1 Thessalonians 1:5 English Standard Version (ESV) because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
There is so much to be said about this one verse that it would be easy to lose focus on the most important aspect of the verse. We are here for you.
Are you lost? Then the gospel is definitely needed.
Are you a new Christian struggling with the change? Then you definitely need the Word, your bible.
Are you a mature Christian that seeks to be used for the glory of God? Then you need to be empowered.
Are you being hounded by the lies of the enemy? Then you definitely need the Spirit of Truth to combat those lies.
Are you complacent with your position, comfortable with your effort, and just want to live your life in quiet reflection? Then you need to be convicted.
We all fit into one of these categories at some time, perhaps more than one. We are changed as we move from one state to another. The only constant is change. We are not meant to be perfected in this life. Perfection will come when this mortal shell is cast off and we put on immortality.
The Holy Spirit is given to enact God’s will and it is God’s will that we are to mature time over time until time ends. We are His to do with as He pleases and would love it if we cooperated like good obedient children.
Do we want to please the Father?
1 Corinthians 12:31 English Standard Version (ESV) But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
This is the last line of scripture quoted yesterday. Did you notice it was incomplete? I normally place a letter after the verse number to indicate if the quote is the beginning, middle or end of that verse. In this case it would have been an A.
1 Corinthians 12:31 English Standard Version (ESV) But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
Past experience with pastors and teachers has shown me that when a subject is being taught they will cut and paste scripture to stay focused on the point of the teaching. They do not want the congregation’s attention to drift.
The Holy Spirit does not cut and paste. He knows the whole truth and how it works together for the good in all of us. Desire gifts, but there is a better way. If there is a better way, why teach on the gifts? Why not just teach on the better way?
The answer is that God uses all aspects of this spiritual life to enact His will in reaching the lost. What is meaningful to one might not mean anything to the next. People respond differently and God will not limit His methods in reaching the lost to just one gift.
The better way is love, chapter 13 of 1st Corinthians. What is not said about the operations of the gifts is they are done with love and not apart from love. That point might have been overshadowed by the great descriptions of love.
The first three verses of 1st Corinthians 13 indicate that the gifts can be operated without love. The problem with doing that is that the gifts are being used apart from the will of God. The will of God is how things get done. Verse 13:3 ends with “I gained nothing.”