Tuesday of the Tenth Week after Trinity

Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Daily Lectionary: 1 Kings 2:1-27; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Perhaps you have friends who are into "spiritual gifts." Maybe you know someone who has "spoken in tongues." The problem with these teachings is that these so-called "gifts" are just experiences which make a person think they are more Christian or have the Holy Spirit (as opposed to someone who doesn't have such experiences).

St. Paul tells us that there is one Spirit and the same God. Therefore, think about this: how can one Spirit give people all kinds of different gifts to do all kinds of things which contradict each other? Jesus makes clear in St. John's Gospel (chapters 14-16) that the Spirit's job is to deliver Jesus' gifts. Therefore, if any of the gifts that St. Paul mentions are about something other than Jesus, they are not really from the Spirit.

The Spirit's job is not to bring confusion in the Church. Neither is it to give each individual believer some emotional high. His job is to give us Jesus. That begins with the preaching of Christ crucified for sinners and risen from the dead. He continues His work of calling, gathering, enlightening and sanctifying us in the waters of Holy Baptism, the Supper of Jesus' Body and Blood and the preaching, teaching, and absolving work your pastor does for you.

It's certainly true that not everyone in the Church is the same. God has made each of us His unique creation. Yet the various gifts that He gives to us aren't for their own sake but for the glory of God and the service of our neighbor. "Tongues" and "spiritual gifts" that aren't about Jesus aren't really from the Holy Spirit.

There is one and the same Spirit delivering just one Jesus--the one who is your Savior from sin. There is no doubt, but only the certain and comforting work He does in His Church for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Teach us to know the Father, Son, And You, from both, as Three in One That we Your name may ever bless And in our lives the truth confess. (Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest, LSB 498:6)

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.