There is much discussion these days about the Holy Spirit and the gifts He gives to His people. A lot of the discussion is well and good and helpful. But also a lot of the discussion is unnecessary. With many discussions going on today, much of it is missing the point and not needed.
In the book of 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul spends a lot of time discussing the Holy Spirit and the gifts He gives to His church. Corinth is a city with a church, and Paul is helping them believe, understand, think and function properly as a “Spiritual” people. Specifically, chapters 12-14 address Spiritual Gifts.
I want to highlight a few verses from chapter 14 that will bring a lot of clarity to understanding spiritual gifts.
- 14:3 “the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.”
- 14:4 “the one who prophesies builds up the church.”
- 14:5 “…so that the church may be built up.”
- 14:6 “how will I benefit you unless …”
- 14:7 “how will anyone know …”
- 14:9 “how will anyone know …”
- 14:12 “strive to excel in building up the church.”
- 14:17 “but the other person is not being built up.”
- 14:26 “Let all things be done for building up.”
- 14:31 “so that all may learn and be encouraged.”
All of that is from one chapter. If you were to read the chapter, his emphasis is even more heavy. He is being so redundant. He is stressing the purpose and significance of spiritual gifts = the building up of the church!
God’s Spirit is in every believer in Jesus. And that Spirit has gifted every believer in different ways. All the different believers with various gifts make up the one body of Christ. And all of those gifts from the Spirit among all those believers inside the one body are for one reason to build the church up for the Glory of God.
In other words, if it is not building up the church then it is not of the Spirit. That is clear from chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians.