L. A. Marzulli
1st part in a series!
1 Corinthians 12: 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
Here’s the back story. Jesus has long since risen up into the heavens. The Holy Spirit has descended on the those gathered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem and filled them with the spirit of the living God. Peter, then goes out onto the balcony and preaches to the crowd that has gathered there, and 3000 people are “born again” that day! This is the Holy Spirit of the living God, not a dead religion. This is promise fulfilled of the coming of the Comforter, Jesus told us would come when He went away.
Jesus also promised the Holy Spirit would teach us in all things. By the way, without trying to start something here, there is no place in all of scripture which tells us the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn and His presence, as well as the gifts He brings to men and women have somehow been withdrawn and are no longer applicable today.
Think about this for a moment. If that were true – the gifts being withdrawn – then we are left here defenseless. There are no gifts to enable us to destroy the works of the Fallen One. There is no Holy Spirit, guiding and leading us and teaching us in all things. How dismal is that?
The apostle Paul is writing this letter from the ancient city of Corinth.
Corinth, or Korinth (Greek: Κόρινθος, Kórinthos) was a city-state (polis) on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta. Ancient Corinth – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
He is a man who is far from his home. He is on a journey to spread the good news, the gospel, and he is bold about it. Some put this writing about 57 AD, just before the siege of Jerusalem in which the city and the temple are destroyed and millions of Jews slaughtered.
Paul is writing to a church that is not familiar with the Holy Spirit. They are not sure how to move in the gifts, and perhaps don’t know what the gifts are! Paul begins his teaching by stating there are a diversity of gifts. This clearly means there are more than one gift.
A gift is something which is given freely. A person can’t earn it. It is bestowed upon he or she with favor and blessing! Think of the gifts we give to each other at birthdays or Christmas, so it is with the gifts of the Spirit. We can’t earn them they are given by the Holy Spirit freely.
Next Paul tells us: but the same Spirit. You will notice Spirit is capitalized. As Christians we believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the triune God. He was able to manifest in the early church as He settled on those in the upper room in Jerusalem. The building shook, and the people began to speak in other tongues or what theologians call the glossolalia.
In closing todays Bun: Paul is instructing the people in Corinth that there are gifts which come from the Holy Spirit. He makes it clear there is more than one gift, in fact there are a diversity of them. In the coming weeks we explore these gifts and how we should operate in them as the church and individually. This is how we roll!
Blessings and Happy New Year! L.A.