God’s grand plan unfolds through the train of the abnormal technique of grace — Word and Sacrament — within the midst of His individuals who make use of their God-ordained presents, and are supposed to carry blessing to us and glory to God by means of abnormal residing. In verse 31 Paul alludes to “higher gifts.” Gifts (charisma) is within the plural. So there really are some greater or higher presents. These greater presents are the straightforward presents of affection and repair. They are the presents of Christian management that Jesus taught to His disciples. “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all” (Mark 10:42-44). The greater presents are the very mundane presents of affection and repair exercised within the midst of abnormal life.
I feel that Paul had two such presents in thoughts. The first greater or higher reward is the distinctive reward(s) that God has given to every of His folks, these varied expertise, skills and character quirks that makes every of us distinctive. These are the presents of the range of the physique of Christ.
The second higher or greater reward that Paul has in thoughts is a present that’s extra invaluable than all of the others he has to date talked about, extra invaluable than apostles, extra invaluable than prophets, extra invaluable than academics, extra invaluable than miracles, extra invaluable than presents of therapeutic, extra invaluable than serving to, extra invaluable than administrating, extra invaluable than varied sorts of tongues, and extra invaluable than the interpretation of tongues. This reward is the reward of Christian love. God’s love is the reward of grace He has given us. Love is each root and fruit, seed and flower. It is a present given to us by God Himself, and a present that we’re to cross alongside to others (Genesis 12:2).
This second greater reward of Christian love is extra non secular than the others. It is extra a perform of the Holy Spirit, extra a manifestation of the Spirit, extra an expression of the Spirit. And as such it’s a reward of the unity of the Spirit. It is completely different than the opposite presents talked about as a result of its central attribute is unity quite than range. It points out of unity. It creates unity. And it celebrates unity. As such it’s a reward that’s shared by all Christians. All of Christ’s folks have this reward (to various levels), and people who haven’t got it, aren’t Christ’s folks. It is an figuring out mark of God’s folks, the physique of Christ, the church. It is what holds the physique of Christ collectively. It is the glue of Christian fellowship. And it goes hand-in-hand with the primary reward, the distinctive and private reward(s) that make us all completely different from each other.
The reward Christians share in widespread offers the context for the blossoming of the completely different presents that make us distinctive. And conversely, our distinctive variations present the context for the widespread glue that holds us collectively. The range requires the unity with a purpose to perform. Our completely different presents should work collectively towards or with a typical function. Without the unity the range is simply chaos.
And with out the range the unity produces dying. If the entire elements of the physique tried to be eyes or ears or fingers or toes, the physique would die as a result of the physique wants the completely different elements to perform as God created them to perform. The unity wants the range, and the range wants the unity. Paul has been talking in regards to the range in chapter twelve. In chapter 13, he turns his consideration to the unity, the best reward that God has given to His folks, the reward that can not be seen other than the eyes of religion and can’t be exercised other than the ability and presence of the Holy Spirit.