Today we begin our study at Christ Fellowship of 1 Corinthians 12-14: “What’s your Superpower?” Since these chapters address issues of debate in the Christian world today, they draw more interest and will require serious study and reflection. A big challenge will be to read the text without imposing preconceptions from current practices and points of view on spiritual gifts, especially ones such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing, as well as words of knowledge.
Over my June break from preaching I was able to do some fresh study and I am excited with new insights for our church and myself. For this study I will be posting my responses to the questions in the Study Guide from my personal time in the mornings.
What do you think Paul’s purpose was in writing this section of his letter?
Paul continues to correct problems in the Corinthian church, much of them springing from pride, selfishness and divisiveness. Although they see themselves as oh-so-spiritual, he writes to correct their ignorance saying, “I don’t want you to be uninformed.” Apparently they were using spiritual gifts to display their own supposed spiritually as higher or better than someone else. Once again their focus was on themselves not on how to serve others. Paul helps them understand true spirituality and the purpose of the Spirit’s empowering so they become more spiritual and unified.
As we begin our study of chapters 12–14, think about your current understanding of spiritual gifts. What are they? When should they be used? Why should they be used? How should they be used? Can they be misused?
Over the years my views have developed and I am still growing. As always our commitment is to the Word of God, to let it guide us. Regardless of previous traditions, thoughts or theological assumptions, I will approach the biblical text with openness to what God has to say even if it challenges or corrects ways I have thought before.
What are you hoping to learn or have clarified during this five-week study?
I’m eager to gain a clearer understanding of tongues and prophecy in particular.
Share your questions so I can consider them as I develop the sermons over the next five weeks. May we all learn what it really means to be spiritual and use our super powers properly.