Saturday, 6 December 2014
And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 1 Corinthians 12:6
Paul moves to the third precept which governs our Christian life. The first was “gifts,” the second was “ministries,” and the third is that there are “diversities of activities.” Some translations call these “operations” or “administrations.” According to Vincent’s Word Studies, they are the “Outward manifestations and results of spiritual gifts.”
If someone has the gift of preaching, the manifestation of that is the weaving of words together to build up and edify others. If they have the gift of tongues, they will be able to either speak or translate a language in order to build up others through the impartation of that language. If they have the gift of giving, their activity will be seen perhaps in what they give in order for the ministry to continue to grow and meet its needs.
It should be noted that for the most part, the gifts which are given to believers are not unique to the church. Non-Christians have oratory skills and speak to build up and edify others. People around the world are able to speak in a multitude of languages. And likewise, there are people who give to charities to help others in almost every culture and nation on earth. This is true with the vast majority of gifts and types of ministries and the activities derived from them.
The difference is that for the Christian, the gift moves from a world-centered perspective to a Christ-centered one. The true spiritual gift is one which is used to glorify God as opposed to self or something less than God. This is an important distinction that should not be missed because many claim that they have a certain gift of God and yet it is not used for His glory. The book of Acts shows this on several occasions.
For the Christian though, “there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” When the activity is used appropriately, it will bring honor to Jesus Christ and thus honor God the Father. It is God “who works all in all” for that very purpose. This is confirmed by Jesus’ words which say, “that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” John 5:23
Life application: You have been given a gift. As a Christian, it is intended to bring glory to God. And so allow God to work through you and your gift to bring Him the glory that He is due.
Heavenly Father, before I met Christ, I wasted all of the talents and gifts that You had given me. I worked for others to see me and pat me on the back, I worked to have things that were temporary and without any true importance, and even in the things I did that I thought were for good, they didn’t include You. Now I understand that apart from You, it was all wasted effort. May all that I do for the rest of my days be used to glorify You my precious Lord. Amen.