May 3, 2015 Sunday School Commentary
Gifts of the Spirit
Highlighted Text – 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Key verse- “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7, NIV).
Every human being was created for a purpose. Every believer, member of the Body of Christ, has been gifted with a spiritual gift(s) so that we might edify and advance the kingdom of God. Many search for their purpose in life every day because they feel empty inside and there is the urge to do more with their lives. Our purpose is attached to our spiritual gifts. If you woke up this morning eager to attend church or watch a televangelist, but still feel a disconnect, be encouraged by today’s lesson.
The Test of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1-3)
The apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians because the church had great dealings with idolatry, immorality and unethical practices. They had formally worshiped gods such as Aphrodite and Poseidon and this was hindering their Christian relationship. They were using their previous method of testing if a spirit was from god; therefore, Paul had to educate them on the true Spirit of God and how to test and discern. They previously worshiped idols that were mute. Paul told them that a way to discern if someone is speaking by the Holy Spirit is their bold claim that Jesus is Lord. Those spirits that have enmity with the Holy Spirit will not glorify Jesus Christ.
Point to Ponder: Do you allow the frustration of false spirits to interfere with service to God?
The Unity of the Spirit ( 1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
The Corinthian church was full of gifts, but lacked wisdom. Once the issue of how to test the Spirit was addressed, Paul informed them that their gifts all come from the same Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is able to distribute diverse gifts with a unified purpose. Every part of the Body of Christ, every member in church has a unique function and contribution. Unity thrives within the church when each member uses his or her gift and exercises wisdom by submitting to the Holy Spirit.
Point to Ponder: Is your church in constant chaos and mostly divided?
The Gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are unique from the natural talents that we have; However, these talents might compliment our gifts. Paul lists the different gifts in their respectable categories. It is God who assigns and gives the gifts. We do not choose them. God compels us to know that we posses a certain gift and confirms. If we try to work a gift that has not been given by God, then we will feel awkward and constantly frustrated. Consider the dynamics of the human body; if we were meant to be the ear and force ourselves to serve as feet, we would encounter a lot of noise that would interfere with our hearing. When the Gifts of the Spirit operate by the Holy Spirit and in their proper functions, there is unity and the mission is accomplished.
Point to Ponder: Are you using the gifts God has assigned and given to you?
God has blessed us with gifts so that we might be a blessing to others. When we use our gifts in our local churches and communities, we are fulfilled. Our gifts testify about the full ministry of Jesus. Go and serve through your gifts today and all the days that follow. If you are unsure about your gift, pray to the Father and He shall reveal it to you.
Commentary by, Evangelist Shulanda Hastings
Lesson guide, Direction Urban Ministries