Word first

“And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles. . .” (1 Corinthians 12:28)  “But eagerly desire the greater gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31)  It is confusing to consider how we are to be  individually content with the gifts the Spirit gives us (ears are to be glad to be ears–see vs 16) and at the same time  to corporately desire the “greater gifts”.  Desire is a word that most often means jealousy–a couple jealously excludes others from their marriage, a church jealously guards some gifts from exerting too much influence over the fellowship.  Structure the church, says Paul, with the emphasis on the gifts of evangelism, discipleship and teaching.  Put the “word gifts” first. (not in value but in emphasis)  This is a choice of God and when we cooperate with Him, all gifts operate with greater efficiency and joy.  No favoritism here, but it is wisdom from God to keep the “word first”.

Author: Don Guthrie

Don Guthrie is the Senior Pastor at FBCSA.

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