Summary: A look at seeking to excel in the edification and building one another up in the faith.
“Pursue love. However, keep on eagerly seeking the things of the Spirit.” (1 Cor 14:1 CJB)
Salvation makes the Christian complete in Christ (Col 2:10). ALL that the Father is, Jesus is.
“All the fullness of the Godhead bodily” dwells in Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit dwells within the Christian (Col 2:9-10 NKJV.)
Because Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, all of His promises and spiritual gifts have never changed, nor will they ever change. Every Christian was “given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Cor 12:13) and is positioned “in” Jesus, and He is “in” every Christian. There are over 100 verses in the Bible that describe the Christian as “in” Jesus.
During the Last Supper, Jesus gave farewell instruction to the Apostles. He declared to them:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (Jn 14:12 NIV)
Because the Christian has Jesus living in them, they possess and have access to all of His promises and the spiritual things of God because He is the giver of the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who helps the Christian to do “greater works” than Jesus.
The “greater works” are far more than just evangelism. The Father anointed Jesus with power to do good works and to bring healing (Acts 10:38). It goes hand in hand with His first public declaration to:
“…bring Good News to the poor.”…“to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.” (Luke 4:18-19 NLT)
The term “Spiritual Gifts” is used by most translations in place of the words “the things of the Spirit.” It comes from the Greek word ‘spneumatikos,’ which literally means ‘spiritualities’ or spiritual things – not actually “gifts.” It is a word used in the Bible only AFTER Pentecost and in reference to spiritual manifestations that have their origin with God, as well as working in harmony with His nature and character (Rom 7:14).
In actuality, manifestations are really not gifts because the gift is Holy Spirit! They are the sensory and tangible evidence of His active work. However, from this point on, they will be referred to as manifestation gifts.
Every Christian should “seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church” (1 Cor 14:12 KJV). The manifestation gifts are to edify, restore, exhort, and buildup the Body of Christ as God determines and deems necessary what is needed (or lacking) in a specific church, congregation or ministry setting at a given moment in time so that there would be no division.
These gifts are manifested by individuals for the common good because every member is part of the Body of Christ and should have equal concern for each other (1 Cor 12 4-7, 11:19-20, 24-25). The gifts are not individually possessed as an indisputable mark of a very spiritual person. They should be given away from a heart filled with love.
If a church had only certain gifts being manifested in its midst, it would be imbalanced. That is why the Bible asks,
“Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?” (1 Cor 12: 29-30 NIV)
A person who is well does not need the “Gift of Healing’. It is the person who is sick that needs to receive this gift. As an example, if a person needs direction in their life, they need a “Word of Wisdom.” All nine of the supernatural manifestation gifts are available to every Christian and can be appropriated as necessary through the direction of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12).
Empowered to Serve
The apostle Paul declared:
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. (2 Cor 12:9 KJV)
In the New Testament, the Greek word ‘endunamoo’ means to empower and is often used. It is a compound word that comes from the Greek word ‘en’ meaning within and the Greek word ‘dunamis’ meaning power. Words, such as dynamite, dynamo, and dynamic, come from ‘Dunamis.’ The understanding of this word in the Greek is to receive power within. Christians are to depend upon God’s power because they are weak without Him.
God desires that His children move naturally in power He has given to all Christians beginning on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus offered the rebirth by Holy Spirit on the day of His resurrection. (Jn 20:21-22) The apostle Paul prayed that the Church would come to know: