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This morning, we will be looking at the book of 1 Corinthians. In addition to being one of the most quoted books by the early church fathers, the book of 1 Corinthians also happens to be one of my favorite books in the New Testament. This morning we will be focusing primarily on chapter 12.
Initially, I liked the book because it’s the largest available treatise on spiritual gifts. Being raised in the Charismatic / Pentecostal church, I tended to focus almost entirely on chapters 12 through 14. I remember being both delighted and frustrated at Paul’s comments that we should “desire spiritual gifts…” After all, during that time of my life, one of the most important things for me was the obtaining of the gifts of the Spirit. I wanted to be able to prophecy or perform miracles. Many of you might find this desire to be odd; however, given my goals and circumstances, this desire was a natural one.
As a teenager, I remember having a very strong desire to be “the best Christian I can be”. Since I, and those around me, thought that the pinnacle of one’s spiritual life is to obtain spiritual gifts, naturally I sought them so that I could be spiritually fulfilled. The logic was simple
- I desire to be as spiritual as possible.
- Obtaining the gifts of the Spirit is the mark of someone who is advanced in his or her spirituality.
- Therefore, I desire to obtain the gifts of the Spirit.