The Apostle Paul wanted the Corinthian Church to be all Jesus meant for it to be. In Chapter 12, Paul begins to instruct them concerning gifts given to Christians by the Holy Spirit.

His first point is that the Holy Spirit gives the gift He chooses to the person He chooses. This makes it impossible for man to brag about his giftedness because it is all from God. Next Paul uses the analogy of the church being a body where all parts or gifts are necessary to live a healthy life. He actually says that we treat our less honorable and unpresentable parts with special care, and the greatest parts are not exalted.

Chapter 13, the love chapter, highlights the necessity of love in the midst of imperfect people serving a perfect God. People with perfect gifts from God are still flawed and make mistakes; therefore, Paul says, “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” In the body of Christ, we must relate to each other in love or the body will suffer and be weakened. Scripture gives us a key to success when it says, “Love never fails.” Love keeps a church healthy and powerful.

Chapter 14 gives valuable instruction for using our gifts in a corporate worship service. Intelligibility is the big idea when we gather together to worship. Paul tells us not to forbid the use of the gifts, but that everything must be done in an orderly, understandable way – a way that even an unbeliever understands and so is converted. Paul says we should desire to prophesy, in other words, hear God and share what He said. Prophesy like this will cause unbelievers to be cut to the heart and worship God because His presence is unmistakable.

Please take time to read these three chapters in context and get a picture of how the Apostle Paul expected the church to operate. Is it possible today to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us this way?