Thursday, 4 December 2014
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4
Paul returns back to the thought of verse 1 in order to continue his discourse on “gifts.” There he said, “Now concerning spiritual gifts…” after that, he made an explanation concerning the distinction between “dumb idols” and the Holy Spirit. Now, based on understanding the true workings of the Spirit, he notes that, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
The word “diversities” is used only three times in the New Testament and all three are found in verses 4, 5, and 6. Interestingly, the Spirit is noted in verse 4, Christ (the “Lord”) is noted in verse 5, and the Father (called “the same God”) in verse 6. Thus, this sequence of verses shows a purposeful expression of the doctrine of the Trinity. The “diversities” then are shown to be reflective of the different workings of the Trinity in the believer.
The process of salvation in the believer is always the same; it is by grace through faith. At the moment of salvation, the believer is sealed with the Spirit. However, from this point, different gifts are highlighted in individual believers, even though the Source of those gifts remains the same. When the sun shines on an individual, the result is the same as the light shining on another person; they both receive the same light. However, when light shines through a prism, the light goes off into a variety of colors. The same light is received, but it is diffused as God determined through the created order. Such is the nature of salvation in the believer followed by the expression of gifts given to and through the believer.
Life application: It is common to quote Jesus’ words from Matthew 5:16 which say, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” The light that shines then should be a reflection of the person that you are as gifted by the Holy Spirit. Let the Light which has shone on you be displayed in a manner worthy of the gift which you have received.
Lord, I know You didn’t save me to continue on as I was before You saved me. And so change me, mold me, and refine me to reflect Your glory, to seek Your honor, and to lead others to You. What a tragedy it is when I waste the precious time You have given me on my old life and my old ways. Help me in this Lord. Old clothes are often more comfortable, but they have rips, stains, and stinky smells. Clothe me with pure garments of Your righteousness each morning as I arise and I will wear them to Your glory. Amen.