Paul moves from surface things to deeper issues in the newly formed church. Each believer is given spiritual gifts. Each is a part of the body and every part is important and has a role. Gifts are to be used, often and effectively.
The most excellent way of using spiritual gifts is love.
Paul explains what love is (not necessarily what some others may think – not lust, not obligation). Love is a way of serving. Love is the only gift that the more we give away the more of the same we receive and only by giving it away do we receive any at all.
Finally, Paul addresses vanity and disorder in the worship services. It sounds like mayhem. There was such an emphasis on speaking in tongues that people were self-focused and, to a degree, showing off. Paul explains the highest value is not in speaking, but in saying something that is of value in helping a brother.
9. a. At conversion we are called to profess our faith and join into the singular body of Christ, adopted into a new eternal life
b. (Personal) YES
c. We all have a gift and a part to play in the church – gifts are tools to be utilized – a gift of a hammer isn’t any good without something to build or repair with it, the gift of healing is the same way
10. Love is one of the only “whys” given in the bible – for God so loved the world. In the same way, the tools we are given, if not used in building, do not do any good. I can bang my hammer all day, but what do I produce?
11. Follow love, desire gifts: especially prophecy (over speaking in tongues) – It is not about me, it is about how what I do serves others.
v26 all of these must be for the strengthening of the church. Be orderly and respectful.
The verses from 1 Cor 13 are so critical to shape our lives by. We get so goal oriented, that we can forget the most important element – first and foremost, God is love, God loves us, God wants us to love Him and love each other.
I recently read a great little book, “The Go-Giver” that I highly recommend. It is by Bob Burg and is written as a modern day story. The book presents the following principles. Notice how true they are to the teaching of Paul applied to a business setting:
The Law of Value
Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value then you take in payment.
The Law of Compensation
Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
The Law of Influence
Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people interest first
The Law of Authenticity
The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself
The Law of Receptivity
The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving