Earnestly Desire the Higher Gifts?
The miraculous spiritual gifts, as we read of them in the New Testament, were given to the Apostles and their close associates as signs to authenticate that the Gospel they preached was the Word of God. If the miraculous gifts were a regular thing, they wouldn’t be miraculous.
The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. (2 Corinthians 12:12)
God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will. (Hebrews 2:4)
In addition to the miracle gifts – like healing and speaking in tongues – there are gifts of: teaching, exhortation, administration, mercy and discernment.
And those aren’t as popular. Who wants discernment? I’d rather have the power to not have to go to the doctor ever again!
Paul says to:
Earnestly desire the higher gifts! (1 Corinthians 12:31)
What are the higher gifts?
Miracles, right? They’re like amazing! So, they must be the higher gifts!
No. The higher gifts are the ones that benefit and build up the Church.
Miraculous healings and speaking in tongues don’t do that. Teaching does. Service, giving, mercy, sharing the Word of God in all wisdom and knowledge… you might think that doesn’t have the same pizzazz as making the lame walk or the blind see. But, do not think less of these gifts.
Not everyone will be a healer, but everyone will have a gift to bless the church of Jesus Christ!
This is from the Holy Spirit of God who dwells in every believer.
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts… (1 Corinthians 14:1)
Whenever we use the word “gift”, we tend to think of it as something unique to a particular person – and in some sense, it is. For example, a pastor must have the gift of teaching and not everyone is going to have that gift.
A pastor must have the gift of teaching (1 Timothy 3:2 & Titus 1:9)
But while some are better with words than others, I think you would agree that we should all learn how to encourage one another with the word of God.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)
…when we understand the text.