The word Ďgiftsí appears in many translations of 1 Corinthians 12:1, but it does not actually appear here in the original language. Paulís subject in chapter 12 is how the Holy Spirit works among Christians. The Holy Spirit brings Christians into a relationship of love towards each other.
That was a lesson that the Christians in Corinth needed very much to learn. They cared very much about the Holy Spirit; they often saw evidence of the Spiritís work in their church. However, they had not yet understood that they should show love as a result of the Spiritís work.
In fact, it even seemed as if arguments were a more frequent result of the Spiritís work. This was because they were not yet mature as Christians (3:1-3). Perhaps one group of Christians argued that the Holy Spirit was working more powerfully among them than among other Christians. Another group insisted that the Holy Spirit had given them more wisdom and knowledge. And a third group insisted that God spoke to them more clearly than other Christians, by his Holy Spirit.
Really, the Holy Spirit was not causing these arguments. Each of these groups cared too much about their own importance, their feelings and their desires. That was why they were not showing love towards each other.
If they really wanted the Holy Spirit to guide them, he would teach them how to behave. Then those Christians would realise that they all needed each other (12:21-27). They would not try to use the Holy Spiritís work in order to prove their own importance. Instead, they would act in love (1 Corinthians chapter 13).
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© 2014, Keith Simons.