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Diversity of Gifts in One Body

Diversity of Gifts in One Body

Paul’s aim at the moment is not however to establish a rating or hierarchy of gifts, but rather to insist that all gifts whatsoever, important or unimportant, showy or obscure, come from the same source. All these things (just listed) the same one Spirit (literally, one and the same Spiritputs into operation (ἐνεργεῖ, cf. verse 6 above, where it is used of God; the word suggests that the Spirit is the source of boundless and manifold energy and power—a thoroughly biblical thought), distributing (cf. verses 4 ff.individually (ἰδίᾳ; see e.g. M. iii. 18; it would be possible to write the word ἴδια, and translate his own giftsto each one (it is again implied that each Christian receives some gift) as he wills. Thus it is not for Christians to dictate to the Spirit what gifts they (or others) should have, though they should strive for the greater (and perhaps less spontaneous) gifts (verse 31). The Spirit chooses what gift shall be given to each Christian so that none has occasion for boasting, or for a sense of inferiority. As his work, the gifts are a sign of the free grace of God by which the church exists, and of the place, the church occupies at the dawn of the new age. They naturally lead Paul to think of the church itself. More
Barrett, C. K. The First Epistle to the Corinthians. London: Continuum, 1968. Print. Black’s New Testament Commentary.
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