The governing principle of the gifts

In 1Cor. 12:1-3 we have the governing principle of the spiritual gifts. In verse 1 Paul says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers...





In 1Cor. 12:1-3 we have the governing principle of the spiritual gifts. In verse 1 Paul says, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.” In chapters twelve through fourteen Paul deals with the ninth problem among the Corinthians, the problem of spiritual gifts in relation to God’s administration and operation.

In verses 2 and 3 Paul continues, “You know that when you were of the nations, you were led away to dumb idols, however you were led. Wherefore I make known to you that no one speaking in the Spirit of God says, Jesus is accursed; and no one can say, Lord Jesus, except in the Holy Spirit.” The apostle’s thought here is that the dumb, voiceless idols in verse 2 make their worshippers dumb and voiceless. But the living God causes His worshippers to speak in His Spirit. This kind of speaking is related to the spiritual gifts. No one who speaks in the Spirit of God would say, “Jesus is accursed”; he would like to say and he is able to say, “Lord Jesus.” No worshippers of God should be silent, but all should use their voices to speak forth the Lord Jesus in the Spirit of God. This—to speak the Lord Jesus—is the main function of all the spiritual gifts.

The governing principle of the gifts is to speak by our spirit with the Spirit, that is, to utter something with the Spirit in our spirit. This kind of speaking is centered on the Lord Jesus. Therefore, what we speak should be focused on Christ. Christ should be the substance, the element, the essence, the center, and the circumference of our speaking.

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