And after affirming the value and necessity of all spiritual gifts, Paul turns his attention to instructing the Corinthians on how to use their spiritual gifts. Paul does not question the legitimacy of speaking in tongues. He believes it is a legitimate activity of the Spirit. But he stresses that this activity is useless, indeed worthless if love is missing. If our spiritual gifts are not carried on by, motivated by love and the common good of the body of Christ, Paul says then your speaking in tongues is just meaningless noise.
We continue this morning in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and the present issue being addressed is that some of the Corinthians were claiming to be spiritually elite. Within the church there was a fascination with tongues and a superiority complex by those who used them. The Corinthians had a hard time learning to live in unity while being diverse in their giftings. Again, many felt superior to others. And so Paul takes up this metaphor of the body to help them, to help us, see the importance and the practicality of Christian unity.
Within the Corinthian church, there was confusion and controversy, misunderstanding and abuse regarding spiritual gifts. And there remains confusion and controversy, misunderstanding and abuse regarding spiritual gifts in 21st century Everett. No other area of Christian doctrine has been subjected to so much confusion and debate. This week we will examine the Apostle Paul's teaching regarding spiritual gifts. Paul beautifully unpacks the reason for the diversity of spiritual gifts and their function in the church.