Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 13

Do Christians still need the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

1 Corinthians 13:11

The first Christians in Corinth were doing many wrong things, and several of those matters were very severe. However, the Holy Spirit was especially active in their church. That was clear because of the gifts that God had given to many members of their church (12:7-10).

It is good that the Holy Spirit was so active in Corinth. When a church has serious problems, mere human intelligence is not enough to deal with all those problems. The leaders cannot depend only on their own skills. God must act; and he does that by his Spirit.

Paul was urging the Christians in Corinth to behave in a mature manner (3:1-3; 14:20). They should not constantly argue in a selfish manner, as little children often do. Instead, they should act in love towards each other. He was not telling them to neglect the gifts of the Holy Spirit (14:1). They needed every gift that God had given them (12:27-31). God would use those gifts to show them how they could act in love as mature Christians.

Paul considered himself mature, but he still needed the gifts of the Holy Spirit (14:18). He did not consider himself perfect (Philippians 3:12); he knew that he too had to develop in the Christian life.

Paulís words in 1 Corinthians 13:11 are an explanation of 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. An adult does not behave in the same way as a child does. So, when God makes all things perfect (15:24-28), Christians will not still need these gifts of the Spirit. They are essential so that Christians can become mature now. But when Christ returns to rule, they will not be necessary. However, Godís love will always be necessary. That love never ends. So Christians must always act in love.

Next part: To see God and to know God (1 Corinthians 13:12)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.