The final day of our pastor’s convention began with more great worship, and a presentation by “Living Logos” – a word-for-word dramatic enactment of the book of Ephesians by Rod Carlson. It was a very neat experience having a visit from the Apostle Paul! Check out http://www.livinglogos.org for more info about what they do.
In the morning session, Dr. Daniel Brown continued his Bible study in the Gospel of John, looking at various passages where Jesus taught about the Holy Spirit again. In the evening session, he took us through 1 Corinthians 12-14, expounding more about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, emphasizing the importance of love. Instead of simply sharing with you my summary of his sessions for this final day, allow me to quote Dr. Brown directly from his personal Facebook page:
THE WHOLE-BODY GIFT
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” ~1 Corinthians 13:1
It’s too bad that this famous chapter on love (scrolled on posters; read at weddings; etc.) has been separated from the previous chapter Paul writes about supernatural enablements (spiritual gifts/ministries) God has given to everyone in His Church. If the chapter break didn’t exist, it would be easier to see the flow of Paul’s explanation about ways in which each of us is uniquely capacitated for spirit-led ministry.
He has just been making two simple points about spirituals (i.e., revelations, promptings and mysteries from the spiritual realm):
(1) no ONE person has every gift/ministry because God designs everyone to need everyone else in the Body; and,
(2) everyone doesn’t have the SAME gift/ministry because the Body needs different parts (eyes, ears, etc.).
The point of these verses is to say,
(1) Whatever gift/ministry we have, it accomplishes nothing truly spiritual if it isn’t love-bound to the rest of the Body; and,
(2) Everyone has (the greatest spiritual enablement) love.
Because we traditionally interpret/limit “spiritual gifts” as the nine listed in 1 Corinthians 12, we easily skip over the spirituals given to us in chapter 13 (faith, hope, love). Instead of viewing AGAPE-love as a miraculous tool that is as other-worldly as speaking in tongues or effecting miracles, the Church has naturalized love and reduced it to a motive or goal for spiritual ministry.
“All are not teachers… all do not have gifts of healing” (1 Corinthians 12:29-30), but all of us have (the-freely-given-grace-gift-from-God, used to minister supernaturally to others) love!
– Thanks to everyone who prayed for us while we were away at our pastor’s convention! We had a wonderfully refreshing time in the presence of the Lord, and enjoyed connected with our greater Foursquare family from across Canada…