and its love






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